Tips on Managing a Business with Student Loan Obligations
Student loans can be a double edged sword, on the one hand allowing students to pursue higher education and obtain skills that can fuel the success of their careers, at the price of large amounts of debt at a young age that can be very difficult to overcome, especially if there is no way to refinance the debt into a more manageable package. For young entrepreneurs, managing debt while building a business means being strong at defining priority and having an understanding of what parts of your business need to grow in order to support others. Employee management can also be a challenge, since if you are not managing millennial employees, there is a chance that your relative lack of experience can make it tougher to lead managers in the middle or endgame of their careers. While it can be disheartening to contend with the challenges of business management while managing debt, through identifying priorities, carefully managing collections and trusting in the effectiveness of your employees, you can grow your business while at the same time managing your student debt.
Take advantage of free technologies and resources. Keeping your monthly expenses down is of the essence when you already have debt, but luckily there are many free tools that can be accessed to help keep your overhead low and productivity high. Depending on what you need to get accomplished, you can investigate anything from organizational aids to marketing scheduling programs, expanding the functions that a single employee can perform by a dramatic margin. Many programs will have a free version available for use as well as the option to upgrade for a larger account or more features, but small business teams of under ten people will usually be able to function without the need for advanced features, with an exception being if they need to pay for more advanced analytics related to their social accounts. Traffic analytics are free using google, so there is usually not a need to invest in monitoring software. Investigating SCORE programs and other small business incubators can yield information on other free business tools, from mentoring sessions to shared or discounted office space, another potential source of savings.
Try to repackage your debt. The debt that you take on as an undergraduate will usually be more expensive than a repackaged loan at a later date, when your credit has had a chance to mature. While you may or may not qualify for a better loan package, it is worth investigating since the savings can add up to multiple thousands of dollars over time through reduced interest rates. If you have bad credit, then you will probably not qualify for refinancing. Your best bet is to try to negotiate with your creditors in order to make a payment schedule that you can stick to in order to improve your score, with the goal of obtaining a more favorable rate down the road.
Seek out a qualified mentor. A mentor who knows the ropes of your industry brings your business tangible value in a few ways. For one thing, their experience will help you avoid common pitfalls that can plague new business owners who don’t know to watch out for them. For another thing, they may be able to connect you with business partners, employees, suppliers and customers through their already existing industry networks. Mentor programs are often available through business incubators, and you can find them at networking events as well. Having some experience on your side is an underrated tool that you should certainly take advantage of if you are growing a business with student debt.
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