Is it feasible to run a business in addition to your studies?
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By Anton Lucanus
We all know that university is an expensive endeavor, and todayís students are a tech-savvy and entrepreneurially minded bunch. But how feasible is it to run business on the side of your studies?
Traditionally people looking at making cash off of a side-hustle had a full-time salary gig to finance their endeavor, and there are their fair share of glamorous success stories. Like, Shark Tank star and fashion mogul, Daymond John, who built up his clothing empire FUBU, while working full time at Red Lobster for four years, or business coach Luisa Zhou, whose side-hustle not only ended up earning her over six figures, but also completely shifted the trajectory of her career.
Now days, thanks to the internet, smartphones and social media you donít need to have the backing of a 9-5 to launch your own side-hustle or business venture. Technology makes it easier than ever to start a business with limited funds.
Many students have found that simply expanding upon a hobby or interest, offering their services as photographers, graphic designers, or fitness bloggers, can provide them with a sizable cashflow, without adversely affecting their studies.
Your smartphone, a video editing app and simple hosting plans for platforms like WordPress or Wix can provide you with a professional and engaging online presence to draw in interested parties, without breaking the budget. While services like Survey Monkey and Mailchimp can provide you with the tools you need to connect with your audiences and manage your budding client relationships.
Even if your idea is a product or service which requires more complicated undertakings like creating prototypes or building and testing software, you donít have to go full Bill Gates and quit college. While itís unlikely youíll land massive funding from a venture capital, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo provide multiple opportunities for students to raise the money they need to take their projects from ideas to reality.
Being at University also provides unique opportunities and access resources that you would otherwise have to pay big money for. Many universities now even have their own entrepreneurial incubators to help fledgling businesses and start-ups with problems like finding funding, meeting spaces or invitations to networking events.
Of course, launching a side business isnít a walk in the park, even with the additional time being at university or college might offer. It still requires sacrifices, and sometimes youíll need to choose between a night out on the town, and spending time developing your ideas, researching your target market, and planning your strategy.
Perhaps the biggest reason why it really is feasible to run a business on the side of your studies, is that 8 out of 10 businesses fail. The risk of your idea failing is considerably lessened by the fact that it is not your sole avenue to gainful employment. Youíve still been earning a degree in a field and showing potential employers that youíre an entrepreneurial spirit, and a proactive individual, which may be the edge you need to help you stand out against others who chose the traditional university life.
Byline Ė Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his countryís most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.
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