Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. Larry Page. Sergey Brin. They share more than a few enviable accomplishments. They’re billionaires, they made their fortunes in tech and they started their businesses while they were still students. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re seriously smart cookies.
However you slice it, they’re all living proof that you don’t have to wait until after graduation to launch your own business. And, as is the case for Gates and Zuckerberg, you might not have to graduate at all (though, to be clear, we’re not advocating for dropping out).
If you’re considering becoming a student entrepreneur, just like any other endeavor you undertake, you should have a clear plan — not something like a half-assed term paper hobbled together the night before it’s due. Researching the steps needed to successfully bootstrap a business from your dorm room is key.
Here’s a six-step snapshot of the basics of starting up. At first glance, it looks easy, but, as many student entrepreneurs will attest, it’s very challenging, especially while juggling a course load and keggers:
- Evaluate your business skills, knowledge and goals.
- Find the business idea that suits you best.
- Research your competitors (and prepare to crush them).
- Make a stellar business plan.
- Seek out a helpful mentor.
- Register your business, open up shop and rock it.
Luckily the people behind the U.K.-based Westminster Bridge Student Accommodation and Urbanest Student Accommodation have neatly packed specific, actionable instructions pertaining to each of the above steps into the helpful infographic below. We couldn’t help but notice that a good chunk of the information visualized within it hails from our very own wordsmiths, right here at Entrepreneur.com.
From inception to launch, here’s how to start up while you’re still a student. Good luck!