We are experiencing a huge boom in entrepreneurship where all sorts of people have decided to start their own businesses. There are fun names associated with some of these people such as mompreneur, a compound of mom and entrepreneur. Well, let’s talk about student entrepreneurs.
What is a student entrepreneur?
A student entrepreneur is someone who, while enrolled in higher education, embarked on an entrepreneurial journey. Being a college student while running your own business can be stressful, yet student entrepreneurs find a way to succeed in both roles.
Anyone with the capacity to run their own business can be an entrepreneur. However, the distinction for student entrepreneurs is that they’re enrolled in higher education. If you were thinking about high school students who go into business for themselves, those are actually kid-preneurs.
There are many of us using products that were developed by student entrepreneurs. WordPress, for example, was created in 2003 by two college students, Matt Mullinweg and Mike Little. With more than 43.2% of all websites using WordPress, calling the company a success is an understatement.
The benefits of being a student entrepreneur
Many of us can think of reasons why being an entrepreneur is a great idea. But what are the advantages of starting a business while in college?
- You’re surrounded by other students who can inspire you. With 20 or more students in your class, there are plenty of opportunities to share ideas and survey needs. Remember, people, inspire people and inspiration fuels motivation.
- You have access to educators and guest speakers. Developing an idea requires knowledge in fields that perhaps your friends, family, and colleagues don’t possess. Anything going in or on the body requires a chemist’s expertise. That alone can be very costly but being in college there are professors who may be willing to advise you for free.
- School can be a safety net in case the business doesn’t take off as hoped. Though there isn’t an actual age limit for going to college, many who do are in their 20s. This means individuals have plenty of time to bounce back from a failed startup or to even start over. Recovering from financial pitfalls is easier to do when they happen earlier in life.
- You’ll develop practical interpersonal and workforce skills. Oftentimes, newly graduated students are concerned about their lack of experience in a field to gain employment. Operating a startup easily provides the experience necessary to qualify for a job. Skills such as leadership, time management, and even tools used (e.g. QuickBooks Online for accounting, Calendly for scheduling, etc.) are easily transferable.
How to become a successful student entrepreneur
Actually, the road to being a successful student entrepreneur isn’t different from any other type of entrepreneurial success. Read our post How to Start Your Business From Scratch to see the necessary steps any entrepreneur should take. Here are some unique things to consider as a student entrepreneur.
Read More: How to Start Your Business From Scratch
Make the most of school resources
Many universities or colleges that have business administration programs, usually have some entrepreneurship resources as well. So you don’t have to be enrolled in a prestigious business school to access these resources. Here are some ways to take advantage of what’s available to you at school.
Take a class in entrepreneurship
There’s no need to figure it out when someone is ready and willing to teach you how to start your own business. Build a solid foundation with the entrepreneurial knowledge your school offers, and once you are prepared, find the perfect profitable online business for you.
Visit the student entrepreneur center
Student centers are designed to offer specific resources based on your interests. You can get free access to business consultants and relevant legal information. Some student centers and coworking hubs, signed up via coworking software, also double as sub-community centers where like-minded people congregate and network.
Participate in entrepreneur competitions
Oftentimes, colleges will host competitions for recognition, grants, and other rewards. Participating in these contests will not only encourage you to lean into your startup but will also provide exposure for your idea. Investors frequent these competitions to find the next big thing to put their money toward.
Use your student discount
Software and other materials can be expensive which is why we highly suggest you use your student discount. Just by being enrolled in school, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by telling vendors you’re a student. All of the money you’re saving can be invested in other areas of your startup putting you that much closer to success.
Because we want to see student entrepreneurs succeed, we have special offers for college students. Kdan PDF Reader is a PDF document solution that manages and controls file access, allowing businesses to securely share password-protected documents. Students, faculties, and staff members with a valid education email can save up to 50% on our PDF document software across mobile and desktop devices. If you’d like to explore creative ideas or create visual content, try Creativity 365.
Identify your priorities
Both school and your startup will demand much of your time and attention. Therefore, you must decide what matters to you and what doesn’t. If your startup is more of a hobby to you, prioritize your education. If entrepreneurship is your ultimate goal, prioritize your business.
College schedules can be intense, especially during finals. You can expect late nights and last-minute studying for exams. Successful student entrepreneurs manage their time very well, almost meticulously, to ensure their businesses are receiving the dedication necessary to meet their goals with the balance between maintenance and growth.
Here are some tips to help you prioritize between your business and your education.
- Use a planner. These can be physical calendars or applications with integration with Google Calendar on your phone or computer. Whichever helps you best remember what’s going on today, this week, this month, etc. is the planner you should use. Keep track of your classes, deadlines, and exams, and schedule a time to dedicate to your business.
- Break down big tasks. Create daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists to avoid procrastination. You don’t want to wait until the last minute when you have very important incomplete tasks for your classes and your startup. Working toward large goals one small step at a time will help prevent anxiety, allowing you to think clearly and prioritize appropriately.
- Color code items. To help you see where a task lies on the importance spectrum, it might help to color code deadlines, assignments, and goals. This way, you’re not working on a so-so item with an important registration deadline approaching. The items that will make the biggest difference should be colored an alarming color like red. Consider the consequences when the task is both completed and neglected to decide what color to label it.
Last but not the least, no matter what you’re working on, it’s crucial to find a healthy balance between managing your business and looking after your well-being. This means taking care of your physical and mental health, making time for breaks, and getting sufficient sleep. At the end of the day, a successful student entrepreneur is someone who not only excels in their business efforts but also prioritizes their well-being, recognizing that true success is a wholistic achievement.
Build your network
One of the perks of being a student is having an abundance of people to network with on a regular basis. Build relationships with your classmates, professors, and the administration. A benefit to networking at school is that you can take your time unlike with networking events where you have maybe 10 minutes to establish a connection.
Knowledgeable people love sharing what they learned with students. Have courage and reach out to business owners because it’s likely they’re willing to teach you everything they know.
Recognize when to move on
Failure is simply finding ways that don’t work. However, there may come a point where you can’t salvage the failure and need to move on. It can be difficult to let go of a business you gave your everything to.
Sometimes people feel pressured to succeed and keep pouring themselves into an idea that will not work. To minimize losses, it’s important to recognize the point of no return. The wonderful thing about entrepreneurship is you can try again and again and again.
Each time you try again, you’re not starting from scratch. You’re starting a new business with all the knowledge you gained from your previous endeavors. Seeing failure as an opportunity will lead you to success.
All in all
Becoming an entrepreneur while in school is a great idea because you have direct access to inspiration from other students and the expertise of your professors and guest speakers. Also, some software providers offer their products at a discounted rate for students. To ensure your success, remember to take advantage of everything your school offers, identify your priorities, build your network, and view failures as opportunities.
We, at Kdan Mobile, want to support businesses of all sizes. If you’re a student entrepreneur who is looking for the right tools for your business, don’t miss out on our PDF document solution and our content creation suite.