Is Starting a Business After College a Good Idea?

This week we have a guest post from Think Entrepreneurship! The topic? The ever interesting (and sometimes controversial) notion of starting a business right after graduating from college.

Hey, not all of us are meant to work in a cubicle, right? If you have doubts, can’t make sense of your pros and cons list, or just don’t plain know where to start check out the awesome post below.

Is Starting a Business After College a Good Idea?

Many recent graduates are currently seeking job interviews, getting ready for graduate school, or trying to figure out what they are going to do with their lives. The most common train of thought is to go out and get a job related to what you studied for four or more years. There are some who are fortunate that have the opportunity to be working in the field of their choice while going to school online or at a campus. You will find that a lot of health care assistants who are getting their Master of Science in Nursing are trying to juggle both work and school. However, you may not be as fortunate to find a job right away or find a position in the field that you’ve studied. So what should you do?

If you have a business idea and are passionate about it, you might want to look into starting your own business. Starting a business is not right for everyone, but those with an entrepreneurial mindset may have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to move forward. Start with researching the idea and your market to determine if the business could be profitable and successful.

Benefits of Starting a Business Right After College

  • Few Financial Responsibilities – No mortgage, no kids to support
  • You are used to living cheaply and have no problem eating ramen noodles for a few more years
  • College Resources – Help from faculty, student organizations, and networking
  • If needed, you could live with your parents to save money and put the money you’ve saved towards your business 
  • Sometimes you have an advantage being a young entrepreneur and people will see you as an ambitious young person they want to help by doing business with.
  • You are able to immediately follow your passion and do what you enjoy
  • Job security and a salary aren’t so important. Once you have a salaried position and benefits, its often hard for people to quit a job and start a business from scratch.

Don’t Need a Steady Paycheck and Job Security

Immediately after college I was offered a very good paying job to work for a large company doing online sales and marketing. I knew I’d be able to buy a house and become financially stable in a short amount of time. However, I was confident I wouldn’t be happy living in that town and sitting in front of a computer all day. Since I was already poor, I honestly didn’t know what I was missing by not taking a job, and had the ability to scrap by on next to nothing. I didn’t have a mortgage or a family to support. So, I followed my dreams, moved to Montana (because I wanted to live in the mountains), and started my own business. It’s taken awhile to get to the point where I am now, but I can honestly say that I love what I do, couldn’t be happier where I live, and am steadily growing my businesses. In fact, I just put in an offer to buy my very own first home at the age of 27.

College Resources

A big advantage that comes to my mind in starting a business directly out of college are the resources and connections you’ve made in school. As a student, you will have made friendships with the faculty and staff who may be able to provide assistance and advice on getting your business going. The business college will most likely have an entrepreneurship department that can help you write a plan and guide you in your entrepreneurial journey.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of experience
  • Learning on your own dollar
  • A few people might not take you seriously as a young entrepreneur

Lack of Experience

In some instances it may be beneficial to first take a job to get experience and learn about the industry. For instance, an accountant may want to work at a small firm to learn the ins and outs prior to going out on their own. You could think of this position with another company as paid training. You are essentially learning on someone else’s dollar and getting paid to do it. All of the experience will indefinitely give you a bit of a head start if you are going to start a business in a related field.

Learn Along the Way

On the other hand, if you have the skills needed and are ready to go all in, I’d recommend starting your own business. You will certainly learn a lot along the way and will figure things out. Prior to starting my first business in the screen printing industry, I had not known much about the printing. However, every day I learned something new and was excited about the day. You’ll be a problem solver that will continue to learn and find solutions to make things work. One of my favorite quotes about figuring things out is the following:

“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”  -Pablo Picasso

Here are a some other favorite quotes as well: Top 21 Entrepreneur Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Benefits Outweigh the Disadvantages for many cases

In my mind, there are many benefits to starting a business right after college. If you’ve researched your idea and decide you are ready, I’d say give it a shot. With few financial obligations, no kids, and time on your side; you can take the risk of starting a business without much to lose. What’s the worst that could happen? You have to get a job if it doesn’t work out? Good luck with your business venture. Remember to follow your passion and do what you enjoy.

 

 

 

Pete Sveen is a blogger at ThinkEntrepreneurship.com and owner of an internet retail company. Think Entrepreneurship provides entrepreneurs and startups with tips, inspiration, and advice.






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3 Responses to Is Starting a Business After College a Good Idea?

  1. Paul June 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I think I have the answer to this. Just entirely separate the two. Ask yourself if the business model is strong, regardless of your position in life / school / career.

  2. Charlotte@YoungandCentsible June 22, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Really well weighted. I personally love the idea of sort of getting a start on something by doing whatever you think you might want to pursue a side job first, but I can definitely see the benefits of jumping all the way in too! Thanks for the article, will definitely be checking out Pete’s site!

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