Becoming an entrepreneur or starting a business is hard under any circumstances. Thereafter, becoming an entrepreneur under student loan debt is a much more difficult journey. As soon as you graduate, you’d be inclined to either start working under a company or start your own business. Whichever the case, you must remember that you have to pay off your student loan debt along with it. So, it is very essential to establish a lifestyle that is inclusive of your student loan repayment plan while sustaining enough energy and money for dream persuasion.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into smaller manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Here are some tips to keep in mind while starting your entrepreneurial journey while under student loan debt.
Learn some essential business strategies
The first step before starting your business is to ensure that you understand the financial basics. From making a coherent business plan to constructing and managing a budget for your business, there are several intricacies that you must tackle right out of the gate. So make sure you understand the basics of day-to-day business operations before starting a business.
Manage your personal expenses
Irrespective of your entrepreneurship venture, you should have a strategy in place to curb down your personal expenses so you can easily pay your impending student loan EMI and handle your other bills as well. Following a strict budget, making lifestyle sacrifices like taking on a roommate, cutting meals out and extraneous expenses can help you save a lot of money that you can use to invest in your business or in repaying your debt.
Create a debt plan
A debt plan is very crucial in order to effectively maintain your student loan repayment. Before jumping headlong into building a business, it is very important to take some time to review your student loan debt and overall financial condition and then decide the course of action to repay the debt. If you don’t have your finances right, take 2-3 years off to build some savings and then start out on your business.
Leverage the expertise of others
Forge a relationship with business owners & serial entrepreneurs to get some core insights into industry trends, marketing strategies and growth hacks.
Seek out business financing
An idea can be your brainchild but you don’t have to raise it on your own. You can always look for a partner who’s cash ready so as to gain an edge while starting up your business. Most investors will be interested in becoming equal partners in return for bankrolling your venture whereas there will be people from your family & friends circle who would be willing to invest without expecting any stake in your company.
Time Management is the key to success. Schedule your 40+ hours of day job at first. Make sure in between the interstitial moments like in the shower, while running errands or exercising, you are thinking about your startup so that you can gain an advantage in planning, organising and strategizing your day to day business operations.
Bottom Line -
There should be a deep sense of responsibility and perseverance while starting out any business venture. Many IIM/IIT graduates don’t jumpstart a company right after college because of their ongoing student loan debt. This is the reason why these grads start out with entrepreneurial ventures 5-7 years after graduation. The idea here is to pay off your debt before any dream persuasion. It is possible to tackle student loan debt and start out with your business at the same time, but this will require more time, energy and passion out of you. The hardest part is to acclimate yourself to a rigid schedule and working as a lifestyle. You have to make sure you have enough money out of your job to pay out your debts and your expenses at large. Thereafter, it is just until the steady income from your emerging startup company can replace your salary so that you can pay off your debt from your startup instead of your job.
‘Don’t set business goals and then try to build a lifestyle around those goals … Build a set of life goals and then try to build a business that supports that lifestyle’ - Brad Sugars