How to Start a Business in College

  • Written by Brigitte Evans


We’ve already had the chance to explore the incredible perks of being your own boss, and in college no less. However, with emerging small businesses around every corner, and with more people venturing into the digital business minefield, it often seems like mission impossible to start your own gig, successfully graduate, and stay sane in the process.

In the face of all the challenges, we’re here to tell you that yes, it’s more than possible. Let’s take a closer look at how you can prepare and launch your business idea to dazzle the 2019 market and beyond!


Find the gap

It’s no longer necessary to have a Facebook-size big idea to win over a market group. In fact, with so much competition, chances are that you’re likely not another Tesla (unless you truly are, in which case, go for it!), meaning that you should stick to what you know and love.

Seth Berkowitz loves cookies, and even though they have already been “invented” while he was in college, he found that tiny market gap for delivering cookies to cramming students, thus bringing his Insomnia Cookies business to life. Not a groundbreaking idea, but a market-winner nonetheless!

Take your time to find that little market gap, define it well, find its target audience, do your homework, and get ready to take the leap.


Develop your budget plan

If you can leverage your skills to avoid heavy initial investments into your business plan, all the better, but you still need a financial grasp of your business in order to create projections and stick to realistic expectations. 

Seek help from friends, teachers, or experts in your community who are happy to give you guidance in your budget preparations. They might also be able to point you towards the right crowdfunding platform for your idea, or a reliable web designer to build your website. All of these steps will factor into your budget, and knowing your expected ROI should give you a fair estimate of what to expect from your brand.


Arm yourself with tools and know-how

As a living proof that you can turn your fashion-passion into a profitable business, Susan Gregg Koger, the founder of ModCloth, can be your inspiration to truly follow through with your goals in this industry. In fact, the world has become much more open to embracing new clothing brands and stores online, which means that no matter how many players are already out there, there’s still room for more.

However, in order to stand out in such a crowded industry, you need to put together a list of all the handy tools, digital and otherwise, to build an authentic brand. Start by looking into fashion ERP software solutions that can help you build, run, and scale your fashion business online. 

That way, you can ensure guidance and automation in areas of running a clothing store that you’re not an expert at. Look for online courses in business management if you’re not taking any in your college, and you’ll keep finding new ways to help your business thrive!


Balance work and studying 

For a moment there, we’ve drifted away from the key idea of the college plus business mix. It’s key to remember that you shouldn’t neglect your studies for the sake of a business idea, especially if your studies will help you further develop your professional reputation as you continue to grow your brand.

That is why you need to work up a schedule, a routine to keep track of your education responsibilities, and to make time for moving forward with your business. Leave room for long study sessions, keep in mind that there will be setbacks during the exam period, and use your summer break to work extra hard on your business goals. 

Using apps to track your time and obligations can be of great help until you find your ideal rhythm, and bear in mind that you’ll still need to make adjustments over time. 


Get the ball rolling

Finally, there is no business without making proper noise around it, which is why you need a strong marketing and dissemination plan, to get the word out on your brand. You can use your college to hand out flyers, ask your friends to help spread the word, and do a bit of online marketing as well.

Investing in some business cards and visiting all possible networking events is also a great step forward to announce to the world your business is up and running, to get a sense of how others perceive your idea, and to seek feedback during your earliest stages of brand development. 

Yes, pairing college with your business aspirations will be an uphill battle, but an exciting and a rewarding one. Make sure to get as much information and collect knowledge as you prepare to start your business, and you’ll be well on your way to success even before you throw that cap in the air! 


Photo by STIL on Unsplash

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