How to Run Your Own Business While Still in School


Knowing how to start and run your own business can be a stressful endeavor for anyone. If you dream of operating your own business but don’t want to wait until your college graduation to get started, or if you currently oversee a business as a college student but feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities, there are a few foolproof tips that can help you effectively manage your business while earning your degree.

Get the word out.

Making sure people know about your business is essential to its success. Social media posts are a good way to start, but those likely won’t reach everyone.

Post fliers throughout your college campus in frequently-traveled locations. Consider placing an ad in a local newspaper. Hand out business cards to your classmates. These are a few great ways to make sure people remember you and your product.

Use a planner.

No matter what kind of business you run, phone calls, meetings and marketing opportunities will probably be on your agenda, along with all of your school assignments. A well-organized planner will prevent your responsibilities from falling through the cracks.

To keep your planner organized, use one color pen to record school assignments and another color for business tasks. Also, check off or mark through each task as you complete it so you can more clearly see what you’ve accomplished and what things still need to be done.

Be frugal.

The phrase “college student” is typically synonymous with “on a budget.” As a businessperson, it is important for you to know how to manage money and understand the difference between good and bad financial decisions.

If you aren’t earning sizeable profit from the good or service you offer, you will obviously need to be more conservative with your funds. If your business is booming, you might be able to handle a more significant financial investment.

It all really depends on the type of business you run and the popularity of your product. I recommend speaking with a financial adviser or a successful small business owner for financial advice before making any drastic business dealings.

Don’t get in over your head.

One of the main things to remember when operating a business in college is to not commit yourself to too many tasks. If you do this, some of your responsibilities will begin to fall to the wayside, and both your grades and your business will ultimately suffer.

Record all of your school assignments in your planner first, saving a portion of the leftover time for business operations. The rest of your time should be left free for relaxation and recharging.

Keep in mind that while these tips should prove helpful to you as you run your business, there are many other ways to make your business successful. If you would like to start a business but are afraid of failure, I encourage you to face that fear and go for it! Not only will it look impressive on a resume, but it will also help you determine if business ownership is right for you as a future career.

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Holly Nelms studies Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University. She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist after graduation.

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