This may seem like a bad time to build a small business, what with the economy in the tank and financing harder to find than real live unicorns. However, if you have a great idea and the willingness to push through a difficult beginning, there is never a bad time to become a small business owner. [intlink id="5764" type="post"]College students[/intlink] increasingly are turning to small business as the job market becomes more competitive and the cost of living soars.
Starting a business in college is not a new concept. Many of our best known business people got their big idea while in the halls of academia, from Michael Dell to Bill Gates. However, opening a business now is easier than ever thanks to lean business practices, the rise of the internet, and ample free exposure on the internet. For many college students, it is easier to create a job than to find one.
College students have several advantages over traditional, older small business owners. First, they often are designing products and services for young adults—a market they understand perfectly. A college student knows exactly what kind of business model, brand, and logo design will appeal to their peer group, which can be a huge advantage considering the fickle nature of this group of consumers.
Second, college students are familiar with the internet and social media. While an established small business owner might struggle to build their Facebook friends list, a college student likely has an immense network already built and just waiting to be marketed to.
There is also the energy and natural charm of youth to be contended with. A young entrepreneur is more likely to find support and free media exposure due to their tender age. They have no trouble getting up before the chickens after a late night out.
Of course, there are drawbacks to opening a small business while in college as well. A college student often does not have the real life experience needed to run a business. They may find that their social and academic lives require so much time that there is little left for their work. In addition, while they find it easy to develop a brand and logo design that appeals to their peers, they may not be so attractive to the people who hold the purse strings—the parents and other older adults.
Networking is important in the business world, and many in the business establishment will hesitate to take a youthful face seriously. However, by showing their dedication and reliability, many college students are taking their place in the established business world and showing that they are worthy and valuable business contacts.
Finishing studies and beginning a new career are both challenging tasks. Doing both at once requires superhuman stamina and the ability to multitask almost constantly. However, college student business owners are becoming more and more common. There are definite drawbacks, but there are benefits as well, especially when it comes to building and promoting a small business brand. We hope to see these young entrepreneurs gain success in business and become an established part of the community.