Mar 09 2023

Launching a Business from Your Dorm Room: 7 Great Tips

Kathy Chapman

Career advice

University is an opportunity to discover yourself, grow, have fun, and educate yourself for the future. Although your time will be in high demand between studying, extracurricular activities, and socializing, there’s no harm in finding room for a side project. Starting a business while you’re at university has never been easier, especially thanks to technologies highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, you can launch a business from your dorm room without an enormous startup cost. 

Planning Stage

Even though your business is a side project at the moment, it’ll become a primary source of revenue when you finish university, which means it’s worth doing properly. As with any other business, it’s essential to write a business plan. The point of this is to detail what your business will do, who it will be aimed at, how much it will cost, funding, how you will set it up, key players, and a rough timeline. Suppose you are establishing an online clothing business. In that case, you can leverage print-on-demand services to create and sell t-shirts online. Such ideas will work even if your budget is low while providing you with real-world business experience.



Market Research

Market research will form part of your business planning, but it deserves a mention of its own. During this phase, you need to create a profile for your perfect audience. Then, using this profile, you need to match it with the local demographic. 

Once you’ve highlighted your demographic, it’s time to conduct further research to find out where they “hang out” online, where they shop, how they shop, and much more. You need to understand your audience inside and out, as this will help you launch your product or service successfully. 

Play at Being a Student

People love helping students because it makes them feel good about themselves, so use this to your advantage. While you’re networking and sourcing partnerships and funding, pull out the student card and see what type of discounts you can swing. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get - so what’s the harm? 

Use University Resources

University is all about personal growth and preparation for the future, so make the most out of their services. The majority of universities have an entrepreneur center, which will help you to bring your business plan to fruition - they may even have ideas to elevate your current plan. As well as helping to flesh out your plan, your university can teach you how to follow all regulations including registering your business, having appropriate licenses in place, and applying for patents. 

Be Professional

We mentioned previously that playing the student role will be a great asset, but you also need to be professional. Whenever you engage with prospective partners or clients, remember that you are representing your future business and livelihood. 

Presenting yourself professionally goes far beyond the way you communicate with others. For example, you need to have proper business contact details. The chances are that you’re living in a student dorm, which doesn’t exactly spell professionalism. Fortunately, you can easily set up virtual mail services. 

A virtual mailbox will provide you with an address where you can receive mail. When letters come into your business, they will digitize them and upload them to a secure cloud storage platform. Depending on the mailbox service you use, they will forward all parcels to your university address. You can easily get started by visiting PhysicalAddress.com.

Seek Partnerships

There’s a misconception about entrepreneurs that they’re “self-made” and “go it alone”. However, if you look behind every successful businessman, you’ll find a team of strong individuals that have helped him through. You need to remember this while building your business. After all, you’re going to have to complete university work to a high standard as well. 

If you’ve already got friends at university, that’s a great start because you can bring on a co-founder. With proper credit for bringing the business to life, you’ll have another person who’s dedicated to getting your business off the ground. 

Prepare for Long Weeks

University students put long hours into their studies, but your week is going to be so much longer. If you’re setting up a successful business from your dorm room, you’re looking at putting around 40+ hours into it. When you pile on studies, you’re likely looking at 60-70 hours of work in a week. 

To prevent yourself from having a breakdown during university, you must establish boundaries. To do this, you will need to allocate time for study and business, and not let one bleed into the other. If you need to, invest in a second phone for business, and put it away while you’re studying. 

Building a business while you’re at university is a great idea and it can even set you up for graduation. However, you need to act smart, put together an extensive plan, and be ready to work long hours. Remember, you’re a student first, so utilize university resources and pull out the student card while networking.

Tags: create a profile for your perfect audience,PhysicalAddress.com,co-founder