If you’re a young entrepreneur who dreams of starting a business after graduation, congrats. Becoming an entrepreneur is a wonderful goal for someone your age. To get you off on the right foot, here is my Starting a Business Checklist for you:
1. Learn What You Can Now
You’re lucky that you’re in college, because you’re in the perfect environment to learn. No matter what your major is, consider taking classes that will make you savvier as an entrepreneur. These might include courses on:
- Industry-specific knowledge, like hospitality or education
2. Pay Attention on Social Media
Even if you’ve got nothing to contribute to the social conversation going on about small business, it’s another great training resource. Sign up for Twitter. Join business groups on LinkedIn. Follow hashtags on your industry. Pay attention to what thought leaders are talking about and read the content they share.
Before long, you’ll be ready to jump in with your own thoughts. You don’t have to wait until you have a business to be active on social media. Now is as good a time as any.
3. Intern in Your Industry
Internships are fantastic opportunities for you to see how a business is run firsthand. Opt to work for a small business if you can, and ask plenty of questions while there. Later, that information will come in handy when you start a business of your own.
4. Interview Business Owners
Business school requires this, which I think is great. But even if your major isn’t business, you can still approach a business owner to pick their brain on running a business. I’m willing to bet they’ll be more than willing to give you tips.
5. Get to Know Your Future Customers
It’s never too early to start researching who you plan to sell to down the road. Your college might even give you access to otherwise costly research tools, so leverage them while you can. Study your target demographic and get to know where the gaps are in the products you want to offer. You can fill those gaps once you’re ready to launch.
6. Read This Blog
We at CorpNet have worked hard to create fantastic content designed for entrepreneurs, on topics like registering a business name, how to incorporate a business, and other topics you’ll need to know before starting your business.
7. Start Your Business…Slowly
There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t start your business while you’re in college. While you’ve got the umbrella of cheap rent (or your parents covering it), you have less risk in starting one than you will once you graduate. As your business grows, you’ll be ready to run it full time once you leave college.
8. Talk to Your Professors
As I said, college is a rich environment for future entrepreneurs. Talk to professors and tell them your plans. You may make connections to future partners you wouldn’t have made otherwise, and your professors likely have advice you can use.
9. Draft Your Business Plan
I know; you already have a ton of homework, but this is an exercise that will benefit you down the road. Create a business plan for the business idea that’s rattling around in your head. You can always change it, but simply getting it down on paper will go a long way toward making that dream a reality.
10. Start Saving
One day soon you’re going to need money to start your business. Maybe a lot of it. So rather than ordering yet another pizza, squirrel that money away into an interest-bearing savings account so that when that day comes, you have enough to move forward.
I wish you nothing but the best in your future entrepreneurial endeavors!
When you’re ready to start that business, come back and let CorpNet help. We offer an obligation-free complimentary business consultation, so take advantage of it!