Starting a business in college has a lot of advantages: Students have flexible schedules and more freedom to test new ideas before job searching in the professional world. Plus, you’ll have a great experience to add to your professional resume!
Why wait to graduate? Start your business in college with these 7 steps:
1) Find your favorite idea.
Even if you already have a great idea for starting a business in college, take some time to brainstorm more possibilities. In order for your business to thrive, you have to have an idea that you love – and one that will keep you working to achieve it.
Some of the best ideas for starting a business in college are the simplest, and require only a little money to start out with. Many successful student businesses started just with a little computer knowledge and a laptop!
2) Write a business plan.
Once you’ve settled on an idea, write a plan for starting your business. Make an outline describing your goals, the proposed company structure, your marketing plans, and how you will finance your business in college.
Writing your objectives for your business in college not only gives you a plan. It also shows you what your strengths are, and lets you see problems before they arise.
3) Know the market.
Get familiar with other local companies that offer similar services to yours. Find out what their strengths are, and what they’re missing. Brainstorm how your business in college can fill a certain niche.
If you’re starting a business in college, you might not be able to offer the biggest or most expensive services of your competitors. But college students can come up with new ideas and offer energetic service that other companies can’t match.
4) Enlist your friends.
One of the biggest advantages of starting a business in college is that you have a bunch of smart and talented people all in one place: your campus.
Talk to your friends about their ideas for your company. Maybe you know an economics genius or a graphic design major. Ask them for help! You can accomplish much more with your business in college when your friends help you out.
5) Create buzz.
Your business might not be off the ground yet, but that doesn’t have to stop you from getting customers.
Talk with family, friends, and coworkers about the new business you’re starting. And never forget the power of social media to create hype. Take time to consider which social media outlets are best for your new company and then start posting.
You’ll have customers lined up when you’re ready to go, and maybe you will contact someone who can help spread the word. Plus its a great way to work on your marketing skills!
6) Remember the fine print.
Even if your business is limited to the college campus, you’ll need to remember to register your company name and get any permits that you need to operate your business from the city or state.
Get a tax ID number so your finances will be in order when your get your first customers. Having this planned ahead of time will make it easy if your business in college expands to a job after college!
7) Get the word out!
Once your business in college is ready to go, remember to advertise to the campus and local community. Colleges have a lot of resources to let students know about events and services on campus.
Make fliers and post them on campus bulletin boards, in student centers, and in class buildings. Consider buying ads in popular student newspapers, magazines, or TV stations. Many students starting a business in college advertise using websites and internet services like Craigslist or Facebook.
Starting a student business in college can give you great experience for the future job world. Who knows? Maybe your student business will grow into your full-time career!