Starting a business as a student while in college, or even high school, is a great opportunity and learning experience. First of all, students have access to many resources and are surrounded by like-minded people. Secondly, nowadays, it is much easier with all the online possibilities and digital technologies.
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Starting a Business as a Student
Not to mention that a startup can become a source of income and grow into something much bigger. Whether you want to sell hand-made products, write essays for money with an essay writing service, or develop a new mobile app – the path to establishing a business is similar. If you are interested in starting a student business in 2021, here is a guide that will help you.
1. Take Advantage of College Resources
College provides many resources for entrepreneurs and one should benefit from them. Even if you are not pursuing an associate degree in business, there are many classes you can take as a part of a minor or extracurricular. Take classes on marketing, funding, or creative business strategies. Learn about programs and seminars available to you on campus as you start your business as a student.
There might be psychology classes that can help you understand consumer behavior more. Or maybe some alumni meet-ups can help to find like-minded people or mentors. Assess all resources you can access and use them to your advantage.
2. Develop an Original Idea
Every company starts with an idea. You probably already have something in mind, whether it is a service or a product. If there are several of them, write them down and think which one is the most appealing. Not only in terms of personal interest, but in terms of profit.
Read about trends and new startups. Check what is in demand at the moment and decide how you can fulfill it. The main thing about starting a business as a student is that your idea should solve customers’ problems and give them value. Even if it is not the most unique premise, it should be different in some way from competitors.
3. Conduct Market Research
When you decide on the industry and product or service, it is time to conduct research. This isn’t just for those starting a business as a student. It’s for anyone who wants to be successful in the long term.
You need to find out who are the competitors, who are the potential clients, what can be a great marketing strategy, what is the size of the market, etc. The more you know, the better.
Look at what competitors are offering and what channels they use. For example, if you want to start an academic writing service, look at EssayHub review and their website to see what services and values they provide. Note strong points and learn from them.
Here are several ways to find information:
- Google search
- Library and entrepreneurs literature
- Consulting with people in the industry and small business owners
- Reading books by industry leaders
- Taking relevant classes
- Reading magazines and articles
Also, learn about the legal processes of starting your business. Make a list of documents you need and where to register.
4. Focus On Target Audience
The next step is to figure out your core target audience. Of course, in an ideal world, your product would appeal to all age and gender groups, but it is hardly ever the case. You need to have a clear idea of who you are working for. You need to know demographics – age, location, gender, family status, budget, etc. But it will be great to create psychographics, too. What are the values of the customers? What motivates them? What inspires them? Learning how to apply psychology in business can keep you one step ahead in a competitive landscape.
From a business point of view, one needs to know how big the target audience is. Research how many competitors are out there and how easy it is to attract the customer. What types of marketing tools will work best? If you are aiming for a younger audience, you probably need to focus on social media and internet marketing, for example.
5. Work On Your Brand
Branding is extremely important when starting a business as a student. After all, there is a huge competition in every niche and branding helps to stand out. It also helps to build trustful and long-term relationships with customers.
For example, people are loyal to brands that support the same values, like ethical production or sustainability. Successful branding means:
- The core message, value, and aesthetics (colors, fonts, logo);
- It is original, authentic, and recognizable;
- It reaches the target audience;
- It is consistent – from the website, blog posts, and up to packaging;
- Your brand is different from competitors.
And if you feel like you’ve stuck with it, ask a friend for their opinion. In the same way, when you are stuck with the essay you can ask a mate “Can you read my essay to me please?” to have an outside perspective on it. Take your time or consult with professionals, if possible. After all, it is a big deal.
Learn exactly how to Develop a Brand
6. Create a Business Plan
Now it is time to create a roadmap for your company. It sounds boring, but it is not just paperwork, it is a list of things to do to achieve success. A business plan includes:
- Summary of the product or service
- Target market and audience
- Marketing strategy
- Plan on sales
- Important metrics
- Funding and budget
- Company overview
Download a free sample business plan
As for funding, make sure you know all available opportunities – from venture capital and angel investment to banks and credit cards.
Starting a business as a student might seem overwhelming, but college is the best time to put in some elbow grease. You have more free time and resources now than the majority of people. All one needs is preparation, research, dedication, and focus.