Is it possible to start and run a successful business while in college? Well the answer is yes. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs began while they were in college which is often the birthplace of many such endeavours.
Today so many young students for various reasons are looking for ways to increase their income streams but running a business while in college is no easy task. It requires dedication, creativity and incredible time and resource management. Usually, the most tasking aspect is balancing school work while also maintaining a healthy business. If you’re an up and coming entrepreneur who’s still in school, these following steps can put you on the right path to starting and growing a successful business.
Know where to begin
First of all you need to identify genuine areas of interest. What really appeals to you or your target audience? Know what the world needs, what you’re good at and how you can monetize the opportunity. The best ideas are the ones you are truly interested in exploring. Look for business opportunities that allow you to showcase your talents.
Have a business plan
Having a comprehensive business plan is very essential. There are lots of business plan templates that you can find online. This will help you to make more sensible and knowledgeable decisions, know your current standings and also assess and weigh your future options. For example, your plan could be to begin with a business which will not demand too much initial capital until you’ve garnered a reputable customer base. It is after building this clientele that you would begin to be courted by investors and larger companies.
Also, do well to avoid business strategies that you do not fully understand. It would not be wise to adopt a business strategy that you don’t fully comprehend just because it seems to be working for someone else. Choose something that is clearly feasible, something that you can easily go to work on, the aim is to start a business and consistently grow it.
Create a customer base.
Like I said earlier, birthing a business is no simple task. it takes a lot of work, but with anything worth doing, it requires toil. After having an idea, the next thing that comes to mind is knowing your target clients. Without customers there will be no business, so as an entrepreneur your next goal is finding or creating a customer base.
How do you fund your business?
Growth, no matter how little, is very important in the early life of any business. You will need a source of funds to kick-start your business, if not available, you will need to generate one. While in college it is easier to discover these monetary sources. Student loans, scholarships and grants are possible means that can offer you the financial assistance that you will need if you do not already have a reserve of cash you are willing to use to invest in your upstart.
Crowdsourcing is also another option that offers funding opportunities. This method of fundraising is unique in that it helps to generate funds while also garnering attention from other bigger businesses as well as potential investors.
Utilise all available resources
Colleges and universities have several resources which are free and can be capitalized on while starting your business. Free Wi-Fi, typing and printing services, online materials and library resources are a few of the tools which you can make use of to advertise and publicise your business.
Most colleges have community centres, take advantage of this, you can go ahead to circulate posters, flyers and other materials and even team up with different student bodies to help promote your business. You can even have write-ups that depict what kind of business you do. Custom paper writing services like wiseessays.com will do a great job of providing these write-ups.
Get a team together
Two heads are better than one. The more minds that can come together to generate new and innovative ideas, the better. Starting a business is not something you should attempt on your own. This is not saying that it is impossible, but it will be less stressful and more productive if there are more people to handle various departments of the venture. That doesn’t mean you should go ahead and hire the whole school. Try to limit the number of people on your team. Identify the most important skill-sets and utilise them effectively.
Do your best to avoid nepotism. Do not put your best friend on the team simply because he or she is your best friend or your cousin simply because he or she is a relative. As a start-up, what you need on your team is efficiency, the best people for the job. Be sure to clearly emphasize the duties and the responsibilities of each person in the team.
Do not underestimate the power of a well-designed and well presented product. Building a great product is one thing getting it to the public is a whole other ball game. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing, If you really want your customers to be talking about your product you need to put in a decent amount of time and effort in delivering it. Utilise social media platforms, campus events, websites and perhaps even door-to-door advertising as a means to let people be aware of what you have to offer.
It has been recorded that over seventy percent of businesses fail, that includes even college start-ups. Keeping a business afloat will require dedication and hard work. Do not get discouraged if at first things don’t go according to plan. Take a little time to reposition and re-strategize. Patience is key, do not expect to make millions within your first month, great things take time.