Having a great idea for a business is not enough to become a successful entrepreneur. Whether you want to start a business while you’re still at university or wait until after you graduate, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.
1. Understand the Market
Your market research needs to look at what customers want and where existing businesses are falling short. Identify a unique selling point that will mean customers have a reason to choose you over your competitors.
2. Create Your Strategic Plan
Once you have an understanding of the market and its potential, you can create a strategic plan. This will state what you want to achieve with your business venture and how you’ll reach your goals. You should have specific objectives along with a timeline to reach them, an idea of the hurdles that may stand in your way, and a list of resources you need to acquire. Consider both the best and worst case scenarios to ensure you have a shot at success.
3. Attend Networking Events
It’s important to network with people who may be interested in investing in your company, customers who can tell you what they’re looking for, and experienced business owners who can advise you on how to avoid making the same mistakes they did. To meet these people, join networking events, attend meetups for entrepreneurs, and reach out to your target customers.
4. Find a Mentor
At networking events, see if you can connect with someone who is willing to be your mentor. Someone who has experience in your particular field is ideal. Make sure you ask plenty of questions — and always heed the advice your mentor gives you.
5. Fund Your Venture
Even low-cost business ideas require some funding to get off the ground. The good news is you have multiple options: you could start a crowdfunding campaign, take out a loan, contact angel investors and venture capital firms, or research government grants for young entrepreneurs.
6. Work on Your Credit Score
You’re more likely to receive approval funding if you have a good credit score. As a student, the best ways to do this are to pay your rent and bills on time and pay off the balance on your credit card in full each month.
7. Keep Up with the Latest Trends
A change in your industry could mean you need to rethink parts of your business idea. Stay up to date with industry news, including the latest technology and innovations. Monitor the tactics your competitors are using that have led to both success and failure.
You’ll also need somewhere you can work on your business idea in peace and have phone calls with people who are interested in becoming involved in your venture. The only way to gain this kind of atmosphere is to live in an independent apartment. Parkway lofts offers Brock University off-campus housing that has everything you need to be successful. In addition to a private bedroom in a shared or studio apartment, you’ll be able to meet new people in the common area lounge, have a workout at the fitness centre, and walk to nearby restaurants and stores. Take a virtual tour to explore all the facilities.