Posted: Mon 9th Jun 2014
We caught up with Richard Hurtley, founder of Rampant Sporting and now Chairman of UKFT Rise at last week's Fashion Exchange and he shared with us his top tips for students considering starting up their own business.
Richard set up Rampant Sporting whilst still at university, turning down a 21st birthday present and asking for Â£1000 in seed capital instead. He spent his degree printing invoices in the library whilst building a successful fashion brand around the one thing he was an expert at - being a student.
1. What do you want to get out of University? - "If I had wanted a first, I wouldn't have done this", it's important to bear in mind where the business will sit in your priorities. Are you driven enough to be filling out tax returns and completing orders whilst your friends are partying?
2. Have a good idea, "if your idea isn't good in the first place, however good you are at executing it, it isn't a viable business"
3. Only put in money that you are prepared to loose - "I didn't see it as much of a risk, I was prepared to lose my initial Â£1000, and for me it was just an investment" Some students spend thousands of pounds on a business degree, but Richard tells me the experience you can gain from spending that same amount of money and getting "hands on experience" can't be beaten.
4. What are you going to study? - "I did a general degree, History and Politics, but I never felt that I lacked business knowledge" he adds "You don't need to be a business strategist to have a successful business" and even if you do need the more specific business knowledge, "it's easy enough to bring people in", it's all about complementing your skill set.
5. Get your university to support you - "universities are a great place to go if you're after grants", being a student provides you with access to a whole range of grants, you can use this to help fund capital.
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