College students are filled with business ideas. There are several inspiring examples of innovative businesses that started off in college. Students hesitate to get their business plans going due to the requirement of a large financial investment. However, there are various ways of getting started without requiring a large sum initially. Here are a few examples:
1. Stoked Skateboards
David Rajewski,took a $1000 loan from his dad in in 2007. After doing research, he came up with an online storefront that deals in longboard high performance skateboards. Anyone who wants to buy a skateboard through the website can customize the color, size and the desired design. The site is now considered as a small skateboard mansion, bringing in over $708,000 in sales last year. Rajewski is a junior at University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.
2. College fashion
Zephyr Basine started her blog by investing under $100 from her dorm room in 2007. She graduated with a CGPA of 3.5, while laying the foundation of her website. Her blog is about budget-friendly college clothing. Zephyr managed to get over 1 million monthly page views after graduation. Her main income stream is through online advertisements.
3. Big Fish presentations
Nguyen launched Big Fish presentations with a budget of around $1000. The college startup has a team of 11 college students. The idea is to convert boring presentations into something beautiful that appeals to everyone. The company estimated revenue of $150,000-$175,000 this year. Half of the team members are students from LSU.
These 3 businesses have one thing in common. They were started without a large amount of financial investment. Here are a few things college students can do to experience the ins and outs of running a company.
1. Start blogging
Blogging is a great way to get started in college. Setting up a blog is easy. Only a web host and theme is required. Good web-hosting packages cost around $15-$20 per month. A good theme can cost around $35-$50, while sites like www.webstarts.com allow the creation of a free web-site. Through blogging, students can get exposure for their minor business plans through networking, guest posting and writing blog posts.
2. Start social media e-commerce
Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. are a unique selling point for products and services. There are examples of students who made their careers through selling products and services on social media sites. College students can sell minor products and services through these sites. Setting up a social media storefront is easy. All that a student is required to do is to set-up a page, attract followers (which would be easy for students as the college is a big market itself), and sell products and services (cakes, t-shirts etc.).
3. Offer services
Offering services while in college can give students a valuable experience. For example, if someone knows how to repair crashed software on a smartphone, he/she can use that skill and offer software repairing services among college students.
Small startups are a good way for students to gain valuable experience of running a company. Some of them may even go on to become profitable, valuable businesses.