Pros & Cons of Launching a Business While Still at College

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Updated on April 25, 2022 by
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Studying at college brings lots of changes into your life. It often involves relocating and getting used to a new place. Meeting a bunch of new people is another aspect. And, of course, learning new things from dusk till dawn.

More Questions than Answers

With this amount of things to cope with, you will keep asking yourself questions. Why are there only 24 hours in a day? Do I need Essaypro to write my paper for me and get an excellent mark? But where do I get the money?

And by asking yourself these questions every day, you are likely to think about a global query. Sooner or later, you will ask yourself: should I start a business while I am still at college? Is it a great money-making idea or a stupid waste of time and money?

Put the pros of this daring initiative on one scale pan and the cons of this venture on the other. Take a piece of paper and put a plus or a minus each time you find an argument convincing. 

Potential Advantages

1. College resources

We are not encouraging you to take advantage. But do not underestimate the access to the resources you have the right to enjoy as a college student:

  • advisors, counseling, and mentorship
  • IT and printing resources
  • grants
  • financial assistance available to student entrepreneurs 
  • startup incubation facilities and funding
  • free meeting rooms on campus

If you were to start your business outside the college, you would have to pay for everything. From consulting to the internet connection.

2. Potential co-founders and customers

The college environment is perfect for testing and refining your product. Word of mouth has proven itself an efficient marketing strategy since ancient times. It is also a great opportunity to apply the learnings of the curriculum. Instead of complaining that college knowledge is abstract, be the one to prove that with the right approach, it can be practical.

Besides, you can find your future collaborators here. If you want to construct a ship, you do not need to teach people how to build it or where to get the materials from. You need to inspire them with a desire to see the ocean.

3. Being ready to leave college

As a freshman, you are afraid to start studying in college. You keep re-reading the tips to be a more productive student all the time. As it turns out, graduating from college brings even more uncertainty. Looking for a job right after getting your degree is a challenge. If by then you have your own business, you are going to feel a lot more secure and confident.

4. An impressive line on your CV

Worst case scenario: your business fails. Every cloud has a silver lining. All you need to do is to highlight this experience in the best possible way. It gives you an opportunity to add a number of positive features to your resume: 

  • the ability to learn from previous mistakes
  • leadership qualities
  • willingness to embrace a challenge
  • go-getter attitude
  • a proactive and motivated person

What is going to be more important for your employers, in your opinion? One failure or many gains?

Pros & Cons of Launching a Business While Still at College

5. Possible financial freedom

If you are familiar with inspirational entrepreneurs, you know that they started with an idea. Both Elon Musk and Bill Gates did not become successful overnight. Their businesses started as small paths that quickly became broad highways. With the right planning and an innovative idea, you are likely to become financially independent at an early age.

6. Discovering your strengths and weaknesses

Ouch. Painful and painstaking. Essential, though. Knowing your power and your limitations helps to be realistic. It does not mean you should not dream big. It is the only way to succeed. But a distorted idea of your abilities can slow things down. It is better to delegate to speed up your success. And only a true leader knows the right person to delegate to.

7. Mentoring

As a student, you have access to anyone you want. You need to be brave enough and pretend to be shy. Successful entrepreneurs love sharing their experiences with inquisitive students. It boosts their self-value. 

When you are a student, they do not see you as a competitor. This magic no longer works when you ask them for advice, being quite successful in the market. When you are a college student, the risk of being ignored is low. The reward of being listened to is high.

Potential Disadvantages

1. A bad impact on your studies

It is important to achieve the right balance between college studies and running a business. At the end of the day, if you neglect your studies, you lessen the chance of your business’s future success. Do not underestimate the value of learning and acquiring vital life skills.

2. The risk of losing money

Even a well-executed plan can fail. Business is not just the idea itself. Proper marketing and building a customer base are not less important. So the risk of losing money is always there.

Another money aspect. If your business needs investment, you might borrow money from a fellow student or your parents. The financial burden of paying back is a con. Learn how to calculate your budget in college to avoid such unpleasant situations.

3. Passing on other opportunities

Student years are full of socializing. Firstly, it is great fun. On the other hand, drinking a beer with the right person can be a great networking opportunity. So do not miss social events.

College is also full of professional opportunities. Make sure that you do not get overwhelmed with your business project and bypass them:

  • internships
  • research projects
  • industrial training opportunities

4. Sacrifices

Juggling business and college is challenging. Before launching a startup, ask yourself one question. Are you willing to sacrifice:

  • going out
  • spending on wants
  • partying
  • killing time?

The answer has to be YES to move on. It does not mean you have to restrain yourself from fun for the rest of your life, though. It means that as a student and a business owner at the same time, you would have to prioritize. The road to success needs wheels of discipline, pedals of determination, and a consistent steering wheel.

Just Do It?

There will be no just-do-it conclusion. Business and risks always go together. If you have a clear vision, it might be easier for you to dare. If you have a desire but no distinct concept, take a moment/a week/a month to think.

Only you can decide whether experimenting and taking risks are worth it. Try to step back and independently assess:

  • your business idea
  • financial scenario
  • personal commitments
  • the flexibility of the curriculum
  • support of your faculty
  • study and workload

There will be no just-do-not-do-it conclusion either. All of us have different financial, personal, and family circumstances. There is no need to overburden yourself and take unnecessary risks. 

Any business has more chances to be successful if there is desire and passion behind it. If you decide you should launch a startup because you are emotionally and financially stressed, there is a fat chance you will fail. Or a slim chance. Or a zero chance – we do not know. We all have different circumstances.

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