I and a friend were having a chat on how we wished we started something together in our first year at university, I mean we were all creative, ambitious and had a lot of time on our hands.
We realised how much our business would have grown by now, the traction, the support it would have gotten, instead we spent our time partying away although i admit it was fun, going to bed at 7am and getting up at 5pm were the best days/highlights of my 1st year in the university.
Only if we knew how to balance our time things might have been different, we had enough people in my halls to start at least 10 good businesses, everyone had ideas, everyone wanted to be successful, but we lacked focus and drive and i guess we dint really have anyone who gave us that exposure into the world of entrepreneurship, perhaps we didn’t have the right attitude.
Experience and failure (Start Small)
As someone that started a company in the university, i believe it is always better to start small because it gives you the time to worry less about money but more about the products and services you’re offering, ways to improve and make sure it is going in the right direction.
I started my first company and spent a lot of money constructing the website, not that the website was not worth the money, but with what i know now, i am sure i could have invested that money into something else, probably would have built up the website with cash left to invest in other parts of the business instead of focusing on how fancy i wanted the site to look.
You have 3-5 years to spend in the university, that’s enough time to build your start-up into something credible, by the time you’re ready to graduate, and you will only be worrying on how to grow the business, that’s if you worry at all.
You probably spend most of your time getting drunk, facebook, twitter, YouTube, clubbing, so taking some time to build your business is not that bad.
Your Network is your net worth
I met my co-founder at university and was able to do less, which was more productive and gave me time to focus on other things in the business.
You might end up meeting an investor or a co-founder, or someone that might have the right connection that will take your business to the next level.
If you decide not to continue with your business. You will already have a bunch of contacts that either helps you in a new start-up or perhaps you're looking for a secured job, you just never know.
Don’t forget that any business you’re going into you’ll be going there with some practical experiences of running and managing a company.
You can get so much support from your university , if you’re business is cool, I’m sure your university will want to brag about your success, you also have the entrepreneurial society, NACUE, FlyingStartonline, Shell livewire, Enterprise UK, Which will give you some exposures to your company, assistances, workshops and training to sharpen your skills as an entrepreneur, they also give you the opportunity to network with other entrepreneur, you never know what investor might be reading your story.
In total, you probably get £4,950 (Maintenance loan) + £2,906 (Maintenance grant) + Bursary (900)
1st Year - £8756
2nd year - £17512
3rd year - £26268
That is enough money to start up a business or finish up a prototype.
I would encourage you to maybe get a part-time job, and if you have a co-founder or even two co-founders, that is a lot of money and enough money to get something off the ground.
You have fewer responsibilities, less concerns to worry about, which gives you time to build your business.
You have nothing to lose.
Owning and running your own business is an incredible way to gain experience, it will definitely help you mature, especially as you begin to read business books and self development books to help in growing as a person and an entrepreneur.
You get to learn more about yourself, especially life and business lessons that are not taught in the classroom, you might even get more clarity on modules to choose in the next year or in your final year.
You learn how to speak, dress and act in a professional way.
The University Platform
This is your first initial market where you can experiment, get feedback, get some user experience for your products/services; it gives you such a large network to people to showcase your business to, which is invaluable. You might be able to define your target market through this experiment.
You get free advices from your university professors and tips.
You will have access to different types of people with different skills, you want your logo design- go to the design department, you want a website development – go to the computing department, thinking of getting someone that can help with admin stuff – go to the business department, you get what I’m getting at, loads of resources at your finger tips.
Tip: Everyone loves the story of a kid that started a business in the university.