If you can fit it around your studies, university is a great time to start a business. You are networking with likeminded people every day, you have access to tons of resources, and you have time on your side. If you make a mistake, you’ve got plenty of time to fix it. It’s also a brilliant thing to have on your CV when you are looking for a graduate job.
So how can you start a new business whilst you are at university?
Identify Your Niche
First of all, you must identify your niche- what is your expert subject? What can you offer that’s not already on the market?
Your business could be anything from starting a website, selling an online course, to selling a product. Once you have that brilliant idea, there will be no stopping you from starting your own business.
Decide where your strengths lie, and what kind of business might fit around your studies- and get started. It’s also a bonus if you can see potential for future growth- wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to work for yourself after graduating?
Build A Brand
Building a brand is an extremely important part of running a business and will make it stand out amongst your competitors.
This is the time to consider your branding, logo, colour schemes and designs that will make your business easily recognisable, and make people want to buy into what you are selling.
Consider Start Up Costs
For most people, money is tight at university. You need to make sure that whatever business plans you have in mind, you have the funds there for the start-up costs.
Before you dive in, it’s important to go over your numbers a few times to ensure that you are going to end up with a profitable business. But there can also be ways around the start up costs- for example, you could buy a secondhand camera if you were going to start a photography business.
If you’re going to be selling craft products on an online marketplace platform like Etsy, for example, you need to make sure you run the numbers to make sure you include selling fees and PayPal fees in addition to your other raw material costs.
Make Sure It Fits Around Your Schedule
When you’re at university, the most important thing is the course you are studying. You are there to get a degree, first and foremost.
If your business is going to take over your schedule and mean that you don’t have enough time to study? It’s critical that you scale it back to concentrate on getting your degree. The business idea can wait until after you’ve graduated.
Promote Your Business
Once you have your business set up, the best thing you can do is to start promoting it from the offset so that you can get your very first customers!
As well as telling all your friends and family about your new business, you should also create pages on social media to promote yourself. This is particularly important if your business is craft related, or is very visual.
Instagram is particularly good for businesses that create products, because your customers can easily see when you’ve launched a new product, and you can keep in touch with your customers to build loyalty over social media.