It’s an encouraging time to be a university graduate.
Figures from the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) have revealed a graduate unemployment rate of just 5.3%, the lowest for graduates since 1989. In fact, only three years in the last four decades have seen lower rates of unemployment among university grads.
While this is music to the ears for new graduates, many are likely to take a bit of time to determine exactly what it is they want to do, although this report paints a promising picture for those worried about their employment prospects once their university days are over.
But what of those keen to start their own business?
According to Luke Johnson, a renowned investor and chairman of the Centre for Entrepreneurs: “Starting a business is easier, quicker and cheaper than ever thanks to new technology … traditional jobs for life have largely disappeared, as have occupational pensions.”
With this in mind, what do university graduates need to know before starting a business?
1. The importance of a degree
Starting your own company not only involves turning an idea into a product or a service you can sell, but also understanding the various risks and benefits, as well as the often complex web of financial hoops you’ll need to jump through to get your dream off the ground.
Whether you’ve already qualified with an Accounting and Finance BSc or you’re looking to get into university while at work through a provider like Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning, the transferable skills gleaned from a degree will prove invaluable when it comes to making important decisions to ensure the prosperity of your firm.
2. The value of funding
In the beginning, every new business must raise enough cash to cover costs and to make sure the firm doesn’t crash and burn in a smouldering heap after a couple of months—so this is where you must know your bank loans from your grants and your angel investors from devilish loan sharks.
While many modern startups rely on crowdfunding to get their idea on wheels, you’re often better heading to your friendly bank manager and securing funding the traditional way. Alternatively, consider asking friends and family for backing until you’re turning a profit.
3. The need for support
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself, swaggering into the boardroom like a pumped up Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos, confidently silencing doubters with a swish of your cape and a PowerPoint presentation that would blow the socks off any highflying executive.
But the reality is often very different.
To make it in the business world, you need a solid network of friends and family, as well as other entrepreneurs you can lean on for support and advice when things, as they will, seem to be spiralling out of control.
What do you think?
Agree? Disagree? Let us know your own tips for starting a business straight out of university—we’d love to hear from you.