Why university is a great time to start your first business
Startups have never been more in vogue, with more people than ever choosing to start a business and become their own boss. But when is the best time to start a business? Do you get a job first to learn the ropes of the business world before starting up? Or is it better to get going as soon as you’re finished with education? I would argue the best time would be during your studies – and here’s why.
You are ready to learn
Starting a business is a tough road with a lot to learn along the way. Luckily, while you are at university, you are already in the right mindset to learn – it is no harder to put your mind to work on deciding the best way to launch your business than to write an comparative essay on modern religions or study for your upcoming psychology exam.
There’s plenty of apps available that claim to focus your mind and help you focus on learning, but while you are at university your mind is always ready to learn and absorb ideas.
Support is on-hand
The life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely existence at times, but while you are at university you will always have a group of friends right there on hand to go for a drink with and to take your mind off the problems at hand.
Moreover, with the wealth of people around you, from students groups to professors, you will always be able to find someone with the right expertise to help solve your problem. You will never be in a better position to get the help you need than at college, and many universities also offer programmes to help entrepreneurs along their journey.
It can be a long time between starting your company and earning your first cheque, so when better to start a company than when your basic overheads of rent and food are taken care of? Virtually every small business owner runs into cash shortages. That’s the nature of being an entrepreneur. So why not take advantage of a period when your costs are low and many expenses already taken care of to jump in and get started with your first business?
A good time to fail
“Fail fast” is a popular slogan of the startup world, with entrepreneurs encouraged to embrace risk and failure as markers along their journey to success. At some point, you are going to fail with your business – this may mean missing targets, or may mean a big pivot, or may even mean winding up the company. University is a great time to get over these hurdles because you still have your whole life in front of you and you can be quick to adapt and improve.
Time to choose your path
You do not want to be a “wantrepreneur” who always dreamed of starting their own company but never acted – it will be a life-long regret. However, startups are not for everyone and if you start a business while at university and decide the stresses and strains are not for you then that is fine. At this point you can still choose to go back into a more traditional career and succeed in that instead. Live your life without regret.
Photograph by TeroVesalainen