Whether you had your brilliant business idea in the midst of a business class or you enrolled in a bachelor’s program in business administration to gain the knowledge and skills to launch your startup with success, you are both a student and an entrepreneur. In truth, you do not need to wait for graduation to begin building your business. Here are a few tips for finding balance and success in entrepreneurship and your business studies.
Develop Detailed Short- and Long-term Goals
Undoubtedly, you have a good reason to pursue a degree in business. Likewise, you likely have good reasons for launching your business while you are still in school. However, because your time and resources are limited, you will need to organize your priorities during this period to ensure that you accomplish your most important tasks and achieve your most pressing ambitions.
To that end, you must think long and hard about your goals. You should write out all of your short- and long-term goals, no matter how big or small they may seem. You might evaluate your goals using the SMART system, to ensure that your goals are attainable given your current circumstances. Then, you should create a plan for achieving your goals, making reasonable assumptions about resources and support.
How you structure your goals and develop your educational and entrepreneurial plan is entirely up to your discretion. Some student entrepreneurs will prioritize completing their degree program and intentionally keep their business operations small until they graduate; other student entrepreneurs will put everything into their business idea and drop out of school if they have the opportunity to pursue their business dreams full-time. You should think critically about what you want and how you can obtain it while keeping your other hopes and desires in balance.
Start Small With Business Plans
Many beginner entrepreneurs make the mistake of dreaming too big, and they suffer extreme disappointment when they cannot create their vision with their limited resources. As a student entrepreneur, your resources are even more limited, so you must start especially small with your business plans. Your business concept should be exceedingly narrow to ensure that operations remain manageable as you continue to participate in business school coursework. You can grow your successes one at a time as your capacity expands, fueling your business until you have more time and skill.
Focus on Your Business
College is an exciting time, filled with many new opportunities — especially for traditional students who are in their earliest years of adulthood. However, if you want to see success with your entrepreneurial endeavors, you need to avoid temptation to participate in many of the most common rites of college. Partying every evening and weekend, traveling during school breaks and other exciting opportunities should be avoided, as you will need that extra time and energy to build your business. Then again, if the quintessential college experience is more important to you, it might be best to put off your business idea until graduation.
Utilize Available Help
No entrepreneur is an island. As you try to balance schoolwork and your budding business, you will need as much support as you can get. You might ask family members and friends for compassion during this busy period of your life, and they might lend a hand in whatever ways are appropriate, such as picking up additional chores at home. You might also try to identify allies in your business courses who might become useful team members in growing your business now and into the future. The more comfortable you become utilizing available help, the better you will be as a business leader.
You are young, and you have plenty of time to build a successful business. Entrepreneurship is always risky, but you might take advantage of your status as s student to take extra risks to see how they impact business performance. While your startup remains small, any setbacks you experience from failed risks will remain small. Then again, any successes you see from the risks you take can help inform your business decisions now and into the future. You need to acclimate yourself to taking risks, and starting a business as a business student gives you more opportunities to try and fail than you might have in the real world.
It doesn’t matter how you became a student entrepreneur — but it definitely matters how you use your limited time and resources during this delicate period of professional and business growth. By setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your business, you can see success.