Are you a student in school? About to graduate? If you are preparing to go or currently attending college/university, the costs probably are daunting. The cost of a year in college/university runs right around the average of $440/year for those in Nigeria and about $2,300 in US. This is unaffordable for many, and painful for all but the most wealthy. Fortunately, there are many things a parent and student can do to mitigate the costs of university/collage. Most of these are well known options, including summer and school year jobs, financial aid, attending public or private institutions, using community college as a launching point for a four year college, joining the military and using GI Bill benefits.
Here are the points
1: BE MOTIVATED
One option that is rarely considered is for a student to start their own business in school. Notwithstanding the notable examples of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other urban legends, this is not a choice most university/college students will make. If you know me in person and you are reading this post, then you must know that I wrote this post out of the passion I call “must lead by example passion”
Note that most businesses don’t need to have employees or complex operations in order to generate profits. As stated before in this blog, you just need to identify a product people want to purchase and sell it at a profit. If you do this well and generate self-sustaining repeat business, you can minimize the amount of hustle required to get new business and focus on your studies.
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Another advantage for those who are taking business-related courses in college is that you can immediately apply your newly learned knowledge to your business. Hence those who would like to start a business in school but don’t know how to go about it should contact me with +2347037281050 for my free assistance only on calls.
Hence you will need a business plan after we must have done a free market survey for you at just $105 or 20,000 Naira for small and medium scale business.
This business plan will cover your company logo, minimum and maximum start-up capital, target customer, market survey analysis, SWOT analysis, etc. We will also give you all the guided steps you will need to import any goods from US and China if we write your Business plan, meaning we will help you on how to start a mini-importation business and make huge profit in CAMPUS. This is something I did while in campus and my closest friend never knew I was into mini-importation, but now am going to give you a free guild on how you can make your first one million naira while on campus.
Matt Remuzzi, a friend and fellow entrepreneur, recommended a book for me called “The Entrepreneur’s Manual.” It’s a classic entrepreneurial tome, and is actually out of print now so if you want a copy you’ll have to get it used. The book talks about “mini-incomes”, and describes a number of case studies of people who had full time jobs, but created mini-incomes from various small business opportunities that helped them achieve their financial goals. when the barber who is the lead character in the book augments his income by running a mobile haircut cart on the side, saving all the money earned and eventually saving his way to financial independence.
What I’m talking about in this blog, however, is about generating income so that your student can pay their way through school. Here are five suggested ways that hopefully will lead you to creating your own mini-incomes that will help you or your student through college and provide a basis for future entrepreneurial endeavor.
2: EMBRACE YOUR HOBBY
Expand upon a hobby, such as photography. When I was in EBSU (Ebonyi state University) I had passion for parting/clubbing and graphics/photography. I also have a real talent for photography, and have a portfolio of professional quality photos and graphics designs. I currently go to niche exotic graphics designers like KUTIGRAPHICS, takes samples of his designs, then try to do something similar to that he did and shows to other graphics designers to know if it a good design before I upload it to the internet. If people they like what they see, they pay me to do some designs for them. I must say this again I made roughly $2500 online from just doing minor design and photo editing for people and all my stay in school, I never touched the money I made saving online. Hence I have wasted time on something that gave me cool money and later generated me the money I used for my first automobile importation.
I also involved myself in teaching people photo editing and graphics design.
3: DO WHAT YOU KNOW BEST AND DON’T SHY AWAY
Every student has some subject at which they excel, whether Math, English, or music. Tutoring high school students in your favourite subject can be rewarding and provide a good income stream. You can go through agencies, but the idea here is to make a profit for yourself, not for others.
4: PACKAGE YOURSELF WELL
Create your own fliers and business cards and use your connections back to your high school alma mater (if you’re local) or the local high income area high schools. Ask for referrals and as you do good work, watch your referrals grow.
Look for opportunities to provide services for your fellow students. This could be in the form of concierge type services (for someone with no time to do basic things but extra cash to pay for someone else to do them), shopping, tutoring, note-taking, etc. All these require on your part is the ability to market and perform the service, either yourself or buy paying other students at a rate that lets you make a profit. Obviously you’ll want to market these services to students that have the money to pay for them, since other starving students are likely to have more time than money, or too little of both.
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5: BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR TALENT/HAND WORKS
Make a good and stylized hand-crafted goods like hand bags, leather pam, banggles, departmental t-shirts, etc and sell them. The internet is a great venue for selling that doesn’t require retail space, going to craft shows, or any brick and mortar other than a dorm room. A co-worker of mine was looking at a business that makes custom wallets out of old ties. The ties are virtually free at thrift stores and for the cost of a sewing machine and labour this business was able to generate in excess of 60K/year, with the owner working part time. Alternatively, work with someone you know who makes handcrafted goods and create a website and marketing plan for them.
On Yahoo Stores or similar venues setting up an e-commerce site is both cheap and easy. If you have a friend’s mom who makes the best hot sauce in the world, or knits cardigans for all of her friends, there may be an opportunity to sell those goods to a wider market.
Provide services for local residents or businesses. There are students who have window washing businesses, dog- rearing and dog-walking businesses like my Class mate Uro Geoffrey Izuchukwu, car detailing businesses, landscaping businesses, bead making etc. Market research and finding a demographic are key skills that will be developed here.
College can be expensive, but it’s an opportunity for students to gain practical business skills as well as a more traditional academic education. This is a one-two punch combination that will hopefully give them a basis for entrepreneurship that will stay with them throughout their many careers and help them find opportunities that enable them to explore their passions as well as accumulate wealth. Moreover such people are the major people creating jobs today in the world.
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