As a generation of students living in an era where technology is starting to develop, millennials and Generation Z should have more opportunities to start their own business more easily. As a millennial student, it is also possible to start a business. Here are the steps to starting a business that you can do.

Doing Your Self-Evaluation

You need to do some planning, set goals, and most importantly know yourself. What strengths do you have? What are your weaknesses? How will this affect day-to-day operations? You can do a SWOT analysis on yourself to find this out.

When you start a business, chances are it will take over your life, so don’t go beyond your skills and make sure what you do is both challenging and fun. You will be in it for a long time. Use what you learn from a SWOT analysis to think about not only what kind of business you want to be, but what your life will be like.

Some good questions to ask yourself include:

  • What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?
  • Is money really that important? Or rather, does making things really matter?
  • What is really important to you?
  • Do you have support from your family, especially your immediate family?
  • Who do you admire in business? There might even be someone in the industry you want to get into. Why do you admire them? What are their pleasant qualities? What can you learn from them?


Improve the Idea You Created Before

Once you know why you want to start a business, you need to find and develop ideas. The odds made sense after self-evaluation. But if you need inspiration, you can check out our library of sample plans to explore different industries, or check out trending ideas for startups. Just thinking you have a great idea and moving on is no longer enough. You should check if this is necessary. You should also start a discussion about whether the idea is sustainable.

Start with a Lean Plan

We’ll go over the specifics of how to explore the market and determine if your idea is a good fit in just a few moments. At this point, we recommend that you consider starting a Lean Plan to help make the rest of the process a lot easier.

A Lean Plan is a simple one-page document that helps you refine your idea. This ensures that you consider your mission and value proposition early on, while also providing structure for the more technical parts of your business. In fact, it will give you the perfect template to tackle the rest of these steps.

Doing Market Research

Once you’ve decided on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, it’s time to evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who are your competitors? This process will help you address your opportunity, value proposition, market size, and competitive part of your Lean Plan.

There are several ways to do this, including:

  • Do a general Google search,
  • Talk to people who are already working in your target industry
  • Read books by people from your industry
  • Researching key people
  • Read relevant industry news sites and magazines
  • Take a class or two (if this is possible).

If you don’t have time to do your research or want a second opinion, there are people you can turn to for help, such as your local government department and SBDC.

Evaluating Your Business Targets

Relying on the current market alone is not enough. You need to know which parts are eligible and actually possible. It’s a good idea to do a market analysis to see how attractive your market projections really are.

It will guide your research as you think about:

  • How urgently do people need what you are selling or offering right now?
  • What is the market size? Have many people already paid for a product or service similar to yours? Have you hone in on who your real target market is? Being specific will help you focus your marketing and investment messages.
  • How easy is it (and how much does it cost) to get customers? If you sell business software, this may require a much larger investment than a coffee shop.
  • How much money and effort will it cost to deliver the value you want to offer?
  • How long will it take to get to the market? A month? a year? Three years?
  • How much upfront investment will you need before you can get started?
  • Will your business continue to be relevant over time? A business that repairs the iPhone X screen will only stay relevant as long as the iPhone X lasts. If your business is only relevant for a certain period of time, you will also want to consider your future plans.

Researching Competition and Competitors

If you wish, you can go a step further and consider consumer needs that are currently not being met by the industry. This is a good time to look at potential competitors. And remember that having competitors is often a good sign! This means that there is already a market for your product or service, so you know there are potential customers willing to spend money on your product or service.