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How To Become An Entrepreneur While In College
Balancing studies and the entrepreneurial dream are often troublesome for students who are already on their business journeys. Many are reluctant to follow their business dreams because they believe they’ll have to pick between their venture and their education, but the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
- 1) Evaluate Your Resources
- 2) Fixate on Your Business Plan
- 3) Build a Team
- 4) Analyse Your Competition
- 5) Find A Mentor
- 6) Self-Awareness
School or college can help define and influence your career goals rather than hinder them. If you’re a budding entrepreneur who’s still studying, these key steps can help balance your academic and professional careers:
1) Evaluate Your Resources
Funds:As every good entrepreneur does, calculate what’s in your arsenal. You need to have a certain amount of capital to fund your business. In the bootstrapping phase you can always rely on personal savings and use a little help from your folks but eventually, you need to scale up.
If your idea is capital intensive, you can opt for a seed funding option through various on-campus incubators or rely on your college’s alumni network. To be honest, there is no better help you can get that from the Alumni who have been in the same place as you are right now.
Workspace:Every entrepreneur needs a workspace, but what kind? Well, that totally depends on your business model. Look out for a place to set up your office. If you are selling a service, you won’t need much space. You can start out by working from your bedroom or your local coffee shop as most big Advertising or Digital Agencies today once did. Co-working spaces are definite lifesavers for bootstrapped entrepreneurs. Not only do you get a workstation for cheap, but you can also network with other like-minded people.
Skill Set:Michelangelo at the age of 87 said “I am still learning” A good entrepreneur is always willing to learn. So, evaluate your skill set. Are you falling short of any crucial skill? If yes, try to learn! Thanks to the life-saving technology that is known as the Internet, it has become much easier to learn a myriad of things these days. For instance, if you don’t have the funds to hire a website developer, you can’t possibly grow your company without a website. So, what do you do? Take a course on the internet on how to create basic websites using free tools and create your own identity online!
You can educate yourself on Entrepreneurship With The Columbia Business School Summer Programme At JBCN International.
Network:Networking enables you and your business to gain exposure. Markets are places with a huge scope. The key to surviving in the market is having the right kind of network. Having the right people by you can give you the upper hand. So, go out and talk to people. Meet new people and talk to them about your business, ask them to introduce you to other people.
Pretty soon, you will have your network of people in the industry, on whom you can rely for mentoring, guidance, assistance and other monetary help. These very people will also be your personal advocators, your promoters, and much more. Once you are big enough, you can hire advertising and marketing agencies that can look after your requirements. This is one of the best tips on How To Become An Entrepreneur While In College.
Time:This probably is your most valuable resource, especially if you’re starting-out whilst in college. You can’t miss your lectures, or not prepare for the tests, or let go of some fun time with your classmates. So what do you do?
The answer is to cut down on unproductive activities. Make a list of your activities through the day and avoid the ones that don’t add much value.
2) Fixate on Your Business Plan
Planning is the essential function of an entrepreneur. Without a fully functional business plan, it is risky to enter the market. Get to know what your business needs are, and how to get the maximum return on your investment. Here are some of the factors you need to consider:
Costs:A good business plan includes a great deal of cost analysis. You need to know the detailed cost requirements of your business including the running costs as well as the initial capital costs.
Target Audience:The next step is to identify your target group or demographics. Search for the people who require (or would require) your product or service. Research is essential. This will help you know the demand for your product or service idea on a macro and micro scale.
Value Proposition:Does your company add any value to the market? Is it solving a problem? On what scale is the problem being solved?
You need to answer these questions in order to understand your USP (Unique Selling Point i.e. how is your product/service different from those of your competitors?). Once you’re through with this exercise, you can go on to create a sound marketing plan.
Legal:Lastly, you should make sure that your workings are within the required framework of legal boundaries. Your activities should be legit in terms of every implication- economically, politically, socially, environmentally, etc. No one wants business to be sabotaged.
3) Build a Team:A good team is a must. Your team will help you in:
- Dividing your workload
- Taking up more responsibilities
- Delivering your end product on time
Part with a bit of equity for the right kind of team. Once someone is entitled to a piece of the pie, they make sure it’s baked to perfection! This is one of the best tips on How To Become An Entrepreneur While In College.
Not every individual will cater to your needs. Or it may happen you don’t get the people you expect. Don’t frown. A good entrepreneur knows how to work his way around any setback. Remember, you are the leader, the driving force of the company. Use your position wisely!
Having a good team is really essential. Once the workload increases, you may need to expand your team. Having a few peers in your team since the beginning creates a bond and helps you rely on them. A well-motivated team can make or break any business.
4) Analyse Your Competition:Sometimes, you stumble upon an original idea with real potential in the market. But, in this crowded world, so do many other people! If you could think of this, someone else certainly could or, in fact, already has! And, it may be that a certain person has already acted on the idea before you did. He may be settled into the business, and flourishing! Does that mean you shun the idea and find a new one?
Of course not! Believe in yourself and carry forward with your plan. What really matters is how you reach the top with your idea. What do you do differently? However, with a population of over 7 billion people, it may be difficult to find originality. So, what really matters is your execution.
Researching about your competition gives you an idea about many things. When an organization or business with a similar concept as yours is already established in the market, you get to learn from their mistakes. A well researched, competitive analysis is a priceless asset!
5) Find A MentorMentors are people who can guide you in your entrepreneurial journey. Mentors have immense experience in their fields of expertise and can, therefore, help you avoid business catastrophes by dishing out their valuable advice and experiences.
It all depends on choosing the right mentor for you.
A mentor can be anyone you wish it to be. It can be a college professor, alumni member, someone you met on LinkedIn or even a close family member. It isn’t necessary that he or she needs to be someone from the same field as yours. But they should be able to bridge the gaps that are present in your company’s ecosystem and the economy in general. This is one of the best tips on How To Become An Entrepreneur While In College.
6) Self-AwarenessBeing an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It is full of ups and downs. With time and tide wait for no man, it is even more difficult. The sooner you start the better it is. Young, budding entrepreneurs take note; there is no right time to start. The time is right when you feel you can do it.
In order to execute your plans effectively, you have to be self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You are your best critic and you should keep it that way. Adequate self-awareness leads to better decision making and lesser chances of failure. So, spend some time with yourself and evaluate yourself well.
Being a “College-Preneur “ is indeed a difficult task, but people who change the world are hardworking, manage their time effectively, are not afraid to fail and love to think out of the box.
As Steve Jobs once said “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who usually do”
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Posted on: Friday,2018,Feb,Fri