You’ve just finished your degree, or you’re on the cusp of it. You’re bursting with big ideas, and there’s no way you’re going to wait to turn them into a reality. Going into business for yourself can certainly be a risk, but it will also come with its own rewards.
First, you should understand that becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy. In fact, 90% of startups fail, even when they’re run by people with industry experience and great ideas. If you’re struggling to start paying back student loans, you might be putting your financial health at risk.
On the other hand, the tech industry has seen a flood of layoffs recently, and a recession is likely to curb the huge demand there is for labor. Striking out on your own just might be the best way to earn some money right away and even give you some experience you can be proud to put on your resume.
Here’s how you can get your startup going straight out of school on a minimal budget.
1. Test Your Startup Ideas
You can’t build a business without a successful idea. The process all starts with finding an idea that’s likely to be profitable. A great place to start is the frustrations people experience every day. Frustration was the inspiration behind huge successes like Uber and Venmo when founders thought of a great way to make an ordinary task like hailing a cab or paying back a friend easier.
Once you’ve brainstormed an idea, talk to friends, family, and industry people about what they think. It also helps to do some digging. Is anyone else working on a project like this?
Even if you’re not in tech, the same principles apply. What about your business can deliver a product or service that’s better, cheaper, or faster than what already exists out there?
2. Equipment on a Budget
When you’re starting a business after recently graduating, it’s unlikely you have much in the way of savings. Even so, you still need equipment that enables you to do work on your product, complete projects, or deliver a great service to your clients.
On the electronics end, look for computers and laptops for sale. Online marketplaces are a great place to find deals on electronics that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, and they can help you find equipment that fits your precise specifications without having to pay top dollar.
3. Move Fast to Develop a Minimal Viable Product
There’s a big difference between the projects you’ve had to complete for class, and the minimal viable product entrepreneurs should be putting together. In class, you’re incentivized to put out a finished, pristine product.
That’s not the way the rough-and-tumble world of entrepreneurship works. The minimum viable product is meant to be your way to get community feedback, whether you’re looking for help from friends, former professors, or industry experts. It should be a workable first version because you’re going to have to make plenty of changes either way.
When you want to strike out on your own, start on the cheap with equipment on sale, identify where you can make a difference, and move quickly to get a minimal viable product ready for feedback.