5 Start-up Rules and Options for MBA Students
Starting a business enterprise is not as easy, even for an MBA student. On several occasions, I have seen lots of students change their careers from their currently employed jobs to venture into starting their own businesses. The US is rated number 22 in best countries to start a business which means there’s still great potential in starting one. Denmark is at the top of the list with other countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Canada and the UK. For an MBA and an international student, there’s just a lot to consider. You need to have an idea, though not so brilliant, which you will share with the right kind of people. These should be able to guide you through the whole process. Here are some points worth noting before venturing into this life-changing venture.
- 1. Find all you can about the idea
You must have a very clear idea about what you want to start. Of course, you wouldn’t engage in very technical jobs which require specialized skills that you currently lack. You’d want to remain relevant and provide solutions to an existing market gap. Do lots of research. Inform others about your idea and gather their feedback on the thoughts. You’ll be surprised how much information you’ll collect that you didn’t know about. Don’t shun the positive criticism that you get out there. It will enlighten you and enable you to see things from another perspective. Your idea doesn’t have to be as brilliant as many starter entrepreneurs think. It just has to be feasible. Large multinational companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple also started small. Amazon was started in a garage and has now grown to be the leading online retailer. Its founder, Bezos sold his ever first copy of a book at their garage.
- Take your well-researched idea to your college/university department
Its tie you make use of those student support programs at the university. Take your idea to the department and ask for guidance. These people have enough experience to tell you whether your idea is doable or not. Keep them updated because you may need some extra help when it comes to legal issues concerning start-ups. For international students, there’s an even greater need for you to inform the relevant departmental heads since you might be required to go through more legal processes before your application for starting a business is accepted. You might be required to join some program such as OPT (Optional practical training) in which you can then upgrade your visa from the F1 to an E2 visa later on.
- Professional help
At this point, you’re now sure that you want to start a business. You have gathered all relevant information from your peers, guardians and close family members. It’s time you heard from a professional point of view. As Neightan White, the founder of SupremeDissertations.com said: “Look for eligible persons in the university, entrepreneurs and other similar-minded persons who have gone through the hassle of starting up a business”. Ask for their opinions on your idea, possible flaws, different suggestions and finally the legal procedures required. Don’t forget to ask for business connections. You’ll need a following after starting a business. Having some connections will help you gather some leads, clients and associates after a while.
- Legal considerations
When it comes to starting a student related business in college, there must be some legal considerations needed. The university authority may allow you, but the law won’t allow you to run a business on a student visa. You need to fill the required documentation and follow the legal process in doing so. This mostly applies to international students. You can start by visiting the student support officials to guide you on the right path. For example, international students studying in the UK use a tier 4 visa. They’re required to upgrade this to a tier 4 graduate entrepreneur visa which enables them to start businesses as they wind up school. In the US, immigration laws have zero restrictions on immigrants starting a business. However, F1 and H-1B visa holders are limited from conducting any business. What you do in such a case is apply for the OPT program which will allow you to work in certain fields (medicine and dentistry excluded) so that you can get your visa upgraded. You also need to show the acquired legal documents such as licenses, permits. The bad thing is that you’ll only be restricted to work within your field of study or a related one. However, in the event that you can’t access such a program, you can only be a shareholder of a start-up. Depending on the amount of money you intend to start with, you might need a different category of visa. Ensure you know the right one for you.
- Plan and get started.
After passing through all these processes, it’s time to sit and think ahead. Make a plan for each and every minute detail. Develop contingency plans for those unfortunate occurrences. Most people fail by ignoring the need for a plan.
By now, I hope you already have a group of two or three members whom you’ve been working with on various projects or even your main idea. It’s time you incorporated them in your startup. These should be your look-alikes, with similar goals, ideas and determination in life. They will also help you network and hire the first bunch of smart minds to take your business to the next level. Whether it’s an online gaming platform, a reseller hosting account or some new tech that you have just developed, you’ll need some capital to invest. It’s time you implemented your plans and made that big dream come true!
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