For students studying business, it’s only natural to desperately want to put new learning quickly into action.
John Rampton, a high-profile entrepreneur ranked second in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 50 Online Influencers” refers to how success “means having the right idea in the right place at the right time.” This can obviously be something of a problem for a business student who still has years to go until their degree is complete, and doesn’t wish to hold off!
However, thanks to modern technology and the ease of starting a modern business, there’s not necessarily any reason to wait. In fact, in some ways, getting a business off the ground at the same time as studying has some unique benefits. We discuss these, as well as a few disadvantages, in this article.
The Modern Business Landscape
Many people nowadays start successful businesses from the comfort of their laptop keyboards. The connected world has created all kinds of online jobs that students can do, from coaching to freelance writing. This is great news for those studying, as there are now dozens of ways to break free from the “broke student” stereotype.
There’s also nothing to say students must stop at doing work for other people. Starting a business from scratch is a valid option too.
There are some important precautions to take. Students starting businesses still have the same legal and financial obligations as everybody else. There may, therefore, be issues around meeting clients on university premises or information security concerns for those using shared college computer networks.
There are always answers to these issues, for example using VPN services to encrypt data communications and using co-working spaces to meet clients. The most important thing is that students remember that all the normal rules still apply – and then task themselves with finding creative ways to comply with them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting a Business as a Student
Some of the key advantages of starting a business as a student include:
- Easy access to kindred spirits and possible business partners.
- Access to a host of university resources.
- Ready-made promotional networks (The Independent highlights the benefits of student databases, special interest groups and unions).
Possible disadvantages generally link to potential conflicts between business and study obligations, such as:
- Time clashes (what happens if meetings and lectures occur at the same time?)
- Lack of availability (how can customers be served during final exams?)
- Financial issues (funding studies and a new business could prove challenging).
Obviously it’s important for every student considering such a venture to realistically assess their plans with these points in mind. However, it’s a good idea to also keep in mind that many hugely successful businesses kicked off in a university environment. Just a few examples of such businesses are Facebook, Time Magazine and Google, started at Harvard, Yale and Stanford respectively.
There’s nothing to say that students must create the next Facebook! One great thing about starting businesses today, especially online businesses, is that it’s easy to start small (and inexpensively) and scale up as needed.
At every step of the process there’s something new to learn, so even if students don’t make a huge success of their first business, there’s still always a transferrable skill to learn – whether it’s in social media, content marketing or business accounting.
It’s also worth noting the huge selection of online platforms that make starting a new business smooth and effortless. People can create and sell courses on Udemy, manufacture crafts for sale on Etsy or Notonthehighstreet, integrate their designs with existing products on Society6, or set up a “shop front” for any kind of business service on the likes of Freelancer of PeoplePerHour.
As little as a decade ago, students didn’t have anything approaching this level of opportunity. Subject to ensuring such work doesn’t conflict too much with studies, it seems a crying shame not to take advantage.
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Source: Home Business
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