Your college days can often be the most influential in your life. They can set you onto a path to the career and life you want.
And it may not even come immediately after college. So many entrepreneurs start their multi-million dollar businesses while still studying and if you have an idea, there’s no better time to get going with it.
From food vans to tech firms however there are certain things to know and if you’re a college student looking to kick-start your business idea, then you could do worse than take on these top tips…
Take advantage of being a student
There is so much you can learn as a student. You get the benefit of the classes you’re already in but there are also tons of chances to get involved with entrepreneur classes, business classes and even social groups where you’re all trying to achieve that common goal – success.
On top of that, financially you’re relatively new and even making small additions to your life such as taking out a credit card for your costs and paying the bill on time with profits can be useful.
By managing small numbers with a student credit card you’ll build credit and make it easier to apply for business loans if you wish to expand your company further down the line.
It’s well worth searching for the best credit cards for students to build credit and starting with one. Not only will you build credit but it’ll also be a valuable way to learn about managing finances.
Start thinking with a business mind
It’s likely that the business you want to set up will be a passion of yours but the sooner you start to consider it a business, the sooner you’re going to earn profit from it.
Whether it be a food truck, jewellery business or even mobile app, you need to consider your costs and margins in order to make money.
Getting into this mindset early is key to becoming a successful business or simply remaining a hobby that makes a little money here and there.
Use your connections
You have an entire college as a contact as a student and taking advantage of this is a good way to get your business of the ground.
You should use relevant professors to bounce your ideas off and get advice from, while you can use groups of students, societies and faculties as guinea pigs for your idea.
If you’re producing an app, send it to a coding society to test out. Small things like this can present you with incredibly useful insight.
Be creative with your funding
The traditional option of using your own money, loans and credit cards to set up a business are available, but you could be a little more creative.
Crowdfunding is a great way to set up a business and students will likely be keen to help if you sell it enough to them.
Students are always keen to help fellow students and this is your chance to make the most of that. You can do this in a number of ways. You could complete a challenge, or perhaps promise to give a little back once your business is up and running.
For example, if you wanted to open up a taco cart, you could offer a free taco for every $5 pledged once you’d opened up shop.
Additionally, if your business is likely to need a team to get things going. Open it up to other students. An app for example would need designers and developers and it’s good experience for students to helped build one.
Of course, you may have to offer a cut of your business in return, but in the beginning it’s free labor and helps progress other careers too.
Be fully committed
It’s not easy starting up a business and completing your class work and studies, so you have to be fully committed.
That means saying no to the nights out, working longer hours than any of your friends and generally spending all your cash on getting your idea off the ground.
It’s a huge sacrifice to make and that can’t be underestimated. But if your business takes off, it’s well worth it. You only have to look at the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian.