The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
How Can a Student Start a Business?
Published on Aug 9, 2013
Incorporating a business is one option for the business-savvy student with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their passions and make money.
Students who have not yet entered the real world face a tough job market and the harsh reality that an internship – paid or unpaid – may be their best and most immediate option. While internships are good resume-builders, many students or new graduates would prefer to gain real-world experience – and a legitimate income. One option for the business-savvy student with an entrepreneurial spirit who wants to pursue their passions while making money? Incorporating a small business. A student – with or without student loans – should incorporate a company that involves high return, low barrier to entry, freedom to be their own boss and something that will look good on a resume – whether for an MBA program or a future job opportunity.
A student-run business can be anything from a babysitting service to tutoring to running a food truck. Students now have access to technologies that allow them to take a proactive approach, either pre-graduation or immediately following. If you’re a student contemplating registering a company, follow these simple steps to incorporate:
Develop a Business Plan
If business plans are the ‘roadmaps to entrepreneurship,’ it’s probably a no brainer to write down your business idea – what you plan to offer, how much you will charge for your product or service in order to make a profit and what costs are involved in the successful implementation of your idea. Do you plan to advertise your product or service or develop a social marketing plan? What materials are required to get your business started? Staying organized and determining your short-term or long-term goals are crucial when first beginning the small business incorporation process.
Look to Your University for Help
While you’re in school – or even a recent graduate – take advantage of university resources available to you. Many colleges and universities now offer competitions where local small business owners or professors judge student entrepreneurs with the winners walking away with start-up capital. Offerings such as these – though they differ from school to school – are also a good way to submit your idea to a larger audience and receive honest, preliminary feedback in return. If a start-up competition isn’t a viable option for you, many schools offer workspace, or other methods through which to receive seed money. More often than not, universities foster and encourage entrepreneurial spirit, so make sure you explore all of your options as an undergraduate.
Skirt Funding Woes
As a college student, you’re probably already low on funds. You likely have little to no income, and so incorporating a company may seem like a distant fantasy. The biggest obstacle for college-aged entrepreneurs is funding, but with modern-day technology offerings, students have easy, free access to tools and information that will help them cut costs in their early days of entrepreneurism. Online, you can conduct research, reach out to your key target audience, perform tests – the options are limitless – and they’re typically free of charge.
As a college student, you may be broke, have bad credit and underestimate the amount of money you can make while still an undergrad. Think about this, though: As a college student, you have access to people from all around the world, with different interests. You’re in an environment that – more than any other – encourages creative thinking and risk-taking. Founding an incorporation may seem like a crazy idea, but is it really? More important than anything else, however, is that you have fun. Your college years are meant to be the best of your life.