From New Grad to Entrepreneur: Starting a Business Right Out of College

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If you have a dream to be your own boss or run your own organization, you may have been told that it’s important to wait until the right time. It’s often recommended that any aspiring entrepreneur should have a few years’ worth of experience in their industry before starting out, and that recent graduates are less likely to be successful when starting their own business. While this is sound advice, it doesn’t necessarily apply to all cases. If you have strong ideas and a willingness to plan carefully, you may be able to start your own business directly after graduating. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Your Business Plan

No matter your age, background or field, your business plan is the element that is most likely to make or break your career as an entrepreneur. When developing this document, try to get advice from as many reputable sources as possible. Being a recent graduate can help you here. You ex-tutors and lecturers are a font of knowledge and are likely to be able to point you in the right direction. Your plan should cover the first three years of your company’s operation and should introduce your brand by pushing its benefits and strengths wherever possible. It should include details of your projected growth and turnover over time. It should also include the results of detailed market research you’ve undertaken, an introduction to your team and their strengths, a clear description of your products and services and why they will be in demand, the benefits that your company will offer investors and an idea of your marketing approaches. A business plan is a handy tool to keep your organization on course as it grows. It can also help you to apply for financial support, such as a loan from a bank.

Your Finances

A lack of proper funding is one of the key reasons why large numbers of new businesses fail. To be in with a chance, you need to be absolutely certain of the costs involved in running your company. Draw up a clear budget, detailing all income and expenditure. Include everything from the cost of the electricity and water supply for your premises to the amount spent on commercial insurances – as well as wages, equipment and materials. Include a generous contingency too, as it’s rare for a new business to start up without any unexpected costs. If you don’t already have the full amount available to start your business, you can apply for a bank loan as previously mentioned. You could also make contact with prospective investors and sell shares of your company in order to fund its development. You can even crowdfund. It’s also possible to reorder your own personal finances to release a little equity and use it in the building of your business. You may wish to look into refinancing your student loan, for example. This is very easy to do. To find out how much you could release, simply use a student loan calculator. This will show you how your repayments and interest rates may be adjusted.

Your Team

You need to surround yourself with the right people in order to make your business a success. You may choose to employ a number of your fellow graduates as staff members if you know you can work well with them, but be sure to include some individuals with lengthier, more in-depth experience too. Their guidance will be extremely valuable to you going forward – plus, you’ll be more likely to be successful when applying for loans if you can prove that you have team members who know the industry well.

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