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College Guide to Starting a Business
We’re pretty sure you know the story of Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell. These two people have a few things in common. They are both magnates in their industries, and they both started their business while in college. So before you say managing school and business is impossible, just think of these two icons.
Of course, we are not saying that it’s going to be an easy feat. In fact, it’s hard and one needs to have endurance, tolerance, and patience to make it work.
If you are up for the challenge, we have a few tips that could help you balance your studies and your entrepreneurial journey.
Start as Early as Possible
You do not have to wait until your last years of college to start your business. If you have an idea, you can already start conceptualizing. Try to do more research and see if there is potential. Choose something that you are passionate about so you won’t get tired of it.
Draft Your Business Plan
First of all, you have to create a business plan. Your ideas could be awesome, but without proper documentation and plan, it could be hard to execute. Fortunately, there are a lot of templates that could help you draft one. Generally, you need to have objectives, market study, and even strategies.
The advantage of having a business plan is that you and your team will be on the same page. Having said that, your actions are directed to one goal. Plus, you can also get funding if you have an impressive business plan.
Look for a Mentor
It’s natural to face pitfalls when you are starting a business. But some of the business mistakes can be avoided if you have the right mentor to guide you.
Reach out to your professors or even successful people in the field. You would be surprised at how generous they are in terms of providing tips when it comes to managing a business.
Use Your School’s Resources
You don’t have to invest in expensive things when you are starting your business. You can always use what you currently have. In fact, you can maximize the free resources that your university can offer. Perhaps you can spend more time in the computer room and take advantage of the wifi. The books in the library are great materials so you can learn more about the industry.
You can also test your products or services within your university first. Get ideas and solicit feedback from other students. Reach out to your school paper and see if it is possible to advertise.
Create a Schedule for School Activities and Business
Since you will be juggling school and your business venture, you have to properly schedule it. Otherwise, it could be hard to manage and you might miss out deadlines.
Be specific when creating your calendar. And of course, be realistic. But make sure you leave time for yourself. Even if your schedule is filled, you still have to allot time to exercise and meditate. Don’t overdo yourself.
Take Business Classes
While it isn’t a requirement to finish a business degree to come up with your own empire, knowing the fundamentals could also help.
If your schedule and resources still allow you to take business class, then do so. You can leverage on that once your business progresses. You get to understand management, accounting, marketing, and even communications. These are all essential to run a business.
Bootstrap Your Business
Some college students are lucky that they can get funding right away. But more often than not, you have to learn how to bootstrap.
Learn how to live within your means. Instead of buying pizza every Friday night, make your own salad which is nutritious and less costly. Or if you have friends asking you to go out and party, you can politely decline their invite.
The reality is, not all businesses will thrive. In some cases, you need to stop it before you incur any further losses. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop trying. These failures will make your success sweeter. Embrace it and learn from it.
In a nutshell, the lack of experience and funds are not reasons for you to let go of your dreams to build a business. If you have the heart to do it, and you believe there is value, then work hard for it. Ask help from the experts, and learn how to sacrifice.
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