Are you in college? Have you thought about what you want to do with your life? If you haven’t, it is high time you did as college is as good an opportunity to start a business as any.
Actually, it is the perfect time to start your very own business. The founders of some of the biggest companies around the world started their dream companies as college students as well.
Mark Zuckerberg, the envy of many college dropouts-turned-startup founders, started Facebook as a sophomore at Harvard, and left shortly after when Facebook gained traction. Steve Jobs, one of the most legendary founders of all time, attended Reeds College briefly before dropping out in 1972 (although he didn’t make Apple with his pal Wozniak until 1976).
These are the misfits, the “round pegs in the square holes”, as Jobs famously said, and there are thousands like them. But for every thousands, there are millions who will have started their own businesses in college, failed, and never hit the headlines. And learnt some invaluable lessons that can help them with their next business.
Nevertheless, college is still one of the best opportunities you will get to start your own business and here is why.
1. Campus Resources
You will have access to some of the best resources in a university; a fast internet connection, a business environment, free legal and financial advice. Moreover, a lot of universities today have their own incubation centers which provide incubation for startups for free or for a nominal fee.
Some of the most popular university-run incubation centers in Pakistan include:
2. Peer Support
In college, you have a whole peer-support system ready for you to take advantage of. You can meet with students from a lot of different fields and build strong relationships that could lead to potential business partnerships as well.
Most co-founders meet each other in college before embarking on a new journey in business. Peer-based learning is one of the best ways to learn.
3. Access to a large customer base
The first thing you need to ask yourself when starting a business is, who is your customer? How will your reach out to them?
Finding the first few users is the hardest part of any business or startup and college is where you can find them. College makes it easier to do that, with a diverse range of students from different fields, all studying together.
4. Career Building
Running a business is hard work, and it makes you adapt. It also shows that you have the commitment and dedication required for a job. With universities churning out graduates by the thousands every year, anything that makes you stand out is worth attempting.
If you have ran your own business, even if it failed, it is a big plus for you when going to any job interview.
5. Real-world knowledge
School and college can go only so far in teaching you the workings of a business. The only way to learn it is through trial and error.
When you start a business, you learn a lot about what you need in terms of commitment and hard work.
For most people, college is the time when they are the most free from responsibilities and expectations.
Due to the lack of dependents on the students, they can start and fail without burdening others.
College is the place where you can find experienced veterans from almost every field, providing you quick and free access to mentorship and advice.
You can meet with professors and use their experience and knowledge in their particular fields to your advantage.
8. Access to the right courses
You have the choice of going into almost any field you are interested in when in college.
A computer science student can take a course from the field of management or business administration and put the skills he or she learned in both the fields to use by starting a business in his or her own field.
9. Practice Makes Perfect
They say that the fear of failure is what keeps most of us from realizing our true potential. The same is the case when starting your business. Starting out young means you quickly learn to overcome this fear and aren’t afraid of taking risks.
Make realistic and manageable goals for yourself. Learn what worked and what didn’t as you embark on your business idea. Build up your network. Every little bit helps.
10. Own It
You started it. You are running it. As far as you are concerned, this is the perfect time to market not just your business, but also you as well.
Are you good at talking and connecting with people? Or are you good with the technical aspects of your business? Perhaps you are more concerned with getting the message across. In any case, building your business early can help launch your personal brand. Even if your business doesn’t work out, your marketability and capabilities are now known to a lot of people, and opportunities come knocking to your door.
Got any more reasons why starting your business when you’re in college is a good idea? Share them with your fellow readers below.