Conventional wisdom says to start a business after you’re established. According to the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, the average age an entrepreneur launches a new business in this country is 40.
However, you don’t have to wait – plenty of advantages come with starting up a business while you’re still in school.
Here are some good counter-arguments from Forbes…
Avoid the Burden of Responsibility
Approximately 85 percent of college students do not have children, according to Women Employed, so the family responsibilities a 40-year-old would have is avoided in the early 20s in most cases. When you don’t have the pressure and responsibility of supporting other people, you’re more flexible in the types of risk you can take and the amount of income you can bring in from the business.
You also aren’t locked into a nine-to-five schedule. Since you have less on your plate, you don’t have to go with the tried and true ideas that probably won’t get much traction.
Take Advantage of College Resources
You can do more than put your room and board into student loans while in school. If your campus has a school of business, take advantage of access to advisers and business groups to network and get help with any issues you run into.
Another college resource to look into is online learning. When you have the flexibility to set your own schedule, working on your business is easier. Colleges such as Penn Foster Education have full degree programs and certifications based entirely online.
You have the energy of a 20-something and the advantage of growing up immersed in Internet culture. Use this to your advantage when building up your business and brand into a company that supports you even after you leave school.
You Still Win Even If You Fail
A business failure in college is disappointing, but you benefit from using that as real-world work experience. In an economy where post-graduates are told they need the experience even to get their foot in the door, having a few years as a business owner gives you a big step up. The risk of failure is mitigated by the benefits of experience, especially if your startup is related to your degree program.
This is also why you want to complete your degree program even if your business takes off. A backup plan is a valuable safety net in an unstable business environment. You also have the advantage of making some extra money in school if you are profitable, which is a prospect most college students hope for.
After all, there are only so many teacher assistant positions and work-study part-time jobs around campus, and they get snapped up quickly.
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