The advantages of being a student entrepreneur

April 18, 2008

The other day I had the opportunity to have coffee with a student entrepreneur from Virginia Tech. This is the second such meeting in a month and I hope it’s a sign of future trends. Over the past two semesters, I’ve met with three entrepreneurs, all at the end stages of their undergraduate education, and all were pondering this decision – take a “regular” job or start my own business.

In my opinion, the decision is a no-brainer. Follow your passions and start a company. At this point in your career, it will not look bad on your resume if the business fails and you need to go work for someone else. If anything, the experience of starting and running your own company should count for much more experience than the equivalent time in a fresh-out-of-college job. This is generally the case unless the hiring manager is not very good at what they do, but that is an entirely different subject.

The other factors to consider are the opportunity costs and the risks of failure. Starting a business full-time as opposed to taking a job leaves potential salary income on the table. This is the opportunity cost while trying to pursue the entrepreneurial career.

How much do I need the income that a normal job will provide? What are my current living expenses? How long will it take for me to generate enough income in my venture to cover these living expenses? And do I have any savings to cushion this or provide backup? These are the questions to ask yourself.

Graduating students have a unique financial situation for the most part. They have minimal financial responsibilities compared to their older counterparts. No kids, no mortgage, and likely their debt is credit cards and student loans – both of which can be managed with smaller monthly payments. If the business completely fails, the financial ramifications can be much less devastating than if an entire family was supported by the entrepreneur.

I Twittered these thoughts yesterday and received some interesting feedback. One response was that it is expensive to start a company and can be difficult for a young entrepreneur to raise capital even from friends and family. I can’t disagree more with this statement.

The cost of starting a business can be extremely low. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If the company is going to be in consulting or another type of service business, the costs are minimal. Company formation can be done online inexpensively via services like LegalZoom and many of the basic business management tools are available online from free to low cost.

If it’s a Internet based business, again the costs are low. The same application that would have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a few years ago is now in the tens of thousands (if not less via offshoring). Server and other infrastructure costs have dramatically fallen. And if you’re a technical founder, you’ll be doing much (all?) of the development work yourself, so it’s not that hard to build something and launch it for minimal costs.

Obviously, none of this applies if your business idea is to start a new biotech company or a micro brewery or a semiconductor manufacturer. Yes, these require large amounts of capital to get started. But it’s quite possible, with the right idea, to start small and learn quickly.

It’s easy to get started (especially as a young entrepreneur), but I’m not necessarily implying it’s easy to become successful. That will be the topic of some future posts.

UPDATE: For more discussion of student entrepreneurs, Rob McNealy of Startup Story Radio is currently running a series of podcasts with a successful young entrepreneurs.

  • Pingback: Funny Quotes()

  • Pingback: Gutter Cleaning St. Paul Minnesota()

  • Pingback: Seamless Gutters Installation Urbandale Iowa()

  • Pingback: Seamless Gutters Installation Des Moines()

  • Pingback: reasons for premature ejaculation in men()

  • Pingback: Gutter Protection Covers Des Moines Iowa()

  • Pingback: вести себя с проституткой()

  • Pingback: Torpedo Gratuito()

  • http://wiki.starmade.ru/index.php/up_grade_your_current_blogging_software Linnea

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking
    and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk
    about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  • Pingback: My Online Business Empire()

  • http://www.adventurespirit.lv/?q=ru/node/18067 Elsie

    What’s up all, here every person is sharing these know-how,
    thus it’s pleasant to read this weblog, and I used to go to see
    this webpage everyday.

  • https://www.rebelmouse.com/burnthefatfeedthemusclenow/ burn the fat feed the muscle review

    You can certainly see your expertise within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart. “If the grass is greener in the other fellow’s yard – let him worry about cutting it.” by Fred Allen.

  • http://morrisseytickets2014.com/ morrissey tickets in 2014

    This implies any particular one would not haveto risk any one his
    belongings such as his house or car morrissey tickets in 2014 interest rates on these forms of large lending products might be fixed during enough time with
    the applying and also can vary based about the government perfect
    rate appealing.

  • Pingback: My Online Business Empire()

  • Pingback: Music Video()

  • Pingback: premature ejaculation reviews()

  • http://www.royalremix.com/index.php?a=profile&u=tokidston Jamaal

    Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and say I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums
    that cover the same topics? Many thanks!

  • Pingback: Switzerland night club()

  • Pingback: snygga bord()

  • http://garciniacambogia20x.com/ http://garciniacambogia20x.com

    Thanks for another magnificent article. The place else could anybody get that kind of info in
    such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week,
    and I am on the search for such info.

  • http://cheapflights.webgarden.com/ Audrea

    My partner and Ӏ stumbled оvеr Һere Ƅy a diffrent website and
    tɦought Ӏ might check tɦings out. I like wҺat I see sߋ
    noա i’m folloԝing үou. ʟоok forward tߋ checking outt your web ƿage repeatedly.

  • https://www.facebook.com/freedomjobthai งานอิสระ

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  • https://www.facebook.com/seeworkjob งาน

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk
    about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  • Pingback: Basketball Speed & Agility Training()

  • http://garciniacambogiareviews23.com/ garcinia cambogia reviews gnc

    Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are
    not understanding something fully, however this paragraph
    gives pleasant understanding yet.

  • Pingback: professional carpet cleaning()

  • http://gg.gg/23nkb พนันบอลออนไลน์

    Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website,
    how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I were a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered shiny clear
    concept

  • http://www.andnowweshalldomanlythings.com sbobet

    Awesome article.

  • Pingback: air conditioning in Toronto()

  • Pingback: Photo Booth Los Angeles()

  • http://garciniacambogiaextract56.com/ garciniacambogiaextract56.com

    Hello! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you
    a shout out from Dallas Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!

  • Pingback: Los Angeles Photo booths()

  • http://akosarobisyr.blogspot.com http://akosarobisyr.blogspot.com

    My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was once
    totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not
    believe simply how a lot time I had spent for this information!

    Thank you!

  • Pingback: Lead System Network Scam()

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9TqSw-GiRs latest baldness treatment

    Unlike telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium patients will usually loose all their hair.
    It is now being used in conjuncture with other herbals, as an active ingredient in shampoos and orally administered to
    prevent hair loss as well as aiding the restoration of roots and production of new hair.
    Having a green home does not mean you have to live with these pests.

  • http://www.dominaforum.net/domina_toplist/index.php?a=stats&u=mozellecrt แทงบอล

    What’s up colleagues, how is all, and what you desire to
    say about this post, in my view its actually awesome designed for me.

  • Pingback: vietnam travel forums()

  • http://www.leasidehighschool.com/pm/member-only/mboard/msg/4324.htm คาสิโนออนไลน์

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site. It’s simple,
    yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a excellent job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Opera.
    Superb Blog!

  • http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20131010005660/en/Pure-Garcinia-Cambogia-Extract-Reviews Garcinia Cambogia Reviews

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google
    while looking for a related matter, your web site got here up,
    it seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, just became alert to your weblog through Google, and located that it is truly informative.
    I’m going to be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate in case
    you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from
    your writing. Cheers!

  • http://www.prlog.org/12318438-how-to-get-rid-of-acne-scars-critical-information-released.html get rid of ance scars

    Quality articles or reviews is the key to invite the viewers to
    visit the website, that’s what this website is providing.

  • Pingback: adonis golden ratio()

  • Pingback: premature ejaculation dapoxetine()

  • Pingback: vietnam travel forums()

  • Pingback: General Dentist kew gardens()

Previous post:

Next post: