Starting a business at 18 is just as daunting as it sounds. The idea of having a business of our own versus actually having one was two different things. Only when we decided to take action to pursue our dreams did we come face to face with the reality of it. It requires a lot of effort and dedication which can be challenging at the young age of 18 when most teenagers are still in the mindset of having fun. Despite all the challenges and hurdles we have faced along the way, we would have taken the same road again if it meant being at the place that we’re at now.
One of the main challenges we faced that has not completely gone away is being deemed unreliable by our clients. With almost any start-up business, it is normal for people to question the reliability of the company. We faced this just as much as any other startup company would in the beginning. To add oil to the fuel, we were young. For some reason, being young is usually associated with being inexperienced. However, with constant effort, reassurance, and being thorough with our work we managed to build trust in our relationship with clients. Over time, as more clients entrusted us with their projects, we were able to grow and strengthen our portfolio. Now, we work with some of the biggest local and international companies.
At that point in time, we were still students at Singapore Polytechnic. Time management was crucial to our company’s upbringing. We were students by day and entrepreneurs by night. The best part of it all was that we got to learn in class and execute it in the night for our business. With that being said, there was much to sacrifice. Having sufficient sleep and free time was a rare moment for us. At times we even found ourselves falling behind in class because of our work. By prioritizing our tasks and managing our time with a timetable, we managed to get past this overwhelming block and finish our education.
As much as we did learn in school, it was still very insufficient. We weren’t taught how to run a business from scratch. We had a lack of capital. We had no direction on what to do. What is the right way to go about closing a deal and how to deal with situations that may arise when there’s a mistake either on our side or the client’s side. It was frightening, and at times, it made us feel small. This was when we felt the saying, “The key to success is to make mistakes quickly, recover quickly, and keep forging forward”. Every mistake only made us more experienced, knowledgeable, and confident for the next client.
The journey has been rough but it has been just as rewarding for us. We believe that through our hard work & determination, we have been able to overcome these challenges and grow into what we are today. Hopefully, this can give you an insight into what it takes to start your own business from the ground up. All I can say is that the journey can test you, push you to your limits and make you question your passion. Plan, determine your goals, and have a good support system and you’re already halfway there.