BY SYLVIA KOHL
If you are in college, it’s time to start a business and find a product or service you can actually sell into the marketplace. As a college student, you have time on your side, and you can take risks. If you can live in college campus or parents basement for a couple of years, you can save money to set up a foundation to run your business and scale your company.
Think about Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. All these companies have one thing in common – they were college start-ups. Students and great ideas can sometimes be catalysts for innovative business. However, it is not necessary to be an IT genius to thrive in the entrepreneurial space. The way to get business ideas is not to try to think of business ideas. It’s to search for problems, preferably problems you have yourself. If you have such a problem in mind and an idea of how to solve it, here are some thought-provoking points to consider when thinking about starting your business in college.
Things to Consider Before Starting a Business in College
Are You Passionate About Your Idea?
Find something you are passionate about creating, improving or changing – use your experience to develop something that has to mean and provides a service. Don’t choose the idea that you aren’t very excited about, but you think it can potentially make a lot of money. Remember that passion is the main driver that can make any idea successful.
What Resources Do You Have?
Use the resources at your disposal to start your business. As a college student, professors who are highly skilled in their field are available to give advice and lead you in the right direction.
If you are thinking seriously about your venture, after creating a business plan start searching for capital – whether you borrow money from friends, family or get a loan from the bank. Another way to make your idea a reality is to get access to university entrepreneurial loans. Remember to keep entrepreneurial spirit especially in the beginning when you have a minimal income.
Have You Identified the Potential Customers and Brand Influencers?
Depending on a product or service, your future company has a network of college students who can become potential customers or brand influencers. Think about joining target networking organizations to start forming the needed connections as early as possible.
Do You Have Enough Time to Run a Business?
It can be really hard to keep up with your studies and business. Many working students have faced the situation where they had to understand how to wisely organize their tasks in a time frame. College may seem difficult at times, and it can be tempting to take a break, but that won’t solve anything. Instead of leaving college, ask for help if you think things are getting too hard. Time management is another great way to free up more time for your business. One useful tip to take control over your college life is to print out your study program for the whole semester, with details about each course, and deadlines for submission of assignments.
How Will You Protect Yourself?
Once you have an idea and plan in mind, you should be ready to protect your business with trademarks, copyrights, patents of your logo, brand and company name. Moreover, don’t talk about your idea too much. It’s not necessary to reveal every detail of how your product works.
Believe it or not, there is never a perfect time to start a business. No matter how old you are, or how much experience has, you’ll never have zero risks. However, if you understand the risks of business ownership, have an idea you’re passionate about and have found resources and mentors who can guide you through the toughest moments, it’s time to begin your entrepreneurial journey.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.