A lot of students at university decide that half-way through their degree that they would like to set up their own business. In fact, some of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 21st century have done just this, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Ralph Lauren. We’ve compiled a list of some of the things that we think will help you, if you’re serious about starting your own business.
Make Sure You Educate Yourself
You don’t need a master’s degree to know that there are a number of benefits to starting your own business during your studies, one such benefit is just how many entrepreneurship courses that you can now access (Depending on the university that you’re attending), that will help to train you for the world of business and will provide you with valuable startup advice. In fact some universities run courses about various things that can help budding entrepreneurs such as: Project Design and Management and even entrepreneurship programs, which covers various other aspects of marketing, as well as funding, strategy, law and even pitching. Learning about various business laws is useful too, and there are plenty of universities that offer Law degrees.
A very important thing for students that are looking to explore starting their own business to have is an excellent understanding of consumer behavior, it is absolutely critical for any startup that is looking to last longer than a few months. You will need to thoroughly research any of the gaps in your chosen market, the consumer needs and the expectations of the industry, as well as the value your competitors, see what they are doing and see what you can do to identify your brand’s unique selling point (USP). Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with any trends that are cropping up within anything like customer service, e-commerce and/or social media to reap the full benefits of digital transformation and to enhance the consumer experience and engagement.
Look into Funding Now
There are lots of different ways to raise startup capital for your business. It is important to generate as much money as you can to start your business, there are lots of ways to raise funds such as seed funding firms or angel investors and even venture capital firms. In fact what some people do is seek some sort of investment from friends and/or relatives. However, only you can know the best approach for you and your business. Your university should also be able to provide you with the best tools, some contacts and some and guidance training to fund your own company.
Look at Your Support Network
A support network is always vital to the success of a business. You should really get in touch with your university’s careers team and find out about any alumni networks available to you or anyone that can help a budding entrepreneur such as yourself. Reach out to other entrepreneurs or local businesses and try to gain some relevant startup advice and some contacts. Speak to your teachers or lecturers about your project and try and find a mentor to teach you the ropes. Maybe join some Meetup groups and attend some startup events in your city to widen your network and meet with some potential investors, leads and co-founders.
What’s Your Problem and Your Solution
Don’t ever just think of this stage as a Eureka or a light bulb moment. Coming up with a brilliant startup idea doesn’t just happen in a single stroke of genius or with one thought, but rather it is a very slow and very research-heavy process full of observation and lots and lots of problem solving. Which products and services do you use the most every day and how do you think that they could they be improved? Identify any issues and decide on some product goals and then a unique selling point.
Start Social Networking
Social networking is very very important to the success and outreach of any business. It makes no difference about what your business is about, social media is so important to any business! The last decade has seen a huge eruption in social networking, with giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube becoming some of the biggest and the most visited global sites around right now. Provided you have access to the internet and all of the necessary skills, it’s entirely feasible to launch a social network from your university, in fact, some people even do it on the mobile phone!
Protection is So Important
It is important to have intellectual rights or indeed rights to your company in general. If you don’t then some budding and enterprising individual can come by and take your idea before you even make it public! The best way around this is to form a corporation or LLC as soon as possible and be sure that you protect your intellectual property with various trademarks, various copyrights and any patents on your brand, your company name and your company logo. The sooner you’re able to file all of these for your business, the sooner your brand material will be safe from anyone else taking it up for themselves.
To find out more about starting up your own business and other related topics around the entrepreneurial spirit then check out University Compare, a university comparison website that compares over 36,000 courses across 425 institutes. Thanks for reading and good luck!