Entrepreneur As a College Students
Answer these questions for yourself
- Do you enjoy doing it?
- Is it worth investing your money in it?
- Is there a sink of your heart, mind and gut, with the idea proposed?
7 Tips For College Freshmen Starting Up Their Own Business
1. Learn, learn, learn!!!
You need a very diversified skill set to succeed as an entrepreneur. Especially early on, there won’t be many people in your company and everybody (especially the founder(s)), have to be very flexible in their skillsets and handle whatever needs to be handled at that time. At first, most effort will have to be directed towards building a product, at some point somebody will have to do fund-raising, someone needs good connections, someone needs to be an industry-expert and of course you need to market and sell your product too! So pick a couple of things that you are interested in, study them hardcore for a while and become at least decently good at them. Examples are: Technology, Marketing, Sales, Business, Finance etc. etc.
As much as learning is great and awesome, nothing can 100% prepare you for the real thing. So, get out there in the startup community, start getting to know people (a great bonus of this is that you start building a network) and ask around if there are startups looking for interns. A lot of startups will be interested in interns, because they’re cheap, but in your case even more so, because you’re a student going out there on your own looking for internships at startups! That shows you really want this and that you’ll be motivated to work hard and learn a lot during your internship! When you start your own company, you’ll be able to apply this experience and have a head-start on others who didn’t take advantage of this.
So you’ve learned a lot of different skills, gained experience interning at startups and now you’ve finished college. So now what? Start your own company, of course! But you can’t do so if don’t know what you want to do. So during your time in college, try to come to understand yourself and find out what it is you want to do with your life. You can only steer your ship, if you know where you want it to go. So, think, explore, experience many different things, see many different places and hopefully figure out what you want to do with your life, so that you know what kind of business you want to start after you graduate (easier said that done).
4. Learn how customers think
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you eventually start–the key to success is understanding what appeals to your customers, Horn says. You can start learning now by taking practical courses that require you to develop and test your products on actual consumers. Psychology courses–particularly those that focus on understanding the mindset of consumers–can also prove helpful, he adds. It’s never too early to start testing your ideas with a real audience, even if you need to use a low-cost prototype. Even if you fail, it’s part of the learning process and even “a badge of honor,” Marcello says.
5. Do something entrepreneurial, even on a small scale.
Learn how to run a venture with an established business model before you apply the techniques to your own ideas. Start with something that’s worked for others, say a T-shirt printing operation or laundry service in your dorm room, Bird says. Once you’ve experienced the challenges of running your own operation, you’ll be better prepared to work out those kinks in a venture that you’re truly passionate about.
6. EXTEND YOUR NETWORK
Being at a university, you might sometimes find it hard to break out beyond your college’s social bubble. You’ll meet a lot of cool college students and some awesome professors, but when growing a startup, it’s the business professionals you want to associate with. In an article by Entrepreneur, college entrepreneurs are urged to break out of isolation and follow business blogs, entrepreneurs on twitter, and keep your business social media updated. Networking beyond your college campus will put you in good hands for after you graduate.
7. Research your competitors
Have knowledge of your competitors. You can add features to your product or services that your competitors do not have. This way you will get more leverage for your product or service. This is the strategy that is generally used by any competitor company.