How to Launch a Startup In College. According to research, 30% of university startup founders are undergraduates. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs launched their companies in college Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell are two that quickly come to mind. The two launched their companies while studying and turned them into multibillion-dollar corporations.
Many college students have great startup ideas, but most don’t know how to implement them or the risks they’ll encounter. While starting a new business is always a gamble, you can be successful if you identify a need in the market and fill it.
How to Launch a Startup In College
The great thing about starting a business while in college is you have many mentors to guide you along the way. This short guide gives you step-by-step instructions for launching a startup in college.
Find a Gap in the Market and Fill It
To identify a market gap you can fill, take time to understand your target market’s
problems. Market problems could be existing inefficiencies, non-optimal solutions, or awkward workflows. Carry out market research and find out what your competitors aren’t doing. Listen for frustrations or “if only” statements that consumers will share.
Netflix is a good example of a company that identified a market gap and filled it. It
started off as a DVD mail-order rental business, competing with Blockbuster Video. But
when the company noticed that the internet was becoming popular, it launched its
streaming service. Netflix shows entrepreneurs that identifying a market gap early can result in massive success.
Create a Business Plan
A good business plan is like a roadmap. It guides you on starting and managing your
business. You can structure, run, and grow your new business based on it. It’s also
something you can show to investors when looking for funding.
A well-written plan helps investors understand your business and also shows them you’ve carefully assessed and thought through the issues your business will face. It
covers the economics and fundamentals of your business model.
Get Enough Funding
The last thing you want is to deal with cash flow issues when you’re just getting started.
Get enough funding so you can focus on growing your startup. You can borrow money from family and friends or apply for loans.
Title loans are a great choice as they don’t attract high interest rates. You can easily find the best loans in your locality by typing “title loans near me” on your favorite browser. Also, conduct research on grants that can help you start a business while in college.
Build a Brand
The first thing you should do to make sure people know about your business is create a
website. You can use free website builders such as WordPress and Wix for this purpose. Next, open social media accounts on popular platforms like Facebook,
Instagram, and Twitter. Use social media marketing tools to streamline posting and to boost engagement.
Companies like Facebook first became popular in colleges, so get a student influencer to market your startup. If you have the funds, hire several. They will grow your brand because research shows that 49% of consumers trust recommendations from influencers.
Also, leverage word-of-mouth marketing as 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Tell friends, classmates, family members, study groups, and even strangers about your startup. The most successful businesses never stop marketing.