In today’s society, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is attractive to even the youngest college students. We can’t blame them when the likes of Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg with their million-dollar success stories exist.
No parent likes to embrace the idea of their child dropping out of college. Unfortunately, not many colleges offer students the skills they need to make the kind of money they want. That’s why many students resort to starting up a business.
Juggling school and work can be tasking, the same goes for juggling school and a business. This fact hasn’t stopped anyone from doing it. Some of the most influential companies in existence started as an idea in a dorm room.
School campuses are a hub for business ideas, innovations, and inventions. However, many of these ideas never become a reality. The reason being that students didn’t believe they could find a balance between studies and work.
In this article, we listed some tricks to help you find a balance between managing a business and being a university student.
We will be honest with you; trying to scale through university (maintaining a certain CGPA) and your business (maintain profit) is near impossible. A few are lucky to do it, but the reality is that it is not an easy thing to do. The more likely outcome is that one will suffer in place of the other.
The best way to get around this phase is to visualize your career plans in the future – this will help you set your priorities. If you see your degree getting you far in life, then you would focus more on your grades and use your business as a side hustle to gain some extra cash.
On the other hand, if you see your business taking you further in life, then you would focus more on your business and use your education as a stepping stone to becoming a successful business owner.
Here’s a tip, try to merge your business with your education. Take classes that give you more expertise and knowledge about your business. This will help you attain your business goals with ease.
Keep yourself in check – remember that you’re trying to find a balance between school and work. That means that one shouldn’t suffer in place of the other. If you find yourself so consumed by your business that you completely stop classes, then there’s a need to call yourself to order. This still applies if it’s the other way round.
Hone your time management skills
University students experience unhealthy amounts of stress. One of the things that makes it bearable is that there are a lot of breaks in between. You have weekends, holidays, and summer vacations.
However, things take on a different dynamic once you start running a business by the side. There aren’t any set “downtimes”. Your business won’t always wait till the weekend, and it definitely won’t be having a hot girl summer holiday.
As a student, you have to dedicate time to your business virtually every day. Except you have clearly stated off days such as weekends and holidays. People who run online businesses may not be so lucky as their businesses need constant monitoring.
We’ve outlined a few time management tips that can make your entrepreneurship journey a bit smoother.
- Design a schedule- The best way to design a schedule and stick to it is to know what makes you tick. Are you a morning person? Schedule your most important activities for early in the morning. Consider yourself a night owl? Then leave the tasks that require more of your attention for the night. What’s important is that you make a schedule you can stick to.
- Making a to-do list- a to-do list is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost our time management skills. We highly recommend having a plan of action outlined for each day. Not just that, we also advise you to fix your most important/ urgent tasks at the top of your list.
- Avoid multitasking- anytime you sit down to focus on a task, be it work-related or school, try to stick to the plan. Don’t go on your school portal in the middle of working on your business. And when working in a school, don’t go on your business Instagram to check your stats. Be fully plugged into whatever you’re doing.
- Take breaks- There’s a saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. The same applies to this scenario. Breaks are necessary to help you stay afloat. School projects, business proposals, and other work can leave you feeling drained.
Once you have time to take a break, try to avoid things related to what keeps you most occupied, e.g. gadgets.
You can also read this comprehensive article on time management skills for students.
Utilize school resources
Being a business owner in the school puts you ahead of your out-of-school counterparts. This is because, as a student, you are privileged to have a ton of resources at your disposal. Either for free or at very low rates.
You might be wondering what type of “resources” could you possibly have as a student, we’ll name a few.
Many universities have student organizations such as clubs where people with the same ideologies can meet and discuss. If you are interested in starting a business or you already have one, chances are there are other students just like you.
Some of these organizations may host competitions where students are asked to share business ideas and come up with a business plan or model to bring it to fruition. The most viable ideas may be awarded prize money to start up the business venture or any other form of support.
Career centres are another great way to gain some support for your business. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to gain some hands-on experience to advance in your industry.
For example, students who plan to start a consultancy firm would need to have some work experience under their belt. Your school’s career centre can easily help you find a place to work as an intern or help you develop some key skills.
Advisors/experienced faculty members
One of the best things about being a student is being surrounded by people who were once students. Your faculty members, course advisors, and counsellors may be working other jobs outside of their current role in your department, or perhaps they own a business.
They are in the best position to advise you on all you need to know when it comes to running a business. They’ve made all the mistakes and learned from them. They’d be happy to set you on the right path.
For students running an online business
If you are someone who runs an online venture, you will find everything we’ve said before now useful. However, there are still some things we would like to add because of the peculiar nature of digital businesses.
There is no magic around it. If you run an online business, you need to know how to manage a website. Chances are, you will have to build one for your business to boost its visibility. Being proficient in websites involves several things like being able to choose a suitable content management system (CMS) to build your site and choosing a web hosting provider.
Social media management
Here’s another thing you need to have a basic grasp of if you want to successfully manage your online business without stress. You are probably already aware of the benefits of having your business online, if you aren’t, we’ll name a few:
- Exposed to a larger audience
- Helps customers learn more about your brand
- Creates a connection between customers and brand
All these could, in turn, lead to more sales which may result in more profit. Not just that, you will also find balancing your business and school more doable since to a reasonable extent, you know what you’re doing.
Check out this article on utilizing social media for business.
Before your online business becomes a huge success, chances are you won’t be privileged to have certain roles assigned to different people. You’ll be the CEO, social media manager, and even content writer. Online businesses are advised to have blogs or websites that keep their customers updated with their brand.
Except you can afford a professional content writer, that responsibility falls on you. This is why you need to sharpen your writing skills.
Like we said earlier, trying to run a business and stay in school is a demanding process. Notwithstanding, with the right mindset and some guidance, you’ll discover that it is not as difficult as you imagined.
Whether you run a traditional business or you decide to venture into the digital marketplace, all you need to do is focus on your priorities, manage your time with jealousy, and use every and any resource at your disposal.
Read a related article on how to get started as an entrepreneur.