5 Great Tips for Entrepreneurial College Students

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Goal-oriented college students who have a strong desire to be entrepreneurs often do not wait to begin their small businesses until receiving their diploma. Rather, these go-getters start their first business in college so that they already have some credentials and experience to take into the working world with them upon graduating. If you’re a college student who is considering becoming a small business owner while still earning your degree, you will benefit from the advice below:

Do All You Can While You’re Still in School

B usiness and entrepreneurship classes provide assignments and opportunities for completing research and doing studies about the potential success of future businesses. Professors can provide a wealth of information to students, and existing business owners are more likely to share advice and insights with students than they are with fellow business owners.

That’s why it’s a great idea to do everything you can to learn and explore business opportunities while you’re still in school.

College campuses also give students access to hundreds or thousands of potential customers. Advertising on campus, surveying students, and testing your ideas is much easier when you are a student than when you are starting a business as a graduate. College students who want to become small business owners should take advantage of all of the insights, research, and feedback available to them from a campus setting before they enter the true working world.


Don’t Neglect the Basics

Being your own boss doesn’t mean that you can completely neglect taking care of more traditional job search tasks. For example, you’ll still need a resume that shows your experience. However, to make sure it’s better suited it for your entrepreneurial needs, you might add a branding statement that clearly states the goals you hope to achieve with your business and how your experience will help you reach them.

You should also work on your interview skills. As an entrepreneur, you may not go on traditional job interviews, but your clients will certainly “interview” you before they give you their business. Hone your conversation skills and do some practice runs with friends. Better yet, if you’re able, ask small business owners you respect what kinds of questions they often receive from clients so that you can prepare answers for those common questions.


Turn Your Hobby into Your Business

To start a small business, you need to offer a product that people want to buy, and then earn a profit. While that may be oversimplifying things a bit, that’s the core concept of starting a business. Sometimes college students find the easiest way to begin a small business is to expand upon their hobbies or passions.

For example, you may be a student athlete or have a great workout routine. You could become a personal trainer for your fellow students, or even offer your services to the faculty and staff of your college. Or, maybe you are a writer who can do some freelance writing for alumni who need web content for their businesses. If you think about your strengths and passions, you may just find yourself starting a business that helps you pay for your tuition and that eventually turns into a career once you have your diploma.


Put Your New Skills to Work for Others

While you are learning everything you can in your business and marketing classes, you can begin putting that new knowledge to work for you and for local businesses around campus. One possibility is to offer your marketing, advertising, or web design skills to local business owners. You may begin a blog for them, create their webpage, or boost their social media and email marketing. Collect your work and create a portfolio and build your resume so that you have something to show future clients.


Find a Balance Between School and Business

Of course, you’re going to want your small business to succeed, but you cannot do so at the expense of your education. You are going to have to find a way to balance the time you put into your business and the time you need to put into earning your degree. That’s why it’s a good idea to combine as much of your business with your classes as possible, through assignments and research.

It’s also a great idea for you to enlist some of your closest friends to help out with tasks you can delegate, such as your social media marketing and other promotion, such as hanging fliers. You most likely are going to need the support of your friends and family, so don’t jeopardize your relationships with them by sacrificing your education for your blossoming business.

There is no right age for a person to become a small business owner. College students easily can put their knowledge and skills to work for themselves and others by starting a small business before they even earn their diploma. Considering your talents and know-how, you may just find yourself in a great position to start a small business before you have your degree.


Erica Francis works with ReadyJob.org to help young adults and graduates transition into the work force and prepare for their careers. She is dedicated to providing helpful resources geared toward today’s young people. Aside from her passionate work at ReadyJob, Erica likes to spend time getting involved in theater, and riding horses.

Image via Pixabay by BlueOlive

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