Regardless of your age, educational background and other credentials, making the decision to become an entrepreneur is not a matter to take lightly. Entrepreneurs must devote many long hours to their business venture regularly, and this includes from the business planning stage through to the launch, regular operations and more.
As a college student, you may be wondering if you should hold off on your business plan until after you have graduated. The reality is that many successful entrepreneurs took the leap and started businesses while they were still enrolled in school, and you can potentially be successful in your endeavor as well. As you might imagine, this is not a step that is right for everyone. With a closer look at what it takes to succeed and the required steps, you can determine if you are ready to rise to this challenge.
Before you begin preparing a detailed business plan, researching the competition and taking other preliminary steps, you need to understand the benefits and drawbacks associated with starting a new business while you are enrolled in college. Perhaps the most significant drawback relates to time. College students may be notoriously busy trying to attend classes and study for tests. You may have to cut back on some of your current activities and devote most of your personal time to becoming an entrepreneur. However, after you graduate and have a full-time job in your field, you may be just as busy.
Many college students are also timid about starting a business venture because of their lack of professional experience. However, students may also have access to mentors through their professors who can offer great free advice. These professors may be less willing to help you after you graduate and are no longer enrolled in the school.
You should also consider the financial aspect of jumping into business this early. After you graduate, your expenses inevitably will increase. You may have to start making student loan payments, and you may buy a new car or house. Perhaps you will settle down and start a family, and you may need to take out a business loan to fund your new business. On the other hand, your current expenses may be very low compared to what they may be in the future. More than that, you may be able to draw more money from student loans to fund your endeavor.
Just as you would not launch a business after graduation without ample planning, you also should not do so in college. One of the first steps that you should take to prepare for success in the business world is to find a part-time job or internship in your desired field. This position may provide you with critical insight, the ability to improve important skills and access to wonderful contacts that you can reach out to later.
Consider following the FAST method, which stands for Focus, Accountability, Simplicity and Transparency. A closer look at these concepts may help you to better prepare for success as a student entrepreneur and can help you through college too.
While there are no guarantees that your venture will be successful, there are steps that can set you on the right path. These include:
Starting a business as a college student may be a wonderful idea that brings positive changes to your life. However, this monumental step should not be taken hastily. Spend ample time talking through these steps and incorporating the tips into your efforts to get your project started on the right foot.
About the author:
Michelle Laurey produces stories on finance, entrepreneurship, and productivity. Always interested in ways which can help individuals reach full potential in life, she loves sharing her thoughts. She is a virtual assistant for a few small businesses. Outside her keyboard, she enjoys a good book, healthy food and bike rides. Reach out to her on Twitter.