Students share tips on launching small business

We have reached the peak of the semester. Our days are filled with anxiety over midterms, projects and homework. The last thing on your mind is that painting business you thought about starting over break.

For this reason, a lot of students shy away from doing what they love and prefer to stick with blue-collar jobs. 

Morgan King, a senior radiologic technology major, manages two businesses with her school work. King started her hair business, MorgTBraidsMe, in 2014. This month, she started a brand-new beauty business called MoAesthetics. 

“Don’t give up. It may be discouraging at first, but never quit,” King said. “Every failure is a lesson. Learn from it and keep going.” 

Kade Malone, a junior biology major, started his mobile and studio detailing business, Grade A Detailing, in October of 2018. Malone’s business started as a way to help pay for the cost of attendance that his financial aid and grants could not cover.

“If you start a business in something that you like, you often will look to be better than everyone else,” Malone said. “The key is to make sure to serve your clients before worrying about intimidating the competition.”

Brook Little, a senior accounting major, started her baking business, Sweets by B, last July during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

“One of the biggest things I have learned and I’m still learning to implement is to make your business schedule according to what is best for you and what you can handle,” Little said.

Another thing to remember is to never be afraid to try things, according to Little. You will have a lot of things that may fail or don’t do as well as you thought but it’s part of the process. Remain steadfast while also trying to build your own brand and style.

Little also suggests buying a journal. Any small business owner needs to plan for certain things.

“Since I have a bakery, I have to plan for things like Valentines, Mother’s Day and Christmas,” Little said.

Little believes it is important to run things by people you trust. They can be friends or other people that have businesses of their own. Make sure you ask them for their opinions and feedback when you need a second opinion.

King advises setting a budget for your business.

“Set a budget. Don’t go in debt trying to start a business,” King said. “Know your audience. Those are the people that you are trying to reach. See what they like and don’t like to find what works best for your business.” 

King also said it is key to remain professional, but approachable. Customer service is the biggest issue with most small businesses, according to her.

Some days it can be hard to continue your business venture— especially at the start.

“It can be discouraging at the beginning. There have been days where I just thought that this wasn’t for me or that I started too soon but that’s just how it is,” Little said. “It’ll still be like this if you start it now or 15 years from now.”