Setting up a business while studying at college or university may sound daunting, but it’s actually a great time to explore business ideas and take advantage of your spare time and the resources available to you as a student.
Many of the successful businesses we know and love today were setup by students who decided to take a chance and run with their ideas, including Google, Snapchat, FedEx and of course Facebook, which was famously setup by Mark Zuckerberg while studying at Harvard.
Not only will starting a business while studying allow you to hone your entrepreneurial skills, bring your ideas into existence and gain experience, but it could also lead to a ready-made career or put you one step ahead of other candidates with potential employers.
So, if you’re a student with dreams of running your own business, or you just want to explore your ideas further, here are a few expert tips to help you get started.
Make use of your free time
Although you need to set time aside to study for your qualifications, you will likely have more free time as a student than you will ever have in the future, so use it wisely. Of course, everyone needs time to socialise and relax, but if you dedicate time to your ideas and potential business, the payoff could be huge.
Research as much as possible
When it comes to starting a business, research is key, much like writing an essay or planning a project. From researching the competition and identifying gaps in the market, to listening to your target audience and considering the feasibility of what you want to achieve, you need to have a business plan in place that you can tweak and change as your research progresses and ideas evolve.
Take advantage of resources and support for young entrepreneurs
From libraries and societies to career services and alumni networks, universities and colleges have a number of free resources available to students who have an entrepreneurial spirit. Speak to fellow students and your lecturers to find out more about what support is available to you.
Here at the North East BIC, we also provide free start up support to young entrepreneurs, with a team of expert business advisers who can help you conduct the right research and proper planning to start a business. From face-to-face meetings, group workshops and ongoing phone and email support, you can choose a support package tailored to you.
Find out about funding
As a student, you may not have access to the funds needed to start up a business. The BIC can help you find out what funding may be available to you, and we’d also recommend speaking with your place of education to see if they have any grants or schemes in place to support your business journey.
Spread the word
Use technology to spread the word about your new business venture and build interest around your product or service. From social media platforms and student forums, to building your own website to shout about what you’re doing, there’s plenty of free ways to communicate with your target audience. It’s also beneficial to explore any networking events relevant to your business to help you meet likeminded people or potential customers.
And on a final note…
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek advice about starting your business while studying. Here at the BIC, we know exactly what is needed to start a business and we want to share that knowledge with entrepreneurs just like you. If you would like to speak to one of our expert business advisers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.