Editor’s Note: Sponsored Content
Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship is certainly a thrilling experience, and a lot of new grads are foregoing the traditional trajectory of getting a job at a company. There are plenty of opportunities for new entrepreneurs. You can even have a bit of success. However, the path is not always clear. Young entrepreneurs will need to learn from both wins and failures, since wins are fewer than failures for entrepreneurs.
The great news is that you can begin before you graduate from Palomar College. This allows you to plan methodically before taking the leap. And once you do take the entrepreneurial leap, your chances of success are higher. But hard work still remains regardless of how much you plan.
“Although they may be confident in their decision to forge his or her own, uncharted path to successful business ownership, prosperity is not guaranteed,” John Eades explained in an Inc. article. “The risks, roadblocks, and psychological challenges involved are enough to deter even the most confident entrepreneur with the best product offering.”
There’s also a pretty big learning curve if you want to be a well-rounded entrepreneur. For example, you definitely need a bit of business acumen, but also need to know about marketing and basic website optimization like WordPress site speed.
Lots to learn for sure. The following three post-graduation entrepreneur tips can serve as your quick guide. Let’s dive in!
Do you know what the number one reason startups fail? No market. Not having a market is a strategy for disaster. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to identify if a market for your entrepreneurial idea exists.
Pretty much anyone can become an entrepreneur. All you need is an idea and a few hundred dollars for a domain, WordPress website, and theme. Becoming a successful and savvy entrepreneur is a different story. And it all begins with identifying your market. For example, if you have a product to sell, market test and see who will buy it, and if they actually would.
One major mistake many entrepreneurs make is thinking their market is everyone on the planet. It is better to have 1,000 loyal customers with a few hundred thousand more waiting to be introduced to your product than waiting for everyone to buy your idea.
So how do you market test? First you will need an idea and about $450 to invest in market testing your idea. First, create a simple landing page for your product or service and launch it. Next, sign up for Google AdWords, do detailed keyword search for your product or service and run ads for $50 a day for seven days.
On the landing page, you will have an email capture or checkout page to track potential sales. If your potential sales minus your cost to produce and ship the product are more than the money you used for ads, you may have a winner.
You may have a great entrepreneurial idea, but don’t rest on your laurels. It is critical to gain as much knowledge from as many sources as possible to ensure your startup, product, service, and entrepreneur endeavors are successful. Once you identify a market, it is time to learn.
Networking is important for entrepreneurs and there are a lot of places online and offline to make networking a priority. You can start your online networking with LinkedIn. There are actually knowledgeable entrepreneurs that are listed as mentors you can reach out to for advice on LinkedIn.
If you are still on campus, utilize the wealth of professors, administrators, and peers to build your knowledge and network as well. Podcasts, Udemy courses, YouTube audio books, and more are all useful when trying to gain more knowledge in a particular field or industry.
There are certainly a lot of skills you will need to have in your entrepreneur toolbox. None are as important as marketing. Marketing in the traditional sense is definitely good, but be aware of new marketing trends being discussed, and strive to be a teacher, not simply a marketer.
Being able to market your products and/or services effectively is of course necessary for growth and success. But becoming a marketing mastermind also allows you to understand the ins and outs of growing your startup too. This is very important.
If you are considering entrepreneurship post-graduation, the above tips may serve useful in those early stages. However, these are not the end all when it comes to honing your entrepreneurial skill set. Always be learning, be humble, grow, and seek advice from your network. You may be surprised how quickly you become comfortable as a savvy entrepreneur.
- Palomar Commencement 2017 Graduation: Joe Dusel/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved