The job market is extremely competitive and the cost of living just seems to be climbing by the day. Looking at it from a student’s perspective, it’s quite easy to become disheartened. For many, starting their own business, even while studying, is the answer to their financial freedom. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re thinking about forging your own business path while you’re studying.
Separating work from play is hard enough while you’re studying. With a business venture on top of this, you’ll need to make sure you’re always organised and disciplined enough to devote the time needed for every sphere of your life. It’s important that you form habits of discipline right from the get-go. Identify the periods of your schedule that you’ll need to devote to your studies, downtime, and your business respectively. Plan out your exams and study deadlines and understand that your business will take a backseat during these times. This’ll all need to be accounted for your short-term planning and goal-setting. If you’re going to succeed in studying while getting your business up-and-running, it’s going to require focus and discipline.
Know your limits
Keeping up with your studies is difficult in itself. Now, throw your own business and a part-time job into the mix and things may seem a little overwhelming. You need to recognise that you can’t do it all. To maintain the balance, you’ll need to make a few sacrifices. The ‘classic’ student lifestyle, for example, may not be the wisest or even most feasible way of living. While it might not sound like the greatest sacrifice, you need to be realistic about how having your own business is going to affect your schedule.
Consider your debt
You’re likely to have a hefty student loan against you, or a significant other. Again it becomes a question of balance. You’ll need to work your finances out precisely, lest you come unstuck down the line. It’s not planning to fail, it’s being responsible. How much can you afford to borrow if you want to build a sustainable business? What do your interest rates mean for the profit margins of your business? Is there scope for debt counselling, should you need it? These are all pertinent questions relating to an entrepreneurial enterprise.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Perhaps the greatest advantage about starting a business while you’re studying is the safety net that you have in your studies. It’s an opportunity for you to try something and be cushioned if it does fail. And the reality is that this could be a massively valuable experience for you. Although you should definitely pursue your new enterprise with the zeal and determination you would any other part of your life, don’t be afraid to take the bit of risk that being a student affords you.