You might be thinking that it would be a good idea to wait until you’re out of college to start your business. However, Jess Ekstrom, CEO and founder of HeadbandsofHope.com, writes for Entrepreneur.com that you should seriously consider starting your business now, while you’re still at university.
You can probably think of dozens of reasons why you shouldn’t start a company now, but Ekstrom’s experience of starting her own company, HeadbandsofHope, indicates that college might be the perfect time. She started her company in college, even though she thought at the time that she should really focus her efforts on making good grades or telling herself that she didn’t have enough experience. She then understood that there would always be some reason to say that it isn’t the best time to do something. She says that college is probably the best time of your life to start a business, contrary to what you might think.
First, she argues that you have lots of resources to help you start your business. At a college, you’ve got experts all around you in the form of professors who would love to share their ideas, experience, and advice with budding entrepreneurs. Even without a business degree or knowledge about starting a business, she was able to access important knowledge to start her business. All this information was free, and it would be super expensive after college if she had to hire consultants. Colleges also have entrepreneurial centers and partnerships with local startups and mentors who focus on helping students create viable startups.
Additionally, students like to support other students’ efforts to create businesses. They spread the word through social media about products or services that they like. Students make referrals all the time and tell their friends and acquaintances about good experiences they have had with a business. They’re a built-in support network and can even give you feedback about what you’re selling to help you improve it.
Finally, as a college student, you can focus your efforts on your business while you aren’t encumbered by life’s many responsibilities. This lack of “encumbrances,” such as family obligations and full-time work do not apply to all students, but many students find themselves with ample time to do what they want to further their futures. You also are likely in a position to make mistakes as the consequences at this stage in your life of failures are not as grave as they may be down the road.
Believe that you can make a successful business. Research your market. Make a test product. Get the word out, and improve what you’re offering. Take advantage of internships at startups in your area during the summers, and find mentors who are happy to help a young entrepreneur get started. You can establish and grow your business now, while you’re still studying. Take advantage of the time and resources you have at this stage in your life to make your future even brighter.