You may hear all of the stories of people dropping out of college to start a business, from the dude (or lady) you see on Instagram to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
But that might not be an option for all of us, or at least not at the moment....
Maybe your parents and grandparents are paying for your college, maybe you aren't at the point in your entrepreneurial journey where you want to drop out of college, or maybe dropping out of college isn't something you even want to do!
We are all on our own path on this journey we call entrepreneurship and since I am also in college, for the moment at least:), I thought I would make this post on how to start an online business while in college!
These steps are more in the general terms around how to structure your day and habits to form as well as strategies to make it a little easier as we know it is damn hard work to go to college in general!
And these strategies will work for both online businesses and any other type of business or side hustle you are looking to start, online or offline!
Let's get started, I know you all are busy!
How To Structure Your College Classes
This is pretty much personal preference other than one thing, block them together!
Essentially you are going to want to have all of your classes for the day either in the morning or at night, whatever works for you and your sleep habits! For me it is in the afternoon just because of my sleep habits and staying up late working.
You could like going to bed early and getting up early to work, that is just as good! Just make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, that is essential if you want to get anything done effectively during the day!
You hear all these stories of people staying up late and waking up early to "grind" but if you aren't getting at least 6 hours of sleeps most days of the week, especially around college age, you are actually harming your body. What good does it do you to make all this money if you aren't healthy or aren't able to enjoy it?
By scheduling your classes all at one time of the day it allows you to work on your business or side hustle for the rest of the day without being distracted or having to worry about getting ready for class every few hours.
It allows you to get into a "flow" of your work and that is when you get the most done and will start making big progress towards your goals!
Structuring your classes is going to be the first step you take while trying to start and online business in college, managing your time is the next major thing to focus on.
How To Manage Your Time
Time management during the time you are not in classes is going to be key here! This is because you are going to have to manage everything from learning, to workouts, eating, doing homework, studying and most importantly.... working on your business & goals!
What works best for me, since we are scheduling our classes all at one time of the day, it allows us to create time blocks for the hours we are not in class. I usually work in hour or half hour blocks depending on what I am doing.
I take the amount of time that I have after class, and then break it down into blocks... how much I need for homework, usually at least an hour block for workouts, and hour at the end of the day (or beginning for reading) and then focus the rest on your business.
For the business blocks for your day you are going to want to create what Andy Frisella calls "The Powerlist" and focus only on the task that are most important for achieving your goals.
The powerlist helps you stay focused on what is really important, rather than getting distracted on small activities that don't do much for you and your goals!
Since we are in college, or even school, or hell this would work for having another job as well... you need to stay focused on the tasks that push you farther down the journey to success, like making more sales, rather than smaller tasks that are less important and don' do much for you!
How To Manage Schoolwork & An Online Business In College
I'm not sure if this is going to work for everybody, but this is what has worked very well for me both in high school and college, while running businesses on the side... do what works for you in terms of schoolwork.
I always used to figure out the work that REALLY needed to be done in class or how much I really needed to study in order to learn the material in order for me to pass. It turns out what worked for me was not studying very much and finding out ways to get what needed to be done in minimal work.
This allowed me the maximum time available for me to work on my businesses and side hustles. I'm not at all saying this is the only way, you have to figure out how to efficiently do the work you need to get done , in minimal time!
I found the more I was studying, that it really wasn't doing me any better so I decided to just get the main points down and study for max of an hour since I didn't retain much information after that.
Also, leverage the relationships you have with your friends, or make friends in your classes, so that if you are super busy one nights they can throw you some answers to a bullshit worksheet or busy work that you don't really need to be doing!
The key takeaway here is to figure out what works for you and how you can get what needs to be done quickly but still effectively and do well on it... it is not as hard as you think to do this, just test some study/ homework habits and you will find it relatively quickly!
This allows you to quickly, yet effectively get your schoolwork done while still starting an online business in college so you can start earning extra money as a college student! Whether you plan to use this business to pay for school or pursue it full time, it is a great way to earn extra money while in college.
