Life as a student can be enormously complicated. There are lectures to attend, books to read, essays to write, and social gatherings to attend. But for many students, there’s also time available to commit to a side-project or two, especially if many of the lessons being learned on campus can be applied to the world of business.
But is it worth the effort of starting a business when you’re in this position? There are several reasons to suppose so.
Reasonably low risk; high reward
Those looking to start a business later in life may have a whole host of commitments and responsibilities to weigh. They may have a mortgage to pay, or children to look after, or a day-job to attend. When you’re a student, you don’t have to deal with any of these impediments; you can simply get on with things. Even if you’ve previously been refused credit, there are online lenders who will help you finance your venture.
A university campus is brimming with would-be customers, all of whom can be easily accessed. They tend to be willing to help, and they’ll provide honest feedback. As such, they make for excellent test customers. While you’re ironing out the kinks, their feedback can be invaluable. Plus, they’ll be able to get your message out there onto social media.
A startup on your CV, even if it ultimately wasn’t successful, will impress would-be employers. And if you make a success of it, then it can only act as a springboard to bigger and better things. The experience of leadership is difficult to come by if you’re in employment, and thus a spell of entrepreneurship is likely to prove invaluable later on.
Great opportunity for networking
Just as the university provides a stream of potential customers, it also provides a stream of collaborators. You might have made friends on your course, and decided to go into business with them.
But there may also be other kinds of expertise available in other classes, and you have a unique opportunity to get out there and find them. Start floating the idea of your business, and putting up notices on campus message-boards and social media. It might be that the person you need to make your business a success is in the same building as you.
Build an inexpensive prototype
Prototyping is among the biggest stumbling blocks for any new venture. It’s costly, and there’s no definite reward on the horizon until you’re done developing your product. The entire process might last for weeks, or it might last for years.
Leverage the resources the university has to offer and make your prototypes cheaply and quickly. Whether it’s a CNC machine, a 3D printer, or a test kitchen, the chances are that your university has a facility that will – well, facilitate – your process.