7 Tips for Launching a Startup From Your Dorm

7 Tips for Launching a Startup From Your Dorm
  • Opening Intro -

    Now is a better time than ever to get into the entrepreneurial spirit as a college student.

    In the past, business owners were expected to have years of experience to score a chance of working with an investor.

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These days, young people are encouraged to think outside the box and investors are increasingly turning to college campuses to attract innovative and growing talent. Long gone are the days where you were required to have a diploma in your hands before you could take action. Today, you can start a business right from your dorm room. Think of all the entrepreneurs who started businesses while still in college.

Here’s how you can get started:

Consider Consumer Need

Research is critical before you make any official business moves. Statistically speaking, half of all businesses will fail within the first five years of businesses, and startups are even more risky.

The majority of businesses fail because there was no market need for their product or service. Not only will you need to ascertain that there’s a market for your offerings, but you need to be talking to your market demographic as early as possible.

Cost-Saving Tips

As a college student, chances are you’re on a budget. This means you don’t have the finances to consider overhead expenses that a traditional company would. Instead, you’ll have to find creative cost-saving tips to launch your startup on a lean budget.

First and foremost, take a look at the resources you already have. Use your college libraries, meeting spaces, and clubs to organize working sessions and buckle down.

And all businesses need websites; if you’ve already some digital real estate, consider moving things around. For example, you could transfer your domain instead of paying too much for bad service or low storage. Overall, set a budget for yourself to keep your business on track and always keep a record of your expenses.

Be As Virtual As Possible

Dorm room startups don’t have the luxury of space and time. You can forget about piling your dorm with products; things will quickly get out of hand. For this reason, it’s important to be practical. Instead of jumping straight into e-commerce, why not start with dropshipping to avoid inventory pileups? Use as many digital tools as you can, from cloud-based project management platforms to online CRMs and marketing systems.

Get a Mentor

One of the best things about starting a business in college is the plethora of mentorship opportunities available to you. Use this to your advantage. You might find that your business class professors will be happy to guide and advise you as you navigate the tricky waters of startup business.

Apply for Incubators

Incubator programs are the perfect way to help grow your business, and there are many programs that take place over the summer between semesters.

Incubators provide you with early startup cash, space to work, mentorship and networking opportunities, and connections to investors.

With the rise in startups, there are more incubators than ever, and you’d be surprised to find that there could be some local programs as well.

Many of the products and services you know and love—from Dropbox to Reddit to Airbnb—participated in incubator programs to accelerate their growth.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s important that every entrepreneur remain realistic in their visions—especially when they have to focus on school at the same time. Without a good business sense, you could easily run your business to the ground.

For example, Jason Huertas, who launched a startup from his dorm room called Critica, found that he struggled remaining successful because of unrealistic expectations. When he secured funding while still at university, he went on to hire many other people to help him grow the business fast, and didn’t pay attention to the advice others were giving him. Hiring fast isn’t often a good business practice, and can set your funds back pretty far.

other valuable tips:

Don’t Let Your Startup Rule You

When you start getting that initial traction, it can be exciting enough to shift your focus. The key lies in finding the ideal work-life balance. Focusing too much on your startup could cause you to fail your classes and risk your education.

Although your ultimate goal is to build your startup into a profitable standalone machine, you need a safety and insurance net—without your degree, bouncing back from a failed startup will be much more difficult. Set boundaries for yourself and remember that balance is key.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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