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Now is the Time: 5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Business in College

Written by Chris Smith

Whilst it might sound intimidating, or even a bit scary, to start your own business while you’re studying like a mad person, there really isn’t a better time to give it a go than right now.

Here are the top five reasons.

You Have Nothing to Lose (Well, Only a Bit)

The title speaks for itself.

Students make mistakes. It’s an important part of learning. Mistakes help to shape you into a mature, well-rounded adult. When did you last hear your lecturer or tutor tell the class to “not try”? (If you have actually heard this from your teachers, you need to look a lot more critically at your post-secondary education.)

Someone much smarter than I once said that “failure is just feedback.” Failing is never good, but never trying is worse. Think about it. Would you rather end up as that old guy that always talks about how he “could have done that if only blah blah blah,” or be the woman who has a photo album full of cherished memories and heaps of cash from that silly idea she once had?

Everyone has a silly story or idea under their belt, so why not make yours a good one? Make it a reality.

All The Tools Imaginable are Available

Colleges and universities have either physical copies or online access to cutting edge market research reports and academic journals on any subject.

Any student who has needed these reports at an inappropriate hour (say 4 in the morning, precisely 3.5 hours till the deadline for an assignment and counting) and has tried to buy these online at home will know that these journals are ridiculously expensive to acquire.

There’s a reason why those market reports are so expensive to buy online. They’re chock full of state-of-the-art research that cost some blue-chip company an arm and a leg to put together.

After you graduate, however, your free-pass to this mountain of helpful information will be revoked, so get your fill now.

The Perfect Sounding Board for Your Ideas

Some ideas sound better in your own head than they do out loud.

Whether it’s a terrible pick-up line that has barred you from that cool bar down the street. Or a business idea that could end up costing you even more than just the dry cleaning bill for your martini soaked shirt, talking through your ideas with someone trustworthy is always a wise move.

Your college or university is full of knowledgeable students, teachers and teacher assistants who would relish the chance to discuss your new ideas. Some may even have industry experience and can put you in touch with some helpful contacts. Pitching your business idea to students with diverse backgrounds can give you invaluable insight into who your best target market should be.

Boost That Dusty CV

There’s no escaping it. One day you will graduate and stop going to school. I know, I know, it seems like a strange dream but trust me, it will happen.

When that day comes you might find that your degree just isn’t enough to secure your dream job. In today’s highly competitive job market, any extra experience could be the difference between landing your dream job or…well, let’s not think about the alternative right now.

Recruiters look for more than just a degree, they also look for examples of the applicant taking initiative and making something for themselves. Regardless of how it turns out, your business venture will show them that you are a self-starter, determined, self-motivated and brave.

First Party Research

There’s a reason why some lectures are interesting and others give you the feeling that sudden fire drills might not be the worst use of academic time. Usually the difference is relevance.

Remember learning algebra in high school, and trying your best to pretend that it was definitely a helpful skill and that you certainly would need know how to “solve for X” later in life? The problem was the difference between book knowledge and life experience. The same issue comes up in higher education, too.

Case studies are all well and good, but real life experience is second to none. Your extracurricular start-up doesn’t have to be just extracurricular. Incorporating your own real-life experience with your business into your academic work will bring a relevance and authenticity to your recommendations that would be missing without it.

Get Started. Like Right Meow.

Your student days are for trying new things. To up your game. To experiment. To take risks. Regardless of how your business idea turns out, having the courage to give it a try can only be a good thing. Go for it.

Photo courtesy of Refe Real Life Photos

Have you started your own business in school? How goes it? Recommend it for other students?

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.