Finding a job is not easy. Getting a position you like is a real challenge. How about starting your own business? People say that it is early, unnecessary or impossible to launch your startup while studying in college or university. And this is a completely wrong opinion. 

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs began to work on their iconic projects during their college years. The enormous success of Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Dell Inc. WordPress, Yahoo and other companies found by students inspire and motivate youth. Hundreds of other not so well-known but still successful businesses started by young entrepreneurs prove that is never too early to do what you like to do. 

So, what are the business opportunities for students in college or university?

  • Private tutoring
  • Babysitting 
  • Blogging
  • Freelancing (essay writer, copywriter, graphic and web designer, etc.)
  • Hairdresser
  • Event planning
  • Seller
  • Cooker.

The list can go on and on. You might say that it is just an ordinary job. Yes, but you have to start somewhere. Your hairdresser experience can help you open a hairdresser's salon. Working as a cooker might end up owning a small café or a restaurant in future. A job of a salesperson can be useful in managing a retail clothing store or even a boutique. Be optimistic!

As any other student, I had to live on a tight budget in college. At the end of my freshmen year, I decided to get a job. I was always good at my paper writing. I even helped my mates in school and college when they asked: “Please, help me write my essay!”. I’ve got a job at online academic paper service. I have worked there for three years until I made up my mind to launch my own essay writing business. I won’t describe you the whole story of my progress. I’ll just say that my company consisted of 5 people at the beginning. Now it has 250 qualified writers. 

In this article, I’ll share some advice that is applicable to every startup. 

1.  Nail your idea

  • Do some research. Think about the students in your class and college. What do they want? Naturally, every generation has its own needs. As an insider, you’re able to scrutinize these needs and offer something new for the millennial market.
  • Think about what you're really good at? Perhaps start with that!
  • If you could invent some product or device that would make life easier, safer, and in general better, what would it be?

2. Write a business plan

It’s especially important to think long term when you’re launching a startup. Outline the goals from the start, so that you have something to work towards. A business plan maps out what a beginner entrepreneur wants to achieve and how to get there. It sets out the objectives, strategy, marketing operations, and financial forecasts. If you need external funding, make your business plan as attractive as possible.

Writing a business plan is a time-consuming and challenging task. You will have to spend hours on market research. Fortunately, your student status gives you access to hundreds of detailed market research reports from leading sources via your library, which could otherwise cost you thousands of dollars. 

3. Raise finance

Once your business plan is ready, you can explore all existing opportunities for funding.  

  • Colleges and universities. Many of them have business incubators and technoparks that support and encourage students to start innovation projects. They provide funds, too.
  • Family and friends.
  • Private investment funds.
  • Bank funding.
  • Venture capital.
  • Business grants or fixed-rate start-up loans provided by the government.
  • Crowdfunding which is a modern way of raising finance. (For more information visit kickstarter.com, indiegogo.com, and crowdfunder.co.uk)

4. Digest everything you’ve got

Sit down and think deeply about all information you’ve gathered, all contacts you’ve approached and all opportunities you’ve explored. Answer the following questions:

  • Is this startup worth developing as a serious once in a lifetime opportunity? Can this project provide experience and expertise in start-ups and satisfy your own ambitions without becoming a great breakthrough innovative product?
  • How much support do you need? 
  • Do you need a partner or not?
  • How to stand out among your competitors and engage more customers?

Get feedback. Create a presentation and ask you friends, stakeholders, and sponsors to give their comments and suggestions.

5. Develop your brand identity

Branding is significant at the startup phase. Your reputation is nonexistent. Your resources are tight. And your company’s future depends on how much you’re able to earn early on. 

The Internet is one of the best and cheapest ways to build up your brand. It allows reaching thousands of potential customers with relatively little effort.

Create a website. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to develop a brand identity for your small startup. As a student, you probably often use social media. Therefore, you may have a great advantage over your older, less tech-savvy competitors.

Introduce your startup so that more people recognize it. Hand out flyers, hold a stall on your campus or a local market. Your product will be out there in front of potential customers.

So, you have a lot of work to do. But breaking the process down into manageable chunks will allow you to make a real progress over time. Everything starts small!

A clear view of your startup idea, the backing to bring it to life and a serious commitment to hard work will leave no room for failure. Persistence, creativity, and cleverness have created some of the most ground-breaking businesses of our time. Find you ambition and follow it!   

 

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