Are you a college student with a great business idea? It may feel like you’re too busy with classes, homework and your personal life, but with passion and drive, you can start a business while in school. You may have to adjust your schedule a little and sacrifice some free time but starting your own business while in college may just be the best thing for your professional career and future. In fact, academic environments offer unique advantages for entrepreneurs.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider starting your business while still in college or graduate school:
1. Your Professors Can Be Mentors
Do you have a college professor that you look up to and go to for professional advice? College professors are typically invested in their students’ success and are often experienced enough to go to for advice about starting a business, particularly business professors. As a new business owner you’ll be constantly learning so having a mentor can teach you about your industry and get some insight on how to be successful. A mentor will open your eyes to years of knowledge and experience which can help you determine how to best run your business. Having a mentor can help you get inspired, meet new contacts and learn strategies that would take years to develop on your own.
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2. You Have Tons of Peers to Market To
One of the greatest things about having your own business while in college is being able to market your business to your college peers. In college, you are surrounded by students that can help you spread the word about your business and will likely be some of your very first customers. Plus, you can take advantage of word of mouth marketing, a highly successful marketing tactic on college campuses. Your college peers can also help you build your business from the ground up by offering you support and even ideas. Your peers and friends could potentially become your best employees, partners and customers.
3. You Have a Flexible Schedule
Being both a college student and entrepreneur is a lot of work, but it also allows you to maintain a somewhat flexible schedule. Owning a small business will allow you to make your own schedule, which can be a huge benefit when having to work around your busy class schedule. And classes are usually held only a few times a week, giving you a few hours of free time every day, something you won’t have as much of if you’re working for a company full time.
Additionally, you have the option of taking online courses so you can even take your classes while you are running your business. If you think you are too busy to start your own business while in college, just think about trying to start your own business after you get married, work a corporate job and have kids. You can probably agree that starting your own business when all you have to worry about is school is probably easier. As you get older, life gets busier. The sooner you start your business, the better off you may be.
4. You Can Grow Your Network Easily
One of the best things about starting a business while in college would be that you probably have a ton of friends to help you get your business going. Between group projects and organizations you’ve joined, you can certainly up your networking game. Networking is one of the most important parts of starting a business. By expanding your network, you can keep up with industry trends, meet mentors, meet prospective customers or partners and gain access to important resources. Networking can even help you obtain investors and help you grow your business.
5. You Can Make Money
Students are often strapped for cash. Sure, you may have enough to eat ramen noodles and pay for your expensive coffee habit, but surely you can’t wait to graduate and start rolling in the dough, right? Well, you don’t have to wait until after graduation — another great thing about starting a business while in college would be that you can start making money. Now, you probably aren’t going to be rich the second you start your own company, but the potential is certainly there. If you lack the funds to start a business, you can get a small business loan to help with the upfront costs of your startup. After a few months of running your business, you will likely see the profits rising as time goes on.
6. You Can Get a Head Start
It may seem intimidating to start your own business while you are still in school, but by doing so, you can get a jump start on a successful career path. Startups can take a couple of years before they start earning profits, so by the time you graduate, you will already be well on your way to a very successful future. You may also find that after a year of business, you may be able to obtain business loans to help you grow and expand your business to its full potential.
Even if the business you start in college doesn’t end up being the business you run forever, the experience will make you a better entrepreneur or future employee and it will certainly make your resume stand out.
The Bottom Line
As you can see there are many great things about starting a business while still in school. Sure, it is going to take a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices, but the opportunity to start a business and set your future up for success will be totally worth it. With the army of college peers and mentors around you, you will be able to grow your business before you even graduate. So, if you have a great business idea, don’t hesitate to get the ball rolling because your future can start right now.
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