5 student-friendly ways you can go from idea to startup

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As a budding entrepreneur, ideas will keep coming to you whether you do something about them or not. You are just wired that way; so you might as well make that idea happen with these steps:

● Start where you are with what you have: As a student, you may not have enough time or money. That’s normal. But you can still start with what you have. Can you start offering something for free? Or could you volunteer with an organisation to gain more experience? Can you collaborate with friends to minimise the risk? Start exploring now.

● Do your research: In true entrepreneur style, you may be tempted to jump in straight away. Hold on. Have you done your research? Yes, your idea is great and will solve a problem, but you have to test that theory first. Speak to your potential customers or fellow students. Will they buy from you? How much are they willing to pay? Sites like surveymonkey, google forms and facebook are good starting points. Start doing your research, and save yourself the heartache in the near future.

● Set small targets and grind. When you hear the story of all successful entrepreneurs, it looks very glamorous. Remember, it all starts with grinding. Many of these tech giants started in garages and hustled their way up. It is doable. Don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do, not to mention exams, projects, and lectures. Set 3 business related tasks a day and record it in a notepad or phone. Every night tick off the tasks you complete. In a few months see how much progress you would have made.

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● Have a laser focus. This may be the toughest for most entrepreneurs. But without that focus, you will be flying in all directions with limited resources and possibly getting nowhere. As you stretch yourself thin, you limit your effectiveness. An example is Google starting with a search engine initially and slowly working their way to world domination. The take home here is to get good at one thing first before using that as an anchor to tackle the next opportunity.

● Hold on to your passion. Remember your ‘why’. Business is tough and really is a labour of love. Starting up can be lonely and challenging but very fulfilling as you achieve your successes. Celebrate them. It is important to keep reminding yourself of why you started and the impact you want to make. This tip will help you keep your vision going where others have quit.

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