Starting a new business is no easy task. It takes a good and solid plan, lots of patience, a strong will and relentless ambition. Now, take all of that and add in “while in school” to the mix, and, well, starting a business might seem all the more daunting.
However, Devan Earle, founder and CEO of Dallas Admissions Consulting and Austin Admissions Consulting, started his businesses while he was a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, according to an article featured in The Dallas Morning News.
In the article, Earle shares five tips for building a successful business while in school:
- Everyone has an opinion. Some people might look at a college student who started his/her own business as something like a “prodigy,” while others might be more skeptical, questioning the value a 19- or 20-year-old can offer. It is important to not pay attention to the opinions of others.
- Use your student status to your advantage. Don’t get discouraged by other business-owners with years of experience when entering the marketplace. Embrace youth as an advantage. Being younger, you will most likely be more tech-savvy and have a better idea of what’s “trendy,” than your older competitors.
- Recruit friends. Grant your friends the opportunity to help with the startup. “You’ll be surprised how many will help you grow your business, or build a website, for free or cheap, just to gain experience themselves,” notes Earle in the article. “College kids taking unpaid internships is the new norm. Take advantage of this huge pool of smart and talented, yet cheap, labor on your campus.”
- Take what you can get. The first 12 months for a new business will be about proving your capability. Offer products/services at a heavy discount to obtain the first 10 to 20 sales. Use this early-stage success (and the resulting reviews) as the pillar of your marketing campaign. Referrals will start to bring customers and then you can begin to charge market prices.
- Have an “endgame.” Though the feeling of freedom that comes from starting your own business might be intoxicating, the day-to-day procedures oftentimes might not be so enjoyable. Earle states in the article that there is “no shame in starting a company, gaining real-world experience and using the skills you learned to land a full-time position, leaving your company on the back burner.” However Earle also explains that investing all your time and energy into your startup is “equally admirable.” Either way, he advises in the article, figure out an exit plan and put 110 percent into “making your dreams a reality.”
Read the entire article here.