Posted: Thu 26th May 2022
New research by WhatsApp Business shows that young people in the UK are more entrepreneurial than ever. Over two-thirds (68%) of Gen Z – the generation born between 1997 and 2012 – have had a new business idea, compared with 38% of the wider population.
Yet despite that, only a small percentage (18%) of those budding entrepreneurs have managed to make their business ideas a reality.
With that in mind, WhatsApp Business and Enterprise Nation have teamed up to share their top tips for budding British entrepreneurs who want to quickly and easily Think Up, Start Up and Scale Up their own business.
Five tips for budding business owners
Tip #1: Find your niche
It's increasingly hard to get through. But if you can identify a business idea that solves a problem for consumers, you'll be on to a winner.
Tip #2: Get that bag!
With some of the new digital banks (such as Starling, Monzo, Revolut and Tide), you can set up a business account in minutes from your phone. With no monthly fees, it's perfect for a start-up, and you can manage your finances completely through the app.
Tip #3: Be where your customers are
Connect with customers where they already are – and with over two billion users worldwide, that's on WhatsApp.
The free WhatsApp Business app allows you to set up a business profile with all your information, and a catalogue of your services for customers to browse. It's also end-to-end encrypted, meaning it's secure for everyone.
If you already use WhatsApp, setting up on the WhatsApp Business app will feel like second nature and something you can do in minutes.
Tip #4: Be social
This might be an obvious one, but we can't stress it enough. Have a social presence and post regularly and often (but not too often) to keep your customers interested.
Tip #5: Prioritise communication
When you've built your customer base, you need to nurture those relationships like your favourite house plant. No-one wants to be 'on' 24/7, but you can't leave them hanging.
The WhatsApp Business app offers automatic replies and quick responses, so customers feel loved and you look professional, even when you're off the clock.
What the research shows
In WhatsApp's research, over half of Gen Zs surveyed (59%) said they're planning to leave their current jobs to pursue their dreams.
The cost of living crisis is a key factor in motivating young people to start their own ventures, with 31% saying they want to create a business to earn more money to deal with rising costs.
However, just 18% of Gen Zs with a business idea have so far managed to bring it to life, with the main barriers being money and investment (54%) or a lack of skills or knowledge (27%).
Just 28% of young Brits have sought advice on how to start a business, compared to almost two-thirds (65%) of tech-savvy 18- to 25-year-olds. At the same time, Gen Zs seem much more aware of the existence of free apps (like the WhatsApp Business app) that can help with starting a business (43%) than the average person in Britain (26%).
The WhatsApp Business app is free to use and lets you set up a business in minutes. It works like the regular WhatsApp, but offers other useful features for businesses, such as:
a catalogue for products and services
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:
"It's no secret that Gen Z are an entrepreneurial generation, ignited by joining the workforce during a pandemic and rising inflation. But while there's plenty of enthusiasm, there's a clear knowledge gap on how they turn their ideas into a successful business.
"We believe any idea, no matter how unusual, can become a great business with the right tools. So, we're delighted to partner with the WhatsApp Business app to encourage people to take that leap and be their own boss."
Helen Charles, public policy director at WhatsApp, said:
"The WhatsApp Business app was designed with the small business owner in mind, specifically to make connecting with customers quick and easy.
"Whether it's to send automatic replies or have a digital catalogue of services, we hope businesses of all sizes find it helpful having an official presence on WhatsApp so they can spend more time on running a successful business."
To coincide with the research, WhatsApp and Enterprise Nation have teamed up with popular Gen Z YouTubers Chunkz and Harry Pinero to help three budding British entrepreneurs start up and scale up some of the nation's weird and wonderful business ideas. Watch the video
Use the WhatsApp Business app to: