You’re a student and you want to run a business?
If you follow the conventional wisdom, you’re supposed to go to university, make some great friends, have a ball, work hard and then graduate. Only then will you be ready to enter the world of employment and learn some of the tools you need to start your own business down the line. But since when has conventional wisdom always been the best? After all, conventional wisdom told Columbus that the earth was flat.
With university costing more than ever before and the competition for graduate jobs being incredibly tough, what’s the point of waiting until after graduation or even later before making your move? There is nothing to stop you starting a business while you are a student and getting the march on all your contemporaries who are solely interested in beefing up their CV.
If you think about it, starting a business while at university is actually the best time to do it. In most cases you will be free of responsibilities like partners and kids. You are unlikely to have a mortgage to worry about and you probably have a bit of spare time on your hands. In fact, this is one time in your life where you can take a big chance and face little consequence if it doesn’t work out. So why waste time waiting tables, pulling pints or working for free to boost your CV when you could be out there learning real and invaluable business lessons – and even making a real success of yourself?
Start up costs
One of the key barriers to starting a business is often start up costs. Of course, in some industries this is a prohibitive factor. But then it’s unlikely you’ll be starting any kind of heavy manufacturing firm while still at college. Think about businesses that don’t require much start up capital. Check out buymyface.com for a really ingenious business idea that requires virtually no costs or overheads but still allowed a few lucky students to graduate debt free. By selling advertising space on their faces (strange but effective) these students generated enough interest and backing to make it financially viable.
Think outside the box
Buymyface.com is a perfect example of thinking laterally about a business start up. It’s a creative, funny and interesting idea that had never been done before. In fact, it’s one of those ideas that is so obvious you kick yourself for not having thought of it yourself. OK, so selling ad space on your face isn’t for everyone but it is this kind of ingenuity and creative thinking that makes student businesses a success.
Stick to what you’re good at
Starting a business as a student should also be fun. So why not think about the areas of your life that really interest and motivate you? If you’re into music, why not think about getting into promotion or touring. If you love photography, what about something to do with visual arts? If you are passionate about it, it is much more likely to succeed.
Once you have your idea and whatever start up costs you need, you should start to build your brand. Start small but think big. If you need to, look into getting some Office Space sorted and even though it might be fun and exciting, always be professional.
Student businesses do work and can succeed. If nothing else you’ll be learning valuable lessons for the future. Plus it really will be something worthwhile to put on your CV.