You have probably heard the success stories – a college student starts a business in his or her dorm and goes on to make billions. The fact that this has happened more than once doesn’t prove that it isn’t quite a fluke, but there is nothing to say you can’t be the next Big Thing.
Sure, you may not make billions, but your dorm room is the perfect incubation space for a burgeoning business. This is especially the case if you start a tech-based business and don’t have any need for storage. Down the line, you may need servers, but with cloud computing, you can work with multiple terabytes worth of information. However, before you start your business in college, you want to be sure that you have a bit of a roadmap. Here are five steps to launching a startup in college.
- Notify Your College
The last thing you want is to get expelled from your university for breaking the rules. In most cases, your school will be okay with you starting a small business, but you want to know what the guidelines are. There will undoubtedly be a few things you can’t do, like use your dorm address as the official business address.
- Try to Get School Credit
Another reason why you want to ask your college for permission before launching a business venture is because you may be able to get semester or quarter credit for it. If you are going to business school, your reporting and business strategies could be turned into a final report that could help you graduate early. If you open the business on the sly and don’t tell your college, you may lose valuable credits and need to make those credits up in another class, which is most likely the last thing you want to do.
- Move Some of Your Classes to the Web
To make time for your burgeoning business, you want to sign up for online classes. If you have to go to class every day, it can make it really difficult to grow your business. For instance, if you are signed up at UAB, you may want to take some UAB Online classes at home. Indeed, being your own boss means scheduling your time accordingly. If your business is really taking off, it is especially important to delegate and make tough choices.
- Ask a Friend for Help
Most businesses are impossible to run by just one person. For instance, if you are trying to make a better product, who is dealing with customer inquiries? It is important that both people share the responsibilities. If you do it yourself, it could prove too much to handle. In some cases, you may even be able to get an intern to help out with administrative stuff.
- Start Networking and Building Your Customer Base
It is really important to build your customer base if you want your business to succeed. This means that you will need to meet a lot of people and get the name of your business and product out there. In the end, networking is probably half of your job as a business owner, so you want to take it seriously, no matter how silly it sounds.