Many young founders start developing their future business idea while still at university. At this stage of life, many still have no family commitments and enough time to invest all their energy in their own vision. It is therefore often a good idea to start your own business straight after college or university. However, because professional independence is so tempting, some founders rush into the business world, encountering problems and hurdles that they could have avoided with better planning. Good preparation is therefore crucial for success. If you already have a promising idea for your business, it's time to start planning properly. Considerations regarding the business model and the structure of the company, financial and financing planning as well as key marketing aspects for a smooth market launch should be taken into account. Translated with (free version)

Existenzgründung nach dem Studium

Market research and preparatory planning

Every start-up begins with a good idea for a product or service that should offer consumers added value. The vision itself is therefore the indispensable foundation, but it requires a sober and critical examination of your own ideas so that the idea can mature into a proper business concept . To do this, you need to understand who might be interested in what you have to offer. The next step is to look at the potential of the previously defined target group. This involves taking into account various aspects that make up your target group. These include income bracket, demographics, geographical location and certain preferences. The next step is to examine possible competitors.

The competitive analysis bundles knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, the respective market shares and the portfolio offered by the competition. All the data collected should be incorporated into a final market analysis in a final step. Surveys and studies provide you with important information about customer needs, trends and the willingness to buy in your sector.


The business plan as a roadmap

Complex and time-consuming analyses are of course only worthwhile if you know how to use the results. The conclusions of your market research should therefore be used to create a well-founded business plan. The business plan is essentially a roadmap for the upcoming company foundation and should provide you with an overview of your project on the one hand and convince investors, lenders or potential business partners of your vision on the other. The business idea must therefore be described clearly and comprehensibly in a business plan. Your goals and strategies should also emerge from the document. This also includes a summary of the results of the market research carried out previously. In addition, details on financing, marketing and sales, personnel planning and the legal framework must be taken into account.


Clarify budgeting and financing

Another core element of any business plan - and therefore good preparation - is the planning of financial resources and requirements. It is important to consider both the costs in the start-up phase of the company and the ongoing expenses during operation. In addition to obvious costs such as rent, salaries and material costs, insurance, taxes and required reserves also play a role. Financial planning is so important that it should be seen as a segment in its own right, without which no start-up can enter the hot phase. In order to estimate turnover as realistically as possible, it often helps to look at the data collected on the business development of competing companies. Like the business plan as a whole, the budget and financial plan serves to convince potential investors of your project.

At the same time, it clarifies how much outside capital may still be needed to get your own business up and running. Traditional corporate loans are still the main source of external financing. In recent years, however, alternatives such as crowdfunding have emerged, which are mainly used by start-ups. Many young entrepreneurs are also much more open to options such as venture capital and business angels than they were a few years ago. Current studies show that around 33% of all SMEs have problems obtaining sufficient start-up financing. A certain degree of openness and diversification across several sources of financing are therefore an advantage.


Take off with networking and target group-oriented marketing

Success is always the result of your own efforts and the right framework conditions. In order to create the best possible starting position, you should start making and consolidating important contacts even before the actual start-up. You can already build up your own network during your studies at internships, industry events and special networking events. There you will come into contact with potential business partners, customers and experienced mentors. It is always important to remember that networking is not a one-way street and that your counterpart also wants to benefit from you. It is therefore worth putting innovative ideas and approaches on a stable footing.

In addition to the preliminary planning already explained, this also includes a suitable marketing strategy. In order to get started with the right campaign, you need to address the target group that has already been defined and analyzed. Here too, you have the opportunity to benefit from analyzing your competitors and the market, as you can identify competitive advantages more quickly. A clear message and the best possible staging of the brand are crucial. However, the reach of your message is just as important nowadays. Never rely on just one marketing channel for this, but also include content marketing and social media. Young companies can only reach their target group with the right marketing mix.