Do the names Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, or Larry Page ring a bell? Aside from being multi-millionaires, they have one thing in common – they founded successful companies while they were college students.
That is the power of college students in full display.
However, success for these guys wasn’t easy, there were bumps along the way. They had humble beginnings and overcame adversity, whether it was dropping out of school or years of struggle before achieving success.
As a college student, you don’t have to go for a big idea. Instead, look for a big problem which you can solve. It might take some time, but you must have the perseverance and passion to make your dream come to fruition.
Let these founders serve as your inspiration for your startup. All you need to know is where to begin.
Steps to start a business
A student entrepreneur is a challenging experience, but it’s the best time to start a business. A wealth of resources is at the student’s disposal, like access to business programs, research facilities, and mentorship.
Once you have a start-up idea, do some research to develop and polish it. Think long and hard about all the aspects of your business. While at it, find answers to the questions that might crop up in your mind. Some points to consider are…
- How long will it take to make the product?
- The cost to make the product
- Return on investment (ROI)
- The cost of shipment
- How to sell your product?
- Possible obstacles
Consider using SWOT analysis – strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – to assess your brainstorming ideas.
Write a business plan
Business plans are like road maps—without one you’ll get lost and may not reach your destination. They help entrepreneurs see the overall view of the business to make critical decisions, formulate action plans, and track the progress that is vital to achieving success. Some business plans you might need are…
- Market analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Customer segmentation
- Cash Flow analysis
These business plans will be helpful in case you need an investor or a bank loan.
Create a brand
Your brand represents your business. It’s all about the product or service that will keep the customer satisfied and includes advertising, packaging, customer service and logo. When all of these elements are working well your cash register will be busy.
Start marketing campaigns
Make some noise in your marketing approach—you might have the best brand in the industry, but never reach your target audience.
Nowadays, people use social media— Facebook, Instagram and Twitter— to promote their brands. Introduce your brand on these platforms to promote awareness and build your online presence. Post engaging content to stimulate the interest of possible clients. Link them to your website so they can review your brand to convince them to make a purchase.
What Business Can I Start as a Student?
If you’re a university student, you’ll have limited time. After classes, you’ll be burning the midnight oil doing your assignments and preparing for tests. But, there are certain businesses that you can work with during your free time and be productive as a student.
Write some things that you are passionate about on your website. You need something fascinating to tell and lots of tolerance and enthusiasm to increase traffic and followers. You can make good money through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Banner advertising
- Sponsored content
- Guest blog post
- Sell your newsletter space
Science, Math, Business, Psychology, English and other college subjects are still fresh in your mind. Use your knowledge in tutoring and earn extra bucks, where there are students there are tutors.
Social Media Manager
If you have a fair amount of social media expertise, you can offer your services to people who need someone who can manage their social media accounts. Or you can visit online sites like Upwork and Fiverr, for job posts for a Social Media Manager.
If you want to make a brand for yourself, try the candle-making business. You can charge a premium price but it is still less than the well-known brands in the market. All you need are candle ingredients, which cost a few hundred dollars, creativity and business savvy to get a piece of the market.
What Documents Do I Need to Start a Small Business?
As a startup make sure to comply with all the legal requirements to remove the hiccups so you can focus on growing your business.
Create LLC or Corporation
You’ll need to choose the business structure for your startup and can set up either a limited liability company or a corporation. Both arrangements protect owners from the debts of the business and lawsuits against the business.
Protect your business with insurance
It is a safe practice to purchase business insurance for your startup to protect your personal and company assets, and other potential risks as well. Some kinds of business insurance are…
- General liability insurance safeguards your business from different kinds of monetary loss such as damage to property, medical issues, injury, lawsuit settlement.
- Product liability insurance protects you from repercussions in case of a faulty product that harms a client.
- Commercial property insurance protects your company’s property from damage or loss due to natural disasters, mishaps, or vandalism.
Open a Business Bank Account
It is important for you to open a business bank account that is separated from your personal account. The pandemic changed the buying habits of people from in-store to online. People visit websites, if they like your product they pay online via credit cards or e-commerce companies like PayPal. Businesses pay for products or services by issuing a check, you can cash this and pay a fee or deposit it to your business bank account without any charge.