Tips For the Young Entrepreneur: Preparing for a future business plan competition

As a young high school student, a prestigious business competition like New Venture Championship might seem too intimidating and you might never feel like you could compete at that level. While the pressure, critique and intensity of the plan is not for the faint of heart, there are ways that a high school student with a growing interest in business can prepare for a business plan competition in the future.

  1. Get involved in business clubs. Most high schools provide clubs for many different groups and interests. If you are interested in business, find a business club and get involved. Do not just become a member by signing up but never going to the meetings; instead, let the club be a full immersion into the world of business and embrace the opportunities that the club provides. If there is an opportunity within the club to take field trips pertaining to business and networking opportunities, take it. If there is an opportunity to take on a leadership position within the club, take it. Even if you think that you may be too shy to handle leadership, take it on with full force. Anyone can be a great leader with the confidence to do so. If you practice, you will get better.
  2. Take a speech and debate class. A huge aspect of the business plan competition is the presentation. If a team has great presentation skills and can demand the attention of the audience, their plan is perceived to be better. Some people are natural speakers, but the rest of us need practice and a little coaching. Taking a speech and debate class in high school will help coach you to a better presenter. Although the class may seem scary initially, it will pay off to have the type of practice and instruction that makes you the best speaker you can be.
  3. Job shadow or get an internship. Many businesses offer an internship program that can provide real world business experience. Although in each business class you can learn a lot about business plans and marketing, what you learn in the real world by watching, observing and interacting in a business environment provides an experience unlike any classroom. Job shadowing can help you understand what a business professional actually does and help you gauge the standards and abilities you may need for the business world.
  4. Study great business professionals. It is important to have role models in your field of interest. That is why it is vital that you study other business professionals and see what made them so successful. It is also just as important to pay attention to business professionals’ mistakes in order to better prepare yourself to not follow the same path. Research, research, research. Do your best to truly understand the business world and what makes an idea phenomenal.

Written By Tara Gremillion

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