Starting your own business isn’t a small task, so you might think that doing so in college is never going to happen. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many college students create successful entrepreneurial endeavors while still in school, so there’s no doubt that you can too. Warren Buffet did it, and so did Donald Trump.
In fact, since 1997, the number of new entrepreneurs among college graduates jumped from 23.7 percent to 32.7 percent. Among them are Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Berkowitz, who came up with their business idea while still in college. Here’s how you can get your business going as a student.
If you have a business idea that you want to implement while you’re still a student or soon after graduation, consider the classes you can take now that can help you along the way. Take electives that translate to your business model or choose classes taught by professors that have experience with the type of business you want to start. You might also consider independent study courses or internships that can help you get your business idea off the ground.
Many colleges offer resources that you can take advantage of now, while you’re still a student, but that can also help you get your business model set up and ready to go. Use the college’s free Wi-Fi, copy and print services, and access to materials in the library. Buy software using a student discount that you can use now and later and use conference or student spaces to work on getting your business going.
Starting a business usually can’t be done without money. Use your college status as a way to gather funds for your endeavor. Your college financial office might be able to help you find resources for getting loans and grants that you can use while you can apply for as a student entrepreneur. Crowdsourcing is an especially ideal option for students that allows you to promote your business as you get it going.
This might be connections you make with fellow students, but you can also connect with professors, student aides, dorm staff, and anyone on campus who is willing to talk to you about your business idea. You can glean valuable insight from potential customers and ask questions in class to help you get ahead. You can also pull from the pool of students when you’re ready to recruit possible employees. Another idea is to check the alumni directory and make connections with those who have gone before you.
There’s a lot involved with starting a business, and it can be a bit overwhelming if you let it get to you. To prevent that from happening, set up a timeline and schedule that breaks down the tasks you need to complete, as well as a to-do list that you can check tasks off as you go. This allows you to focus on the task at hand instead of getting caught up in everything you still need to do. If you are struggling for time, click order here and outsource your assignment to a professional. Make sure that when you put together your schedule, you leave adequate time for schoolwork and build in time spent on your business so that your education doesn’t fall by the wayside.
If you’re going to be successful, you aren’t going to be able to do everything. That might mean turning down a night on the town or quitting a club or group to make time for your business goals. One of the most valuable things you can do now and as a future business leader is to learn how to say “no” and set boundaries. Consider adding time to socialize and engage in hobbies to your schedule so that you can still enjoy the extracurricular part of college without giving up your dreams and goals.
There’s nothing easy about starting a business. It’s going to take a lot of effort and know-how, so finding a mentor can be an invaluable way to stay on track. Connect with mentors via social networking or through groups on campus. You might even ask a trusted professor to match you up with a mentor. That mentor can give you advice and help with your business but can also introduce you to professionals in the field and help you get your name out there.
Learning how to balance school and work may take a bit of practice, but being ready to launch your business as soon as you graduate, or even before, will make all of the time and effort worth it.