by Anna Pitts
The best startup companies are created from a passion for your business. Many startups stem from the skills of their founders who took the brave step to try and turn their hobbies or talents into their future. If you are doubtful that your startup will take off, you only have to look to Microsoft and Apple for inspiration: they, like all startups, began as struggling, fledgling companies and now are among the super-giants of the business world.
If you think your idea is ridiculous and could never be ‘the next big thing,’ then think again. Who would have thought that a website that lets you compare and rate people’s faces would evolve into the largest social networking site in the world: Facebook?
All it takes is an idea and some determination to start your own business and university is the perfect place to launch it. You have a huge network of friends and contacts, access to experts and technology and the time to develop and try out ideas. Here are some of the best businesses to start as a student.
1. Tech Biz
Using your tech skills to start your business is a wise move. Generation X has grown up with computers, social media and technology; it’s like a second language to us. If you are one of the particularly fortunate who excel in these areas, there is huge business potential. There is an ever-developing market for you and your startup to join, whether it is software programming, building computers or fixing the devices.
Businesses can be pricey to start, especially if there’s a need access to the latest technologies and equipment, but don’t let the expenses put you off. If, like many students, you are burdened by financial constraints, approach a company such as Crowdfunder that offer funding specifically to startups.
2. Delivery Services
The heart of your business doesn’t have to be some sort of exceptional skill that you offer your clients, as other companies that cater for day-to-day needs are massively successful and appealing to the public.
With today’s busy lifestyle, delivery services are becoming increasingly popular. A delivery service is something that is very doable for students, if you have organizational ability and a logistical mindset. Decide on a product that people need delivered which, in the student world, will undoubtedly be food or alcohol. Bulk buying (or making if you are a master chef or brewer) and then distributing to eager customers can quickly develop into a successful business.
With blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogspot available to the public, starting a blog is one of the easiest things to do these days. If you have something interesting to say or a website idea, then starting a blog is the first step in your startup. Think about your interests and things people want to read. Start a restaurant, event or travel review blog and post whenever you visit somewhere new. People love to read opinions on places so if you can offer honest, genuine advice then your work will get noticed. The scope for blogs is huge: photography, fashion, advice, opinion… So pick your niche and get blogging!
4. Repair Services
Things are always breaking. Therefore, things always need fixing. If you are handy with a needle, a wrench, or any other tools then it is highly likely you could start your own repair service. These types of companies can often be born from university societies.
Sussex Freewheelers is a free bike repair service for the students at the university. Rob Miller, president of the repair company, says “We noticed that there wasn’t anywhere that students could get their bike repairs done to a high standard for free. So many people on campus have bikes and we wanted to create somewhere accessible that they can bring them to have them maintained.” Similarly, there is a clothes repair service and computer help service, all student run and created. The possibilities are endless.
5. Problem Solver
How many times in a week do you think, “I could do that ten times better”? That’s exactly what Jamie Murray Wells thought when he bought glasses from high street stores. The extortionate prices triggered Jamie to start his company, Glasses Direct, allowing people to buy the same products online at a fraction of the price.
If you encounter similar issues and have a feasible solution then you have your startup idea. Whether its clothing, accessories, facilities or technology, if you can offer a better alternative to current methods then your business is set for success.
Anna Pitts is Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice based articles for graduates and students. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.