When you’re looking for entrepreneurial tips, it might not occur to you to look to TikTok for advice. After all, TikTok is just a platform for Gen Z to show off their dance moves, right? You’ll find some stellar choreography to learn, but there is so much more: including an abundance of advice for entrepreneurs.
We’ve rounded up some of the best advice from TikTok for you here.
1. Education doesn’t have to be expensive.
Let’s face it. College is really expensive and may not be appealing to those of us who are midcareer. But there are several reasonably priced (and sometimes free) tools that can be used to increase your skill sets in your field—or learn some skills in a new field. You can earn a variety of certificates on Coursera or check out free course offerings from universities like Harvard and Stanford.
Also, technical skills are worth their weight in gold right now. Take advantage of free online tools to learn how to code. In this video, John Hu (@jayhoovy), the founder and CEO of an app called Stan that allows creators to sell their products and services, has a suggestion for entrepreneurs who want to boost their tech skills.
Hu suggests using Python and free platforms such as Codecademy to get started. First, learn how to make an app. With some basic skills, you can then move on to YouTube tutorials to learn how to make your apps attractive to users.
2. Pay yourself—regularly.
It’s likely you got into entrepreneurship to be able to pay yourself, but sometimes we forget and put our businesses first, especially when we’re trying to build. Although it can be tempting to invest most of your money into your business, you need to pay yourself, too. Video Performance Coach™ Giselle Ugarte explains in this TikTok video, that, without income, you are an unfavorable candidate for lenders. Also, paying yourself also teaches you to budget for anyone you might want to hire down the road.
According to NerdWallet, once you’ve gotten through the shaky early stages of owning a business, you should start budgeting a paycheck or owner’s draw into your business’s expenses. Your business structure and revenue will determine which you do, but ideally you should pay yourself enough to cover all of your personal obligations.
3. Work with the right people.
When you decide to bring people into your business as employees or partners, it can be really stressful to decide who you want to work with. Personalities can clash or resentment can grow about how workloads are divided. But it’s really hard to grow a business alone, and the right team can make a huge difference.
Cassey Ho, fashion designer, Blogilates creator, and CEO and lead designer of POPFLEX, says in a TikTok that, “The hardest part about building a business is finding the right people to do it with.” It can get really discouraging when a work environment becomes toxic. At one point, Ho’s own work environment was so discouraging that she was tempted to quit. But when she eventually found her dream team, the resulting change was worth it!
4. Hire a diverse team.
Remember when Kendall Jenner “solved” police brutality with… a Pepsi? Or when H&M decided to put a Black child in a sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle”? These PR missteps are part of why it’s so important to have diverse voices on your team. Hiring sensitivity readers, developing an inclusive hiring strategy and prioritizing diversity when outsourcing work can lend a different perspective to your brand.
Bria Jones, an influencer and the creator and editor of the site “Hey Bria Jones,” talks about a misstep in Hailey Bieber’s fall lip combo where she lines her lips with a dark liner and fills it in with a gloss. While this look is in style right now, it is a look that was started by people of color. “This is a great example of why it’s so important to hire a diverse team,” Jones says in this video.
5. Stop writing that business plan.
Business plans can help you get into small business incubators and access funding opportunities. But if you have the resources or the business you have in mind has low overhead, it might be a smart move to just start rolling and worry about the business plan when you get further down the road.
Marketing professional Jon Penberthy thinks that business plans are a waste of time in today’s market. In a world where most first attempts are not successful, he argues in a TikTok video that you should instead hit the ground running and see what sticks. It might be better to learn by trial and error than to invest six months in something that isn’t guaranteed to work anyway.
Photo by Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock