Doing business while you are still studying can be quite hectic, especially for undergraduate students, for whom time can be a luxury they might not afford. With a busy schedule and limited time, insufficient resources and stress from academics, students at campus always find it next-to-impossible to start a business, but I’ll tell you this, it’s not.
As a business owner still at campus, I’ll give you a few tips that have kept me on the right track.
1. Know What You Want
This, in short terms, is called ‘a vision’. To have at the very least, a faint idea of where you want to go, or where you see yourself in the not-so-near future is paramount to keeping you grounded as you engage in business at campus. University is filled with distractions and you will need to have a strong ‘internal campus’ and the will to follow it to manage. And with the challenges that you are certain to meet along the way as an SME owner, knowing what you want will surely go a long way.
2. Priorities, Priorities, Priorities
This point feeds in from the former, but can be quite the challenge even for people that already know what they want. Prioritizing helps you know what to put your emphasis on and what to hold off on as you attend to the first priority. You will need to weigh the value and return-on-investment in order to balance the different responsibilities that you will have, and most of the time, this will not be easy. You might have a lecture and a business meeting at the same time. How do you decide? You will need to set priorities everyday.
This has to be the most important point on this list. To-do-lists can be digitally made or hand-written. Personally, I prefer handwritten ones because it’s honestly difficult to ignore a yellow sticky-note at my desk, which isn’t the case with something I’ve written down in my phone’s notepad.
To-do-lists help you follow a schedule which keeps you organized throughout your day. You will make clear check-lists and schedules with a properly laid out to-do-list.
4. Know When To Stop
I can’t shout this one out enough. The last thing you want is to break down mentally or physically just trying to ‘chase that bag’. We all have breaking points and it is important that you understand where yours starts. I must say myself I struggle with this one. I work myself black-and-blue, until my back can’t turn when my mind wills so.
Understand that every one needs a break and this does not mean they are being unproductive. You have to stop to move forward. Find ways that you can blow off some steam; take a walk, listen to music, drink an ice cold beer out in the sun, do a workout, engage in a sport or anything else. Most importantly, socialize.
5. Learn To Say “No”
Knowing your boundaries is an important part of becoming a business leader. As you study in school, be sure to make a routine for your schoolwork and business endeavors. But say “no” to any that overextend you. If friends invite you out for drinks, it’s ok to say “no.” Designate weekends for maintaining relationships or enjoy a drink while at a networking or business event.
6. Network and Connect with Friends: Partnerships?
Campus offers students lots of spare time. While you’re building your business, connect with fellow classmates and students for recruitment opportunities. Consider pitching the idea of collaboration to them and make it a learning opportunity for everyone. The famous adage holds true that ‘a problem shared is a problem half-solved’. Many startups have employed students for onboarding.
Campus is a multidisciplinary hub. You’re more likely to meet well-rounded individuals with diverse ideas to produce intersecting and innovative concepts.
Lastly, engage in the businesses that interest you and while you are at it, try to enjoy the process. Doing the things you love is the second most thrilling feeling. Second only to succeeding at them.