We all know the stories behind some of the most successful businesses – Frederick W. Smith founded FedEx while attending Yale University, while Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg revolutionized the world of technology with their businesses – Facebook, Napster, and Microsoft. Going to college with a business idea could be great for somebody who wants to launch their own company; you won’t have any other obligations besides classes to attend, so you’ll have enough time for developing that idea.
Here are some benefits you can get by starting your own business before graduation, and ways to get the most out of your education while working on your business plan.
1. Learning from experience
The knowledge you’ll gain in the classroom is much different than the one you’ll gain outside of it. This is why the startup world can be a great link between theory and practice. Building your own company is often more complicated than studying for your university exams, but the things you’ll learn through experience are just as valuable as those you’ll learn from a book.
As a student, you can reach everyone. And by “everyone”, we mean the experienced professors at your university and successful entrepreneurs that can help and mentor you as you’re building your company. They usually love giving advice to young entrepreneurs, will try to make time for you, and will speak to you more openly because they won’t see you as a competition or some other kind of threat with ulterior motives.
3. Great rewards and low risk
By launching a startup while in college, there’s not much you can lose. In the worst-case scenario, you can always go back to studying. This may trick you into making a casual approach to launching a business, so you should beware of that. Those few years of college will be over in no time, and the risks will then be higher. You can start one business venture per year and see whether it’s going to work out for you. There’s enough time to start something new, quit, pivot, or get it right the first time. There are immense opportunities to test your ideas and turn your hobby into a business.
4. Accessible customers
If you want to test your business ideas while in college, other students can be a valuable resource. They’re your peers, they don’t ask for much, and if they don’t like what you have to offer – they’ll tell it like it is. Plus, if you manage to get them to pay for something, then you can be sure that your product or service is viable.
5. More opportunities
Starting a business in college is a great plus on your resume, even if the business fails. It shows that you’re creative, proactive, and driven, and it’s this kind of employees that successful companies look to hire. If you decide that you’re not ready to be an entrepreneur immediately after college, the startup experience you’ll have will open many doors for you and grant you many leadership opportunities with different companies.
6. Campus resources
There’s no need to pay for meeting rooms, consultations with professors, and an Internet connection when it’s all free and available to you on your college campus. Universities can provide many resources that you would otherwise have to pay for. In reality, you’re already paying for all of these through taxes or tuitions, so why not take advantage of them.
7. Safer future
Today, jobs are hard to find if we take the current economic climate into consideration. Expanding your reach beyond your campus can help you fight the possibility of unemployment after school. If your business keeps growing, your brand name could be heard by serious businessmen who could then hire you, as well as ensure the sustainability of your business.
The biggest benefit of starting a business before graduation is that you don’t have to give up if you’re not immediately successful. If your college business venture collapses, keep trying because there’s nothing to lose. By starting a business while still in college and consulting with other students and professors, you will get a creative head start and a valuable experience for the future.
Emma Miller is a marketer and a writer from Sydney. Her focus is digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog and a mother of two.
All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.