From New Grad to Entrepreneur: How Start a Business Successfully After College


Most of the popular, successful entrepreneurs today come from the younger population. It’s no wonder then that a lot of people are inspired to start business early on in life. When before the common route is to get a degree, work for a while, save some money, then be an entrepreneur, now that track is cut short: just go straight to business after college. If you’re planning to take that shorter, more challenging route, here are some tips to achieve success:

Find your passion.

A lot of young aspiring entrepreneurs tend to get swayed by what’s hot in the market — let’s say, going into the tech industry because Jobs and Zuckerberg made it big there. Such a plan may work for a while, but if it’s not genuinely your passion, you won’t be able to sustain it. You will lose interest. You won’t find a compelling reason to push through. What’s worse, you will hate doing business. To avoid that, start on the right foot.

Instead of seeing what’s trendy, go back to your core and ask yourself what is it that gives you joy when you accomplish it? If you want a harsher phrasing, “What is a problem in modern society that irks you so much you can’t sleep at night thinking about it?” That’s where your passion lies. Channel that in the ideas you come up with, in the company culture you build, in the everyday work you do, in the opportunities you explore. Find your passion.

Read or do your research.

Let’s throw it out in the open: you have little to no knowledge about running a business. That gap is a big deal. Your goal is to shrink that gap as you go along in your journey.

In this regard, research is your best friend. Know as much as you can about the industry you’re getting into. Observe the trends and trajectory of the trade. More importantly, learn the ins and outs of business operations, particularly the best practices for key business aspects, like accounting, marketing, and recruitment.

If you have a new business idea, test out its promises by introducing it to a small sample of the market. If you’re considering riding on an existing business idea, let’s say buying a retail clothing franchise, look at the parent company’s case studies and market reports. The more that you’re filling that gap in knowledge, the more that you’re boosting your chances of business success.

Expand your network.

group of people having a meetingRelationships in business are crucial regardless of what kind of entrepreneur you are, how long you’ve been in the industry, or what type of venture you have. But for fresh grads who don’t have that many years of experience yet and who probably have the slightest clue about what they’re getting into, a strong network of entrepreneurs is important.

Having fellow business people in your social circle can help you be smart in your decisions, given that they can give you advice and you can adapt how they think and how they work. So, prioritize networking. If you’re not into big networking events, like conferences, start joining a local co-working space community or reconnecting with colleagues from college.

There are a lot more risks and challenges for people starting their entrepreneurial endeavors fresh out of college. But there are many ways to succeed, all the same. Embrace these strategies for a business journey.

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