How to Start a Startup or Small Business in College?

Starting a Startup or Small Business in College
Starting a Startup or Small Business in College

A great time to explore entrepreneurship is College which there are lots of different business opportunities that students of the college can start without plenty of time commitment or upfront expense. Keep in mind, some of the most successful entrepreneurs start their big ideas while in college like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell of Dell Computers. 

In this article, you can read about some small business opportunities for students of the college. While finding a great idea is a first important step, so you need to know more about some key steps to reach to a good idea.

  • How to start a business idea in college?
  • Some Advantages of Starting Your Small Business in College
    • 1. Technology
    • 2. Word of Mouth
    • 3. Accessible Customers
    • 4. Career Building
  • Business Ideas for College Students
    • 1. Start a Website/Blog
    • 2. Virtual Assistant
    • 3. Tutor
    • 4. Social Media
    • 5. YouTube
    • 6. Designer
    • 7. App Developer
    • 8. Book Seller
    • 9. Tech Support Provider
    • 10. Publication
    • 11. Resume writing services
    • 12. Transportation Services
    • 13. Language transcription service
    • 14. Notes Digitization service

How to start a business idea in college?

First, finding your priorities can be a challenge. Therefore, define your short-term and long-term business goals and how college fits into them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you starting a small business before graduation?
  • Why do you value staying in college?
  • Do you see a future job with your business after graduation?

You can define your reasons clearly when answering these questions. Now you need to decide when to sacrifice study time versus business opportunities.

Universities and colleges offer several free resources you can use while starting your business. For example, free Wi-Fi, copy and print services, online resources, and library materials are indispensable tools to help progress your business interests. Also, you can get discounts on student software. 

As you know, students have lots of spare time in college or university. You can connect with classmates and other students for recruitment opportunities while you’re building your business and make it a learning opportunity for everyone. Lots of startups have employed students for onboarding.

The class of college is a good place to ask business-minded questions and test your product in your college community and examine your competitors’ sales strategies. You can ask students, niche demographic organizations or campus groups some questions like:

  • Would you use this business?
  • What makes the business desirable?
  • What would you improve?

Answering these questions will help improve your business plan and result in better time management.

In the early stages of any business financial growth is an important factor. college is a great way to find funding sources for your startup if you’re looking to generate money flow. For Instance, Finance and scholarship offices can help you secure loans, scholarships.

Make yourself a daily checklist and highlight the most important deadlines if you need to fit in goals each day. One thing that helps you stay focused and optimize specific goals is checklists.

The benefit of college networks is mentors. You can find them and ask if they can introduce you to local business development offices or experts in the field. While you are a student, most people are generally willing to help you. Mentors can offer advice, coaching, and opportunities to connect with businesses for college credit.

Young entrepreneurs make the first mistake by spending too much time building a product before they try to sell it. Keep in mind, if you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business as a small company. As a rule, many people can understand the basics of a product through a good brochure, which can act as your first product. For example, if you have an idea for an athletic sock, first find a graphic designer who can digitally create the sock that you want to make. Next design a PDF brochure that shows a few images of the sock highlighting its unique features. Finally, include your website and a method of contacts like your email address and phone number. 

Some Advantages of Starting Your Small Business in College

1. Technology

Colleges offer Wi-Fi, scanners, software, copy and fax machines and a high tech library, students walk around with smartphones, iPods, and laptops.  You are in one of the most well-connected places on the world. Everything that you need to start your small business is right in front of you.  

2. Word of Mouth

Word publishes fast on colleges and schools so it will be your cheapest form of marketing.  There is no better confirmation to buy a product or service than having a recommendation from a classmate or friend.  For example, Napster music sharing service started from a dorm room of college and publish like wildfire because of the students’ proximity to one another.  

3. Accessible Customers

A valuable resource for testing out your ideas are students in college. If you can encourage them to pay money for something, it’s a good sign your service or product is viable. 

4. Career Building

If you start a small business in college and it fails, it’s an advantage on your resume. Starting a business demonstrates that you’re creative, proactive and driven and this is the type of employee successful companies are looking for.

Business Ideas for College Students

1. Start a Website/Blog

You can start earning by picking a topic you’re passionate about it and create a website/blog to build an audience.

Some Free Website Builders

  • Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder 
  • Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses 
  • SITE123 – Great Help and Support 
  • Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites
  • WordPress– Perfect for Blogging
  • Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder 
  • IM Creator – Good for White Label Businesses
  • Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup
  • Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites
  • SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor

2. Virtual Assistant

Work from your dorm room or home as a virtual assistant, offering services like email communications and social media management.

3. Tutor

You could offer your services to other college students or other online people as a tutor if you have expertise in a specific academic topic. Some platforms like UDEMY help experts to earn money from the online course.

Some Tutor Platforms

4. Social Media

If you have a fair amount of social media knowledge, you can offer your services to businesses that need help. This service can be as a consultant or by your own social media accounts make money by advertising products for brands.

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5. YouTube

Choose any topic that interests you such as games, comedy and music or tutorials, make videos and upload on your own YouTube channel and earn revenue from ads.

Related Articles

6. Designer

Start as a 2D or 3D graphic designer, working on branding elements, logos, jewelry, interior design or other for the client as a freelancer.

Related Platforms

7. App Developer 

If you’re skilled with the technology of mobile, you could make your own app and then selling them in app stores or develop for clients.

8. Book Seller

Students of college often have a lot of books lying around. You could start a business by selling those books online.

Where to Sell Used Books

9. Tech Support Provider

College students or other people with tech questions can contact you for assistance in exchange for a small fee.

10. Publication

As a Student, you can start your own magazine/blog about your degree subject and get tutors, other students, and experts to contribute. Therefore, you could earn money from ads or subscription fee.

11. Resume writing services

People without much fluency in English can struggle with writing resumes so you can find your clients online and write their resumes.

12. Transportation Services

A group of students can join together to start this business. All you need is two or three cars. Promote your business by online ads or on notice boards offering rides or other transportation services in return for money. 

13. Language transcription service

If you are at a college or university in a different country where they speak different languages, therefore, you know both languages so start a transcription service. Create your own website where clients like companies or people can upload documents in one language, you could work on it, transcribe the document to their demands, and then send it back to them over your portal and a fee would be taken.

14. Notes Digitization service

Start to offer a note digitization service to other students, teachers, or university staff as a small business If you can type fast. This service could be charged for example on a per-word basis for you to type up handwritten notes into word documents, PowerPoints or excel sheets.

There are lots of opportunities for students of the college to earn money if you look around.  But don’t forget your first reason to be in college is to become a graduate. If you decide to start a small business in college, please tell us in the comments. 

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