For many, the four years of college will be remembered as a time of discovery. It’s where you learn more about yourself than ever before. You meet new people, embed yourself in new cultures and ideas. You explore new activities and try new things. You make friends that will last a lifetime and skills that will set you up for the future. It’s also the best time in your life to start a business.
Starting a business might not be the first thing on your mind as you walk into your new dorms. But, just think about the opportunity and look at some key examples. Two of the biggest names in business, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, started their first business in college. There has to be something to it, right? Yes, starting a business in college can be very fruitful. Whether you have big dreams in mind, or you simply need a way to help pay for tuition, it’s worth looking at.
The simple fact is this: at college you have more time and resources at your disposal. You’re in a new and exciting environment which triggers creativity and ideas. You are young and at your most optimistic and passionate. The college environment is also the perfect microcosm of the world ahead. It’s a great place to test out new ideas and make your first mistakes. Here’s our full list of why starting your first business at college is a lucrative plan.
You are young and full of ideas
Youth comes with its downsides. It can bring inexperience and naivety. We can’t always see the future problems that lie ahead because we haven’t been through the process yet. However, youth also has its benefits. We are optimistic, creative and excited about the world. Students have the entire planet at their feet. It’s no surprise that most rallies and demonstrations start with students. They are powerful and want to change the world. Put that passion and drive into a new business and you will see it soar. The single most important thing behind a business is passion. Find yours and mould it into a business. When you’re young, ideas come flowing out of you. Nothing is too silly. You haven’t been knocked down in the business world, yet. You can be the change in the world without compromising. Harness this youth and vigour.
You can make mistakes
Youth also affords us this one important aspect in life: making mistakes. A big part of starting a business is making mistakes. If you are creating a pioneering new idea, the likelihood is that you’ll take some wrong turns. If you’re forging a new path, then it’s inevitable. So long as you keep learning from them, mistakes are a good thing. They help you see more clearly and move forward. At college, you can make a ton of mistakes without impacting too much on your life. You don’t have others depending on your business or income. This means there’s less risk so you’re more likely to take difficult chances. There is no business reputation or worry about age. You’re still young, who cares if you make a mistake?
Use college resources
College is an endless and untapped resource for startups. There are some of the brightest minds in the world right on your doorstep. There is a library full of every piece of information you’ll ever need. Access the business and entrepreneurship aspects of your college. Speak to professors and even approach one to be your mentor. Look at the upcoming list of visiting lecturers or proposed trips. Most colleges will have visiting consultants from companies like Todays Growth and other businesses. Take advantage and book in meetings with useful visitors. Sometimes all it takes is a little advice from those with experience to help you see the right route.
Use college as a testing ground
Your college environment is like a little world away from home. College is its own microcosm of society. Within its ground you’ll find almost every type of personality. You’ll find different cultures, ages and passions. Use this to your advantage. If your idea works in this small community, you can guarantee it will work on a bigger scale. This was the key to Mark Zuckerberg’s success with Facebook. He started small, dominating the entire Harvard campus with his new idea. He could infer the worldwide potential of Facebook just by satisfying the needs of everyone at college.
You have more time
Although college is demanding, it is nothing compared to the time demands once you graduate. College frees you up and gives you the time to work on your ideas. You’ll have four years ahead of you and plenty of free time. Once you graduate, your life is consumed by the process of finding a job. This is draining on both your time and energy. Once you find a job, it will be much more demanding than a college degree. You may soon be thinking about family too. Make the most of the freedom afforded by college life.
At college, you are surrounded by some of the brightest and most driven young people. It is the ideal place to start recruiting people for your project or business. Find like-minded individuals who share your passion and drive. Use the network to find those who fill the skills that you don’t. Identify your weaknesses and look for others who excel in that area. There is nothing more powerful than a team of skilled, passionate individuals. Give your business the best start by recruiting the best team.
How to start
This all sounds great in theory. But, how do you get started? Well, first you need that world-changing idea. It doesn’t have to be world changing just yet. The best place to start looking is at your passions. Try turning your hobby into a business. This will work with crafts, photography, website building or just about anything. Then build your business into your college schedule. If you timetable it, you’re more likely to work on it. Set realistic goals and achievable to-do lists. Finally, get some sleep. Get up early and only party at the weekends!
College is one of the most powerful environments for developing a business. If you’ve got ideas and ambition, use it as a springboard to your business career. Take advantage of your surroundings and harness the passion of youth. What are you waiting for?