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What are the first steps in starting your own business?

I am an eighth grader and am looking into starting my own real estate business. I want to start my business wherever real estate will be thriving. I want to know want the best majors are to take in college in order to be an entrepreneur. I want to know what are the best classes in collage to take in order for me to be prepared to start my own business. #business #entrepreneur #college #real-estate


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Heidy’s Answer

The first steps in starting your own business is to understand The Value your business will provide and The Need for that value that you will be providing. It is a great deal of work to start your own business, but it is very rewarding. I recommend that you find your passion, understand why you love real estate. What do you know and love about real estate? Do you love seeing people find the right home for their family? The reason why it is important to understand your own passion is because becoming an entrepreneur (business owner) is a lot of hard work and you must keep yourself going through hard times and good times. With that said, it helps to understand how businesses are managed. In college, you’ll want to closely review if they have a Business School or college of business. The majors in either a four-year or two-year college that will help you understand how to manage a business include Business Management, Business Administration among a few majors. Courses that are usually part of business majors include: finance, economics, accounting, human resources, business law, and supply chain are a few courses. Reviewing the college catalog and talking to an adviser is very important when selecting your major and your courses. Within the college courses, you should focus on courses that help with developing a business plan. A business plan is used to outline what your business is about, how you will provide your service or product, the financial outlook (how you will generate revenue (money), expenses (what money you’ll spend). The business plan will help you find financing or money to start your business. Usually, graduate schools have majors that specialize in entrepreneurship through a Master of Business Administration (MBA). What can you do today to help you get ready for the future? I recommend that you read about successful business owners, understand that starting a business is risky and many individuals struggle through failed business starts but continue to try and eventually succeed in their pursuit of establishing a successful business. Pay attention and take as many math, finance, economic or business classes in high school. If your school offers financial literacy classes, take them because understanding how to manage your personal finances becomes very important when you are running a business. You can read business magazines like Forbes or business journals or newspapers like the Wall Street Journal to become familiar with business terms. There will be a lot of new vocabulary that you’ll need to understand such as financial terms: liabilities, assets, ROI (Return on Investment), equity, balance sheet, cash-flow. If real estate is your true interest and passion, research what does it take to be come a real estate agent. Usually, you’ll need to get a license based on the state you will do business in. The license makes sure that you understand the real estate laws for the particular state. Lastly, research what type of people become entrepreneurs, usually they are risk takers, they enjoy talking to lots of people (networking is very important), they are disciplined and able to maintain focus. As I mentioned earlier, understanding your passion and what you love to do will be the most important driver for starting your own business.

Thank you for your response. I agree that being passionate about your work is a very important part in being successful in your job. I look forward into looking into business management in my future. Thank you! Allison S.

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Jacqueline’s Answer

Great question Allison!

One place to start is research. Find similar business like the one you're thinking of in the marketplace and research them. When researching, use all platforms to research - Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn... Find ways that you can offer the same products/services but with a twist. Be original and offer something that others are not. Give someone a reason to do business with you instead of a competitor.
When naming your business, to a trademark search to make sure you aren't using someone else's name.

Thank you! I will make sure to always be original and always do my research! Allison S.

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Cynthia’s Answer

If you want to get into Real Estate it is better to join a large firm and a successful team. A large firm will have robust education and a successful team will let you learn from the pros. You may start off as a low level member or even an admin, but the knowledge you build is crucial. Don't be put off by having to split commissions at first. Developing credibility and confidence is more important in the long run. Find mentors that you admire. Let them know you would love to learn from them out of respect, but you must make it a win, win for them too. You may have to volunteer your services for free to get to watch them work. As College goes there are several majors that are universal for any entrepreneur, Business Administration, Marketing and even Entrepreneurship. You can minor in Real Estate and I would try to gain technical knowledge so as to become a virtual and paperless. Hope this helps.

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Shaun’s Answer

Hi Allison! I am in the real estate industry and also a small business owner (that business has nothing to do with real estate). I would start by trying to identify what you would like to do in the real estate business and what value (new or different) you would bring to the market. There are lots of different pieces to the real estate market- working at a title company, being a real estate attorney, being a real estate agent, being a professional photographers and 3D videographer, a professional home stager... just to name a few! I strongly suggest you seek out a mentor, someone who is in the line of work that you are interested in and ask a lot of questions and keep in contact regularly. Best way to seek out a mentor is ask friends and family for referrals and just call and talk to them!

Regarding class in college to take to become an entrepreneur- I can say that as a business owner I WISH I would have taken business classes! I'm sure your college admissions team can help plan out classes to take but I suggest taking a little bit of everything... including marketing, sales, finance. There is a lot of things you can learn from a mentor and by taking the right classes. Another avenue would be to research your local small business administration and see what classes they have available as well.

Good luck to you and continue to pursue your dreams!

