Starting your own business as a student is a challenging experience. But university years are the best time for young people to build a startup. They have free research facilities, mentorship, and easy-to-reach customers.
If you’re reading this article, you probably have an idea you’ve been thinking about for some time. Entrepreneurship may seem a tricky thing to do. But it needn’t be. In today's economic environment the entrepreneurial path is no longer a high-risk venture. It’s a rewarding career option. You just need to know how to start.
Having an idea is a good start. But you should strengthen it. As a beginning entrepreneur, you need to take into consideration all the aspects of your business. Get prepared to answer different questions potential investors might ask you. For example:
Who are your target customers?
What are the possible obstacles and how could you overcome them?
What is so special about your company and product that the customers should know?
What do you think about your competitors?
2. Write a business plan.
After you’ve come up with answers concerning your future company and product, it’s high time to you map out the business in a concrete and viable way.
A business plan is a must for every startup. It helps you outline the short- and long-term goals of your business, define the strategies, and fully realize any gaps in skills, funding or research. You’ll also need this document if you decide to look for investors or take a bank loan.
If your major relates to business sciences (finance, accounting, marketing and business law), chances are that you’ve got business plans assignments. If you’ve never written anything like that, browse the Net for business plan samples and templates. If you fail to write a diligent document, consider using essay writing service like EssayPro.com.
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3. Create a brand.
Brand building is more important nowadays than ever before. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most neglected parts of launching a startup. Many first-time entrepreneurs think that they’ll begin to develop their brand after the launching. However, it’s your brand that presents your business. It shows who you are, what your company produces, and why customers need it.
A brand isn’t about nice colors or cool logos. It’s about creating an identity that resonates with your customers and makes them come back. It does require time. Begin working on it at least 6-8 months before launching your startup.
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4. Test your product.
Before a new product is launched on a particular market, it must be tested to see if customers are likely to buy it. Use a formal beta program, a detailed survey, a quick focus group, simple A/B or more complex multi-variable testing. It will help you find out whether people love/hate and need/don’t need your product.
Invite your target customers to try out your product and provide an honest feedback. Don’t call your friends and relatives. You need unbiased reviews.
The test will give you valuable statistics. It will help you fix any shortcomings and make sure that customers get what they want and need.
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5. Start marketing and brand-awareness campaigns.
All age groups of the U.S. population use social media. And it keeps growing in popularity all over the world. So, having an online presence is a key to success.
It’s best to use different forms of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your startup. Post attractive content daily to gain followers.
Creating a website is the fastest way to tell people about your new business. Choose a domain name and register it. Then pick a web host. You can either hire a web designer or do it yourself with WordPress. There’re a few reasons why you need a website:
- When you market your brand using social media, backlinks will lead prospective customers to your website. They need to know you and your company before making a purchase.
- Online directories and business listings where you can advertise your company will require a link.
- A website is available 24/7. Customers can review your products when your store or office is closed.
There should be a blog on your website. If you’re good at academic paper writing, you’ll be able to craft posts that engage the audience. Blogging is a great way to tell a wide audience about the latest product updates outside the social network.
6. Get the finances in shape.
Consider hiring an accountant at the early stages of your business. It will cost you money. But you’ll get the benefits:
- You’ll make sure that the figures and calculations are made correctly.
- The financial structures of your business will be chosen right.
- Your business plan, cash flow forecast, and financial planning will be stronger.
- In the long run, you’ll save money.
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7. Focus on what works
Whether your business is a month or a year old, you should regularly assess your business strategy. Find out what provides better results and keep doing what works. Discover what flops, and abandon it.
Constant changes in the way you do business will lead to positive sales and customer engagement. Perhaps, you’ll even attract investors. Alumni networks aid student entrepreneurs in advancing their startups. You can get help in manufacturing and other time-consuming and capital-intensive processes.
With a great business idea, the right guidance and a readiness to work hard, there’s no reason why your startup won’t succeed. There’ll be ups and downs. But you find yourself in a tough situation, just remember that such companies as Google, Facebook, WordPress and Yahoo were all founded by students.
Determination and resourcefulness have built some of the most successful businesses of our time. Will your startup be next?
About the author:
Kurtis Brase is an independent writer and content editor at the educational resource EssayPro.com. Her expertise includes education, business and lifestyle.