Starting a business while in school can be daunting, but many of your classmates and Mark Zuckerberg have done it, and there are some things you can do to make the best use of your time while growing your business!
In fact, many schools offer resources that can help you grow your business while you are still in school (i.e., ICUBE at University of Toronto Mississauga (; ). Keep reading to find out what else you can do!
Here’s the short version:
- Prioritize your tasks
- Make and use connections
- Use school resources
- Perform market research with your peers
- Take care of yourself
That could feel like a lot, so let’s break that down to see how simple it is once we get into it!
1. Prioritize your tasks: Prioritizing is the key to managing your time well in many areas of life. Here are some tips to help you prioritize:
- Choose your tools:
- Analog – select a notebook
- ICUBE books from MUJI that you can get at O-Week
- UTMSU hands out books when you get your U-Pass
- Digital – select your app
There are TONS of todo list apps to choose from; here’s a Top 10 To Do apps from Digital Trends. (Evernote, Wunderlist, Todoist are some of our faves). Choose something you can use everyday as well as prioritize and order your tasks.
- Design your lists
- Scheduled to do lists help (daily, weekly, monthly, semester…)
- Order your tasks according to how LONG they will take
Make lists of what you need to do and when you need to do it by, and order your tasks according to how long it will take you to complete them.
Okay, so we made that one a list so you could kind of get the point, but there are four other great points to explore too!
2. Make and use connections: During your university or college career, you will have made (or make!) a number of professional and social connections with other students, professors, and business professionals that visit your campus. Use your connections!
- Ask others for advice or assistance when you need it.
- Be receptive, open to new ideas, and learn to appreciate constructive criticism.Categorize your connections!
- Tags / notes in Google or Apple Contacts work well
3. Make use of school resources: Research your market with the library resources, or find a faculty member that is knowledgeable in your chosen field.
- If you are not in a program that is related to the business field you would like to enter, search for elective courses you can take that will enable you to learn more about it.
- Make connections with professors and students who may have a good understanding of the field you want to explore.
4. Research your target market in your school: Reach out to students and get some feedback about your business idea.
- Create surveys that compile data about the needs of your customers
- Throw a big event around your product with the help of a student club
- Connect with students who are highly active on social media and offer them a sponsorship
5. Look after yourself: Lastly, make sure that when you pay attention to your school work and your business, you are paying attention to yourself too! Eat well, exercise regularly, and take a break to socialize and hang out with friends when you need to!
Visit us at ICUBE, University of Toronto Mississauga to learn how we can help you launch your business idea!