College is a wonderful place to start something new. Its the time in everyone’s life where we have the opportunity to experiment a lot. Explore our options and understand what exactly it is that we love to do.
In other words, college does help you find your passion in many ways.
One of the biggest trends amongst college students is starting their own startup. Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook are some of the biggest companies amongst the list of successful startups that started in college.
A 9-5 job is anyways boring… we are just kidding 😛
But you might be wondering how do you start a business while you are still in college? Where should you begin? What are all the business aspects which you will need to learn about?
Entering into the world of business can truly be overwhelming but if you take a step back and analyze your journey, it can help you make the right decisions.
Should you start a startup when you are in college?
The answer to this question depends entirely on you.
Before you head out and commit yourself towards building your company, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I want to start a startup now?
- Why can’t I wait until after I’ve graduated?
- Do I need to continue college?
You may find that your answer to these questions revolves around you, not wanting to get a corporate 9-5 job. It just might not be your thing to work under somebody else’s instructions.
Another reason might be that you wish to become independent or earn money while you are still in college.
Whatever the reason for you to venture out into the business world so early in your life, finding it is extremely important. It will help you stay focused on your goals as well as understand whether to prioritize your college assignments or your company’s growth.
It’s a long and difficult journey. You cannot afford to lose focus in the middle of all the chaos!
How to startup when you are in college?
Once you have your reasons to start your own startup, its time to understand how you can build a successful startup while others are busy finishing assignments.
Get an idea
Startups are meant to revolutionize or bring a change to the way the world currently exists. Facebook not only made it easy to connect with people around the world easier but also brought a change to the way digital ads ran.
It helped people connect with each other as well as allowed businesses to accurately target their suitable audience.
So the first step for you is to find that idea which you think will bring a positive change in the world or help others.
One great way to find an idea for your startup is to focus on finding problems instead of solutions. As a result, you will have a list of problems waiting to be solved. Pick one and start brainstorming your startup idea around it.
If you already have a solid idea then make sure that the problem your startup will solve is a wide-scale problem. You do not want your business to have only ten customers.
Learn all the necessary skills
In order to run a successful startup, you will need to learn many skills. These skills will include some which you might not be so fond of as well as some which you will absolutely love.
Depending on your startup, there’s a wide range of skills which you will require to learn for its proper functioning:
- Advertisement and Marketing
- Content Writing/ blogging
- Graphic Design
- Web Development
- And more
There are various ways you can learn these skills. You might already be on your way towards learning them with your college curriculum.
But there’s one way which we like the most – internships. They not only an amazing way to learn new skills but also to make connections and grow your network. Something which you will need to ultimately grow your business.
Utilize college resources properly
Most students underestimate the number of resources college provides to their students. While you are in college, you probably don’t have a lot of money and saving as much as possible can truly be remarkable for your wallet.
Use resources like college printers, internet connection, and library in addition to using the campus to find a place to work.
Find out what are the various resources that your college already provides you and start saving some money while you are on your way to make more.
Find more business partners
One of the biggest advantages of starting a startup in college is that it doesn’t take a lot to discover talent.
Look for other students around you that can help you and your business. Every single one of them will have something they can bring to the table. This will also allow you to skip learning some of the required skills for your business.
For instance, you might have a classmate who is good with Facebook ads. You can make him/her the head of digital marketing and let them strategize a marketing plan.
While running a startup, you must understand that you cannot do everything on your own. You will need a team or a number of teams to carry out the various tasks.
Starting out by building a core team isn’t a bad idea. You might even be sitting in the same room with the future co-founders of your startup.
Learn how to create a successful startup
There’s a difference between starting something and making sure that it is sustainable. For your startup to be successful or to be sustainable enough to run for years, you will need to make a profit.
This is one of the many reasons behind startups in India failing. The co-founders do not put enough planning into running their company. As a result, they hardly make any profit, eventually running out of money to keep their business alive.
Now, we are not saying that you should be thinking about everything before entering and taking a jab at the business world. You can start off with very little planning.
But what we are suggesting is that knowing what it takes to turn your startup into a successful business can be very helpful in the long run.
You will need to learn about topics including:
- Creating an ideal customer persona
- Conducting market research
- Developing a business model
- Developing a marketing plan
- Creating a revenue model
- Understanding the various ways to get funding and attract investors
These are just some of the basic elements upon which successful entrepreneurs build their businesses.
As you dive deeper into running your business, you will tackle more problems but having a detailed understanding of how the business works will help you overcome most of them.
Keep your priorities straight
The biggest excuse you will hear from a college student wishing to become an entrepreneur is that they don’t have time or that they have a lot of assignments to finish.
This leads them to drop their startup dream, thinking that they will start once the summer vacation starts or once the college is over. And well, you know what happens after college.
We encourage you to try your best to avoid making the same mistakes as thousands have made. No matter what happens, you must keep on working towards achieving your dreams.
Keep your startup at the top of your priority list and keep everything else later.
Do you think Mark Zuckerberg would’ve built Facebook if he wouldn’t have spent countless sleepless nights, coding the website?
College is indeed important but to achieve your dreams, you must prioritize them over anything else. After all, do you really need to binge-watch that season when you can use that time to work on your assignments or your startup?
A great way to make sure that you are constantly working towards creating your dream is to do a bit of goal setting every week. Your goals may include finding a team member by Thursday evening or landing your first customer by Saturday morning.
Whatever the goals you set for your startup, make sure that you start small and slow. Achieving your goals is very important in the beginning.
You can gradually move towards bigger goals but first set those which you can achieve. Then prioritize achieving them and see how the magic happens over time!