Research has shown that increasing numbers of young adults aspire to own their own business, but recent figures from PolicyBee have shown that 62% of graduates say that their uni never discussed freelancing or self-employment with them. Another 19% say that these matters are not being discussed enough.
If you fancy letting your entrepreneurial spirit have its chance to shine when you finish uni, then now is the time to start planning. As well as ideas about the kind of business you want to establish or the kind of freelancing career that you would like to launch, there are plenty of practical steps you can take.
Where to start
Firstly, you need to think about how to raise your initial funds. Startups can apply for bank loans, turn to angel investors through programmes like the Startup Funding Club and apply for local pots of money – many local councils have small loans or grants available for those looking to start up businesses in their area. Do your research online to find further details in all three cases.
Whichever route you choose, you will need a well written and carefully costed business plan. Business plan templates are available online, so get stuck in and produce your first draft. Running your own business requires a fair amount of self-motivation and working on your business plan is one of the first ways that you can test your commitment to your idea.
Once you have a draft business plan, it’s a good idea to run it by a few professional people. Family friends who run their own businesses are a great resource, so ask around and find some contacts to critique your plan. Remember to thank them suitably as well – they’re giving their time and professional opinions for free, so be appropriately grateful!
How can Collegiate help?
If you’re living in a Collegiate property then you already have the edge over many of your fellow students. Having your own private desk space in your apartment, along with access to study rooms, reading rooms and superfast broadband positions you well for producing your initial business plan. Take advantage of your home’s superior facilities to nurture your entrepreneurial streak to the best of your ability.
Remember, though, to maintain the right work/life balance. It’s important to leave time for relaxation as well as studying and mapping out your entrepreneurial future. Of course with facilities like cinema rooms, gyms and lively common rooms in most Collegiate properties, achieving that perfect work/life balance shouldn’t be too tricky!
Take our brand new Jesmond Apartments Newcastle student accommodation, for example. Not only does the property enjoy fantastic apartments for you to work in, but also both a study room and a designated quiet study room, so whether you’re sketching out the very first ideas about your dream business or working on detailed figures, you can always find the perfect place to do so.
And when it comes to the relaxation side of things, there’s a cinema, private gym, common room, dinner party room and games room all on site. Your uni might not be talking about freelancing and self employment enough yet, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the power and the resources to actively pursue your goals, whatever shape they may take.