There are university students who will get by during their academic career. They will attend seminars and lectures, submit their assignments on time, maybe even a few days early, but that’s all. You’re not one of those students.
With increased university fees and entry requirements, a new, inspired student type is beginning to shine. The aspiring student entrepreneur is always looking for ways to achieve more – to turn the skills they are learning into a business. If you consider yourself that way inclined, this infographic is for you.
How to become a student entrepreneur
Running your own business is no longer the reserve of the seasoned professional.
When it comes to university students :
10% have already started a business
17% plan to start a business before graduation
27% plan to pursue their business as a career after graduating
Do you Therrehave the desire and drive to start your own business?
Here’s an 8-step plan to juggle university and become a student entrepreneur
Step 1: Evaluate yourself
• Your skills and knowledge
• Your desired industry
• How you want to work
Ideally, you’d want some appropriate work experience in the area of business you want to pursue – but don’t be afraid to venture out into the unknown if you’re motivated enough.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
Step 2: Have a good idea
A good business idea identifies a need and then satisfies it.
Evaluate your idea :
Step 3: Research the competition
Identify and understand your competitors.
Enter key words or phrases about your business, service or product into various search engines. Companies with the highest rank will give you a good idea of who your main competitors are.
Advertisements or features placed in industry magazines and trade publications can help to reveal local or international competition.
Attend trade shows. The largest and most successful of your competitors will likely have a presence at industry events.
How are they perceived?
Check consumer reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp and Yell
How do they promote themselves?
Sign up for any marketing materials, such as newsletters, company updates, social media or their RSS feed.
See how they work
If possible, go through their sales process
Look at your competitors and pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you figure out your next step.
Step 4: Make a business plan
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric
A successful plan will clarify your idea, define your long-term objectives and provide a blueprint for running your business.
Your plan should include:
1. The business concept
Basic background of the industry, business structure and details of your product or service offering
2. Markets and competitors
Details of the customer demographic, any competing products or services and your competition.
3. Sales and marketing
Strategy defining how you’ll build your customer base.
4. Management team
Information about each person’s responsibilities, and what skills they bring to the table
5. Financial requirements
Based on realistic projected financial statements
6. Risk assessment
Any potential weaknesses which may affect the success of the business.
Tip: As a student, you’re eligible for more funding opportunities than the average entrepreneur.
For information on funding bodies, contact:
• The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs
• The Prince’s Trust
• New Entrepreneurs Foundation
• Start-up Britain
Step 5: Seek a mentor
Get advice from people in the industry, or see if you can find someone experienced to mentor you.
If seeking a mentor, look for someone with:
• A successful business you wish to emulate
• Experience in the industry you wish to enter
Most universities have mentoring schemes for student entrepreneurs. However, you might get more experience and industry contacts by seeking out your own mentor.
Step 6: Register your business
Registering your business keeps you on the right side of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Consider which type of business is best for you.
• Only you own the business
• You have to register for Self-Assessment tax
• You can work alone or employ other people
• You appoint directors to run the company
• Company must be registered with Companies House
• You pay tax on both your income as both a director and an employee
• You have to register for Self-Assessment
• You share profits between partners
Congratulations you are now officially in business. Next stop: success!
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