In today’s business landscape, many recent graduates are seeking alternative solutions to the ongoing dilemma brought about by a global pandemic. Altogether too many professionals are being displaced because of shut-down restrictions, vaccination mandates and a whole host of other issues including, but not limited to, corporate downsizing. If you are a recent college grad and have decided to take the plunge, why not run with the idea of a small business startup? It makes perfect sense and with a few helpful tips, you really can start a successful business right out of college!
You’d Be a Remote Worker Anyway, Right?
One of the things you will need to mull over in your mind is whether or not you want to go for broke, as the old saying goes. Do you want to chance everything you’ve worked so hard for in the hopes of building a lucrative business, the company of your dreams? You would probably be set up as a remote worker anyway, so are you willing to risk a salary in the hopes of building something special? One helpful tip here is to really think about your finances. It generally takes a business at least a year to begin realizing a profit, so are you financially capable of sustaining during that time?
An Alternative to All Your Eggs in One Basket
Here, you may want to consider working part time as a remote worker within your field. Not only will it give you experience to help you grow your own business, but it will keep the money flowing during those often scary early days. Also, if you go to work for a company in which to get your feet wet within your field, you may find that you have the time to go back to school working toward a graduate degree. Here you would want to choose a major that will give you an even more in-depth perspective what it takes to get that business off the ground. Check out one student’s experience in Emerson’s online masters in digital marketing program. This college offers an online program in which you can earn aMaster of Arts in Digital Marketing and Analytics.
It doesn’t hurt to have a strong background in marketing and analytics, no matter what industry your startup will enter. You will just walk away with the most effective way to capture a solid customer/client base while giving you one more notch in your belt. What business owner wouldn’t want a series of initials after their name? Today’s tech savvy audience wants to know that they’re dealing with an expert when they are spending their own hard-earned money.
Avoid the Guessing Game – Write a Rock-Solid Business Plan
This is another tip which often goes unnoticed by fledgling entrepreneurs who are starting their first business ever. In the excitement of launching a startup,they don’t realize just how many steps there are prior to opening those proverbial doors to business. It is recommended that you do a Google search to find the best way to write an effective business plan. Not only will it help you get off to a good start but in the event that you need to obtain funding of any kind, whether it is a loan or money raised through investors, you will need to show a thorough business plan covering all your bases. Most lenders will want to know how you expect to make a profit and in what timeframe you are working toward.
Don’t Try to Do It Alone!
One of the things you will realize early on is that you can get overwhelmed altogether too quickly. Many first-time entrepreneurs think that it is possible to create a company as well as to take care of everything that needs to be done. Whether you are in a digital marketplace or are actually manufacturing products to be sold, there is often too much to be done for any one person to handle comfortably.Perhaps you have a friend or a classmate who is interested in working a partnership with you. This might be one solution or perhaps you can offer a share in your new business to someone you trust who can handle things on the back end.
There is always a way to get the extra help you need without paying an enormous salary right from the very start. But then again, how could you pay anything if you are starting with nothing but an idea and a small number of personal resources? This is a vital step, so don’t ignore the importance of recognizing that no one can do and be all things. There is nothing to be ashamed of in needing help. Do you think Bill Gates founded Microsoft without a little help from his friends?
What You Can Learn from Rules of the Road
When being asked to get help and advice from any reputable source possible, why not look to the rules of the road so designated because they offer much needed advice on how to navigate roadways safely. You’ve heard, or read as the case may be, that ever-present road sign urging drivers to “Stop! Look and Listen.” this is really very good advice to give entrepreneurs when starting a new business. When driving, it usually refers to a driver coming up to a railroad track or a blind intersection.
The sign urges drivers to stop and look to the left, then look to the right before proceeding cautiously to avoid a collision which could be lethal. Isn’t this sound advice for an entrepreneur in the excitement of starting a new business? It is altogether too tempting to just run full steam ahead toward the finish line so you can see just how successful your new business will be. This could be a grave error in judgment because there will be points throughout writing up your business plan where you will have to stop and reevaluate progress points along the way. If there is one thing most successful entrepreneurs will tell you, it would be to avoid accelerating forward without taking the time to consider potential outcomes. A successful startup can be launched if you have taken the time to stop, look, and listen.
Be Good to Yourself!
Another very helpful tip when starting a new business is to realize that you are going to be focusing on everything that needs to be done, probably for 24 hours a day seven days a week. You have heard that old cliche, ‘stop and smell the roses’, and this is exactly what you should be doing from time to time. No one can be expected to work 12 hours a day seven days a week without experiencing burnout, both mental and physical. It is especially important during this time of the pandemic to be good to yourself. Take time to relax and do something enjoyable. Not only will this refresh your energy levels, but it will also give you a positive mindset from which to get back at it.
This is also not to say that you shouldn’t continue your education. In fact, it is very important to continue learning along the way, especially when it comes to online marketing. With almost daily advances in technology as to how data is collected and analyzed, it helps to stay current as would be the case when working toward an advanced degree. Yes, you can hire a marketing group, but as a startup you probably don’t have the budget for that. Why not take the courses online so that you can learn as you grow your fledgling company?Online degree programs are ideal for just this type of situation. You can set your own hours, work at your own pace, but still get things done. Won’t it be nice to be able to create an effective marketing strategy based on analytics you have been able to gather for yourself?
What Can You Take Away from All This?
Just as a brief summary, there are only a few points which you may want to take away from all of the above. First, understand that many corporations have downsized and are looking more toward a remote workforce. If you want to gain experience within your field, this may be a perfect opportunity to do so as you work toward launching your startup.
Secondly, it pays to remember that nothing is accomplished by driving ahead mindlessly, so write a detailed business plan and then work systematically to make things happen. Get help if you need it and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. There are options out there to make a living wage while you fund or finance your startup, so don’t think that you are limited to what you can accomplish today. That advanced degree can help you operate from a place of authority, so that really should be one of your business goals as well. Don’t see a pandemic-related bump in the road as an obstacle, but rather as a stop gap you can fill with tools to help you succeed.