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Yes, You Can Become an Entrepreneur While Still in College

December 12, 2018
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Content you can become an entrepreneur while still in college

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did it. And look where they are now. You may not have aspirations of becoming a billionaire, but you can take your aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur and work toward them while still in school. And let’s face it – wouldn’t it be more rewarding and more fun to have your own business rather than work in some fast-food joint or walk people’s dogs to earn that extra money you want or need?

You don’t have to be the next Bill Gates. But you can find ways to let your entrepreneurial spirit fly and make some money at the same time. Here are your tips for doing just that.

What are Your Skills and Talents?

This is the first step. What are you good at? Are you a great writer, photographer, a “crafty” or a techie? What do you have a passion for? You can’t start a business without identifying those things you are good at and those things you love to do.

Where is There a Need?

This will take some research. Who needs the talents and skills you have? It might be right on campus; it might be companies that are looking for your talents on a contractual basis; it might be individual people who want a product or service you can provide.

Where is your competition? What can you offer that is better? A better price? Better service? Remember – Mark Zuckerberg saw a need for a social platform on his own campus and seized on that need.

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You may be a great writer. What companies are looking for article writers? You can begin by signing up with any number of freelancer websites and build a reputation for yourself, before striking out on your own. Better yet, what fellow students need your writing expertise and talent to craft their essays and papers? Many students have made great money doing this.

Do you have an idea for a product that can also provide a charitable purpose? One American college student decided to produce something simple – headbands for children suffering from cancer who had lost their hair. She built that business while still in college – it’s a huge money maker and supports a cause near and dear to people’s hearts.

Look to Resources on Campus

Are you taking any business or economics courses? Develop a relationship with those professors and use them as mentors and advisors as you pursue your own business. Or, if you are a techie who has decided to create a new app, what computer science professors may be able to help? And don’t forget that marketing course you may be enrolled in. Your product or service may be amazing, but without the right marketing strategies, it will go nowhere.

You Have to Have a Plan

You don’t need a formal business plan unless you are going to ask for funding from an outside source. But you do need a plan. Again, a business professor can help you develop that plan so that you know what resources you must gather, what you must budget for, and how you will reach a profitable state as quickly as possible.

Use Social Media

No one can market a product or service without a website, probably a blog, and, most important, social media. Again, you will need to do the research. Where does your target market hang out on social media? Pick just a couple of their most popular platforms and inundate them with your presence. Drive them to your website.

And if you have an audience right on campus, do not forget those platforms for marketing your product or services. Seek out other campuses as well.

Remember You Need Balance

Starting up a business, either as a freelancer or as a standalone business, is exciting. It is easy to get yourself off-balance and neglect your coursework and academic tasks. Don’t do it. Your business may or may not stand the test of time. Getting that degree is still important and should be a high priority. You may have to give up some of your social life and other activities to get this balance. Only you can be the judge of your priorities. Just use common sense.