I am an 18-year old individual, in my first year of university. At the beginning of the university year, I had an idea for a website that I followed up on and have, at this point, created a product that could be finished within a short period of time. The target audience would be students of any kind and I have shown the idea to several students at my campus and their responses were very positive.
As for my concerns: So far I have been the only person doing anything with this project. I have seen everywhere that it is highly recommended to have at least a co-founder and I really feel the need for some outside ideas and some motivation boosts. I have tried looking around my university (so far only people that I actually know) but nobody seems to really 'have the spark'.
Furthermore, the kind of site I am working on, if it is launched, would not generate profit at an early stage but it does have the potential to be highly profitable. Sadly, I do not have very extensive knowledge about the business side or the legal side of things. Should I worry about investments, business partners or any of that now? Do I need to register trademarks for my website's (company's?) name? When do I register my site as a company?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)
Move forward. The probability of success is low but you at least will learn something that will be useful for you next projects. At this point I will not worry about investments not trademarks but worry more about how to sell that product to expected audience.
If this is an affordable risk for you, then finish the site.
You'll learn more by seeing whether, and how people use your site than by asking them whether they like it. It's less work, too.
If finishing the site means months of work, then first simplify to a kick-ass half, and finish something in the next two weeks.
The business stuff is worth worrying about when, and only when, you can see there's a business bursting to emerge. Trust me, when you hit that stage, you'll be highly motivated to learn fast.
I would focus on one thing at a time, either your studies completely or the business idea. Given your age, and I mean this with the utmost respect, the business is unlikely to be successful. I would concentrate on your studies first-most. Studying is a lot easier at your age, I found that I didn't have the right skill-set for starting a business until I reached about 30.
That's not to necessarily say you don't have them now, it's just your academic studies get you into your first job and it's the domain your work in during your 20's that often is the one your first successful business is based on.