How To Start a Company in College and Publicize It
When the idea hits you and you want to start your own company, you may be wondering where to start. For some, it is also a matter of when to start the company. Many entrepreneurs are faced with the dilemma of having their idea but they lack the resources and more importantly the time to execute on their idea. If you are going to start your own business, you need to devote as much time as possible to develop it. As a stressed out college student, many may view college as perhaps the worst time to start a company. If you have effective time management and are passionate about your business, college may actually be the best time to start a company because of all the resources and connections afforded to you. Here are three simply steps on how to get started:
1. Run your idea by your closest family and friends first and then go to a trusted professor to get his or her feedback.
It is always important to get advice and counsel from those you trust. A very common problem amongst entrepreneurs is that they are blinded so much by their passion that they do not see what they are doing wrong. Even if you have an innovative product or service that could potentially be worth billions, it will never amount to anything if you don’t execute correctly. Do not be so blinded by your devotion to your company or idea that you cannot take criticism from others.
2. Do market research and double check to make sure your company name and idea is not already taken.
Market research is absolutely imperative for any young company. Many startups fail because their target market is too small to generate revenue or it is constantly fluctuating. Make sure you know who your customers are before executing. Additionally, you will not get very far and could potentially face legal issues if you take another company’s name or original idea by accident.
3. Enlist a co-founder or trusted team. You cannot do this on your own. Especially in college.
Having a co-founder that helps complement your own skills is highly advisable. Many startups have a team of two founders: one who is more business focused and the other who is brought on to handle technology involved with the company. If you lack certain skills or expertise, find someone that is an expert in that field and partner up with them. Hiring the wrong people in an early stage startup is also one of the number one startup killers in the business world today. Make sure to vet and interview candidates extensively. If possible, hire trusted friends or those close to you. One bad employee in a startup can burn the company to the ground. Hire at your own risk.
HOW TO PUBLICIZE YOUR COMPANY IN COLLEGE
1. Get in contact with your college administration and tell them what you are doing
If you want to successfully run a company in college than you need your school on your side. Be open and vocal to professors, administrators, and even the school president if possible. You may never know how they can help you. Let them know what you are doing. You do not have to necessarily ask for their help, but show them how passionate you are about your company. Many professors in past startups have become investors.
2. Make great content and distribute it to the right people
Videos make the best content to advertise to your customers with. You do not have to hire a media production company. Simply creating a fun and intriguing commercial to show what your product or service is all about will get consumers excited. However, no matter how great your video is, it will do nothing for your company if you cannot get it in front of enough of the right people. This is where market research, working with school administration, and proper social media marketing all come into play.
3. Sponsor an event or throw one of your own
School clubs and organizations are the easiest way for students to get involved at their college. Colleges love it when someone sponsors their events because it means less money for them to spend. Handing out apparel and flyers are perhaps the cheapest and efficient ways of getting your word out. Also, be sure to have your social media campaign up and running with a list of all the account usernames and any hash tags you may have. This is a great opportunity for you to gain some social media following.