How to Run a Successful Business as a College Student


Aimee Bueno, Contributing Writer

You’re probably thinking “impossible,” right?

It is possible, but running your own business isn’t as easy as you think, and being a college student while simultaneously maintaining a part-time job doesn’t make it any easier.

Speaking from experience, it takes a lot of hard work, time and patience.

I started a business this past May titled “Henna By Aimee,” and it has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me.

Being a first-generation college student and Hispanic woman coming from a low-income family, you can see how discouraging it could all seem.

I’ve developed my skillset and success through research and I’m here to shed some advice on what makes a small business work while all the odds seem to be working against you.

When starting a business, it is important to take into account your interests and passions. If you start a business with your passion, it won’t necessarily feel like work.

Look around and see what interests you, try new things, look into your environment. Honestly, most of my hobbies come from Instagram’s explore page, so it really is that easy.

Another component of running a successful business is time management. Being a college student includes a lot of deadlines and last-minute rushing to get things done. Putting time into a business is key in making it thrive.

Breaking up your days and giving time to work on each part of your life is the easiest way to go about it.

Spend an hour studying or doing homework, half an hour watching your favorite show, then another hour on the business. The most important part of time management is not feeling like there isn’t enough time for everything. Try your best and you will be rewarded.

During the fall and spring semesters, it will be difficult to make time for clients, your business, and social media. But, one way to make sure the business gains exposure while sales are down is in social media.

The beauty of this generation is the mobility through technology. Having an online presence is everything when starting up your own business.

My business is mostly through Instagram because it is the best way to reach my business’s demographic. Branding myself online has been the greatest thing in expanding my business.

Following other profiles in the industry, liking and commenting on posts, communicating with followers, sharing others work, and most importantly posting my own work are key ways to keep an engaged audience online.

Another way is to make sure posts are doing well, and if there are available funds, is to promote posts on social media.

A business owner can choose their demographics for the feature, the area they want to promote it, and how long they’d like the promotion to run for.

The length of the promotion and amount of people a business owner wants to reach depends on the money they’re able to spend.

Other things that go into making a business successful include researching the industry to look for trends, making sure you are using the best products possible for your clients and keeping up with the events other artists within your community are a part of.

When I started getting into henna, there was one specific page I followed and looked to for inspiration.

I bought some of my first supplies from her and after starting my official business page, we began communicating more.

Networking within any industry is key, which I know you’ve heard before since it’s echoed through every college classroom across the nation.

Take advantage of the opportunities we have as college students in this age of technology.

I know it seems overwhelming at first and the thoughts of doubt linger in the back of your mind.

I attend school full-time, work part-time, and run a business.

If I can do it, so can you.

And if you have been thinking about starting a business and have been looking for your sign, this is it.

Start now.