Is college really the best time to start your own business? Probably, most students would answer “no” – and this would be totally understandable. There’s a lot of different things an average student needs to juggle on a daily basis, from writing assignments to taking care of yourself (which could be hard if you weren’t very independent before going to college).
But while college years might seem like a very busy time, there’s always time to try and start your own business. After all, this is similar to taking a part-time job – but the benefits of starting and running your business would be much bigger.
Let’s focus on them!
1. You don’t have much to lose
That’s right, you actually don’t. Sure, if your business idea fails, you might lose some money – but if you do it wisely and won’t get into debts, even those consequences would be minor.
Because when you’ll leave college and start working, you’ll have more things to lose. There’s a big chance you’ll have a family to support, a student loan to repay, a rent to pay monthly – and so the risks would be much higher.
2. You have just enough time
Yes, you might think you’re too busy to invest time into creating your own business – but are you really? Sure enough, you’ll be busier when working 9 to 5.
If you still have your doubts, try investing every spare minute of your time in doing something related to your business. Do this when you’re driving somewhere or cleaning your room, or training at the gym. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks, do your research if your hands are free and brainstorm if they aren’t. Most likely you’ll find out that you have more free time to spend on this than you thought.
3. You don’t need to invest too much money
Yes, businesses might require some investments, but college students could find more ways to minimize them than office workers. Look around you. There’s a big chance you’ll find enough students who are willing to do something for your business for free in exchange for a portfolio piece and some working experience with a real project.
Moreover, you can even find your potential employees on campus as well – assuming you’re willing to pay them or share a certain part of the sales, of course.
4. You could get the education you need
There are plenty of colleges that allow students to take courses or attend lectures that aren’t related to their major. So if you think that you might require some additional knowledge to run your business successfully, you could always enroll in such course or simply visit a lecture that could help you.
5. You could also get some professional mentoring
If you’re major is business-related, there’s a big chance you could turn to your professors for some tips. It would cost you nothing.
And even if your major is different, you could always make the most of your student status. Try reaching out to different CEOs (or their secretaries, at least), saying that you’re a student and asking for advice. Many successful businesspeople actually like helping younger ones!
6. Your audience is right here
Let’s assume you’re a programmer or a website developer, who wants to create a plagiarism checker free for all students to use. In this case, you could ask some fellow students to test it before it would be launched – and then encourage other students to use it. Rumors spread quickly, and if your product is really good, people will talk about it.
But even if you’re doing something that isn’t study-related, there’s still a chance you’ll be able to find some loyal clients on campus (especially when your product or service is affordable). The easiest way to find your first clients is also by asking your friends to spread a word.
7. You could build some impressive skills
Most likely your business would be about making the most of what you already do well, be it creating handmade products, selling your art, tutoring, training or giving life advice to other people. But even in this case, you’ll need to do a lot of different things that aren’t related to this at all: for example, promoting your business, managing the finances, hiring employees, organizing their work, and so on.
And if you cannot afford to invest a lot of money into your business, most likely you’ll need to do all those things (or part of them) on your own – at least, at first. As challenging as this could be, this could help you build a variety of valuable skills in different areas. This could be a great addition to your resume!
8. You will gain work experience
There are plenty of students that graduate having no work experience at all – or having the one that doesn’t look impressive to hiring managers. Having your own business and running it, even for a while, is definitely a good thing and an impressive line to add to your resume. So don’t waste an opportunity.
9. You will learn
When you take a risk and start your own business, there are two possible outcomes: you succeed or you don’t. If you manage to succeed, that’s great: this means you could grow and expand your business even after graduation and make decent money with its help.
But even if you won’t succeed, you’ll still have your experience, your knowledge, and your mistakes. They say the best way to learn is by practice – and you’ll do just that. You could use this knowledge and this experience later if you decide to start a business once again – this time avoiding the mistakes you made.
10. You’ll be doing what you love
If you do want to start your own business, then money most likely isn’t the only reason for you to do so. Many students do so because they want to be financially independent, have a flexible schedule, and, most of all, be able to do what they love and enjoy – and make money with its help.
So if you have a certain creative skill or are able to craft something impressive or are simply very good at something, think of the way to monetize it and to turn into your business. There probably is one.