Owning a small business is a dream for many people. For those that are looking to go into business for themselves, going to college first and pursuing a degree in business, management, or marketing could be very beneficial. For those that are in college and would like to own their own business while still in school, there are seven tips that should be followed.
Value Your Intellectual Property:
If you have a good idea for a product or service, it can be very easy to overlook that value of your idea and processes. It is important that you carefully weigh the value of your intellectual property and have it properly protected. Having a full patent put in place could be expensive at first but will provide you with very valuable protection.
Find Free Support:
When you are in college having access to free support is very important. When you are in school you may be able to find free employees if you are willing to offer them an internship or some form of equity. This could be very valuable when you are managing a tough workload with your job and school. You may also be able to use free Wi-Fi, printers, and other services provided by your school.
Choose Accounts Carefully:
Students that are managing their own businesses also need to carefully consider their bank accounts that they choose. Ideally, you should find a bank account and credit card that is designed for small businesses. This will give you a good deal on interest rates, credit card points, and bank fees that can be invaluable for your small business.
Manage Your Credit and Reputation:
Having a good credit rating and reputation is extremely important for all small business owners. When you are in school and running a business, you will want to make sure that you are properly managing your credit to ensure you have a good reputation in the future.
If you are able to earn an income off your job while you are in school, you should consider starting to save for retirement. Even if it seems a long ways away, the sooner you start saving and investing the better off you will be.
Keep Business Separate:
Managing your finances is always a tough job for all college students. This can be even harder for someone that is trying to manage a small business. It is very important that you are able to keep your business and personal finances separate from each other. This will prevent you from dipping into business accounts and slowing the growth of your organization.
Stay Current with School:
If you are managing a business that seems to be growing while you are still in school it can be very easy to get distracted and forget about your schoolwork. While your business can be encouraging, finishing school and getting good grades should still be your top priority. In the future, investors, lenders, and employees will want to learn more about your background and having a college degree will be very beneficial.
Phil Shawe is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of TransPerfect, a global family of companies and the world’s largest privately held provider of language and business services.