This article contains information on the 10 Steps on How to Become A Successful Student Entrepreneur
Sometimes, I wish I knew what I know now, when I was a university student, probably, I would have been an employer of labour now that I’m a graduate but regardless, all hope isn’t lost.
Prior to this time, most students had this mindset of giving their full concentration to their studies and nothing more. Even those that have entrepreneurial skills tend to put it on hold once they get admission, with the mindset of “I will continue when I graduate”. Well, I don’t blame you, it all balls down to orientation and information and I’m glad that schools have incorporated entrepreneurship courses as a compulsory GST course.
As a student with business skills and talents, who told you that you will have to graduate first before using them to make money? In fact, because you’re a student who will be needing money regularly, it’s that period you need to put your entrepreneurial skills to good use and not rely on parents alert as the custom is. Your ability to make money through the services you render as a student is what makes you an ENTREPRENEUR.
Remember, many CEOs of great organizations we know today kicked off when these great men and women were students. For example, the popular Facebook we all use today. I’m certain that if Mark Zuckerberg waited till he graduated, Facebook wouldn’t have been at the level it is today and of course, the surprising thing is, he never graduated because he dropped out.
So, dear student, I don’t want to you to put your entrepreneurial skill on hold, because it will be a taboo to let that flaming business passion grow cold. This article will help to reset your mindset by pointing out HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR, what I will like to call studentpreneur.
10 STEPS ON HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR
How then can one be a successful studentpreneur?
1. Work on Your Mindset
While I was still an undergraduate, I was passionate about a lot of things that would have fetched me money but then my mindset got in the way. Cooking was something I enjoyed doing, asides writing. There was this pancake I usually make for myself and some friends who ate it with me started begging me to make for them afterwards which I did for free except that they provided the required ingredients.
On various occasions, some friends teased me to start cooking business in school. I thought it wise but then, I had lots of negative thoughts. I constantly told myself I wasn’t gifted in business; I was scared; I felt it would be a distraction from my studies AND I imagined what my friends would say even if I considered it and with all the negative thoughts crowding my head, I killed the idea.
So, the first tip on being a successful student entrepreneur is to get rid of negative thoughts.
Pessimism drains your ideas, energy and zeal. It builds barriers in your head and starts making you think that you’re not experienced enough to run a business.
While getting rid of negative thoughts, also work on the company you keep. Some friends can be very toxic and discouraging. Keep your distance from such people.
2. Evaluate your skills and knowledge
Having worked on your mindset and gotten rid of negative thoughts, your mind is now open to take bold business steps but you can’t do this successfully without evaluating your skills and knowledge.
What can you do? In answering this question you need to identify what you’re passionate about. For you to be successful as a studentpreneur, passion is everything. With passion, you will not feel the stress in the business. As a student, passion helps you not to quit when you feel the workload is much.
3. Develop an idea
This can be achieved by being sensitive to your environment.
Now that you have identified your skills and passion, what are the problems you can solve in your environment using your skills? It has to be something innovative that will attract potential customers.
In order to ascertain if your idea is feasible, ask yourself some of the following questions;
- Is the service and what you wish to sell in high demand?
- Who are my target customers?
- Will customers like to buy my service or product?
- What are the possible challenges in the course of the business?
- How can I possibly tackle these challenges when they eventually occur? etc.
Your ability to give positive answers to these questions goes a long way to prove that your idea is a good one that has a great chance of being successful.
4. Carry out a market survey
Doing this will help you know the challenges expected in the business, the possible competitions, what is done in the business and how it is done, price analysis etc. This can be done by reading books, articles on that line of business, surfing the net or by one on one visits and interviews in places that are involved in the same business.
Just like every building had a skeletal plan before it became a realistic building, business plan gives you an overview of your vision, long and short term goals, financial analysis, risk assessment, competition etc. A business plan is very important and needs to be detailed
6. Funding/ Kick-Off
Some businesses require little or no capital to start. One of my coursemates survived in school by braiding hair for hostel mates, she didn’t require any capital. Another one started her second-hand cloth business with her #3,000 pocket money and after her first sales, she made double that money.
7. Be open to learning
As a student who is just starting a business, you may not know it all, be open to learning. Widen your horizon on the business, ask questions from more experienced people, read books etc.
8. Organization/ Time Management
Being a studentpreneur makes you a multitasker by default. You’ll be struggling between striking a balance between schoolwork and business. However, you need to learn proper time management .
Spend less time on irrelevant activities. I understand that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is why as a studentpreneur, you need to set your priorities right.
Your studies are still a priority, don’t forget that. Proper time management and organization will MAKE life easy for you.
9. Don’t be scared of failure and criticism
“The path to your goal will be riddled with mistakes”. It’s normal to make mistakes in a business, even big established businesses still do, talk more of you. Failure is bound to occur too, but always remember that every success story recorded today by great businessmen and women, has a hidden failure story within.
When you read it, you may think it was all rosy for them but the truth is that they learnt from their mistakes. Friends may also criticize and laugh at you.
I remember when Jenny my coursemate was selling the air fresheners and liquid soap she made, some laughed at her, others started calling her Liquid soap but she never stopped instead she became more zealous and dedicated and before we knew it, lecturers became her customers. I always respected her for that singular act of optimism and strength.
So, dont let any challenge stop or discourage you. See those mistakes as lessons for your success.
How far and Successful you will be as a student entrepreneur is not only dependent on the above tips but good character too. You may possess a very good entrepreneurial skill but without good character, nobody will patronize you. So many people who are having setbacks in businesses today may end up accusing village people but if carefully scrutinized, you’ll discover that their bad character is a major contributor.
As a studentpreneur, learn to be sociable, humble, trustworthy, put your temper in check because you’ll meet customers of various calibre, so you must be tolerant too.
Having a good attitude as a studentpreneur has a way of tying your customers down, even when the Services you’re rendering is on the high side, they may not even complain. This is the power of a good attitude.
My aim of writing this is to ensure that you don’t miss the opportunities I missed as a student. I believe that this, if properly applied, the sky will be your starting point as a studentpreneur. Drop the thought of keeping that business idea on pause till you graduate. Life after graduation is frustrating without an immediate job, don’t wait, start now. There are so many business opportunities in the school environment. Identify an opportunity and take advantage of it. It can be fixing hair, nails, barbing, make-up, cooking and delivering, photocopying business, writing and editing. It can be anything at all, so long as it will put money in your pocket.
Discover a problem you can solve and do it diligently. I’m a student is a common answer we get from an undergraduate when asked”what’s your occupation” but after now, I need that common response to change. Be proud to identify yourself as a STUDENTPRENEUR
“The biggest risk is, not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is, not taking risks”– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.
Dear students, learn to embrace business opportunities while still in school, don’t be scared of taking risks. You can do it, yes you can!!
See you at the top.