College is an incredibly important time for all of us. We shape our personalities, gain knowledge, find friends and take the first steps in our careers. Most people used to begin their careers with an internship in a company, where they would stay and work for the rest of their lives. But now, more and more students are thinking about creating their own business. It opens up many opportunities, starting from being your own boss to using your fullest potential and implementing your boldest ideas.
These days, it's easy to free up some time, even with a busy curriculum. All you have to do is type «I need physics help» in a search engine and outsource your homework to experienced writers. And while the specialist is working on your assignment, you can fully devote yourself to numerous things on your to-do list. However, first, let's figure out what common mistakes you need to avoid in order to succeed. We will also analyze what to focus on and what ideas might be worthy of your attention.
Mistake 1. Copying and Plagiarism
At the beginning of the journey, it is absolutely normal to look back at other businesses and analyze their essence. But simply mirroring their ideas will do you no good. So, when targeting niche leaders, think about how your product will stand out in the market and become a pioneer in the industry. Your product or service must be unique, otherwise what is your value?
Mistake 2. Underestimating the Client's Needs
There's a simple truth one must always remember: the client is not interested in the brand, but in what it can give them. For example, moisturizing hand cream provides health and comfort, and herbal tea - cozy evenings with loved ones. Make sure the positioning of your business is on the right track and the client clearly understands what your offer is about.
Customers are looking for emotions and experiences, so keep it in mind when thinking through your unique selling proposition.
Mistake 3. Lack of Business Plan
Any wise businessperson is nowhere near being spontaneous and making decisions on the fly. It is the preparation that is the most essential. After all, a correctly calculated plan will help you avoid losses.
This way, you will see how much investment you need for launching a business and supporting it further. Of course, drawing up a business plan is a complex process that requires profound market research. But without it, all your actions will be a shot in the dark.
Mistake 4. Ignoring Competitors
Competitor analysis is a step that must never be skipped. You need to constantly study competitors and monitor what they are doing, what their prices and quality are. Also, examine how they position themselves and why they are popular. After all, if the market is oversaturated, it will be harder to stand out from the crowd.
But here's the good news! Even if your sphere is too competitive, you can find your own narrow specialization. For example, business photography seems common, but taking pictures for LinkedIn profiles is quite unique and in-demand.
Mistake 5. Poor Marketing
Certainly, there are free ways to promote your business (partnerships, for instance), but most likely they won't deliver results quickly. Therefore, never doubt investing in advertising and promotion, as the sooner clients find out about you - the better.
Mistake 6. Inability to Delegate
It is amazing when the business owner is perfectly aware of all the details that go into the business processes. This way, one can control key processes. Keep in mind, though, that if you do everything yourself, you can quickly burn out.
Mistake 7. Launching The Project Too Early
Starting a business is no time to rush. If you believe you can figure out some issues in the process, you are wrong. Why? Here, success fully depends on preparation. Studying the market and its demands, examining the niche and testing the product - all this requires time and consideration.
Mistake 8. Lack of Marketing Persona
Every business needs to know who its target audience is, as trying to sell to everyone won't get you far. For example, when opening a coffee shop, think about who will visit it. Students from a local university? Office workers during a break? Older ladies at book club meetings? Decide and build your message in accordance with this.
Now, let's move on to a step-by-step guide on how to launch a business.
Your Strategy In a Nutshell
- Select a niche;
- Count the number of potential customers, study their payment capacity;
- Analyze your competition and determine how to stand out;
- Think over the shopping card;
- Come up with a business plan;
- Attract investment;
- Handle legal issues and register your business;
- Start the advertising
And here are some inspirational business ideas:
- Street Food/Food truck;
- IT-camp for kids;
- Formal wear rent:
- Cleaning services;
- Flower delivery;
- Grooming salon;
- Electronics repair;
- Guided city tours;
- Homemade sweets production;
- Gift wrapping;
- 3D toys printing;
- Organization of events, parties and quests;
- Coworking space for beauty industry;
- Moving services;
- Online stationery shop;
- Art-therapy studio;
- Creative digital agency;
- Yoga studio;
- Copywriting services;
- Nutritionist consultations;
- Online language school.
Previously, many believed that business was run by geniuses only, but this is not true. These days, it's not that hard: you just need to have an idea and readiness to take action.
If there is something that suits your interests, experience and hobbies, why not give it a try? The start-up capital can be found in many ways, or you can start a business from scratch with no investment, even from home.
And finally, let's answer the main question: why run your own business? First, to determine your own reality and not depend on anyone. Second, to make the customers' lives better with your products and services. And third, to employ people and give them a place to fulfill their potential.