After graduating from college all the doors are open to start your own venture, however there is one thing left in your way — student loans. Despite student debt being at a record high, there are still ways to start a business and still make your student loan payment.
Here are some cost effective tips to consider to get your business off the ground:
1) Refinance your student loans. Current market interest rates are at an all-time low and refinancing is the perfect way to reduce your monthly payment. If you are worried about not qualifying, ask a parent or relative to cosign the loan for you. Refinancing can reduce your repayment significantly, leaving you with more cash to start your business.
2) Find a job. Just because you are starting a company doesn’t mean you can afford not to work. Try to find a job with flexible hours so you can still make necessary calls during the day and grow your business. Don’t feel like you have to rush and invest all your time in the new venture – being financially stable is more important.
3) Do the math. Avoid getting caught in the idea of a company and find the true value in your idea. Crunch the numbers to see if the idea is feasible on a limited budget. It is okay to start the business in a different direction to gain attention and later switch into what you want when the time is right. Be patient and wait to expand when everything is well in place.
4) Avoid taking out loans. Worrying about your student debt is enough, there is no need to ruin your credit or bite off more than you can chew. Loans should be avoided at all cost as well as amounting credit card debt. You do not want to start off on the wrong foot, staying financially stable is crucial.
5) Use social media. There is plenty of social media out there to help get your business off the ground. See if you can create a social following as a test to your business idea. Try using Facebook and Twitter to promote your business. LinkedIn is also a great place to find other interested in similar ideas.
6) Use inexpensive software. If you are looking to build a website, consider WordPress as an inexpensive site to host. Other companies like Crowdspring can help you brand your business at a competitive price. There is probably software for any business related task, ask around to see what may work best for you.
7) Have a cofounder. Working with someone who believes in the product is the best type of help to have. Starting a business with someone else will help split all of the costs as well as diversify the talents on the team. There is no reason to start a company on your own; it is always beneficial to have someone to bounce ideas off as well.
8) Hire Freelancers. Freelancers are a great way to get an extra pair of hands and your company out on the market. Try to get a couple college interns as well, they will appreciate the experience and can help you save a lot of money. Once the company has reached stability, hiring full time can be considered.
9) Try not to rent. Throwing away money to rent an office space is not the best idea. The money could be better spent on employees and contributions that will affect the outcome of the company. If you have to work from your parent’s home or from your apartment, be creative and make the space workable to save a ton of money.
10) Start a crowdfunding campaign. Kickstarter is a great place to spread your ideas and see how your product offering compares. With a little bit of money and creativity you can crowd fund your project and give yourself some starting capital to get started.
11) Hard work. The business is not going to build itself. Time, patience and enthusiasm will play a critical role in creating success. Work hard and be smart with your money to make your dreams become a reality.
Jimmy works on the Marketing and Growth team at Credible, helping craft compelling content for users and partners, while executing strategies to grow our user base. After receiving a degree in Biochemistry, he traveled to Greece as a Fulbright Scholar to conduct clinical research at the University of Athens Medical School.