What To Focus On While Building An Online Business In College
I know your time is limited so what are going to be the aspects of your business you can focus on each day in order to maximize your time and not waste it on small activities that don't push towards your goals!
These, again, are not the only things to focus on, just some of what has worked for me. It should be adjusted based on the industry of your business, so take these as suggestions rather than a set in stone plan on what to focus on!
The first is sales, because without sales and money coming into the business, there is no business! You have to get in front of clients and unless you can hire someone to do so for you, but if not this is going to be what you spend a ton of time doing.
Whether it be emailing/ calling leads or even setting up sales funnels... sales is going to be a major priority just because you need them to keep your business afloat.
Next, marketing is going to be another focus that you really need to hammer down as this is what brings attention to your business.
Without attention, your business won't sell anything.. simple as that. No matter how good your product or service is, nobody will know about it and in turn nobody will buy it. As Gary Vaynerchuk says "Attention is the oxygen of your business."
Finally, social media is going to be the last place I recommend spending a decent amount of time as it is where you are able to market, build your brand, grow a following of loyal followers and most importantly-- connect with your customers in a more personal way.
Social media allows you to provide value to your customers and connect with them in a real time and personal way, something email fails to do! It also allows you to create business relationships and connections by engaging in communities on each platform.
You can't succeed alone, so why not try an form relationships through social media!?
Connect With Us:
Before I move onto some strategies for growing the online business, while you just started it from your dorm or while in college, just wanted to make sure that you connect with us on a few social media platforms if you are interested in seeing more content like this! PLUS a FREE Social Media Strategy guide if you click the link below:
How To Start Selling Through Your Online Business
Many of you reading this are in college or of college age, maybe a little older or younger, so I am going to give you a few ways to reach out to clients for sales strategies that are an effective use of your time, since many of use are looking for efficient strategies to grow our online businesses, based on our lack of time!
The first strategy is through direct messages, specifically on Instagram as that platform is easiest to message on and people just check those direct messages more often.
The key here is going to be finding accounts within your niche, who you believe you could help, and reaching out to them to explain how you can help them!
The important thing is going to not be forcing a sale right away rather explaining what it is that you do, how you can help them and just engaging in conversation around the industry.
Don't come full force at the with a sale during first contact, it is rare to make a sale that fast... focus on building a relationship!
Also keep in mind to space out the amount of DM's you send on Instagram, so that you don't get flagged for spam on Instagram!
The next strategy for sales is going to be using things such as leadpages to start creating landing pages and sales funnels for your products or services. This is a great strategy if you know how to get traffic online or on social media because it is pretty much automatic once you get them into your funnel.
A funnel consists of a series of pages that lead your buyer through the sales process without you directly walking them through it... a super effective strategy when used right, with the help of platforms such as leadpages!
Marketing Strategies To Start With
Much like the sales strategies, marketing strategies are going to be simple and easy to implement and just a place to start from while building your business!
To start with, make sure you are active on social media platforms as this is one of the best marketing strategies, to build up an active following on social media of people who care what you have to say and will buy from you!
This takes a while ad is more of a long term marketing play, so if you are looking for more of a short term marketing play, in addition to the long term play, I suggest looking into the strategy below!
The next marketing strategy is more of a passive strategy, as you just set up your funnel and pay to get people to go through it and get leads for sales.
You can do this through Google Adwords as well as Facebook Marketing platforms and both make it super easy to get started and target the right people that will drive sales!
Once you set up these funnels, through leadpages or click funnels.. or even just making website pages that guide your buyers through to the sale, you connect it to your Facebook or Google Campaigns and then just start running it!
Easy as that and perfect for those of us in college because we don't have to sit around all day manually collecting leads, these campaigns will do it or us.
Just make sure to be constantly testing and improving your pages or testing new audiences/ changing us the ads on the campaign to see what is working and what isn't working!
These two are a great basis for getting your marketing game up and running while we are trying to go to class at the same time!
Hope that you all enjoyed this post and it helped you out a little while figuring out how to start an online business while still in college! If there is anything else you have questions about hit me up in the comment section below and let me know if you want to see more about running a business in college or even high school!