For young entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to know where to focus your energy. You have three or four projects you’re working on, a friend has a business idea, and you just heard about this cool new trend you want to try out. We know how that feels.
Beau Robinson, owner of Catch Cam Nets, sat down with Positively West Virginia podcast host, Jim Matuga, and talked with him about his tips for young West Virginia entrepreneurs.
First, don’t stretch yourself too thin.
During his beginning years as an entrepreneur, Robinson juggled three businesses while waiting for something to take off.
“I didn’t have mentors to reach out to at first,” said Robinson. “I would advise to stay laser focused. Pick one thing and commit.”
Second, research the patent and manufacturing process for your products within your state.
Take the time to research a company or patent lawyer. These people can help make your journey easier.
“I Googled ‘patent process,’ and there were tons of companies and lawyers who could help,” said Robinson.
Next, apply for a provisional patent, which gives you a year to perfect your product. Robinson took that year and re-designed his product so that he could mass-produce it.
Then, apply for a non-provisional patent, which is a 20-year patent for your product.
Third, stay consistent in your brand and continually educate yourself.
Social media is increasingly taking over how companies advertise themselves. Today, consumers want genuine, behind-the-scenes content, and sometimes businesses fall short of this.
“Consistency is one thing that I think young entrepreneurs do wrong, especially with social media,” said Robinson. “If something is working, continue doing it.”
Social media advertising takes research, not just about the platform but also about the audience your company is targeting.
You have to really think about what your audience wants to see. For example, with Catch Cam Nets, the audience wants to see behind-the-scene shorts of how the product is manufactured to tips and tricks on how to get the best shot while in the water.
If you don’t know how to utilize social media, start researching articles, and take a look at other social media accounts in your industry. Start teaching yourself.
“If you don’t teach yourself something new, no one else will do it for you,” said Robinson.
Finally, if you can produce your product locally, do it.
Robinson’s Catch Cam Net product is manufacturing between Fairmont and Morgantown.
Manufacturing and buying local can support the community around you, create jobs and allow local businesses to flow cash back into other local businesses.
4 Tips for Young West Virginia Entrepreneurs
- Don’t stretch yourself too thin.
- Research the patent and manufacturing process for your products.
- Stay consistent in your product & continually educate yourself.
- If you can produce local, do it.