Maybe you’ve always known you wanted to start your own business, or maybe your million-dollar idea came to you recently, and it’s too good to postpone. One of the most important things in such a stage for you is to ensure startup capital and strong management processes.
If you’re in college and feeling the itch of business ownership, why wait until graduation? Get started right away. Begin here, with these tips:
Fundraising as a Startup Capital
In nearly every situation, you are going to need some kind of startup capital to get your business off the ground. Whether you have a new invention you need to design, create and market, or you have a service that is going to change the world, you have to get the word out there, and that takes money. You could approach the Small Business Administration for a loan or give one of these ideas a shot:
Try crowdfunding. In this world of social media and blogging, crowdfunding is now a perfectly acceptable method of fundraising. Platforms like Kickstarter can be a great way to get your idea or product into the world and raise the money you need to start your business.
Ask for investments. If you want to take a more active approach to getting the capital you need, search for investors to help you out. This often provides the opportunity to get more significant sums of money from mentors and other people who want to see you succeed and will help you along the way. Sites like Funded.com are a great resource.
Sell your assets. Maybe your grandparents set you up with stocks or bonds when you were born; you could sell those now, and use the money as your startup capital. Or if you receive regular payments from a structured settlement or annuity, you may be able to sell all or some of your future payments to a company like J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum of cash.
Once you have your startup capital, what do you do next? While there are many advantages to starting while still in college, the unavoidable fact is that you will most likely have limited time to organize and manage your company. You will need help, and luckily, you already have access to a vast resource: your fellow college students.
Take advantage of the ambition of your classmates and alumni. Many times, students studying business or marketing will be eager to jump on board and get experience for their resume. You may be able to negotiate deals with them where compensation can be minimal. Recruiting volunteers for marketing and social events is a great way to spread the word at a minimal expense.
While cheap labor is right, make sure you are getting what you pay for when you need it. Things like managing your business finances, creating a long-term business plan, and website development can be difficult if you aren’t an expert. Don’t be afraid to hire someone and pay them a respectable wage; the long-term benefits will by far outweigh the initial costs.
Whatever you do, remember that managing a business can often be a test of trial and error. Find the best techniques and styles for you, and don’t be afraid to fail. More often than not, commitment and perseverance can contribute more to your success than anything else.