5 Things to Consider Before
Becoming a College Entrepreneur
Starting a business is hard but doing it in college is even harder. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before starting a business in college.
Who are my main competitors?
Being aware of your potential competitors is important to know before entering an industry. It will give you an idea of who you will have to compete with for customers. It will also help you determine where your business location should be. For example, would it be a great idea to open a coffee shop on the same street as another coffee shop of the same quality and price point? Identifying your competitors will help you overcome them and will become a great asset for your business. If you need more help determining your main competitors, read Qualtrics’ How to Find & Define Who Your Competitors Are.
How is my business idea different?
If you are starting a business, you need your business to be different from what your competitors are doing. It is important to have a specific quality about your products, services, and brand that stands out from other companies. For example, Toms stands out from other shoe companies because of its charitable giving. For every pair of shoes that someone buys, Toms gives another pair to a person in need.
Making sure your business idea is different is important, a creative idea can make you a winner. Learn how to see if your new business idea is different with Sammi Caramela’s New Business Idea? How to Test It Before Launching.
How will I fund my business?
Trying to fund a business while paying for college feels impossible. Fortunately, there are many ways to fund your business as a college student. You can apply for grants and scholarships or try to get some investors who support you and your ideas. You can also try self-funding but that is more time-consuming, and with the little time you have available as a college student it might not be worth it. Remember, time is money. Learn how to fund your business in more ways with the U.S. Small Business Admination’s Fund your business.
How will I promote my business?
Knowing how to market your business will help you reach your ideal customer/target audience. Luckily for you, there are so many inexpensive options. However, you should promote your business where your target audience will see it. Will you use social media ads, billboards, posters, or word of mouth? The sky’s the limit when it comes to marketing! Check out Alyssa Gregory’s 101 Small Business Marketing Ideas for more ideas about your marketing strategy.
Who can help me with my business? What resources are available?
Being a college student and trying to start a business is complicated, and some certainly will fail. However, college might be the perfect time to start your business. This is because you have many more resources available to you now than when you graduate and become an alumni. Reach out to people within your university to help you figure out what type of on-campus resources are available to you. These resources can include clubs, organizations, career services, professors, and more. Ask around on campus to see what can help you launch your business.
These 5 questions about differentiators, competitors, funding, marketing, and getting help are all considerations you should think about before starting a business in college. Get more tips about starting a business in college at Entrepreneur’s 9 Tips for Starting Your Business in College.