There’s been several news reports recently (CNN and ABC to name a few) about college students creating their own buisness ventures. All of them explained that they got the idea after seeing a need for something in their community. They then came up with a successful concept and implemented it with the help of their friends, family and other business organizations. From comfy shoes for high heel fans, to care packages for college kids, these guys didn’t just play with the idea of running a business – they OWNED it.
So how can you become your own boss? Here’s some pointers:
1. Do Your Research and Develop a Business Plan: Starting your own business takes careful planning. If you think your idea is the next big thing, prove it. That means researching and looking at all the angles. How much can you afford to make or sell? How will you distribute it? How fast can you fill an order? Who will do your marketing or advertising? How do you plan on promoting it? These are all important questions you need to answer before you get started.
2. Figure Out Your Financing: Will you need a loan or a group of investors? Don’t just assume mom and dad are going to write you a check. If you need start-up moolah, think about asking your friends and family to be invest. If that makes you uncomfortable, there’s always business incubators and trade organizations (some of the students profiled worked with DreamIt Ventures and Alibaba.com) both locally and nationally that might be willing to offer you assist. Fair warning: Don’t approach them until you have a REAL business plan. If you want to be taken seriously as a business owner, you have to present yourself as such. If you’re not sure how to do that, think about paying a buisness major at your school to help you draw one up.
3. School Comes First: Think of school as your job and your business as a extracurricular activity. The key to your success is the knowledge you develop in class, and you can’t retain anything of you’re too busy taking orders and brainstorming online promotions. Set aside a certain amount of hours for both so there’s a clear line between your studies and business venture.
Hot Business Ideas:
College Currier Service: Who doesn’t need a personal assistant? Recruit your friends to run errands, grab food, and pick up supplies for the students and teachers on your campus.
24-Hour Tech Support: Are you and your crew good with computers and PDAs? Set up a 24-hour emergency call service to assist your classmates with everything from lost files to synching their e-readers to their iPhones.
Online Social Planner: Always know what’s going on or where the best party is every weekend? Create a local college event website that’s subscription-only and seek out local businesses to advertise.