Because University is a time of freedom and creativity, it’s very common for entrepreneurial inspiration to strike and a lot of businesses are started while the founders are still studying. Whether the company is an extension of their learning, or something entirely different. It doesn’t come without its own challenges though; a great idea doesn’t necessarily translate simply into a great business.
Money is probably the main hurdle to getting your business off the ground, simply because students generally don’t have a lot of it. Even with a part-time job or two, it can be difficult to find the necessary capital to get started, which kills off a lot of great business ideas, and loans are almost impossible to get without some sort of credit history. There are ways around this of course, the most obvious is to keep costs very low. Some online start-ups have virtually no overheads, which could be the way to go. On the other hand, if you need equipment or products, then your university may be able to help. Many offer grants and loans based solely upon the merit of the business plan.
Your business premises can also cause a little bit of hassle. The first is that students often change where they’re living several times, but the second is that you cannot usually register a business to a rented property. So, you may need to pay the privilege of having a virtual office or post box which is often quite expensive.
Time is tricky too. When you’re juggling lectures, seminars and work, you’re left with a difficult and irregular working pattern that can make conducting business awkward. It might be fine if the majority of what you need to do is online, but if you need to frequently make calls or visits, then you may find that you have to try pack a lot of work into a short space of time. There is no real way around this aside from good time management and hard work. Make sure that you make things work for you; TNT for instance will pick up your packages so that you don’t need to go to the post office.
Setting up a business while you’re a student is not impossible, many of the world’s greatest companies were set up in this way, but it can take a lot more effort than you might think.
Starting a business? Need guidance and a route to funding? Check out IncuBus London