Jeff Bartel is one of the most successful men in southern Florida. How did he get that way? He started early. As someone who is starting or interested in starting a dorm room business, you’re starting on the same path.
As a hopeful college entrepreneur you’ve been scouring the web, looking for quick information about how to start and run a business out of your half of a dorm room. You’ve learned about reputation management. You know how to accept mobile credit card payments. But what about the realities of doing business? A basic article that you find on HubPages will only take you so far.
You’re in college. Take advantage of that! You can really dig in and learn how to build and run a business. Here are the classes you should be taking.
Admittedly, economics is a vast subject. It’s complicated and messy and being able to truly understand it takes years. You might not want to devote years of your life to this subject. You should, though, take at least a basic econ course while you’re in school. Having at least a basic knowledge of economics helps you make savvy financial decisions when it’s time to grow your business. You’ll be able to look at markets and figure out whether or not to invest, whether or not to incorporate, whether or not to expand to other areas, etc.
You know that you have to pay a portion of what your business earns to the government right? You don’t just get to keep it. Self employment taxes can be incredibly complicated and, as a student, you likely don’t have enough money to hire an accountant to do them for you. This is why you need to take an accounting course. Accounting will teach you how to track your income, expenses and do your taxes correctly. Doing your taxes correctly is important. Trust us on this.
Learning how to spread the word about your business and how to track audience response is important. It’s how you know if what you’re doing for your company is actually working or not. There is more to marketing than slapping up a few posters and buying a couple of web ads. Taking a basic marketing course will teach you how to put together a comprehensive marketing plan and budget. You might even be able to use your own business for some of your projects.
You need to be able to speak clearly and well. Communications, on the surface, looks a lot like “speech class” from high school. Still, it’s worth taking. You’ll do more than learn how to give speeches. You’ll learn how to put together all manner of presentations and how to talk with all sorts of different people (individually and en masse). This helps you calm down for future board meetings or when you need to give a presentation to a potential investor.
As a college student you’re probably being forced to take at least an extemporaneous writing course. There is value here! Being able to write in a persuasive and eloquent fashion is important. Most of the communicating you are going to do as an entrepreneur is going to be in written form: social media posts, tweets, emails, blog posts, website copy, etc. Don’t you want it all to be readable?
Have you found entrepreneurial use in any of your college courses? Which classes surprised you the most in their usefulness?