Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room. Chris Johnson and Tim Keck launched The Onion while they were still juniors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Frederick Smith first described the idea of the parcel delivery system that would one day become FedEx in an article he wrote while a student at Yale.
Today, countless graduates are considering the road less traveled and turning an idea into a full-time entrepreneurial enterprise. But before you refuse a job or pack your suit, new graduates have to consider whether they have what it takes to start a business, whether you’re opening a brick shop or launching a technology startup.
We have analyzed business experts and entrepreneurs, many of whom started their first business from college, for some business tips for recent graduates. Here are some of the key lessons need to be taught to starting a business after university …
1. Follow your passion
As an entrepreneur, the importance of doing work that brings joy and satisfaction cannot be overstated. Indeed, the passion of a founder is the key to ensuring that a company prospers.
“You have to do what you love to have a fulfilling career,” said John Tabis, founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company. “You need to find a job or a career path within a sector that you are passionate about, so quickly enter, dig, learn and add value.”
Doing a job that has meant something to you will provide the motivation to overcome the difficult areas and tumultuous times that are an inevitable part of building any new business.
“Starting a business is difficult enough,” said Nick Bulcao, founder and CEO of Airspace Technologies. “If you’re not excited about getting out of bed every morning, you won’t be able to.”
Lydia Brown, founder of the Chicago Collegiate Nannies, agrees, noting that recent graduates should not waste their skills on a career path. They were never meant to be.
“I pursued my father’s dream of becoming a financial professional for five years before admitting that it wasn’t for me,” Brown said. “When I developed the concept of my babysitting agency … it was so obvious that this is what I should have always done.”
2. Don’t be afraid to jump
A recent graduate can present a million valid reasons why it makes no sense to start a business from college, but for many entrepreneurs, there is really no time like the present.
According to entrepreneur Jess Ekstrom, it may seem easier to get a job first, gain experience, save some money and then start a business. But moving away from such stability will be more difficult than you think, and you could end up without ever taking the leap.
“It’s better to go and get it, and then get a job if it doesn’t work, rather than get” Ekstrom, who launched his Headbands of Hope business while he was still in college.
Steven Benson, founder and CEO of Badger Maps, noted that recent graduates tend to have fewer responsibilities and commitments, so they can focus more of their time on setting up a business.
“As a new graduate, you have the advantage that you probably have low overhead and are able to take risks,” Benson said. “Imagine a recent neolaur and compare them with a 35-year-old with two children and a mortgage, and it’s easy [to see] because young people have an advantage.”
If you need additional revenue as you launch your business, Ekstrom has advised you to contact the other start-ups to see if they have part-time job opportunities or look for grants for young entrepreneurs.
The US Small Business Administration also offers resources for potential entrepreneurs, including workshops and entrepreneurship education courses on a variety of topics.
3. Learn from the inside
Regardless of when you decide to start your business, it is always useful to take time to learn from more experienced professionals. Working for someone else for a short time can help you create an extensive contact list, collect best practices and learn from some of the leaders in your industry.
“The value you get from looking at how they operate and managing their business and the potential mentoring you would get from them will greatly help to help you build your successful business,” said Othmane Rahmouni, founder of Lovop.
Furthermore, gaining experience in a variety of companies and workplaces can help you refine your ideas of what exactly you want to accomplish.
“You can start in one area only to find out that you prefer to focus on another element of the job,” said Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations. “As you begin your journey, know that there may be twists along the way – and this is perfectly OK.”
4. Find mentors
“A mentor or two can make a difference when starting a new business,” said Cory Levy, co-founder and COO of After School. Finding expert and trustworthy consultants able to offer assistance and support will help a new entrepreneur to overcome the pitfalls of business development and ownership.
“Nothing shortens a learning curve more than someone with a lived experience, said Mark Babbitt, founder and CEO of YouTern.” Graduates should find a mentor class and build mutually beneficial relationships. ”
Levy also suggested contacting the entrepreneurs; you admire to interview them about how they achieved their success.
“I see many smart entrepreneurs just fail because they don’t have real-world knowledge of how to run a business,” added Casey Meehan, founder of Epic Presence. “It’s very different from what you learn in business school. Find experts and choose their brains.”
5. Network constantly
A solid professional network can help make your vision a reality, and often makes the difference between success and failure for your company, said Rahmouni of Lovop Consulting.
Trent Silver, coach of the millennial career and CEO of Nerdster, could not agree more: “Having a valuable network of friends, family and businesses brings … benefits moral support, potential investment, customer growth and opportunities
“One way to build this network is to create connections as often as possible and with as many people as possible,” said Sarah LaFave, chair of the board of Lori’s Hands, a non-profit company co-founded as a student college. To be done anywhere, LaFave suggests showing as many events as possible, talking to the person sitting next to you in a meeting or waiting room and introducing yourself to the speaker after a seminar.
