A lot of students leave college with grand ideas. But getting them onto paper and turning them into reality is another thing entirely. However, there are ways to get started that have been proven to work. We’re going to outline some key things you will need for your startup and show how you don’t need a massive influx of cash to get your ideas off the ground.
A place to work
A lot of successful companies around the world started in very meagre surroundings. Think Steve Jobs and his garage, as the perfect example. The key is to keep your rental costs and utility bills down to the bare bones when you are just starting out. There’s no need for flash offices, foosball tables and organic drinks dispenser just yet. There’s plenty of time for that. Work from home if you can, or look for cheap shared space in your community. There are plenty of technology hubs springing up all around the world. Rates are usually peanuts in places like these, and you can often build up a healthy amount of business contacts.
Whatever your business idea is, you are going to need equipment. A computer, a laptop, a phone – it all costs money. Our advice is to think carefully about what you buy. There’s no doubt that the latest gear is going to look great – but is it necessary? Unless you are a designer who needs a powerful spec, it’s unlikely. Look into second-hand models or refurbished goods direct from manufacturers. It will save you a valuable couple of hundred dollars that you can pump into other areas. As a startup, every last cent is going to be important.
OK, so when you aren’t making a cent, there is no point in hiring an accountant. But the second that you make your first sale? Get on the phone and hire one. In general, bookkeeping for small business will cost you a little, and save you a lot – in time and money. As you progress and make more sales, it will free up your time to concentrate on the most important parts of running your business. A good accountant will also give you great advice on how to expand your business.
A great marketing plan
If you are a marketing grad, then by all means plan your route to world domination. However, if you aren’t, then you might need some help. Marketing is the lifeblood of all business, and you are going to need a plan to help you stand out from the crowd. Hire an external team in the build up to your product or service launching. Alternatively, you could start to build up a marketing team of your own. Bear in mind, though, that the second you start hiring employees, it will begin to drain your finances.
Excellent negotiation skills
Finally, you will need fantastic negotiation skills. As the business owner, you will have to get the best deal possible when selling your service or business. Also, you will be haggling for discounts for your suppliers. This is the major difference between college and the business world. It’s the real life essentials of all business deals – and it takes a while to learn. Get it right, and your startup has an excellent chance of success.