Top 5 Tips for Starting a Business in Community College

by Chad Agrawal

Starting A Business In Community CollegeWhile most students coming out of high school realize the need for continuing education, especially in the current job market, some are keen to get one foot into the business world immediately in order to begin earning both money and experience.

If you're one of these people, you are a special breed, imbued with a sense of purpose and the motivation to move forward.

But if you want to fit in with the Richard Bransons and Donald Trumps of the world you're going to have to be smart about how you approach your business ventures.

While there's certainly something to be said for cutting to the chase, there is also value in taking the time to accumulate the knowledge you'll need to be successful in your professional life, and you can learn a lot during your time in school.

But if you feel like you're ready to start a business now, despite the fact that you're pursuing a community college education in the meantime, even at the largest community colleges like Macomb Community College or Community Colleges in California, here are just a few tips to ensure that you can get the job done, so to speak.

5 Tips To Starting A Biz In Community College

1. Get a job

Your thought bubble, if you had one right now, might read, "WHAT?!"

You thought this was an article about working for yourself during your time in community college, not someone else!

The trouble is that if you've never had a job you probably have no idea how a successful business should be run, or what to avoid if you don't want to fail miserably.

You can read all the books you want, but in some instances there is simply no substitute for experience.

So a good place to start is by getting a job, any job, so you can at least get an idea of the time, effort, and coordination required to run a business.

This is especially important since you'll probably wear every hat at some point in the process; the title of "entrepreneur" is one that infers tasks like planning, managing, communications, marketing, sales, production, accounting, and just about every other position involved in starting a company.

2. Do it now, but do it right

You might be itching to launch your enterprise ASAP, and frankly, it's never too soon to start living your life.

Furthermore, the time you spend in community college provides you with some great opportunities when it comes to starting a business, including access to resources (professors, the library, free internet access, and plenty of other talented students willing to help you start your company based on good faith and IOUs).

But here's what will happen if you don't take the steps necessary to succeed: you will fail.

So take the time to engage in the planning process, completing a solid and comprehensive business plan that will help you to raise funding, launch your business, and keep it running.

3. Get organized

Juggling school and work isn't easy, but it can be done.

Organization is the key to managing your schedule and ensuring that everything goes according to plan.

If you're not particularly detail-oriented, now is the time to develop this skill. Unless you're one of the lucky few that have an elephantine memory, you'll need to start keeping a meticulous schedule so that you don't miss deadlines for school or your clients.

4. Consider venues

Before you start seeking window signs around the city advertising spaces for sale, rent, or lease, consider that many startups these days start out online.

This tactic will cut your overhead significantly, as well as the amount of funding you need to launch your business.

You'll have an easier time sustaining your enterprise initially, and success in the online arena could allow you to open a brick-and-mortar location sooner rather than later, if that is your goal.

5. Hire with care

One of the best parts about running your own business is that you have complete control over who you work with.

And being in community college for 2 years you'll have plenty of opportunity to network and scout students that have the skills and personality you're looking for.

Just be careful about hiring friends; mixing business and pleasure is often a recipe for disaster, especially if one or both parties have difficulty maintaining a professional attitude.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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