When we step into university life, most of us also start pondering over how to earn our pocket money instead of being dependent on our parents. There comes the question how to earn easily without hampering study? Also, for pursuing higher education, many students move to new cities and it seems hard, especially for female students, to find a proper work opportunity and earn while also ensuring own security. Yes, you can consider taking of a part time job, although we don’t have a culture of on campus part time job yet in Bangladesh. And with no previous job experience landing a part time job is also a difficult option for students. You can also go for tuition. But it feels too anachronistic and dull and you learn very little if you really want to make something meaningful.
Before moving on to details let me tell why you should choose a business over part time job or tuition: 1) this is a huge learning curve, you will be learning tremendous amount of things 2) this is your chance to make something remarkable out of nothing 3) and finally why not take the chance when you can run the experiment at the lowest possible cost!
The Third Option
So, what else to do? What are the other viable options for a student?
I have been pondering over this question for months. After much thinking and research I have found that you can be a student entrepreneur! Don't panic! Starting is easy now, at least to some extent. And there are hell lots of examples of that out there.
[su_dropcap style="flat" size="5"]W[/su_dropcap]Why You Should Choose to Be A Student Entrepreneur?
Before moving on to details let me tell why you should choose a business over part time job or tuition:
1) This is a huge learning curve, you will be learning tremendous amount of things
2) This is your chance to make something remarkable out of nothing
3) And finally why not take the chance when you can run the experiment at the lowest possible cost! You are a student and failure will have the minimum effect on you.
And most importantly, many famous entrepreneurs, who were once students, started their journey back there, at the school. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group started student magazine and a youth consulting company when he was an eighth grade student, Seth Godin ran a business of hundred people while studying at school, and our very own Iraj Islam, Co-founder of NewsCred founded his first company when he was a college student. Sounds a good deal, right?
[su_dropcap style="flat" size="5"]H[/su_dropcap]How To Start
By now, you must be thinking how and what business to start, right? I’m thinking of the same question here.
What about a small online shop?
Running a small online business is a good option for earning money in student life. It is easy to manage and less risky. It doesn't have to be a big one; you can keep your business limited within your university which would help you to know about your target customers and to maintain safety simultaneously. We roam around a lot and sometimes end up doing unnecessary shopping just because we liked the product or found the product at a cheaper price.
If you start looking over, you may find many things that you never use. You can earn money by selling those stuffs or you can run your business in the conventional way-buying products and then selling those to the students of your institution. You have all the freedom to run your business the way you want to run it.
To have a better idea on how to start a startup read this wonderful article by Samantha Morshed on How to Start a Startup.
Advantages Of Starting A Small Online Shop And Few Successful Examples
We spend a lot of time on social media platforms now. So why not use your time in a more productive way? It is easy to maintain and less risky and propensity of success is good. For example-in Asian University for Women, Chittagong, students have created their own secret group that they use as a market place (link) only for the students and staffs of the university. Though the consumer number is limited but it provides them a safe place to start a business which might turn into a big one in future. A lot of students of the university earn by selling products in the group without wasting time and money. This is an example of doing a business within a limited number of customers.
There are other examples of f-commerce businesses. People are now leveraging the advantage of social media platforms and doing business with very minimum capital. RangdhanuJamdani, Food Shelf, and T-zone are few examples to name.
How To Run An Online Shop: Example From AUW Students
Here are the steps that the students of Asian University for Women followed to run their online business successfully-
1. Open a closed group in a social networking site and add the students of your institution there. You can also add the people you already know to that group.
2. Give a concise and nice description of your group. You can also add some rules and community Guidelines to keep things straight.
3. While posting, you should mention that you are keeping the price less than other shops outside for the students.
4. Post the photo of the product you want to sell and try to make the photos of your product attractive.
5. Provide a brief description of your product.
6. Provide your contact information with the product. As the people in the group will be the students of your institution, it would not hamper the security of the students.
7. You should try to keep pace with the demands of the customers. Try to sell products that group members like. As the group members will be the limited and belong to the same institution, it will not be hard to get an idea about their choices.
This is just one example of doing business by leveraging social media platforms. You can find your own idea and work accordingly. The first thing you need is an idea. Find a problem that you can solve in your surroundings and offer a solution. Be curious and creative.
Things You Should Keep In Mind
1. Don’t think about making big profits. You should keep in mind that most of the group members are students like you. So you should try to keep the profit minimum which would also help you to get more customers.
2. Try to be genuine and honest about the product you are selling. If the information provided does not match with the product quality, you are done; it may make your customers apathetic towards buying your products any further.
3. You should not overdo with the photo of the product. Try to keep it as real as possible. If the photo does not match with the product it may disappoint your customers.
4. Remember it’s easy to spread anything in social media. If you make a bad reputation the most likely thing is that people will know about it and you will lose your existing and potential customers.
Running an online business can save you money and time both. If you feel confident with your business then you can expand your business later on by making a website or a page in a social networking site that would be open for all. You can even pursue this as your career later. Who knows, this small initiative may have a bigger impact on your life and may take you to unknown and interesting territory.
What are you doing to become a student entrepreneur? How can one start a business while studying? Share Your Ideas With Us.
[su_note note_color="#ffffff" text_color="#27a7df" radius="9"]Credits: This article was written by Jarin Tasnim Nashin and Edited by Ruhul Kader | Image: techonomy[/su_note]