I started running my own business when l was just eighteen. I had always been arty and loved drawing, painting and making things and knew whatever I chose to do with my life would be linked to art so at the tender age of eighteen I decided to start my own business. I hope by sharing my experiences with you it will help you to be able to begin your own business.
First of all I believe you must be interested in your chosen business, this may seem an obvious thing to say, but if you love what you do ultimately this will ride you through any inevitable difficulties that you will come across as your business moves forward. If you just choose to do something that you really are not that interested in then there is a much greater chance of failure, so always choose to start a business that you know you will really love.
Next, try and learn as much as you can about your business before you begin, if you are young and just leaving school you may consider going to university to do a degree or you could go to a local college that specialises in the area that you are interested in. I didn't actually do any of this but opted to write to businesses based in Scotland that were involved in making leatherwork and I asked them if I could come and stay with them to learn the trade. I sourced these businesses through 'The Crafts' magazine, which concentrates on high quality makers.
Looking back, this may have been a bit naive but I was very lucky and a couple based in Dumfriesshire replied. I dually headed from Orkney off to Monaive to learn as much as I possibly could about designing and making items in leather. After the short time of two weeks I felt, being only 18 and rather too confident for my own good, well enough equipped with enough information to start me off in the business of leathercraft.
Being young is always a great asset to starting your own business, as you probably will have no committments such as kids or a mortgage to pay and most of all, you are less frightened about taking any risks. These days taking a risk is not something you are advised to do, but I think it's part of being a successful business person.