Are You A 'Wantrepreneur'? The Keys To Starting A Successful Business In College
As vice president of my university’s entrepreneurship club, the most common question I get asked is: "How do I start a business?" College is one of the best times to become an entrepreneur, but most people don’t know where to start.
Having an idea is the first step — your idea does not have to be original, yet they should be something on which you can act. The most common misconception is that people think they need a new concept to start a business.
Most people only make it to the first step, yet in reality, ideas are nothing. You can think about an idea for ages but without implementation, an idea is still, quite simply, just an idea. Entrepreneurship is all about execution — how you turn your idea into a reality is what matters.
For every college Wantrepreneur out there, this advice is for you. Here is a plan of action you can take to turn your idea into a reality:
Find your passion.
If you’re planning to start a business, you must love what you’re doing. Entrepreneurship is a hustle that will constantly have you thinking about your business, even when you sleep. Your passion is fuel to the fire that and will keep you going. Without this, you won’t be motivated to get through those late nights and early mornings, especially when you see your roommate is fast asleep while you’re up hustling.
Every university has more than one club or organization that's bound to interest you. If you aren’t a consistent member of at least one, now is the time to sign up. Even if the organization doesn’t have a business focus, it can still further the progress of your entrepreneurial endeavors. You’ll be able to collaborate with people whom you may not usually interact, which could open doors for you.
When starting Yes Man Watches, I attended an engineering organization’s meeting to hear what they thought about my innovative watch buckle apparatus. Being able to bounce ideas off of a diverse crowd is essential for validating your startup idea.
Make a plan.
Once you’ve found your passion and have honed in on a concept on which you can act, it’s time to develop a strategy for growth. Entrepreneurs often assume if they put up a cool website or develop a neat app, users will just flock to them. It’s important to formalize a plan to drive traffic. Whether you accomplish this through pushing your social media presence or hiring a PR agency, it is essential for your startup to know how to grow.
For example, imagine you have an idea for a new app and want to develop it. First and foremost, you should formalize your idea — what is your app’s main function? Then, you need to then figure out who will code your app and how will you attract users. All of these questions should be answered with a plan of action.
Ultimately, anyone can be an entrepreneur. It really just requires the willingness and drive to turn your idea into a reality. The biggest roadblock I see “wantrepreneurs” face is that they expect others to do the work for them. If you want to turn your idea into a reality, just do it — you have nothing to lose and you’ll never know the outcome if you don’t try.
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