One of the best times in life to try your hand at starting your own small business is as a college student. The possibilities on college campuses are almost endless, giving you the resources, time, and determination that not many entrepreneurs can afford to have as full-fledged adults. However, this doesn’t mean that starting a small business is necessarily going to be any easier for a college student. So to help you make the most of this unique opportunity, here are three tips for starting a small business as a college student.
Leverage Your Education
As a college student, you have a vast amount of resources that can help your business thrive. Your mind is ever expanding regarding business practices, marketing techniques, product development, and more. To truly take advantage of these things, Steve Nicastro, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends taking any and all entrepreneurial classes offered on campus, using your proposed business as an example in any applicable classes, and gaining insights into your target market through classwork. By using the education you’re gaining in your classes to help further your business, you’ll essentially be killing two birds with one stone.
Don’t Forget To Network
At college, you’re working side-by-side with your peers in your industry. This can be a great place to make some initial contacts that might last you throughout the entirety of your professional career. Knowing this, John Steimle, a contributor to Entreprenuer.com, suggests keeping an eye on fellow students who might be beneficial within your business and proposing potential career opportunities to them in working with you on your business. You could very well find the perfect match for your company in the seat right behind you in your business ethics class. Also, try to be as friendly as possible to your fellow students and professors; you never know when those connections might come in handy.
Make The Right Funding Decisions
Most college students are strapped for cash. This can make starting and funding a business very difficult. Luckily, you do have some options for getting the financing you need. While you can try things like business loans and other forms of lending, you may also want to try crowdfunding. This type of funding can be particularly successful for millennials. As a word of warning, Deborah Sweeney, a contributor to Forbes.com, advises being careful about exchanging equity in your business for money from investors. Making a poor decision here could haunt you and your business throughout the rest of its life.
If you’re considering starting your own business while in college, use the tips mentioned above to help you find success in this endeavor.