As a current student or recent graduate, jobs can be pretty difficult to find in today’s economy. Being able to graduate and instantly fall into a full-time position is not something that can happen for every one. A better idea than sitting on unemployment or to working a job that is outside of your chosen field would be to start a business for yourself.

Rather than working for another company and putting in countless amounts of time and effort to help the company expand their products and their brand, take all of the extra effort and put it into something that you are passionate about such as your own business.

While working for another company can come with a variety of benefits including health insurance, a steady salary and the ability to advance in the company, starting your own business could be something that allows you to find your way to your own fortune, while allowing you to fill a need in many consumer’s lives.

The technological age in which we live has made it much easier to start a business in the form of an online business. You will no longer need to have actual storefront in order to sell products, nor do you need to have the means to even create products. There are a variety of businesses and services that you can sell directly online.

Before starting a business it’s very important that you do some research and learn about the steps to starting your own business for yourself, as well as actually running the business on a daily basis and growing it in the future. It will also be to your advantage to have a bit of help so if you have made good friends in college it will be much easier on your workload if you can get a helping hand from some other college students that may also be interested in starting a business.

Below are just a few of the elements that you need to consider when you are starting a business as a current student or recent graduate. There are many more elements that you will encounter after starting your business, and many hurdles to jump before you start gaining a consistent profit in your business. It is important to carry on and remain diligent in your work. The most successful businesses are ones that are always striving to expand and succeed, while making full use of all the free and low-cost resources they have access to.

The plan

The first step in business creation is assembling your vision and business plan.

Creating a business plan can take time. You’ll need to do a lot of research in order to learn about your market and to learn how you can work to sell your product or services. Any good business will have an outlining plan that shows that you are thinking well into the future. When starting a business you need to know exactly how you can start to generate sales and income to see your business grow as well as an outline for a rough plan for your business’s future. Keeping in mind things like whether or not you would be willing to sell the company, times at which you would hire new employees, and some business goals that you would like to set in your first year and subsequent years of business will help to show that your business is on track and that you are committed to expanding and remaining profitable.

Once you have created a business plan you will be able to secure potential investors. You may need money in order to handle the research and development costs of your company as well as to buy any space that you may need or handle the costs that you will need to market your products in the initial stages. Having a business plan and a professional presentation for where your business is going and what your future is going to be like will help you to secure funds from an investor. You can also consider taking out a small business loan from a financial institution, having a business plan in this instance is also extremely helpful as financial institutions will be much more likely to lend to people who have a plan and can offer a unique service or product that has a potential future.

It is very important to consider how unique your businesses as well as to consider any competition. If you can establish a product that has a consumer need or will have a consumer demand, and identify any other competitors in your market, you can work at making a unique product that will set you apart from competition. Having a unique product or service that no other competition will have will really help you to stand out in business and to ensure your success. The research and development stages for products and services are imperative to future success and it is important to revisit research and development often to see how you can improve your services for your customers and remain competitive in the market.

Business and contracts

It is very important that you have a business lawyer authorize a number of business documents and contracts. If you have made investment deals it is very important that you outline the detailed terms and conditions; some investment deals entail that you have to pay the investor a percentage of your earnings for the life of the company, for example. When considering any investment deal, keep in mind the amount of money that it could cost your company now and over time, and how it will affect your profits and ability to grow in the future.

If you have started a business with friends or other students, is also very important to establish the terms of your partnership. One person may invest more heavily into a business cash-wise, while another is investing more in terms of time and workload, while yet another is bringing more skills and experience to the table. Make sure to come up with a contract that all of your partners can agree on. It is important to put all contracts in writing, as well as to record all of the legal information surrounding your business so that it can be cited if there is ever an issue with your money or division of profits.

Marketing

Many people find quick success as a start-up business right out of college, because the built-in social structure of the college lifestyle makes it is easy to begin marketing your product almost immediately. Also, with social media websites and web resources you can advertise your products and services on the Internet and gain a mass following much more inexpensively than you would through print or TV advertising. Taking advantage of your college networks and the Internet will help you to keep costs low in the beginning stages of your business and also work to generate a healthy buzz surrounding your business.

Even after your initial free marketing push, you will have to continue to market your products and your company in order to ensure future success and expansion. You can save money by hiring other students from the marketing and design programs at your school, as opposed to hiring a professional marketing firm to advertise your business, and a professional production company to create the promotional materials.

Excerpted from:

Starting A Business 1-2-3
The premier step-by-step interactive training system
for starting your business with confidence and clarity

Module 1: Research and Development