Every year there are thousands of commercials that ask individuals “have you ever thought of starting your own business?” For many students starting their own business is a goal and a dream; many students have a wide breadth of talents and creativity. There are also many obstacles to starting your own business; many businesses operate at a loss for the first three years and many students are unsure of how to market their product or reach a broader audience.
Another issue is that individuals can fall so deeply in love with their product or idea that they just assume that other people will also fall in love with it. It’s important for any young entrepreneur to think about the needs of the product or service that they are offering. Some items that young entrepreneurs should consider include:
- What is the cost of producing this product?
- What population/demographics are we trying to reach?
- How much are people willing to spend on this product?
- What types of marketing can we engage in?
- What is one word that people think of when they think about your company or product?
Luckily, there are more resources than ever before for starting a company and reaching a broader audience. The internet has become a wonderful tool for connecting individuals and showcasing talent; many entrepreneurs can use popular websites like etsy.com to sell a wide range of their products and communicate with their customer base. Young entrepreneurs can also use popular forms of social media such as Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat to connect with their clientele.
Before starting on this great adventure, please take some time to look over the resources provided below:
This helpful website provides information on local North Carolina based resources and programs. There are also links to a monthly speaker series which includes personal testimonies and success stories from UNCG Alumni/Entrepreneurs. Getting connected with North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center is also a great opportunity for students to become inspired and network with people in your industry/field (the website contains a plethora of links and list for local community partners).
The admissions website for the Entrepreneurship major provides a lot of great links for becoming involved with on-campus group related to Entrepreneurship, student opportunities such as volunteering with Spartan Trader, and a list of career ideas such as starting out as a franchisee or starting your own venture.
The University offers an exciting and innovative degree in Entrepreneurship from the Bryan School of Business. Student will learn the fundamentals of starting a business (both profit and nonprofit), innovative ways of growing business, and marketing their business. The website provides an overview of the courses offered with the Bryan School. This degree will provide the fundamentals and baseline knowledge for starting a new venture or business.
The Harvard Business Review is a great resource for looking at the success stories of successful business people. This article provides great insight into some of the common mistakes that many young entrepreneurs make when they are first starting to create their own company. Some great tips include getting “early feedback” for a product that you are designing. The Harvard Business Review also recommends listening to customer base, offering early discounts to perspective buyers, utilizing network, and seeking out “strategic buyers.”
It can be exciting and scary thinking about the prospect of starting your own business or franchise. Before jumping in, remember to research both your market and the target population that you are trying to appeal too. The business landscape is always fluid and ever-changing; it’s important to do your homework and never take anything for granted. Good luck!