From New Grad to Entrepreneur: Starting a Business Right after College
Starting a business is tough — It takes a special kind of entrepreneur to go from new grad to successful startup owner, but just maybe that is you…
Starting a business right after finishing college is not everybody’s cup of tea. Although the thought of being one’s own boss is extremely tempting, not every individual is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Also, starting something from scratch is a daunting task for someone inexperienced in this art. But if you are hell-bent on going down this path, then read on to make your journey a successful one!
1. Find your passion
It can be tempting to create a start-up following the latest business trends. But starting a business this way is one severe mistake that leads to failure.
Often, individuals follow business trends with hopes of making a profit; however, the lack of passion can cause things to end up badly. As a future entrepreneur, you must find a line of business that fills you with a sense of fulfillment. Through this way, you can ensure that your business will pass the test of time.
Unfortunately, finding your calling doesn’t necessarily make things easier. Instead, you need to figure out ways to fit in and add value to the existing market. It is a tough challenge but one that will be worth it!
2. Take some time to research ideas
How do you find out if the idea you thought of that one day in your dorm room could turn into a successful establishment?
It is simple: spend some time doing thorough research. That said, understand the ins and outs of all the elements that could turn your idea into an established business.
While you are at it, never forget to browse through your target audience and the market. New entrepreneurs make the mistake of ignoring both elements since they are too busy perfecting their skills. While honing the skills is important, it should never make the individuals disregard market or audience research. To add to this, understand the business’ finance and operations. Too often, people jump directly to the innovation and strategy parts. However, spending time developing experience can pay off in the long run.
3. Do not look at others’ success
There is a difference between looking at other people for inspiration and looking at them for the sole purpose of comparison. It does not do anybody any good especially if the startup is struggling in the initial stages. What you have to realize is that even the most successful companies started from nothing. So, if you start comparing your idea/establishment with the success of the big player, you will only harm you or your business in the process.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a risky maneuver and not everyone is willing to take the chance. Most people find satisfaction in their 9-5 jobs since it accompanies a stable income. Starting out, entrepreneurs to-be can feel disappointed if they see their alumni group making it big with their stable jobs. But if you have passion for what you want to do and you believe that your hard work can pay off, then never lose your focus through comparison.
4. Never shy away from opportunities
The lack of experience and tons of other factors add up to the worry of the clients who just want good products/services. Because of this, the new entrepreneurs struggle finding business. Unfortunately, finding business can decide the fate of your business, you need to put yourself out there and be relentless in your pursuit of finding the right clients. Although nobody feels comfortable about working with newbies, confidence, expertise, and knowledge can help in securing the trust of other parties.
You can initially look into working without a charge as well. To make clients, to get word-of-the-mouth referrals and to get your name out there, you should take up this practice. If the truth is told, it can be difficult to use up skills without charging anybody for it. However, it is a necessary step for creating the right opportunities. So, if you have a carpet cleaning London startup, you may want to start cleaning a few carpets for free for friends and colleagues for the word of mouth to work.
5. Find mentors
No matter how solid your idea is or how much expertise you have, you will always need to rely on someone experienced down the line. Finding experienced individuals who not only offer guidance but can also support you through tough times will help you navigate the world of business. Also, to shorten the learning curve, you need to find a mentor with a been-there-done-that attitude.
Mentors are extremely important since they can help you build a network of trusted clients. They can connect you with the potential clients and refer your services to a company in need. Since their outlook on business is rooted in experience, they can provide unmatched and honest advice that can prove beneficial during difficult times. Mentors are not just your teachers, they can be friends as well to whom you can ask amateurish questions and candidly discuss any matter.
6. Set realistic monthly goals
Grads are a naïve species since they expect everything to work out in their favor.
Nothing can become an overnight success; that only happens on the internet. Unfortunately, things in real life work a little differently and the sooner grads realize this, the better!
When starting any business, it is natural to have unrealistic expectations. After all, who does not want to see their startup succeed within a few months?! But if you fail to hit anything close to your unrealistic goals, you may end up abandoning your business idea. To save yourself from disappointment, it is imperative that you have a clear idea of how much you will be investing and how much will be your return. Set a monthly financial goal and try to minimize the spend figures by experimenting or taking risks. That said, cutting costs is not necessary since you may end up making unjustified cuts which could lead to disastrous results. Making the right decisions can be a daunting task, but this article by Entrepreneur has just got the right tips.
A successful transition from inexperienced grad to entrepreneur is never going to be easy. Tons of obstacles litter the way in the form of inexperience and lack of knowledge regarding the ins and outs of the business world. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can turn this daunting transition into an enjoyable experience.
Just follow the tips mentioned above and try not to rush things. Take it slow and easy and you may just achieve your dream business. To conclude, follow your passion, work hard, and have a support group to help you start a company right after getting out of college!