How to Start a Business in College: Startup Advice for Students

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There are nearly 30 million entrepreneurs in the United States. But, when most people think of a business owner, they often envision someone already well-established (and often at least 30 years old).

The truth is, though, there are plenty of college students who start their own business. Whether it’s as a form of extra income or to lay a foundation for when they graduate, college-age adults can have little difficulty in becoming entrepreneurs.

Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to start a business in college.

Come up With a Concept

Before you do anything, you’ll need to at least somewhat hone in on what it is you want to provide to your audience.

To start, sit down and figure out what industry you want to operate in. From there, you can get a little more specific.

For example, if you know you want to jump into the fitness industry, you can then decide if you want to sell clothing, equipment, training courses, etc.

Find a Mentor

The best way to learn about running a business is to immerse yourself in a business environment. 

Reaching out to local business owners and asking if you could shadow their company’s operations for a day or two can be a highly enlightening experience. You may even find an entrepreneur who is willing to mentor you on how to run a company.

Keep Overhead Low

As a college student, you likely don’t have an exorbitant budget to work with. Fortunately, many companies can exist with very little overhead.

While it’s a common vision that a small business has to be run from an office, you’ll have no need for a building, employees, etc. in the early stages of your company. It’s a very real possibility that you operate your entire business from a laptop.

Of course, you will incur some residual costs (shipping products, web hosting, etc.), but these are far from unmanageable. As your company grows, you may encounter the need for more space or help.

Until then, keep things minimal.

To help you manage your own compensation (and pay your taxes), you can take advantage of this online paystub generator.

Don’t Be Afraid of Failure

Many small businesses fail during their first year. A handful of them still fails years later.

Don’t let this discourage you from trying, though. If you manage your finances responsibly, you won’t experience much of a loss at all if things don’t go your way. But, you will have learned invaluable lessons on life, entrepreneurship, and being self-motivated.

How to Start a Business in College Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to start a business in college in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making the most out of your business venture.

From here, you can maintain your company as a revenue stream or even focus on scaling over time!

For more useful business content, take a look around our site.