Starting your own business as a student can be a great idea for so many reasons, including having more free time, fewer commitments, and having so many organizations and resources for young entrepreneurs. It’s also a great addition to any resume when you graduate if you need to look for a job. Read on to learn top tips for successfully starting your own business as a student.
LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN
When you start a business as a student, you have access to so many entrepreneurship resources to give you valuable advice and information about the world of business. Many universities have classes on marketing, funding, business strategy, and more.
It’s absolutely critical to learn as much as you can about consumer behavior, market research in your field, your competitors, and what your brand can bring to the market. Learn as much as possible about customer service, social media and technological advances that can help you effectively create your business.
COME UP WITH THE IDEA
The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is coming up with the concept, product or service that you want to bring to the market. This doesn’t usually happen in one moment but is the culmination of tons of research, observation, and creativity.
A helpful suggestion from Lars Helmud, a business writer at Australia2write and Writemyx, is to “think about an area that you’re already interested in, things that you interact with in your daily life, and any possible gaps that you can take advantage of.”
CREATE A SUPPORT NETWORK
Once you’ve got the idea and the information you need, it’s important to create a network of mentors and other like-minded people.
There are many experienced entrepreneurs in the business world who are interested in passing along their knowledge and expertise that they’ve gained, so don’t be intimidated to approach them. Visit some local business owners and ask for their help and mentorship, and continuously seek out supportive and honest people who will give you advice.
Use your university’s alumni network to see if anyone has relevant advice to give and is interested in meeting you. Your teachers are also potential mentors that you can foster a relationship with.
ESTABLISH YOUR BUSINESS AND FUNDING PLANNING
Many businesses fail because of poor planning, so it’s important to develop a good business plan before you start out. This is extremely useful for your investors’ meetings to show that you’re prepared and why they should invest in your company.
Your business plan must include a mission statement, summary, the product or service you’re creating or offering, the target audience, your marketing strategy, financial information, and your analysis of the market, as well as any other relevant information.
Your funding strategy should include pitching funding firms, angel investors and venture capital firms. Your university is a good place to get started on connecting with these firms. Look into obtaining small-business loans from your local bank, and other sources of borrowing and investments.
You should consider building an emergency fund that you can fall back on in early times for personal needs, which allows you freedom and flexibility to focus on your business.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO FAIL
It’s normal to fail – it happens to everybody. Take failure as a learning opportunity that will ultimately help you become more successful.
Nadia Putman, a project manager at Brit student and Next coursework, warns students that “the fear of failure can be the biggest obstacle to starting your business. If you fail, take a step back and find out why then try again with that information.”
KEEP YOUR EYE ON FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
The majority of businesses fail in the first couple of years, so you need to be constantly adapting and looking ahead to meet new challenges.
Prepare for any possibility, including moving from your home into an office space, and also hitting a plateau that is typical for small businesses. You need to be constantly adapting to the market conditions, new technologies, and tools that can help you, and obviously the sales opportunities around you.
Any problem in your community can be an opportunity to create a business that can solve it. Keep exercising your creative brain so you’re constantly moving forward with your business.