As a budding entrepreneur I’m sure you’ve experienced it; the constant buzz in your head as ideas flood your head and threaten to keep you awake. These ideas will keep coming whether you do something about it or not. You are just wired that way; so you might as well make that idea happen with these steps:
- Start where you are with what you have: If you ever undertook an economics class you might remember your teacher discussing infinite needs and limited resources. As a student, you may not have enough time or money. That’s normal. But you can still start with what you have; your idea. Can you start offering something for free? Or could you volunteer with an organisation to gain more experience? Can you collaborate with friends to minimise the risk? These are all options you could explore now.
- Do your research: In true entrepreneur style, you may be tempted to jump in straight away. Hold on. Have you done your research? Yes, your idea is great and will solve a problem, but you have to test that theory first. Speak to your potential customers or fellow students. Will they buy from you? How much are they willing to pay. Speak to a lecturer you trust or an organisation that supports your cause. What are you using your Facebook and Instagram page for? Ask your followers to give you their honest opinion. Tools like Survey Monkey also offer free surveys and analysis. Start doing your research. It will save you a lot of heartache in the near future.
- Set small targets and grind. When you hear the story of all successful entrepreneurs, it looks very glamorous. Remember, it all starts with grinding. Many of these tech giants started in garages and hustled their way up. It is doable. Don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do, not to mention exams, projects and lectures. Set 3 business related tasks a day and record it in a notepad or phone. Every night tick off the tasks you complete. In a few months see how much progress you would have made.
- Have a laser focus. This may be the toughest for most entrepreneurs. But without that focus, you will be flying in all directions with limited resources and possibly getting nowhere. As you stretch yourself thin, you limit your effectiveness. Meaning if you have a competitor who is focused in one thing, they will easily outperform you and that’s no good. An example is Google starting with a search engine initially and slowly working their way to world domination. The take home here is to get good at one thing first before using that as an anchor to tackle the next opportunity.
- Talk about your idea – The more you talk about your idea, the better refined it becomes. Think of it as your elevator pitch. Talking through your idea with friends, family, strangers, potential customers and even competitors can be invaluable in fine-tuning your idea. Be careful not to disclose too much, but not telling anyone about your idea for the fear of it being stolen is like working in the dark. Eventually your idea will be out for the public anyway for all to see so collect as much information and critique as possible.
- Hold on to your passion. Remember your ‘why’. Business is tough and really is a labour of love. Starting up can be lonely and challenging but very fulfilling as you achieve those successes. Celebrate them. It is important to keep reminding yourself of why you started and the impact you want to make. That’s a place in your mind you have to keep revisiting, this tip will help you keep your vision going where others have quit.
In the words of Bisa Kdei ‘slow motion is better than no motion’. Don’t wait, start your idea today. Attend one of the Flippy Campus Entrepreneur series events, for the support and guidance you need to take the first steps in implementing your idea.
This article has been provided by PropelED an international student support and recruitment agency helping brightest and best to achieve their study abroad dreams. We are an award winning start-up, supported by the Cardiff Met Centre for Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme.
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