how to start a business

As a student, you are young and inexperienced, unlike the third age (50-65) whose start-up enterprises tend to reflect their experiences in particular industries, your idea will most likely be fresh and new that can seem non-starter to most people.
Remember principal-agent problem! as a business owner, you are the principal that has invested the cash, own or otherwise in a business not a hobby, you watch your investment with anxious vigilance, it is not fun but a continuous time-consuming, physically and mentally draining process, there is also a question on whether you have got what it takes to be an entrepreneur, boffins at many universities have conducted countless research to determine whether entrepreneurs are born or made, do not ever bother try to find out whether you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur as the fact is; It is the forces of either opportunity or necessity that corners people into becoming entrepreneurs, when either force strikes it will bring out the courage you never knew you had.

Having read all the above, do not let these facts and statistics make you feel less confident, enthusiastic or positive about your business idea. Just remember, 'having a good business idea is one thing, transforming it into a good business is another', unlike start-ups of the times when W.K. Kellogg and his brother John accidentally flaked wheat berry and created the delicious recipe for Kellogg's Corn Flakes or William Procter and James Gamble that met by chance through marriage started a bold new enterprise - P & G and so forth where a new business used to move through distinct stages of growth namely local, national and international; today, thanks to communications and information revolution, a 21st century start-up can easily leapfrog these stages and go global more or less right away - facing a whole new set of complex problems and challenges that comes with running a business across different cultures and ways of doing it respectively, meaning, you need more knowledge, that said you do not need a Masters of business Administration degree, solid grasp of business basics and information will do just fine.

To learn more, use the links below:
  1. Business basics
  2. Business information
For inspiration from a non-starter that proved doubters wrong, lesson from a start up that leapfroged growth stages, use the links below:
  1. non-starter
  2. leapfrog

Stage I: Market research your idea

Never rely entirely on assumptions and intuition. Before you commit your resources of time and money, thoroughly market research your start up concept/idea to see if is viable, use sources below for secondary research and your own primary research respectively.

  1. market reports
  2. research questionnaires

Stage II: Starting up Matters of the Law

Regardless of age, as a business owner, understanding all matters of the law is more important than anything else as ignorance of the law is no excuse in Latin 'ignorantia juris non excusat', to learn a lesson on how costly ignorance of the law can be and all the information you need to set up a business, use the links below.

  1. lesson
  2. setting up

Stage III: Business Plan

Generally speaking, written business plan is not a must, the only exception is when you want to open a business account, raise equity from investors or borrow capital. Still, it is a good idea to have a written business plan so you can keep track of what is happening.
Use the links below to guide you through business plan writing:
  1. How to write a business plan
  2. Your Business Plan Guide

Further support for young entrepreneurs
If you are still at university or college, you can approach the admistration and ask! Most of them do run enterprise programmes or provide start-up support to their students, if not there is plenty of support for young business owners from the age of 18 to 30 from various sources in different shapes and forms, from grants, business loans, mentoring and so forth.
The two sources on the list below have many years of experience is supporting young entrepreneurs.
  1. Shell livewire
  2. Prince's Trust

Depending on your business idea, you might come across the old school folks that just don't get it, is best therefore to have someone that understand your idea as a mentor!

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