Practical Startup Guide for Undergraduate Students
I'm a recent Undergraduate, and I can see my juniors asking the same question as I was in my 1st year ie
"I'm getting so many ideas but don't know how to startup "
I have been through it, started off a couple of Startup companies during college, not so successful though made decent revenues, but learned a lot in the process and also went through few startup incubators, so here are my thoughts from my little experience on how one should approach entrepreneurship being a student.
Let me get some things straight to Stop chasing on ideas, they will just cripple you down with anxiety if you don’t execute on them. First, assess your core capabilities and realize that the greatest strength you have right now is the amount of time you have to try a lot of things, fail at them, and try again while becoming good at the game rather than waiting to bet on a single world-changing idea which takes you nowhere if you don’t develop the necessary skills to execute it. so, be patient and treat this as a long run of execution of simple ideas over and over again.
So, your first plan should be very simple. Look around you, identify a basic problem or a business opportunity that is within your reach and capability, it should be so simple that you should be able to start it in 3 days.
It can be as simple as “on-demand Xerox/Printing service in your college” or “online Tuitions and notes sharing between seniors and juniors” etc. Don’t judge the idea, don’t think about how much money you make on it, just focus completely on making that service/product available to customers.
Use tools like canva.com, design content bombard all over WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Then you will slowly see customers coming in make sure you deliver what you have promised by any means. just concentrate on the marketing and delivering consistently.
At a point After serving quite a few customers, you will realize that it's hard to manage things manually and there are problems with how you operate, here you will know what is ‘scalability’ and its importance. Truly Hustle hard until you feel you really reach this point.
I don’t know what branch you are going to choose in your UG but trust me Tech is the go-to-way to make things scalable. It might be coding a simple website, automation script, or using platforms like WordPress, etc. think of simple ways in which you can replace parts of your manual work by using tech that you built.
It takes time to figure this out and to learn it, with patience, you can learn anything for free right out there on the internet(tutorials, free courses, udmey, etc), and the best part once you learn tech you will see how easy is it to do things that you previously thought not possible or unthought-of and you will become better at ideation here on. doing an Internship at a growing startup would also help.
Try implementing the tech that you built for the same idea, improve It week by week, be patient you got all the time, don't stop on improving.
At this is the point where you should also get theoretical, read and apply lean startup methodologies, how to use Business model canvas and other stuff like making a pitch deck, etc which you will get to know eventually anyway. These and the basic tech skills are absolute essentials you have to do it by yourself and Don't waste time in searching for a cofounder so you can delegate things, least not at this stage.
No matter what, Things may go wrong for many reasons and you might have to stop, just access the situation and know when to give up.
At this point in time, you need to have a fail-fast attitude but remember the learnings, and repeat the same on another simple idea, just follow the framework :
- Don’t overthink the idea
- Launch the idea in less than 3 days
- See the progress and think of ways to make it incrementally better by something that you develop
- Try to improve It consistently
Trust me by doing this you will develop a very good intuition, which I believe is most important and can only be attained by experience.
There are no right or wrong ways, you just have to figure out by yourself by not staying idle...keep working and I wish you all the best.
want to discuss more? please reach out @ linktr.ee/SavvyMechanic