“I called people for support, advice or references I had met in passing … often from other sectors [and] that I didn’t imagine I had much in common with the time I met them,” LaFave said.
In addition, Keyvan Hajiani, co-founder and marketing manager of SocioFabrica, recommends using a variety of social networking tools to expand their circle of contacts.
“Social networks facilitate the connection with alumni, mentors and business owners [by whom] to seek advice and bounce ideas,” said Hajiani. “Your network will become increasingly important as you advance in your career, so it’s important to promote it soon.”
6. Use your technical know-how
Technology is a fundamental component of today’s hectic business environment. New graduates who are digital natives are especially equipped to harness the power of technology to establish, promote and grow their businesses.
“There are so many ways to get started quickly and easily in the business world now that they were not available even 10 years ago,” said Ryan O’Connor, owner of One Tribe Apparel.
O’Connor recommends using the technology to increase interest in your business by building an Instagram sequel, writing for popular blogs and online magazines and launching products on Etsy or Amazon without having to build an entire brand first.
7. Develop excellent communication skills
Communication is a key skill in life and business, said David Moncur, head of the Moncur branding agency. Good communicators must have the ability to form bonds and solve problems in person.
“It is possible to correct or prevent a series of communication problems with a five-minute phone call,” said Karl Sakas, author and president of Sakas & Company. “If you send emails back and forth more than once, or you need to share some difficult news, take the phone.”
“Everything is not online,” added Brandon Dempsey, entrepreneur and serial author of “Shut Up and Go!: A Millennium Guide to Understanding What You Want and How to Get It” (Lioncrest Publishing, 2016). “Many companies are found online, but offers are closed offline. Focus on skills both online and offline.”
8. Calculate finances
All entrepreneurs must prepare for every aspect of running a business, including developing a solid understanding and ability to manage the financial aspects of their business, including financial analysis, taxes and budgeting.
“Regardless of what you study, you must be proficient in accounting basics if you plan to run a business,” said Robert Ellis, CEO of Massage Tables Now.
Alex Kurrelmeier, director of Ron Rubin’s entrepreneurial school at Culver Academies, early-stage entrepreneurs should look for online courses in finance and study various startup business models.
“Most likely it will take a while before your company finds itself in a financial place where you can take on a full time controller, so the more comfortable you are with numbers, the better,” said Kurrelmeier.
9. Cultivate the grain
If you want to starting a business after university, our expert sources have agreed that you have to put aside the desire for instant gratification and plan to work harder and longer than you ever imagined. Developing an unruffled endurance and commitment to your business will be necessary to face the most difficult days.
“The single most important quality you will need as an entrepreneur … is” stick-to-it-iveness “, a combination of perseverance, patience and adaptability,” said Kate Sullivan, business sociologist and content director of TCK Publishing.
Much of what it takes to create a new business is simply the monotonous monotony of hard work. Brown, of Chicago Collegiate Nannies, believes that potential business owners should understand this reality before venturing out.
“I think many people have false fantasies about what it means to be an entrepreneur. They imagine a flexible schedule, afternoon lunches with friends and immediate success,” said Brown. “Reality, in reality, is very different.”
As a business owner, Brown says he works twice as many hours as he did in his previous career and has more work to do at the end of the day.
“The concept of” leaving work at work “does not exist when you are an entrepreneur, because you are solely responsible for the success of your business,” he said. “Don’t become an entrepreneur if you worry about long hours and late nights with a minimum initial fee.”
Flexibility must also be part of the psyche of the new entrepreneur, according to Kirsten Quigley, co-founder and CEO of LunchSkins.
“The startup world is not linear, you can’t always go from point A to point B the way you mapped it,” Quigley said. “Customers may not always be with you, partners may change, distribution channels may change, [but] … you must be ready to roll up your sleeves and wade unknown territory with equal parts without fear and optimism.”
10. Understand that failure is part of the process
About 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This sobering fact might be enough to deter those with low risk tolerance from starting a business. However, young entrepreneurs should not fear failure, but instead recognize that they can teach them valuable lessons about their business and the path their careers should take.
Joe Schumacher, CEO of The Goddard School, recognizes that bankruptcy is often stigmatized in society. But young people who want to build a business must overcome these limiting ideas about what it means to succeed.
“If you are starting a business, remember that companies must take risks to grow, and sometimes these risks lead to failure,” Schumacher explained. “Common sense should always be exercised, but, assuming it is, failures should be seen as teachable moments.”
TCK Publishing’s Sullivan echoes this sentiment: “Chances are, you won’t magically have a billion-dollar business your first time,” he said. “You will have to fail a couple of times, dust off and try again.”
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