OPINION: Why You Should Start a Business During College

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Many people believe that starting a business is a big risk and that they should wait until they are older and more experienced before taking the plunge. This misconception is costing them valuable time and opportunities. The truth is that the best time to start a business is when you are young, specifically during your college years. 

Those who are college-aged are in the prime age range for becoming successful entrepreneurs. They have the right combination of drive, energy, and creativity that can be the foundation of a successful business. Young people tend to be more ambitious and are not burdened by the responsibilities that come with being an adult. They are less likely to have responsibilities like taking care of a family, paying bills or maintaining a long-term career. This means they have more freedom to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. 

Starting a business is not without risk, but when you are young, the risks are lower. This is because you have fewer responsibilities and obligations, meaning you can afford to make mistakes and learn from them. You can also attain a long-time horizon, meaning you can afford to wait for your business to grow and mature. Young entrepreneurs don’t have to be afraid of taking risks and are willing to put in the hard work to make their dreams a reality.

Another advantage of starting a business when you are young is that you have access to a wealth of resources and support. You can take advantage of mentorship programs, business incubators and angel investors. Many universities also offer courses and programs specifically designed for young entrepreneurs. For example, Bellevue College offers an entrepreneurship certificate for students interested in entrepreneurial opportunities. This can help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to succeed and grow your business. 

Some examples of successful young entrepreneurs who started their businesses during their college years include Mark Zuckerberg, who started Facebook at the age of 19, and Evan Spiegel, who co-founded Snapchat at the age of 22. These young entrepreneurs have become some of the most influential figures in the tech industry, and their success stories serve as inspiration for young people everywhere. 

However, starting a business does not have to require a big investment, as with high-tech companies like Snapchat or Facebook. Here are some ideas for businesses that require low investment: 

Graphic Design Services: If you have a talent for graphic design, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals. You can start with little investment by using software programs like Canva and building a portfolio of your work. 

Online Course Creation: If you have a passion for teaching and a talent for creating content, you can create and sell online courses. You can use platforms like Teachable or Udemy to host your courses and reach a wider audience. 

Technical Writing Services: If you have excellent writing skills and a technical background, you can offer technical writing services to businesses and individuals. You can start with little investment by using your existing knowledge and expertise, and build a reputation for providing quality services. 

Virtual Bookkeeping Services: If you have a background in accounting and finance, you can offer virtual bookkeeping services to small businesses and individuals. You can use software tools like QuickBooks or Xero to manage your clients’ accounts and work from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Home Cleaning or Organizing Services: If you have an eye for detail and enjoy cleaning and organizing, you can start a home cleaning or organizing business. You will need a few cleaning supplies and some basic equipment, but the start-up costs are minimal. 

While the current global economic situation might be uncertain and challenging, and with many people, particularly in tech, facing job loss due to the ongoing recession, it’s important to understand that this is actually one of the best times to start a business.

In a recession, there is a gap in the market created by businesses that are downsizing or closing, providing opportunities for new businesses to step in and fill that gap. Additionally, during a recession, it’s easier to find and hire talented employees who are out of work, as well as negotiate favorable lease agreements and lower prices for goods and services. This means that a new business can start with lower costs and build a strong foundation that will enable it to thrive when the economy improves. 

Furthermore, starting a business during a recession can be less risky than starting one during an economic boom. In a recession, there is less competition, and businesses are more likely to be focused on surviving and cutting costs, which means that new businesses have a greater chance of success. 

Ultimately, if you are interested in becoming a business owner or entrepreneur, starting a business as a college student is ideal, as the current economic situation presents a prime opportunity. Don’t let fears about the recession hold you back from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. Seize this opportunity, as another one may not come again for a long time.