Starting a business in the university can be nerve-racking. This is due to the fact that you now have to combine two very time-demanding activities – studying and doing business. So many people have failed out of school because of the division of attention that starting a business can bring to a student.
However, there are several people, like myself, who have successfully combined business and academics, even though it wasn’t easy at the start. With a combination of the following rules, I was able to successfully run a business in school and end my academic pursuit on a high.
DON’T START A BUSINESS YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND:
Many people choose to go into certain businesses because they heard from somewhere that the business offers huge profits. Many do not take the time to learn and understand what it entails to run a business. As a college student and an entrepreneur, you don’t have the time to waste going into a business you don’t understand. Before starting my Cheapest Rate Enterprise on campus, I took the pain to study how printing, photocopying and scanning business works. Even though some may consider this a trivial activity, it paid off for me. At least I started out prepared and could set a very low price to beat off my competitors. As the name of the business implied, my price was the cheapest on campus.
DON’T START A BUSINESS YOU ARE NOT PASSIONATE ABOUT:
Before you even try to understand the type of business you want to go into, you must be sure you have a passion for it. Because when the going gets tough, and you begin to get bouts of discouragement, it’s your passion for the business that will keep you motivated and help you successfully combine it with your school work.
When you decide to start a business on campus, you have brought in another activity to compete for space in your daily allocation of twenty four hours, which has already being dwarfed by your academic activities. You need to be highly focused on these two activities, and your energy must be channeled towards these activities. This way, you will achieve both business and academic success. All other activities should be avoided as much as possible.
After adjusting your focus to be on the two most important parts of your life for now, you must set priorities. Streamline all of your daily activities and eliminate those ones that do not contribute to your overall goal of business and academic success. Don’t waste your time to socialize around your room or with friends. This is one of the mistakes I made when I started CRE. If you are a night reader, make good use of your day time and rest enough once you have closed your business for the day, so that you can have enough energy for night reading and doing other academic assignments.
PICK NEW AND DROP YOUR OLD UNSERIOUS FRIENDS:
With limited time on your side, you know that you must pick your friends and not let them pick you. And you must have the courage to break away from unserious ones. Sometimes, you begin to have a lean circle of friend like I experienced, don’t kick yourself, it’s only natural due to your new commitments and focus. Also, try to pick new friends. These should be individuals who are serious with their academics so that they can help you meet up and make up for lost times and missed classes that may be required. Dropping your friends may sound harsh, however, cutting off the influence of your unserious friends will only make you a better student and successful entrepreneur.
Discipline here involves doing what is required of you whether you feel like doing it or not. You have to follow your priorities strictly and routinely, and work from a list. Create daily to-do lists and discipline yourself to follow through on every item on the list. I started to effectively use my time for academic and business purpose, when I started to write down my priorities and follow them strictly. Don’t allow yourself to do the things that are not contributing to your overall well-being as a student and an entrepreneur.
SET YOUR BUSINESS TIME:
Regardless of the kind of business you are engaged in, set time for it. You can do this either daily or to favor of your school time table. If you don’t set your business time, you will most likely find yourself spending most of your time chasing after money. The unfortunate result of this is that you will have less time for your academic activities which could lead to academic failure.
DON’T ENGAGE IN MULTIPLE BUSINESSES:
I know there are people who would want to counter this thought. However, this will not change its truth based on my experience. I tried adding a computer repair business to my printing business while in school; the result was something I was largely unprepared for. This choked me of my time, even though I had done my research right. The key is to focus on one business at one time.
By being generous, I don’t mean taking all your profits and giving it away to a charity. What I mean is to be considerate while dealing with your customers, who are mostly students like you. We know for a fact that all fingers are not equal. There will be instances where people will come to use your services and offer to pay later or even just say they don’t have money but need your help, always consider this people. It may be risky because some may never pay you back, but you will surely reap goodness someday.
PAY YOUR TITHE:
If you are not religious, you can still benefit from this act by giving away 10% of your income to a charity or a cause you support. For the religious ones like me, it is very important to pay tithe off your income. I must admit that when I defaulted in following through on my tithing, my income and business patronage plummeted and I just knew that it was my unfaithfulness towards God was the cause. When I restarted, things changed for good. Not forgetting the fact that it takes favor for someone to skip your competitor and decide to patronize you.