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6 Tips For Starting A Brand While In College



If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the millions of college kids out there aspiring to become the founder of the next big thing. Why not? Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard. Michael Dell, the founder of Dell, upgraded old computers in his dorm room in 1984 to sell them. Steve Wozniak built Apple with Steve Jobs while attending the University of Colorado.

Whether these guys are your personal heroes or not, aspirants like you can certainly build your own brand while also pursuing a college degree. In fact, many startups and established businesses today are founded by college students. So, whether you’re fresh out of high school still figuring out your area of interest or a senior who has a killer business idea, in this article, we’ll discuss five tips you need to know before starting your own brand.

  1. Learn To Manage Your Priorities

As a young entrepreneur, time is on your side. But as a student entrepreneur, you certainly have a lot to accomplish, such as preparing for your college life, doing school works, creating a business plan, etc. Having all these on your plate, it's very easy to lose track of which task you should put your mind into. 


Managing your priorities is a crucial skill that you must develop so that your studies won’t suffer as you pursue your business and vice versa. As a tip, create a checklist for tasks you need to accomplish for the business and your school activities. Weigh each item according to its relevance and urgency. 


Learning this important skill will benefit you even after college, whether you’re focusing on your business full-time or are working on the side.

  1. Choose A Suitable Funding Option

One of the major obstacles that aspiring entrepreneurs face is raising the capital to start their business. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need thousands of dollars to start. In fact, there are funding options that’ll allow you to start with very little to no initial capital at all. So, if you’re thinking that a young person like you can’t create an enterprise, then you’re mistaken.


One option you have is securing loans, federal grants, scholarships, and fellowships. Believe it or not, universities offer business startup grants to student entrepreneurs. Take advantage of this opportunity while you’re attending school.

Another great option to secure capital is through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding refers to collectively raising small amounts of capital from a large group of potential clients or investors. This works by posting your business idea through social media channels and websites where people can interact with your product or service pitch. If they're interested in buying, they'll spend a certain amount that can help you reach your overall capital. Crowdfunding is a great way to fund your business without shelling out your hard-earned savings.


Lastly, if these two options seem too risky, you can opt to take the traditional route of employment. Getting a job and saving a portion of your paycheck is a safer way of raising capital because it provides for a steady cash flow without incurring any debts. Fortunately, there’s a handful of online sources available where college students like you can find internships and entry-level positions, like Hire Scholars

  1. Find A Mentor And Build Relationships

Whether or not this is your first time creating a business from scratch, do yourself a favor and find a mentor who can give you advice on your business idea. Don’t be shy to contact a CEO or their assistant. Business people are more than welcome to help you get started. 


Along with mentorship, building relationship is also a vital aspect in starting your brand–businesses thrive in connections. Take advantage of networking opportunities, like internships, school or business events, and classroom interactions. Never be shy of attending networking events because you don’t know anyone; they’re called ‘networking events’ for a reason.

  1. You Have Nothing To Lose And Everything To Gain

Building your own brand and starting a business can be a nerve-racking experience, especially when you’re young. Believe it or not, your college days are actually the best time to start because what do you have to lose? 


Are you afraid of losing every penny you’ve saved mowing your neighbor’s lawn as a kid? Don’t be! The cost of starting your business now is dramatically lower than when you start later in life. Here's something to think about: if you fail now while you have less, how hard can it be to get back up?


This, however, doesn’t mean that you’ll invest everything you have in the first business opportunity that arrives in front of you. You still have to do your research and make educated business decisions. But, just in case it fails, at least you have a time cushion to fall back on.

  1. Your Personal Branding Matters

Take care of your personal branding. Your potential clients can easily track you down with a simple Google search of your name. They can view embarrassing photos, cringe-worthy posts, and humiliating videos you may have on social media. Them seeing this can hurt your image and have a negative impact on your business.


Meticulous personal branding, on the other hand, can bring positive feedback and boost your business in the right direction. So, as you build your business, make sure you do a quick timeline sweep.


Another thing that can help your personal branding is stepping up your LinkedIn profile. A professional looking profile not only helps build your brand authority but also attracts potential clients to see that you’re serious about your business. 

  1. Give Value

You can’t expect your business to turn up if you haven’t given your audience something to chew on. Hence, create consistent content that matters to your potential customers. This way, your business can increase its brand awareness, create a conversation, and gain traction with your target market. 


Choose a platform where your targeted audience will be and plan your content a month ahead. Don’t be discouraged when you’re not getting as many followers as you wanted. Avoid giving into the common misconception that you don’t have what it takes to build a following, like other social media celebrities, because that’s not true. 


If you put yourself and your business out there and provide genuine value, your business will soon get traction. 

Starting your own business while pursuing a college career is something that may seem too farfetched to a young person. But many CEOs these days have proven that pursuing both at the same time is possible. 


What’s important is that you manage your time, raise enough capital, build the right connections, work hard, stay on brand, and provide value and you are well on your way to success.