In the next few weeks, thousands of bright-eyed, ambitious graduates will walk out of the hallowed halls of institutions of higher learning and into the larger world. Among these graduates will be the next generation of innovators, founders, entrepreneurs and small business owners. These adventurers, some armed with well-defined business plans and others with nothing but dreams and moxie, are determined to follow the road less traveled and carve out their own unique career paths.
But before turning down a steady job or packing away the interview suit, recent grads need to evaluate if they truly have what it takes to start a business.
Business News Daily asked business experts and entrepreneurs, many of whom started their first business right out of college, for entrepreneurial advice for this year’s graduating class. Here are some of the key lessons they shared.
1. Follow your passion
As an entrepreneur, the importance of doing work that brings you joy and fulfillment cannot be overstated. In fact, a founder’s passion is key to ensuring that a business thrive.
“You have to do what you love to have a fulfilling career,” said John Tabis, founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company. “You need to find a job or career path within a field that you are passionate about, then get in there quickly, dig in, learn and add value.”
Doing work that has meaning to you will provide the motivation needed to get through the rough patches and tumultuous times that are an inevitable part of building any new venture.
2. Do the research
The only way to know if what seemed like a great idea in your dorm room can become a viable business is to do the research. Take the time to thoroughly study all the elements that go into establishing your new business.
Will Manders, managing director of Zoonibo, recommends really getting to know your market and its particular needs.
“Market research is … heavily overlooked by first time entrepreneurs and I’ve seen countless people fail, including myself in previous projects, because the market really wasn’t there for the idea to be scalable,” said Manders.
Christopher K. Lee, founder and career consultant with Purpose Redeemed, suggests immersing yourself in the minutiae of your chosen industry.
“Understand the operations and finance of the business. Too many new grads want to jump to strategy and innovation — the sexier topics,” said Lee. “But spend[ing] time … developing depth of experience will pay off many times over.”
3. Learn from the inside
Regardless of when you decide to start your business, there’s always value in taking some time to learn from more seasoned professionals. Working for someone else for a short time can help you build an extensive list of contacts, pick up best practices and learn from leaders in your industry.
“There are job-related functions you are not taught in school and really only learn on the job,” said J. Kelly Hoey, angel investor, speaker and author of “Build Your Dream Network” (TarcherPerigree, 2017) “Why not learn those tasks – and endure the mistakes of doing them wrong – as an employee?”
Additionally, gaining experience in a variety of companies and work environments may help you refine your own ideas about what exactly you want to accomplish.
“You may start out in one area only to find you prefer focusing on another element of the work,” said Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations. “As you begin your journey, know there may be twists and turns along the way – and that’s perfectly OK.”
Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10005-college-grad-entrepreneur-advice.html