Why College Students Should Start A Small Business In School

student entrepreneursWith a shrinking market for good, high-paying jobs, the old model of getting a full-time job right out of college just doesn’t work for all graduates.  Start a small business while you are still in school and graduate with more than just a degree, real small business experience!

Then while other graduates are worried about competing for fewer good jobs, your part-time small business can become your full-time venture, an asset to sell, or a second source of income.  And if you decide to jump in the shark tank with the other grads, your small business experience will shout “hire me” from your resume’!

I love this article by Joel Gascoigne, the creator of Buffer.  This is a similar message to what I share when I speak to high school and college students. You’ll never get a better time in your life to create a business then when you are still in school.

Here are just a few of the advantages student entrepreneurs have:

– You can schedule your business building work hours around your classes.
– You have time to try or experiment with several different ideas in case one doesn’t work.
– You get to utilize school resources, teachers, equipment etc. Some maybe for free or already paid for by your student fees.
– You have low to no overhead! Possibly operate from your dorm room or a college business incubator (Yes, I know it’s not technically allowed to have a business in a dorm room, but sometimes you have to bend the rules to create something new).
– You likely don’t have the pressure of having a family, lots of bills, or other big life responsibilities.

Join me, Joel and many others to encourage students to consider starting a business while they are still in school.  I have a lot more information to help student entrepreneurs…those posts will be coming out soon!  Sign up below to get notified when I post a new article!

What Type of Small Business Should I Start?

Make your passion your business

What type of small business should I start?  That is the question you may have pondered for a while.  The quick answer is to make your passion your business.  For example, I started my DJ business because I loved being a DJ.  I couldn’t imagine a more fun business then that.  Over the years my passions have changed and I eventually sold my DJ company….to someone that was also very passionate about it!

Here is a quick entrepreneur idea test

The key to finding the answer to the question “What type of small business should I start?” is to ask yourself different questions.  Give yourself just 2 minutes to answer each of these questions (Your answers will be just as good if you write whatever comes to mind quickly as opposed to analyzing them for hours):

  1. What are 5 things or activities that you love to do, that you are passionate about?  These are things you could do for hours and hours every day, year after year, even without pay.
  2. What are 5 things or activities you are really good at without a lot of effort or preparation?  These are things that other people tell you that you do well and/or that they find difficult to do.
  3. What do you feel is absolutely essential for you to do in your lifetime?  The things that you feel you must do while you are alive.  What do you dream about doing?
  4. If time and money was not an issue, what are the things that you would be doing?
  5. What resources, special knowledge, training or experience do you already have?

Now look at your list.  What is the number one theme running through all of your answers?  What one thing or activity did you list the most?  This will be your primary aim and could be you answer to “What type of small business should I start?”

Now what is the 2nd and 3rd most listed?  Maybe one of these is a better answer to “What type of small business should I start”?  Then ask this question, what are you willing to give?  What are you willing to do to achieve this goal?  How committed are you?  What is your intention to create?

“When you value the freedom and opportunity of starting your business more than the comfort of your current position, then you will take the leap.”  Tom Kenemore

You are unique.  Other people don’t have the same passions, desires and expertise that you have.  What you may know how to do blindfolded, others may not have a clue where to start.  This can be a clue to your small business destiny.

Solve a problem!  If you or someone else says “Someone should do something about that.”  That is another clue to a potential business.  As you go through your day, what frustrates you or your friends, what things should be available in the market?  Could there be an app for that?

“Every challenge has the seed of an equal or greater opportunity”.

When you have an answer to “What type of small business should I start?”  Ask yourself these clarifying questions:  Is there a market for your business idea, product or service?  Is selling to that market feasible?  Is there a low-cost way to reach enough potential buyers for your product or service?  I recommend focusing and specializing in a narrow niche.  Keep it as simple as possible.  Jack of all trades is the master of no trade.  If your business starts out complicated, the likely hood of failure is higher.  Be a star at what you do, not a nebula.  Grow rich in a niche.

BONUS TIP:  Look for a market of fanatics, collectors, or raving fans about your area of interest.  These markets can often be easier to break into.

I hope this helps you answer the question “What type of small business should I start?”  Subscribe below to get notified when I post a new article!

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