There is a lot to love about the idea of starting a business as a college student. While balancing being an entrepreneur with continuing your studies can be a challenge, starting your first business in college allows you to get experience early. It gives you a chance to get all your beginner mistakes out of the way before you even graduate.
That said, while everyone will make some mistakes, there are a few common mistakes you can and should avoid. And those are the ones we’ll be examining in this article.
Mistake #1 – Not having a business plan
A business plan is a document that serves as the blueprints of your business, detailing its main activities, goals, how it plans to achieve those goals and more. And while it is possible to find success without having a business plan, to begin with, having one can help you avoid various pitfalls. And if your business goes well, you’re going to need a business plan eventually, so you might as well get one early, especially since nothing is stopping you from making changes to those plans later.
Mistake #2 – Mismanaging money
This is a two-sided mistake. First, some entrepreneurs fail by simply not spending enough money. A young business needs resources to find its footing, after all.
However, most beginner entrepreneurs get in trouble for spending too much money. There is an endless way to burn money on a startup with big unnecessary purchases, overly-expensive marketing campaigns, and hiring expensive employees too quickly. And the more you spend, the harder it is to keep the business alive.
Mistake #3 – Not controlling overheads
Another thing to keep an eye on is overheads, which need to be kept low. For example, make sure the cost of electricity and rent is kept under control. And if your business model involves a lot of shipping, take the time to compare courier prices using a tool like Fast Courier.
Fast Courier is an Australian price comparison tool that makes finding lower shipping rates easier, whether you’re looking for an interstate courier or a courier service to deliver packages locally. It is one of the many tools entrepreneurs can use to reduce costs, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for tools like that.
The lower your overheads, the easier it is to keep your business open during the months when business is slow. Meaning that low overheads can be the difference between you having plenty of time to recover from a downturn and your business having to close its doors.
Mistake #4 – Picking the wrong partners
Having a bad business partner can be exhausting at best and ruinous at worst. Whether your partner doesn’t take their work seriously or is just not a good match for you, if you come to realize that your current partnership isn’t working, you should start planning a way out right away. The longer you stick with a bad partner, the harder it’ll be to take them out of the startup without killing the company in the process.
Mistake #5 – Treating marketing like an afterthought
A business engine turns leads into sales and sales into a profit. That description applies to 95% of companies out there, and chances are, it’ll apply to yours too. This means you need a reliable way to generate leads to keep the engine going, and that’s what marketing is for.
Marketing isn’t secondary; it needs to be a core concern of your company. Without quality marketing efforts, you’re leaving the success of your business up to luck. Which can work, but it is a gamble. It’s not by accident that most veteran entrepreneurs figure out a marketing strategy before investing a single dime into a business idea.