If you are reading this article, congratulations are in order! That means that you have taken the first step in a very scary, very challenging adventure of starting a business right out of college. You have yet to pack your books but the call for action waits for none. We applaud your bravery and your proactivity. And we would like to help.
Starting a business at any age is daunting, but right out of college takes even more guts. You are going to need some help to get you started and we are here to offer you plenty. Let’s begin with some helpful advice on how to get you started.
Know your why – passion and motivation go a long way
Don’t start a business just to earn money. Someone had to say it. Starting a corporate job will surely get you much bigger financial benefits, especially in the present moment. So, don’t have money as your first desired outcome. That means that you shouldn’t choose to do something simply because you believe it will bring you a lot of revenue. You won’t get very far with that kind of thinking.
Instead, focus on your why. What is the impact that you want to create? What is the difference that you want to make? How will your product or service make your employees happy? Make you feel fulfilled and proud? That kind of drive can take you to the moon if you let it. Most big companies have incredible passion and motivation as their foundation, even if the money was scarce, which most of the times it was.
Do your homework – you are not in college anymore
Let’s say that you have nailed your motivation, and you know that you can do wonders with your idea. There is no doubt that you have created something remarkable. Well, now comes the more difficult part – the actual work. Just because you are young and inexperienced, that doesn’t mean that you can cut some slack. You still need to understand the law, the taxes, the minuscule details of a good business plan. You should know all about revenues and income, balance sheets, compensation and benefits. It is very important that you know all of this so your business won’t hang in the balance because of your lack of knowledge and commitment. When you are in college, failing a course just means you have to take it again. If you fail something important while building your business you might not get a chance for a do-over.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – for you and for your business
To be blunt – you can’t know everything. You probably feel that your personality, proactivity and passion for your business will get you far. And you are absolutely right about that. But the truth is that they won’t take you all the way. There will still be a lot of gaps, bumps in the road or flat-out failures. And although you can’t possibly avoid all of them, you can surely decrease their number, as well as their severity.
One of the best business moves you can make is to hire a professional coach. Working with professional coaches has a lot of benefits for your personal life, as well as your business endeavours. They can help you overcome struggles, reach your goals faster and reduce the stress every new business owner is facing. You can, and should, rely on them for help and guidance but, in the end, you have to make all of the big decisions yourself. Which is what brings us to the next point…
Build a strong, reliable team – you can’t do everything yourself
Even if you do everything right, it’s not going to be smooth sailing every day. There will be a lot of obstacles, unexpected catastrophes, and a whole lot of unplanned expenses. When you start feeling scared, overwhelmed, and afraid for your business, it helps to have a team to rely on. Not only will you have someone to share your passion and drive with, but you will also have someone to help when trouble arrives. But how do you build the best possible team?
Choose people that are not only good in their chosen areas but also share your commitment to the goal. It is far more important that they share your values than your taste in music. Don’t choose them like you would choose friends or romantic partners, because their role is quite different. And don’t go into business with someone just because you are close. Look for people that share the same work ethic, and are willing to go the extra mile. Experts that aren’t trustworthy aren’t really going to help your business the way you might expect since they will always be focused on helping themselves first.