BENGALURU : If you are a student, then you are in an amazing place to do a start-up. Never in your life ever will you get so many people around you who will work for you just for friendship and not for money. If your college isn’t hectic, then it is the perfect time to seize the opportunity and make friends with your first entrepreneurial instinct. But before you do, here is a small handbook to help you how to structure your three/ four years of college: In your first year, be a part of hobbies clubs/ different clubs of your campus. Contribute to them and learn from them. In your second year, be a part of a venture incubated at your campus. You have people who are as smart as you, if not more and definitely more experienced in your campus – use this opportunity to learn from them.
In your third (and fourth) year, jump on your own startup. If you need help for building products/ websites/ sales mechanism/ social media promotion – the entire student community around you will be there to help you! Convinced? If yes, then read ahead! Here is how to start:
Take up service orders: We have discussed this in detail last month. If you start as offering services for other businesses, you will be getting money in your startup account to fund your product initiatives. Make a cash flow rich business: If you want to be in product business, then enter with a product line that goes out of shelves faster. (This might take some market surveys and hit and try from your side).
The quicker the sales, the quicker you will get your cash back and the quicker you will be able to invest it in your business. Price the products in a way that you will start relishing profitability once you hit a certain achievable scale (For eg. 500 units a month run-rate). We understand that by just selling few units you will never be able to recover the fixed costs and thus scale will be a key factor.
Now that we know how to self-fund a start-up, there are three important pointers, you should keep in mind so that you do not exhaust the funds you generate from (1) or (2) steps mentioned above:Work with your college friends – Unlike a corporate company, all the expertise is lying around in your college dorms. Make sure you knock their doors and give them some work. You won’t find cheaper talented interns anywhere else;) Save and plan in advance – You might get unexpected hiccups and road-jams. Plan and keep aside some money to avoid these troubles. Keep evaluating feedbacks on your products, improve and launch the newer version. Happy Bootstrapping Students! Rajeev Tamhankar is founder of TBS Planet Comics (www.TBSPlanet.com)