The Benefits of Building a Business While in College
Intuit the makers of QuickBooks the most used small business software has an interesting article on their blog about The Benefits of Building a Business While in College. I whole heartedly agree with this and its many benefits. That is exactly what I did. Here are the advantages that I discovered starting up a wedding cake business while in college.
- As the article says, having access to "the brain trust" is a biggy. I used all my teachers as private consultants (asking questions during and after class) as I developed each part of my business. Even in those days, consulting fees would have been around a hundred dollars an hour.
- As I took each class I used the research papers and assignments for setting up my business and had the teacher critique it. I wasn't working for a grade I was working for money. (As a side benefit I got straight A's because I put so much time into every assignment and was highly motivated to learn. For example, for my advertising class I set up my complete advertising campaign.
- It is much easier as a student to get people to help you to start a business and share helpful information. i.e. For one of my business class research papers I researched the wedding cake businesses in the area I lived in. I interviewed every one of them. When I started my business I knew who my competitors were, costs, marketing techniques, annual sales, etc. It only took me a few months and I was selling more cakes than anyone in the county. (I was the only one who knew that because I was the only one who had that information- unless they read my research paper.)
- The article states that you have access to cool tools. Even more so today. Even when I was not in college I would use the students deliberately to help me in my business because I knew they had access to expensive technology (video cameras, recording equipment, etc.) that I couldn't afford.
- Subsidized living is a great benefit. I not only was able to have all my schooling costs covered but given a living expense too. Living at home meant my expenses were minimal so I used most of that money instead to finance my business. (I have mentioned in other writings that going into debt for college is a bad investment for many. My money came from grants and scholarships not loans.)
- Being around other like minded business students also is a big plus for bouncing ideas off of and brainstorming.
Oh yes! Since I'm sending you to a QuickBooks (Intuit) site let me explain myself. I have set up QuickBooks for over 25 years and was not only a professional advisor for them but one of my businesses was doing seminars on using their software. I find QuickBooks to be an overkill and too big of a legacy behemoth program for most micro businesses. I recommend finding something simpler and that can just be run on your iPad.