By: Olamilekan Oke
Entrepreneurship does not mean being a CEO of a company as most people assume. As it takes much time and hard work for you to claim being the CEO of a company. Being a student on the other hand is a task on its own that requires a lot of sacrifices also. In fact, being a student is draining in UI and most times you get caught up with school work and activities that you hardly have time for yourself not to talk of your business. That’s why you need to balance both academic activities and work.
If you’re yet to start a business and you’re thinking of starting one soon, I’ll advice you to reconsider and think about it if you’re mentally, emotionally and physically ready for this because entrepreneurship is tough. Not to discourage or demoralize you, but that is just the truth.
THINGS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE GOING INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- Start with WHY: Anyone going into business should know why he or she is making that decision. Why do you want to sell bags? Why do you want to start a kitchen? Is it that there are no people doing these stuff before you? Know your WHY. Knowing your WHY will keep pushing you to go through tough times.
- Know WHAT you will be doing: After Knowing your WHY, you also need to know what you’ll be doing because knowing why you want to sell or make shoes won’t be enough. Know what services you’ll be either as a tailor or baker. This will serve as a guide towards the goals of your brand.
- Think of your target audience: Who are you planning to sell to? Just students? Do you see your brand outside UI or you targeting students alone? This will make you to be accurate at setting your prices and focusing on your energy on the right things.
- Prepare for the unexpected because it’s not a bed of roses. Not all businesses will ‘blow’, in fact a business looking good on paper might actually fail when it gets to the market because having a rough work on paper is actually different from starting.
- If you really feel you can go into entrepreneurship then you have to start! If not now, then when? I’ll want to see this student environment as a testing ground for your brand whereby you really don’t have much to lose even if the business fails.
THINGS TO DO AS A STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR
If you have a business running already, you should consider the following:
- Do not mix emotions with business. Even though it’s your friend, you shouldn’t charge way lesser that you do on a normal day because it is a business you’re running and not a charity organization. Friends who truly love you and want to see your business grow should even support you by paying the usual price or more.
- Deliver good products: You need to deliver quality products and make sure people get value for their money because that is the only thing that will make people refer you and you get more customers.
- Don’t over spend: It is nice promoting your brand, having your logo at the backdrop of banners for events and all. The question is, are you getting results from this? Instead, do the ‘word of mouth’ marketing. Tell people personally what you do, deliver good works to get referrals, and spend your money on branding your products properly.
4. Have a strong social media presence: Social media presence shouldn’t be joked with because this will make your products reach a wider audience and get more attention. Create IG stories, reels, posts, take good pictures of your work and post them online! This will yield more results as most people these days now order almost everything online. But make sure you deliver exactly what you posted online just to avoid dragging on social media.
Lastly, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Some people will have to work under a boss which they report to by 9am and close by 5pm while some people will be their own boss. All in all, we should pick a path that suites us and work towards our different goals.