Being self employed can be a very rewarding and exciting thing to do. But it can also be stressful and many businesses fail in the first two years. What can you do to increase the chance that your business is one that thrives?
Right at the beginning - think about why you want to do this and identify the gaps in your knowledge. A useful strategy can be to defer running your own business for a couple of years and go and work in one similar to one you’d like to have and learn from both their successes and their mistakes. When you are ready to go it alone then good planning and a sound financial base are key to success. Many good ideas turn out not to be profitable, often through poor pricing and control of costs. You also have to generate a market for your product and selling is demanding. If you are passionate about your idea – are you as passionate about persuading others to buy it?
Once you are sure that this is what you want to do then there is a lot of information around to help you get started and much of it is free.
In the Careers Service we have both reference materials and information to take away, in our Special Interest section.
If you would like to try out being an entrepreneur whilst you are at university, or just develop your business skills further, the Student Enterprise team offers a range of activities and initiatives. They can advise on sources of funding your business idea or highlight the opportunities available to give running a business a go, often as part of a team in a national competition. Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Nigel Biggs, has started two businesses, is active in local business support, runs seminars on Starting Businesses and is available for 1-to-1 interviews. Contact Nigel on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Enterprise Centre and Studio offer office and retail space for new businesses to run from. There is a number of events and workshops on offer throughout the year, run in conjunction with the Careers Service, offering Enterprise skills training. See the Careers Service What's On and Student Enterprise events pages for more information. Don’t forget about Enactus and Surrey Entrepreneurs, two societies for enterprising students.
If you would like to start your Enterprise journey, contact Tracy Hampton, Project Coordinator email@example.com.
The University of Surrey has its own Crowdfunding platform for societies and causes to raise money. For more information about this or Studio, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In addition, please see the useful links and resources section for more good sources of information.