Just because you’re still in school that doesn’t mean you need to wait to start a business. Many students have launched successful companies from dorm rooms (you’ve heard of Facebook, no?). Thus, do not let your age and your position in life stop you from following your dream. Here are five steps that’ll help you get started.
1. Solve a Problem
If you want to start a business, you need a product or a service to sell. Walk around and pay attention to life on your campus. What do people complain about? What bugs you every day? Find the problems that seem impossible to solve or at least streamline, and tackle one. Once you’ve solved a problem, now you can go about charging people money for that solution.
2. Be a Cheerleader
You are your company’s best salesperson, so learn how to tell your story well. You should always be pitching whenever someone asks you about your venture. It might seem a little hammy and forward, but trust us. You need people to remember you, your passion and your product.
3. Keep it Simple
When it comes to the early stages of your venture, all you need is a one-page website and some very minimal brochures. At this point, you need to be very clear about who you are and what you’re doing. This is the stage at which you will be looking for investors, and if you are in college, you will probably have to work a little harder to convince people to give you their money. Having a clear, simple presentation will inspire confidence.
4. Build a Prototype
If you’re going to sell a physical item, you should absolutely have a prototype built. This will give someone a physical piece of equipment to handle when you’re pitching potential investors or employees. The more proof you can give that you have a valid idea; the better this beginning process will be for you. Take advantage of any facilities your school might have that could assist you with this construction. If you want to launch a business in school, your school might actually have resources for you to use.
5. Recognize the Tradeoffs
Unless you want to abandon Rutgers University for online college, Adelphi offers a sports management degree online if that floats your boat, you need to make time to focus on your studies. Hence, understand that if you want to maintain good grades at the same time, you’ll probably have to give up a bit of a social life. It stinks, but you need to prioritize if you want to get anywhere. Be realistic about whether or not that is a tradeoff you are willing to make before diving in. Have a talk with your partner, if you have one. It is very important that you understand what you are going to be giving up.