Do you have a service or product that you’re passionate about? Are you interested in sharing it with the world while profiting off of it? Well, you just might want to look into starting your own business. Here are ten tips to keep in mind before you get started:
1. Prioritize and analyze
Figure out what’s important to you and think about your existing commitments. See how starting a business fits into that picture. If your life is overwhelming enough as is, you might want to either start small or hold off on your business for a little bit.
2. Learn the game
Take any opportunities you can to try and gain more knowledge about starting a business or the skills you need to excel. Try to choose some elective or major classes that will help you in your future business endeavors. Also, look for free online courses that could help with the process of starting your business — anywhere from a finance class to a social media class.
3. Take advantage of school resources
UH has many resources that can be useful in starting your business like the Writing Center, Career Services, and more. There’s also a vast alumni network that could be beneficial in terms of consulting or just general advice.
4. Connect with other students
You can find other possible collaborators for your business in your classes, work, housing, or a student club. UH has over 100 student orgs. These connections could help you find someone with similar interests or even complementary strengths to help you in your business endeavors.
5. Find a mentor
Successful business owners in your area have already faced the trials and tribulations of starting up their business, so find some that you can interview about how they got started. Sending an email or a LinkedIn message to a business owner you admire can be a great way to get in touch with someone willing to give you advice. Look for UH alumni or a business owner in an area you’re interested in.
6. Create a website
Building a website and social media presence for your business doesn’t have to be hard. Use a free platform like Wix to create your website, and look at free videos about mastering social media to promote your business on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.
7. Figure out your product or service
Figuring out your exact product or service doesn’t have to happen all at once. Start with a prototype, get some feedback, and alter it. Your product could change as you get more customers and engagement. Just choose something you are passionate about because that will drive you to keep working on it. This could range from selling socks to a tutoring service. There are no limits.
8. Create a schedule and checklist
Deadlines can help you stay on track for certain milestones you’d like to achieve. A schedule can help with balancing school, work, extracurriculars, business shenanigans, etc. Give yourself small goals to reach every week or month. There is no need to start a website if you don’t know what your business is selling.
9. Absorb everything
There are many online resources available for future entrepreneurs. Pay attention to what you think could be useful for your business. What businesses have caught your attention? What platform do they use (Etsy, Instagram, Redbubble, etc)? How did they get started?
10. Build it until you get it right
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business probably won’t be either. You might have bad days, rough patches, or failed attempts. Don’t let these discourage you from starting your business. If nothing else, you will have gained valuable experience in the business world that can serve you in any career you choose to pursue.