How students can start their own business

Starting a business

Maybe you look up to Mark Zuckerberg or Cameron Johnson and dream of following in their footsteps. Maybe you want to make it big while you’re young and have no responsibilities. You’re motivated, amped and have a million ideas. And you’re determined to make your dreams come true. But, the thing is, you don’t know where to start. You could be studying finance or marketing and have big dreams for your life and all you need is the courage to take the plunge.

Here are a few guidelines on how to start your own business.

What do people want?

In the movie Inception, Leonardo Dicaprio’s character can steal people’s ideas and gain insight into their thoughts by infiltrating their dreams. Imagine if that were possible. You could gain a deep understanding of what every student really wants and you could make a huge success of it. You may not be lucky enough to have access to the innermost thoughts of every students at your university but if you do market research, you can find out what the students need around campus. It’s important to find a product or service that’ll cater to students’ needs.

Take the plunge

There is no such thing as the ‘right time’. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, you’ll never start your business. Many people do a lot of talking but don’t take any steps towards making their dreams a reality. You don’t know what will happen until you try. Ask yourself what’s stopping you and get to the root of things. Why haven’t you started your business? Are all your excuses valid or is fear holding you back?

Business plan

Once you’ve decided on the product you want to sell or service you want to offer, it’s important to draw up a business plan. A business plan will help you stay organised, assist you in reaching your goals, keep you on track, and aid you in getting funding from anyone who wants to help you financially.

Find help

Every employer dreams of hardworking, loyal, and dedicated staff who’ll help their business grow. Hire the right people for the job, people you can trust and who’ll be reliable. Otherwise, you may find yourself working on a loss if they steal your supplies. Or they may just decide not to pitch to work. Do thorough interviews that’ll help you assess their characters.

Bookworm

Read books on successful business people and find out what strategies they used to build their empires. If you read other people’s stories, it could give you insight into the best ways of navigating your business and making it thrive. It’ll also expose you to new ways of doing things and expand your knowledge. You’ll also be able to see how other people overcame their failures, which might give you confidence and help you realise that starting a business isn’t always smooth sailing.

Knowledge is power and reading will help you advance your business.

Failure

Failure isn’t the end, it’s an opportunity to start all over with more knowledge on what not to do. You may come across a few pitfalls along the way, but you shouldn’t let that deter you. Many successful people have failed and been rejected throughout their lives. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, what matters is that you persist and try again.

Networking

Get the word around about your business. The more people who know, the more business there will be. Advertise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The aim is to get the word out and create a buzz about your product.

Here are a few examples of businesses you can start on campus:

Tutor

You can tutor students during the weekend. There are many students who need extra help to improve their grades. If you’re good at a particular subject, you could help other students who’ll benefit from your expertise.

Textbooks

Textbooks are pricey and you could establish your own second-hand book store where you sell books for other students for a small fee.

Washing

If you have a washing machine at home, you could wash other students’ clothes for a fee.

Lift club

Students always need lifts to go somewhere and you could make money by starting a lift club. It could be taking them to their part-time jobs or taking them to the shopping centre for groceries. You could use your own car or lease a business car to provide this service for your clients.

Starting a business isn’t easy and there are many obstacles you might encounter. But if you have patience and perseverance, you’ll soon reap the rewards. The climb to success isn’t easy and will require a lot of trial and error. But if you believe in yourself and have willpower, you’ll be on your way to success.

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