September 17, 2020, by Leah Sharpe
From Graduate to Entrepreneur
By Ava Neilson
The world of business is changing. The way that business works and especially the impact of the internet has made working as an entrepreneur a much more viable option for everyone – especially graduates who have honed their entrepreneurial skills over time.
Being entrepreneurial is a talent that some people are born with, but training and studying can also give you the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge to be a highly successful entrepreneur.
Why become an entrepreneur?
With the uncertainty that we are seeing in the job market at the moment, now is a good time to be thinking outside the box when it comes to careers and being entrepreneurial. Use your time at university to start learning what is required to be an entrepreneur, how the business world works, and possibly gaining experience in the industry that you are thinking about going into.
The Ingenuity Lab at the University is a great place to start and you can become a free member whether you are a student or graduate.
Even if you haven’t studied a subject linked to business, you will have picked up skills that can help you with your entrepreneurial endeavours:
- Being used to working on your own
- Developing and presenting your own ideas
- The ability to use your initiative
- Having an open mind, an ability to look to the future and adaptability
- Planning and organisational skills
If you have recently graduated, you are in the perfect position to launch your life as an entrepreneur. If you have a seed of an idea that you are looking to grow, here are some of the aspects that you will need to consider that can help you on your quest.
As a graduate, it’s highly likely that you won’t have an abundance of spare cash lying around, but fear not, there is a wealth of free resources available to you.
1. Business bank accounts
Opening a business bank account is essential. It allows you to keep your business’s finances separate from your personal ones (useful for calculating tax and claiming expenses, for example), as well as being useful for budgeting.
According to Informi, experts in advising small businesses, “Many start-up owners open a business current account at the bank where they have their personal current account. This can be the quickest and easiest option, but it may not be the best choice when opening a business current account”.
Instead, you should compare the free bank accounts that are available, to choose the best one for you and your business.
The internet is an excellent resource for researching, as long as you ensure that you read around your subject. Always look for reliable, multiple sources of information, and you will almost certainly be able to find out information about everything from your specific business field, to business plan templates or the importance of digital marketing. You can find experts giving you free advice and the most successful entrepreneurs in business looking to share information through articles and blog posts.
If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us it’s the value of communications technology. You can now speak to people for the price of your internet connection through platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and many others. This means that you can avoid paying high phone bills and stop worrying about the amount of time that you are talking for. Email is another excellent and free resource that you can use.
There is also a plethora of other free resources, from mailing list managers and data organisers to market research platforms.
4. Start-up loans
Of course, we would all like to be able to start our own businesses without the need to take out a loan. However, for many people, having the money to start their own business is challenging, especially if you have just graduated from university!
A UK government start-up loan can give you the money that you need, as well as help with writing your business plan and free mentoring for a year. The only criteria for applying is that you are over 18, live in the UK, and are planning on starting a business in the UK.
Thinking of setting up your own business? Your starting point should be the University’s Ingenuity Lab with free membership for students and graduates. Our website also has additional information on support beyond the University.
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