Why Wait Until After College? Start Your Business Now
You have a business idea you can’t stop thinking about. You envision it so clearly, you’ve already created a design for printed t-shirts bearing your brand, and you’re itching to get started. The only problem? You’re still in college.
This may have been a barrier in the past, but today’s students are challenging the status quo and starting businesses while they study. There’s no reason to wait to make your vision of entrepreneurship a reality. Starting now while you’re still in school could give you an advantage over those who wait.
Benefits of Starting a Business in College
Being in a campus setting puts you in a unique position to launch the business of your dreams.
Since you’re busy taking classes, you can’t invest everything you have in your business idea. Your degree serves as a backup plan if student entrepreneurship doesn’t work out. Whether or not your idea takes off, everything you learn in pursuit of it will help you avoid career mistakes later in life. If the company does succeed, you can simply transition from student to full-time business owner.
There’s no better place than college to hone your business skills. Every semester, you have the opportunity to take electives and learn more about the subjects you need to master in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
Outside of class, you have access to a wealth of information from the library, online academic databases and knowledgeable professors.
Your market is all around you when you’re a student entrepreneur. Who makes a better target audience than your classmates and friends? Get the word out about what you’re doing and the products or services you’re offering, and it should be easy to land your first customers.
Whether you’re selling customized clothing to the football team or providing IT help in the computer lab, the connections you make can lead to more business as satisfied customers start talking up your work around campus and on social media. The customer relationships you establish during school may follow you when you start working on your business full time, giving you a guaranteed source of income.
Freedom for Your Passion
Young people are known for being passionate and a little impulsive, but neither trait is necessarily encouraged once you graduate and are expected to be a productive member of society. However, being in college means you’re already investing your time in something fruitful, so your business may be seen as an admirable pursuit of your dreams rather than a fanciful idea you’re wasting time on when you should be getting a “real job.”
College is expensive, and nobody likes being under the burden of student loans for years after graduation.
Any money you make from selling products like custom-printed apparel can help cover tuition, books and other essentials.
Top Tips to Become a Successful Student Entrepreneur
How do you launch a business while handling a full course load and trying to keep up with assignments? It takes determination and a willingness to put in the work necessary to get your idea off the ground. Read how Entripy’s CEO, Jas Brar, started his business in his school days & get tips on how to be a student entrepreneur.
Student entrepreneurship requires knowledge, skill and dedication. What do you already know about business, and what do you need to learn to succeed? Evaluate where you are now before launching your idea, and see if your campus has a club or an organization you can join for help and support.
Plan It Out
Consider whether your business idea is viable. Do you want to provide services through an online platform, or are you looking for something more hands-on like printing custom tee designs? See what competitors in your desired niche are doing and if what you want to offer is unique enough to stand out.
If you believe there’s enough demand for your product or service, write out a business plan detailing your idea, the available market, your marketing and sales plans, a financial projection and a risk assessment. For collaborative efforts, add information about the people with whom you’ll be working.
Take Advantage of Help
Your campus has numerous tools to help you launch your business. There will never be another time when you have access to resources ranging from free printing to entrepreneurship mentoring. Use anything you can to minimize the money and time required to put your business plan into action. Seek out classmates to lend a hand in areas where your own skills are lacking, and don’t hesitate to use crowdfunding to supplement your startup finances.
Cover the Legalities
Do you need a DBA, tax ID number and licenses or permits to legally run your business? Find out what’s required at the federal, provincial and local level, and file the appropriate paperwork.
Once you’re established with an official company name, open a bank account just for business expenses, and consider getting a business credit card or debit card to keep personal and business purchases separate.
Set Up Shop
If you’re selling something online, such as custom t-shirts, you need a website. If you’re providing services in person, you need a website. Even if it’s only one page, an online presence with your contact information and details about what you offer is essential for a successful entrepreneurial endeavour. Have marketing materials printed up featuring your website and email address, and start distributing the information around campus to let everyone know you’re ready to accept customers.
You might feel a little nervous when you unveil your start up company to the world, but the rewards of being a student entrepreneur can keep your passion alive throughout your time in school and beyond.