It’s hard to find work. Student fees are the highest they’ve ever been. Accommodation is expensive. How can you make university pay?
For many students, starting a business is the answer. University provides a time during which you can hone your entrepreneurial instincts, while still retaining the security of your student loan.
So, if you are considering running a business while a student, how can you make it work for you?
Starting A Business & Making It Big While Studying
Some people know from an early age they were meant to own their own business. Others find themselves starting a business due to life changes (parenthood, retirement, losing a job, etc.). Others may be in the middle of studying, but are wondering whether the role of business owner/entrepreneur is right for them.
So if you’re a student at university and feeling entrepreneurial, here are 10 practical tips to help you launch a successful business while you study;
1. Take advantage of your spare time
While you’re at university, you have more free time than you’ll have until you reach retirement. Yet, if you’re anything like I was at university, you’ll struggle to channel the spare time you have between work and lectures into anything productive.
So, put your spare time to good use and set yourself apart from the majority of your fellow students. It’s a small price to pay when you get to run your own business.
2. Pay attention to those around you
Take an interest in the things the people around you are doing and buying. What do students need or want? If you can set up a business that appeals to them while you’re at university, you’ll be on to a winner by the time you leave.
3. Work with other ambitious students
Most people go to university for one main reason: to get ahead. Therefore, you’re likely to be surrounded by similarly intelligent and ambitious people who are also looking for opportunities to use and develop their skills. Plus, as universities tend to offer lots of different courses, you’ll encounter people with a huge range of abilities.
There will be business students, people studying marketing and others who spend all day in an art lab. The list is endless so, if your business plan requires some skills or knowledge that you don’t possess yourself, use it as an opportunity to build connections and work with others. You might just bag yourself the ideal business partner.
4. Spread the word far and wide
University is a place where young people from different cities, countries and even continents come together to learn, but most people return home once summer rolls around.
If you connect with these people – tell them about your products or services and show them why your business deserves attention – they might go home and tell their family or friends about it.
This might seem like an old-fashioned way to do things and, of course, you’ll still want to market yourself using more modern methods like social media too. But word of mouth is still a great way for positive news about your business to travel, and we all know students love a good gossip.
5. Use your university as a resource
If you need anything – information, equipment or guidance – ask your university for help. They’re likely to do as much as they can for you, as they want their students to look as employable as possible after graduation.
So, if you’re starting a project that will run alongside your studies, let them know. They should be able to give you a hand, and if not, they might be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.
6. Provide something for your university
Can you provide the University with a product or service? Universities are constantly looking for ways to promote themselves and it is a great news story if they can say “our former student now provides us with this”. Therefore, they’re more likely to support you than those from outside the university and might even promote your work, too.
7. Don’t be afraid to fail
If you’re at university, you’re unlikely to ever have fewer responsibilities than you do right now. Starting your own business can mean making sacrifices and taking a lot of risks so, since you’re unlikely to have kids, a permanent job, or a mortgage to pay, use the freedom you currently have to experiment.
If it doesn’t work out, you’ve still got your whole life and career ahead of you. But, if it does, it could turn out to be the best thing you ever do.
8. Don’t forget why you’re at university
As I’ve previously mentioned, starting your own business while at university is all about using your spare time wisely. You still need to focus on your studies and deadlines – that’s why you’re there, after all – to ensure you receive the marks you deserve when you graduate.
Unless, of course, you know for a fact you’ve created the next big social media platform. Then you can do whatever you like.
9. Get a website
Your business will definitely struggle to survive without a website – how will people outside of your social circle hear about it otherwise?
Find someone at your university who can build websites and ask if they’d like to develop their portfolio by creating something for you. This way, you’ll both be getting something positive out of it and you’ll hopefully end up with a fantastic new website. Trust me, you really will need one.
10. Enjoy yourself
Don’t let running a business alongside your studies become a chore, as it should serve as an escape from your weekly lectures and assignments. Just focus on getting the most out of it as possible. Plus, if you enjoy doing something, you’re far more likely to succeed at it.
Setting up a business at university is no easy task not to mention managing employees but, for those with the right attributes, it can definitely pay off in the long run. Find out more about franchising opportunities and click here.