Studies indicate that the number of students who strike out on their own after completing their MBAs is on the rise. It’s very possible that you came to school knowing that you want to be part of an entrepreneurial endeavor. There are many great ways that your MBA can support you as you move forward with your plans to start your business. We’ve got some tips for you as you pursue your entrepreneurial plans!
1. Consider an internship: you may have had plans to pour yourself into your business over the summer, but consider this: this time can provide a unique opportunity to investigate the inner workings of a startup organization. Getting behind the scenes of a fledgling company may provide an amazing perspective regarding what to do – and what not to do – as your company gets off the ground. Are you considering a startup environment but not sure what you might get paid, or concerned about finding the right fit? There are several resources that can help.
2. Build your business plan: it seems obvious, but until you get some of the basic details hammered out, you can’t really know whether your idea is tenable – or what you can do to make it happen. Putting together your business plan will give you the opportunity to step back and take a look at what you’re proposing, even to reconfirm that it still makes sense to you.
3. Test that plan: business plan competitions are a great way to test the idea, giving you a chance to collaborate with classmates (potential future partners!), work out the details of your proposed business, and even earn seed money. Successful entrepreneurs have participated in competitions sponsored by their school, other schools, local cities and states, and startup-focused organizations such as Women 2.0 and the Mentor Capital Network.
4. Look into startup accelerators: these incubators often provide a next step after business plan competitions – an accelerator can help test beta solutions, offer frank advice, and allow you to build relationships with follow-on investors. Competition for slots is fierce – but making your business work will require that kind of intense dedication!