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02/05/2013

7 Tips Campus Students can use to start their own small business.

As the Kenyan economy shifts and colleges and universities churn out thousands of graduates, employers will have a harder time absorbing all the graduates. How can students prepare to avoid this employment gap? By creating their own opportunities as entrepreneurs. What steps should you take if you think being a business owner is in your future? Here are a few tips to launch your own small business:

1. Find your passion. Entrepreneurs often spend countless hours toiling away before they earn any money. It's important to choose something you enjoy and are willing to commit your time, effort and energy to doing. A small business expert says, "Entrepreneurs should love what they do and be passionate about it. The money will come later."

2. Prepare for a lot of hard work. The difference between a hobby and a successful business is hard work. "Be prepared to make personal sacrifices, take risks and learn from failures". "Some entrepreneurs get
lucky, most achieve success through focus, hard work and persistence."

3. Create a plan. While not every business starts with a formal plan, formalizing your idea by creating a business plan can help you avoid roadblocks and make your dream a reality. "Start by drafting an outline for your business plan. Be as comprehensive and detailed as you can and try to flesh out many important areas such as your executive summary, mission, value proposition, key competitors, differentiators, pricing, financial projections, start-up capital requirements, formal business type and operations timeline." Even as you prepare a business plan, remember that the reality always changes from time to time, and you should be ready to change yours too. In fact, it is rare that your business will completely be according to the plan that you originally had, so, continuously adapt.

4. Take advantage of on-campus resources. Make a point to try to identify a mentor. These days, many universities have incubation centers, or you could try the known ones such as Ihub, where you can tap into the experience, skills, and even networking connections to point you in the right direction."
"A mentor or adviser will be able to help get you started as you map out your business plan, as well as connect you with key tools and resources such as financial and legal professionals. They can also help you identify and resolve potential obstacles."

5. Learn business fundamentals in the classroom. Even if you're not a business major, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to select classes in business, marketing, or finance. Also, be active in student clubs like marketing, finance, or a professional club in your field to help you get the needed industry contacts. At the very least, "You need a good understanding of how business operates to commercialize your ideas".

6. Intern in the industry to get real world experience. A great way to get hands-on experience in your target field is to intern. Not only can you pick up tips about how other companies or entrepreneurs handle the types of issues you may face as a small business owner, you'll find out whether or not you really love the field and industry and if it's worth the time and effort it will take to launch your own business. Successful people are usually willing to share their experiences with fledgling entrepreneurs.

7. Fund your venture. While many companies can start off on a shoestring budget, ultimately, you may need funding to scale your business. "Many universities offer entrepreneurial scholarships and awards for students who are working to jump-start their dream businesses." Even as you negotiate for funding, be careful, especially in putting everything in legal terms, so that you don’t get the short end of the stick, or you get ripped off your business idea altogether. Look for a trusted lawyer, or someone that understands law to help you navigate the process of registering, and incorporating business partners, and funders.

Acknowledgements: Some of the ideas have been adapted from Yahoo Finance.

2 comments:

  1. That's a very useful post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to know that there are now young entrepreneur that start making their own small business but they should still consider on how to successful run their business through the help of online marketing.

    ReplyDelete