The two are possible. I know that deadlines, lab reports and essays loom constantly however students do set up businesses. It will be tough and it will be time-consuming, but there are an abundance of useful tips in the wide world of the Internet. What follows are the distilled essentials of being a student entrepreneur for your perusal.
1) Have a story and vision to your business. Why did you want to set it up? How did the idea come to you? Being a student can be a great place for that story to begin.
2) Look after yourself. Setting up a business is stressful and time-consuming. Especially if you are balancing it with a degree. Work hard, but give yourself a little bit of slack every now and again. Enjoy a night in Shack, an evening run or maybe some Mean Girls.
3) Look after your ideas. You are valuable and so are your ideas. Whilst making sure your ideas have not already been developed is crucial, it is just as important to prevent anyone else from taking them. The government website is a great starting point for finding a whole load of information on IP.
4) Be humble. Listen to advice. There are many skills you may need to learn. Yet depending on the cost, there are some skills that it may be more time effective to outsource, such as web design.
5) Make the most of being a student. Being a student means you (probably) have fewer responsibilities than you will do in later life and therefore you have a lot less to lose. Also, as a student you have a huge network and community to help you out - often for free too!
Rest assured, alongside your degree, your societies and your sports, building a business at Durham is possible. To give you even more insight, Entrepreneurs Durham interviewed a few of Durham’s student entrepreneurs at one of our latest events.
Here are their tips:
Gillian Mcloud: 2nd year, Economics, Snappy G
· Never give up. There will be many ups and downs but don’t give up.
· Contact departments. If your product or idea has a technical element then certain departments may be able to support.
Robin Murch: 2nd year, Chinese, Signal North East
· Be confident
· It will be hard work. Work hard. Don’t give up at any obstacle.
Matt Miller: 4th Year, Politics, Unireach
· Speak the customer’s language. Try and think what the customer wants to hear about your product rather than launching into a long passionate description.
· When constructing a team get people who have complimentary skill sets on board.
I hope these little insights inspire, help and encourage you to develop your ideas and businesses even further.