Shaun recommends the following next steps:

Ask friends and family who can be a mentor in the area of real estate you are interested
Talk to college admissions team to determine appropriate college classes
Research local small business administration (just google it!)
Meet with a mentor regularly

Thanks for your response! I have already found a mentor and am planning to shadow them one day. Thank you again for the great information you gave! Allison S.

Absolutely. A mentor will be great for you! Good luck! Shaun Mills

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Stephen’s Answer

Very difficult to answer this but I'll try.

Start an outline.

It can be something as simple as "Beginning, Middle, End Result". Outlines establish direction, basically the "what" portion of the issue.

Think of it like GPS guidance: you plug in where you want to go, you put in your starting position, and then the middle gets figured out.

As you fill it out, research what types of High School classes will best help you prepare for when you graduate? Will you need college classes? Will they help you reach your goal? What business classes can you take prior to graduating high school that could help? can you start reviewing and reading, thus familiarizing yourself with real estate guidelines now? Who can you talk to about the profession?

An outline can help direct you as you fill in the middle directions to get to where you want to go. This works well for everything from essays to completing chores.

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Cynthia’s Answer

If you want to get into Real Estate it is better to join a large firm and a successful team. A large firm will have robust education and a successful team will let you learn from the pros. You may start off as a low level member or even an admin, but the knowledge you build is crucial. Don't be put off by having to split commissions at first. Developing credibility and confidence is more important in the long run. Find mentors that you admire. Let them know you would love to learn from them out of respect, but you must make it a win, win for them too. You may have to volunteer your services for free to get to watch them work. As College goes there are several majors that are universal for any entrepreneur, Business Administration, Marketing and even Entrepreneurship. You can minor in Real Estate and I would try to gain technical knowledge so as to become a virtual and paperless. Hope this helps.

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Brad’s Answer

Great question! There are so many aspects to real estate not just selling properties. There are many companies involved in a real estate transaction. Begin to research every aspect real estate from buying/selling, loan process to buy a property, appraisals, title/closing, foreclosure, property maintenance, servicing of loans and investors. Many of the companies involved in real estate are privately owned and started by entrepreneurs. Like with any career it takes hard work, drive and a little luck to get where you want to go. First find what fits your passion, is it talking to people, analyzing data, leading teams or something else?

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Emily’s Answer

Oh boy! So many different steps for your business. First you need to come up with your idea or product. Then you need to do some market research to see if there is a need for your product/service in the market and what your compeitors are doing. You need to register your domain and set up a website. Register your business.

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Xavier’s Answer

Figure out your "why".

People who have a purpose behind their work tend to be more successful because they are passionate and curious to learn new ways to be the best.

Find the need

In your case, it's real estate. But also try to figure out what location fits your purpose. What type of people are you looking to help. How will your business give back to the community.

Now you will be able to talk to an advisor about your goal, and they can point you in the right direction in terms of the education you may need.

Lastly, I say network with anyone who is familiar with the business. See if you can shadow someone, and learn the business. Get as much experience as you can.

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John’s Answer

Read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

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Joel’s Answer

Hello... I wish I could give you a straight answer, but I cannot. I have been out of college for so long, I am not certain what courses they teach regarding entrepreneurship.

But I do have a suggestion for you... look at the state requirements for being a licensed real estate professional. Each state has different requirements. Those requirements usually involve some sort of real-estate-based education that might not be offered in a college course.

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Enzo’s Answer

Hello Allison,

There are college curriculums specifically some community colleges that offer a program of study in Business Management: Entrepreneurship. The course of study is more streamlined to an education in entrepreneurship however also has the traditional business courses that you would need such as Business Law, Accounting, Marketing etc.

There are also AAS Business Degrees from Community Colleges that are more Generic however still give you all the pertinent classes you would need. This would be the path I would choose as life changes and you could always transfer these credits to a University in the future and work toward a Bachelors degree in Business.

Focusing back on your career in Real estate; most all states offer real estate sales agent training course (s). It's a mandatory 40-60 hours depending on your state and it provides you with the education and training on how to pass your Real Estate Salesperson Exam. The training is a mandatory prerequisite that allows you to take your state exam. Once you successfully pass and have your license you can affiliate with a Broker and they provide a mentor and additional training while you learn.

Once you have had your sales license for a required number of years you can then study and take the Brokers License exam. To open your own real estate business or office you must have a Licensed Broker on staff. This could be you or someone you hire to take this role.

I hope this helps, what I have tried to do is provide a few different options for you to consider.

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Syed’s Answer

Hi Allison,

Before you do anything, make sure to take advantage of every free online resource to learn as much as possible about your field of interest. Then, talk to people who are successful in that field within your family, family friends or community. Use all of that knowledge to form a targeted strategy for launching a business. Save up some money and get people to invest in your idea.

Remember, you will face challenges at every step of the process. You have to get comfortable with failing early so you can learn from those mistakes and do better in the future.

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