Starting a business is challenging. So is succeeding as a college student. But for the entrepreneurial student, doing both at the same time can be even harder.
For many economic analysts, millennials are poised to become the least entrepreneurial generation in recorded history. Based on a nationwide survey conducted by EY and the Economic Innovation Group, millennials are looking up to startup founders and self-employment, but the current economic state prevents them from starting their own business.
It’s true that running a business while still a student is challenging. But if you ask the likes of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not an impossible feat. Discover 5 tips that can help an entrepreneurial student succeed in today’s highly competitive market.
Choose the Right Degree Program
Make sure that you pick courses that align with your business plan. For example, if you’re thinking of starting your own clothing line, you might want to major in fashion design. What you’ll learn in college is crucial for your startup business.
Worried that you don’t have enough knowledge and the right skills to make your business real? Consider taking extra courses in entrepreneurship or other business-related subjects. Surely, this will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to start your business.
Secure Your Intellectual Property
In the US, the patent system switched from “first to invent” to “first to file”. This means that if you don’t write down your business ideas and put a date on it, you could potentially lose the patent to your intellectual property. This could mean losing a lot of money or worse, your business!
To avoid the risk of someone stealing your ideas or having someone sue your for allegedly stealing theirs, you must protect your work. Having your intellectual property registered with copyright, trademark or patent is the way to go. You can save yourself from the hassle of running a business in case it grows quickly in the future.
Take Advantage of Free Support
One of the best things about starting a business while still an entrepreneurial student is that you’re surrounded by experts in the field. For instance, you can turn to a marketing professor to give you advice on effective marketing strategies or a business instructor to teach you how to write a business plan.
Enjoy the benefits of free support because once you’re out of college, chances are you’ll have to shell out some cash to get the same level of support.
Be Confident and Seek to Improve Your Skills
As an entrepreneurial student, you will get ideas and suggestions that might question your strategy. In case you encounter these hang-ups that might create confusion, just remember to have a realistic viewof your own strengths and weaknesses. According to IHateWritingEssays founder, David Anderson, “You need to focus on your business’ goals and objectives, and use the right tools and marketing strategies to maximize return of investment”.
Opinions do matter, but what’s important is that you learn to sort out what’s beneficial and what’s not, for your business. Ditch suggestions and tactics that are not aligned with your business plan, and pick those that can help improve it.
Give Yourself A Break
Believe it or not, the scariest word to any entrepreneur isn’t “failure”, but “burnout”. This is called ‘Founder’s Blues’ and according to a 2018 report, this mental health issue is experienced by a whopping 72% of entrepreneurs.
The reason is simple: Entrepreneurs experience higher levels of pressure and stress than most other professionals. This is why it’s important to get some R&R from time-to-time.
If you feel burned out from your studies and planning out your business, take some time to disconnect and spend time with family and friends, or do something else that can help you relax like reading a book or watching movies. Sure enough, you’ll get back to becoming more resilient and productive!
Instead of the usual 9-to-5 job, young entrepreneurs are more keen to launch their own startup business. As easy as this may sound, running a business requires a great deal of planning and patience. Equipped with the right strategies, you can take your business to the next level. And the 5 success tips we’ve discussed here can make the job a little easier!