What do the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Richard Branson have in common? Well the fact that they dreamt of their future in college and passionately turned dream into their living reality. College students are brimming with a lot of possibilities and ideas. True, completing college is important, but signing off someone’s idea of innovation just because he/ she is still in college is a mistake. The business world has evolved thanks to people who made it a point to show the world that people can make it BIG and turn to live grand a reality while still in college. There are many budding entrepreneurs, innovators or maybe simple looking geeks with world changing ideas in colleges today who do not know how to put their plan on paper. It is quite natural. The business world is quite intimidating for those who have always stayed on the consumer side. Moreover the fear of carefully strung dreams being shattered is one concern that keeps these starry-eyed potential students in the safety of their comfort zone. For those students who know that they have it in them and believe that they can rub shoulders with the big boys of business on the basis of their passion, here is a list of financial tips that can help them turn their dream into a tangible reality.
1. Intellectual Property:
Intellectual Property is not something that lawyers draft on a piece of paper. It is a person’s complete life’s effort put on paper. A person starting out into the world with an idea is vulnerable to businesses trying to buy it, copy it or work with it. What makes the person with the idea a hero is the intellectual property law.
It is important that students write down every idea they have had along with the date. If one is having a business conversation on an idea professionally it is important that one save all the emails and time-stamp the documents to safeguard originality.
2. Make Use of the Support in College:
While in college students have the access to the experts in the fields of law, business, etc. Make use of the support that you find in college. Get help from your business professor to write a business plan or let the professor of law look at the intellectual property document. Entrepreneurs need to pay quite a lot of money for these tasks because they no longer have the free support that they had at college.
3. Look for Grants:
The university is full of possibilities for student entrepreneurs and college business ideas with options like grants, etc. Look out for opportunities to avail of grants.
4. Credit Rating:
It is good to have a credit card in your name early on but it is also important that you keep a check on your credit card rating. Having a great credit card report works well in the future when asking for business loans. Make sure that you stay on top of credit card payments. It is important to remember that you do not max out your credit card score or make late payments. It is also important that you choose the correct credit card. There are those credit cards that are designed for students. Credit cards like these can give access to a line of credit that is valuable to an entrepreneur. Look for credit cards that has no annual fee attached to it and has a good cashback offer.
5. Maximise College Connections:
College is a platform that allows you to make great long lasting connections. Maximise your college connections. It is great to be able to have a professor of a reputed college as an advisory of your small business. It will add value to your start-up. How can one go about building connections?
Create cross-departmental networks with students, from your college. Try to connect with them on the basis of your business plans. Show them how it all connects.
Connecting while in college will help you to use important people for marketing, references and support once when you start off working professionally.
6. Start a Retirement Plan while In College:
Yes, you heard it right. Make a retirement plan while you are still in college. Entrepreneurs do not have the benefit of getting a pension or a retirement fund from a company. Saving on early can help you to have a great retirement fund by the time you actually need it. This will also help you to keep you financial worries away while you plan for your business growth.
7. Open a Business Account:
It is important that you keep your business and personal funds separate. If you have a plan to be an entrepreneur it is important that you have a business account opened early on. It is not difficult to open a bank account. One also do not require to keep a minimum balance in it. It is important to inculcate the habit to have separate personal and business accounts early on from college. This would help one to manage their finances well.
Tracking everything is important to maintain a good financial management. Inculcate the habit to track everything starting from expenses to funds that have been used for business, borrowed or lent. This can help you to know exactly where your money goes, where you need to cut down on expenses and how much fund you have with you for business.
Dreaming of great future is good but it is important that one has all the necessary materials needed to make that dream materialise. The business world is very competitive and it is wise only to start with enough wisdom to thrive. One might have the best of ideas and the brilliant mind but success is not guaranteed in the business world with just that. Arm yourself with these financial tips and give your dreams a chance to materialise in the business world.