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When someone thinks of a college student, one of the first images that come to mind is that of a broke youngster struggling for ways to survive and make money. Life in college can truly be costly. That is why it’s not uncommon to find students working dead-end jobs just to make ends meet. Fortunately, there is a better solution to the average college student’s cash flow dilemma: Start a business.
One common misconception about starting a business is that a person has to have a pot of money or years of experience to become an entrepreneur. This cannot be further from the truth. Many low-cost business ideas exist and can be great sources of income. Moreover, college students have several things going for them that make it ideal to get into business.
Top Five Reasons Why College Is Fertile Ground for Entrepreneurship
1. Access to a Free and Wide Network
Every business pretty much involves selling something, whether it is a tangible product or a service. But of course, in order to succeed, businesses must find ways to get their brand out to the masses. Doing this requires a web of connections and relationships. College students are actually in a very fortunate position to find suitable markets for practically any kind of goods.
Every college hosts a wide range of clubs and organizations that cater to a specific hobby or interest. These groups are fertile ground for niche markets that can be tapped and capitalized at any time. All that a student entrepreneur needs to do is to approach them and establish meaningful connections with its members.
In addition, school organizations are usually affiliated with similar groups in other schools. This means that a college student does not have to limit himself to his own school. With the right marketing skills, he can easily branch out to new markets and grow his business fast. This web of readily available markets is not always present for working employees because work/office environments are much more limited.
2. College Students Can Have a Wealth of Time, if They Want to
College students have more time on their hands that they probably even realize. With all kinds of homework and obligations to do, it seems that 24 hours is not enough. This problem, however, can be easily fixed with proper time management and good study habits. One of the beauties of college life is that students have more control over their schedule, giving them a chance to set aside time for a business enterprise.
Of course, for students who balance work with studies, starting a business can be tough. Good advice is to determine how important the student really needs to work while in school. If the student has good financial support, it is advisable to quit and use the free time for a business. If a student is self-dependent, however, they could take fewer classes and sacrifice some leisure time until the business takes off.
3. Student Entrepreneurs Are Better Prepared for the Professional World
It doesn’t matter if that tutorial service or used book and magazine stand don’t end up turning to be the next Fortune 500 company. Students who try their hand on business while in college give them an edge if they decide to enter the job market in the future. They develop skills that do not easily come to people working as employees. Good communication skills. Innovative thinking. Good work ethic. These are traits employers pay good money to get.
In addition, how many fast crew members, baristas, and receptionists who just got out off college are applying for the limited jobs available out there? The competition is stiff and ugly. College students must find more creative ways to sell themselves in the job market if they wish to have a better chance of success in their career.
4. College Is too Expensive
Debt is a constant reality in the lives of many students. This means that before they can even get a good head start in life, they are already slapped with the cold reality of indebtedness upon graduation. Starting a business will help defray these costs, and give students a better chance of fulfilling other goals in life, such as buying a nice car or their first home.
5. There Is Never Going to Be ‘The Right Time’
Starting a business is a dream for millions of people. However, only a few actually move forward to pursue this path. Why? Using lack of capital as an excuse is not good enough. The reason why people don’t end up going into business is because they are always waiting for the ‘right time.’ The thing is, the right time will never come.
The good news is that students are in a better position to take a risk. Students generally do not have many of the responsibilities that other adults have just yet. If they pass up an opportunity to start a business in college, they could face an uphill battle later in life.
Entrepreneurship is not very different from skydiving. People have to strap themselves and make sure they don’t plunge dead onto the ground, but at some point, there will be a moment when they have to decide whether to do it now or never do it at all. Going into a business can be risky, but the fulfillment it brings will surely make all the effort worth it.