You’ve worked hard for three years and now all that effort has finally paid off and you have your degree – congratulations! Now you’re ready to make the leap from student to entrepreneur, and there’s never been a better time to launch your own start-up business.
Look before you leap
You’d be surprised just how many people come to see their first business as a big mistake. Many graduates look for a niche that might sound interesting, one that you think you should be doing or a job that you’re qualified for. Before you jump at the first opportunity you see, think carefully about your options.
Regardless of your qualification, you have a blank slate when you graduate, so take the time to explore your options before you decide which way to leap.
Get ready to network
Once you’ve decided on the type of business you want to start and you’ve thought of a suitable name, you’ll need to get networking to get the word out there. Make sure you have a professional-looking LinkedIn profile, printed business cards and get yourself a really good website with a dedicated business email address. Now you’re in a position to start contacting useful industry people.
Before you go any further, you will need to sort out some promotional leaflets and brochure printing to advertise your new business. You should also invest in some smart, high-quality letterheads and business cards, all of which should reflect your website and company branding. Although most people communicate through email and phone these days, professionally designed and printed material is always more memorable for the recipient, helping to keep your new business’ name at the forefront of people’s minds long after your initial contact. Typically printed marketing material such as printed product brochures have a very conversion rate to turn potential to current customers in comparison to other marketing mediums.
Be ready for interviews
The key to success in business is good communication. Use the time you have whilst building up your network of contacts to practise your interview technique. Draft in friends and family members or even former tutors and careers advisers to help you in this process. It’s also useful to do a couple of practice presentations to a small audience just to get you used to the process.
Your next step
Finding the right business niche for your start-up isn’t easy and you may have to experience one or two false starts. Take your time, do your preparation and you’re halfway to getting it right first time.
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