14 May 2019 | Grads Corner | Guest Author
Getting a good job is the number one priority of all graduates. You could have a goal in your sights, or you may still be making up your mind. Either way, employment is key!
Many just send out hundreds of applications and wait for good luck to strike. But there is another option - starting your own business in the run up to graduation.
Of course, this is far from a piece of cake. Working for yourself takes determination, an adaptable nature, and above all the ability to handle pressure.
But with online entrepreneurship the potential rewards are also pretty epic. Much of it is done from your keyboard or tablet, giving you a lot of freedom to plan your time in a flexible way. Read on to find out more…
The first, and arguably most obvious, point to make is you have to be prepared. With so much to consider regarding entrepreneurship, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Become a budget master. If you don’t have a decent grasp of figures then you may want to reconsider. Business - be it online or otherwise - is all about crunching numbers.
There are plenty of resources out there to help you, from solid advice to free financial apps, which take the strain if maths doesn’t happen to be your strong suit.
Just like any other entrepreneur you see on Dragon’s Den, you’ll have to put together a well-researched and credible business plan to attract interest and investment.
What is your market?
Secondly, whom are you aiming your business at? You could have a brilliant and unique idea yet fall at the first hurdle because you don’t understand your audience.
It’s not rocket science. But it’s not easy either. An online entrepreneur has to be more than a person in a room with a computer. They must also read their customers.
Market research is a great way of doing this. This applies particularly if you are planning on selling a product that’s already in circulation.
By working out who’s going to be buying from you, you’ve taken a strong first step toward realising a profitable and sustainable business pitch.
What’s your unique selling point?
You may feel pressure to come up with a total one-off of an idea, with which you make your name. This is certainly very helpful, but also a million-to-one shot.
Here’s the thing. Lots of people are successful in business because they sell a good product and know what they’re doing. They didn’t rely on being a creative dynamo.
For example, you can be a major online player by using eBay. Far from the most original concept, but one that’s brought huge rewards to some of those who’ve taken the plunge.
And there are other, less dedicated options to watch out for, for making a bit of extra money on the side, such as matched betting. This involves knowing how to use free bet offers from gambling sites. It isn’t all about the hard sell.
On the other hand, if you have an idea for a new online business, then the way that you can be unique is in the image you present to the world. Often investors will see something worthwhile in the individual, even if their idea isn’t fully formed yet.
Using social media
Social media is an excellent way to give yourself some self promotion. It’s a no brainer if you want to be an online entrepreneur, right?
Get stuck in! From creating a website, to writing a blog, to posting tweets, to working out your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)… there’s so much you can do.
By creating an online identity, which is true to who you are, you can reach possibly millions of new customers. Personal branding is very important.
Put in the hours
Finally, you should understand that online businesses take as much time as other types of enterprise. Yes, you save legwork in cyberspace but the hours must be put in.
You’ll have racked up a lot of them already following the previous steps on this list! But ultimately if you don’t care enough about your idea, the truth is no-one will.