I was contacted by BBC Radio 5Live this morning to feature in a discussion on encouraging young unemployed people to start their own business.  Interesting discussion!  As someone who started their first business at the age of 24 years, I definitely have faith that young people are equipped to start their own business.  But it definitely comes down to more than just knowing your service or product.

When asked what the biggest challenge they would face would be, I answered that it would getting customers!  It would be great to think that the day we set up in business the phone will start ringing, but that just isn’t the case!

Which brings me on to what I think is the key lesson to startup success, and that is LEARNING.  When I started my first business, I had no idea how to bring in new customers!  But I learnt!  I committed to learning as much as I could about marketing (and of course social media!).  I read the books of top entrepreneurs to see what they had done, I took courses, I joined the Entrepreneur’s Circle and I went away and implemented all my new found knowledge!

“What you don’t know keeps you poor” is so true!  I commit an average of 3 hours a week now to learning, whether that’s through reading blog posts or business books, or attending webinars, seminars and courses.  You’re probably thinking you don’t have 3 hours spare in a week to learn.  Try splitting this in to 6 half hour sessions.  I typically commit half an hour every lunchtime to talk a break and do some reading.  I generally find the other half hour over the evening or at the weekends.  If you don’t think you have the time, then find it!!!

Another excuse often given to not learning is money.  When purchasing a course or business book, don’t think of the cost.  Instead think of the investment.  For every book I read or course I go on, I evaluate what I need to do in my business from that learning to, at the very least, get the cost back.

Set yourself the challenge today to read at least one business book a month and one blog post a day, then go away and implement!!  Believe me, it will be of infinite value to your business!