Some of us go to college, and we take courses that prepare us to get a job. But what happens when you want to go into business for yourself? Unless you go specifically into business school, the education system is not going to give you what you need to know.
When starting a business as a young person, you just have to step out on faith.
Here are five steps that may help you take that leap.
1. Find a like-minded person to help you
Having someone else from the very beginning will be a huge help. Brainstorming will be easier with two heads, and you’ll be able to bounce ideas off of one another. You’ll also be able to divide up tasks. Furthermore, that person may have a skill that you don’t have, and you may have a skill that that person doesn’t have. You’ll be able to combine your talents to create something unique that serves your community.
2. Plan your business out in stages
Don’t expect to be able to get everything done in a few months, especially if you’re aiming for quality. Create a business plan that spans at least a year, and jot down what you want accomplished for each stage. Start with the basics—name, logo, mission and vision statement—then expand from there.
3. Find a mentor
Having a mentor will help you avoid mistakes that they made. If you do make those mistakes, they would be able to help you get up and get back going. A mentor can also serve as another pair of eyes for everything you do. They guide you from experience in saying, “Well, this is what I’ve tried in the past, and this is where I think you should go.”
4. Make time to balance to balance school, work, a social life and your entrepreneurial goals
Making time and having balance is the most important aspect, for doing the opposite could deter the progress of your business. As a college student, school is, of course, a priority, but you also have to make your business a priority. That might mean working on it instead of watching that next episode on Netflix. That might mean scheduling times out of your week to talk with your partner or your mentor. Time is all you have, so don’t waste it.
5. Have patience
This goes along with developing your business in stages. It’s not going to happen overnight. You see the vision and you’re excited, but launching prematurely is not going to help you, in the long run. Have patience with yourself, and make sure you and your partner encourage one another through the journey. You might hit places in the road where it feels like you’re stagnant. Go over your plan again, and make sure it’s flexible enough to change or move certain things. Acknowledge the small wins you achieve, and remember, slow growth is still growth. Have faith that you’ll eventually get to the place you want to be.