Building your own business as a student can be daunting, but it is one of the best ways to kickstart your career. The hardest thing about it is to begin!
Starting your own business can be a good idea in college. But it certainly isn’t easy. The way business is taught rarely prepares students for the real world. The textbooks rarely include discussion of issues like how hard it is to stay organized when everything seems to happen at the last minute, how to take on the responsibility without letting yourself be bossed around, or what to do when your business partner is not there for you.
But starting on your own takes courage. It’s too easy to give up, either because you can’t figure out the right way to do it or because you feel too overwhelmed. Starting out on your own is a risk, too. That risk is real, and you can’t completely eliminate it, so you might as well face it.
And while you’re at it, you can learn how to enjoy it! Just like you can choose the best paper writer at WritePaper, you can pick your perspective when tackling your profession. And we’ll help you make the right choice.
How? By going through some of the most common mistakes and reasons why people fail in the process. So, let’s get right into it!
Lack of Planning
We all get the idea that businesses fail because of bad decisions or bad luck, so we always blame individual entrepreneurs. But really, most businesses fail because their owners do not plan ahead.
Think about how you would plan a trip by car. You would probably price out all the hotels, restaurants, gas, tolls, etc., and then look at what you can afford. And you would take into account how long it would take you to get there, how tired you’d be when you get there, and so on.
Businesses do the same thing but on a larger scale. They price out all the capital costs and look at how much they think they will produce, and they plan what they’ll do with the money they have.
But many people don’t do this. They don’t price out the costs, and they don’t look at how much they’ll make. They prefer to just write down their wishes.
But planning has many more benefits. It means identifying in advance what mistakes to avoid. And once you have determined the potential issues, you can minimize the risks and threats to your business.
Lack of Funding
Some people don’t understand this. They think it’s all about good ideas, but good ideas are only part of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Ideas are only the foundation; the superstructure is funding. Without funding, the architecture may be strong, but the building will most likely collapse.
These days, most entrepreneurs are lucky enough to find investors who are willing to subsidize their losses. A lot of businesses can fail because their owners try to run them like hobbies. For example, if someone decides to start a candy business, they may think, “Oh, I’ll just buy some candy, make some labels, and rent a store.”
But running a candy store is a lot harder than you expect. You need to buy inventory, store it, and sell it. You should decide whether you want to sell candies at a profit, at a loss, or close to break-even. It is necessary to have reasonable expectations for demand and be willing to step up production to meet demand if you get it. Lastly, you have to hire people and pay them to manage inventory and certain operational processes.
In other words, the single biggest problem faced by businesses today is not the lack of demand but the lack of money. So, make sure to have some to invest in yourself!
Not Trying Enough
You don’t need a lot of credentials to have a successful startup. You don’t have to be an expert in your field. You just have to try. Trying means leaving your comfortable, safe life behind when it comes to your new profession, so we get why it can be hard to do.
And when it gets too hard, you may want to quit. Many entrepreneurs make the same mistake. They know that if they fail, they could lose a lot of money. Maybe that could be your motivation to keep going, too.
Trying Too Much
Certainly, some entrepreneurs manage to screw up big businesses. But in most cases, entrepreneurs make major mistakes from minor ones. They fail not because they didn’t put in enough effort but because they tried too hard.
You want to be the best. You want to have the best location, products, service, employees, and partners. But at some point, you have to get out of the way. You have to let you or your staff do their job. Learn to delegate and let small mistakes happen to prevent serious issues later.
Good management means good decisions. But such decisions involve a lot of assumptions and are difficult to make. The consequences are hard to predict, even in the best of times, and proper decisions are even harder to make when things go wrong.
So, good management means knowing when to say yes, when to say no, and when to keep silent. You should understand when to delegate and when to do a task yourself. You should also be able to take risks when it is justified and handle the outcomes.
To succeed, you have to learn how to manage well. To do that, you have to understand that business is a system and that it depends on people, technology, resources, and money. Finding the right approach to running such a complex system should be your main priority. So, get ready to read a book or two on management to get yourself in that mood.
When you are first starting to put together a business plan, you naturally want to write down all the details. But, sooner or later, you have to draw a line between what’s practical and what’s not.
The line between those characteristics is blurry, especially at the beginning. Of course, it’s important to distinguish a dream from a goal, but you have to be careful to keep your plan realistic.
The trouble with plans is, of course, that they tend to change. Plans are never as crisp and definite as you think. The real difficulty is making sure that the plan evolves gradually, not suddenly. A business plan must show you the way, and you should be ready to adjust it if it doesn’t allow you to meet your objectives.
The road to success is not paved with good intentions. It’s paved with doing things that are wrong and learning from them!
So, no matter how many mistakes you make, the most important thing is to make the right conclusions so as not to repeat them. The one true secret of successful entrepreneurs is always to keep trying despite the obstacles you might face.