College is typically a time for great parties and going to class only when absolutely necessary. If you’re thinking of starting a business before you graduate, you might even wonder why you even need to waste time and money in college. Before you ditch your school uniform of pajama bottoms and whatever wrinkled shirt you can find that doesn’t smell too badly, consider the advice of entrepreneurs who well-remember their days in college. Developintelligence posted some tips for college entrepreneurs that may help you navigate your way to creating the next great start-up.
There have been some successful entrepreneurs who didn’t finish college, yes. However, that’s not always the best route. It’s a much better idea most of the time to finish your degree. To have that diploma in-hand is always a good back up plan. You’re not betting on failure of your start-up to spend another year or two in college. You’re being smart. If your first start-up doesn’t do as well as you hope in the time frame you originally planned, you may be faced with mountains of student loan debt that you have to repay. Besides that, college offers the opportunity to learn skills that you may need in your new job or exposure to people at career fairs or entrepreneurship events on campus who you would not otherwise meet. You might also learn about an internship in a business that you are thinking of opening a start-up in. That would be great experience to help you identify your company’s particular niche.
College is often the time of letting your hair loose for the first time, but do you really want to potentially lose an incredibly successful start-up because you couldn’t focus long enough or be disciplined enough to take the steps needed to see it safely off the ground? Late nights of partying and a lack of attention to what you need to do to successfully plan your company will sabotage your dreams of a financially independent future. Companies take time and concentration to build right from the ground up.
It’s time to reach out of your college campus isolation if you want your business to grow. Follow business leaders’ blogs and articles online. Attend networking events for entrepreneurial students. Join an association for college entrepreneurs on campus. Join your local business networking group, and attend meetings. Also, update your own business’ social media so others can follow you and can learn about your business.
Learn the basics of coding so that you can successfully translate the ideas you have for the next great app or program. Even if your business won’t focus on IT, it’s important that you know what goes into building a website or online store so that you can communicate well with your social media, web development, or other IT professional who will help your business succeed. Coding is fast becoming a necessary skill for entrepreneurs to have.
As a future entrepreneur, college is the time to glean as much information about job skills, industry knowledge, networking opportunities, and other bits and pieces that can help you write and implement a stellar business plan.