Although most entrepreneurs decide that it’s best to wait until their business idea is off the ground and running smoothly before they take on any other large commitments, many are jumping into school alongside their busy life as a business owner. Studying at university can be very beneficial for your business and your own personal development; there are several programs available that you can take in order to improve your knowledge of business overall, or improve your competency and skill in various areas of your business such as marketing, finance, or management. If you feel that your lack of knowledge in a certain aspect of business is holding you back, earning a degree can certainly be a great investment. But, studying whilst managing a business can be difficult to juggle, so it’s vital that you’re fully prepared. More and more entrepreneurs are managing to juggle a degree with business ownership – how do they do it?
#1. Understand Your Priorities:
Some student entrepreneurs try to have it all; a high GPA and a successful, profitable business. But, both are full-time commitments and sometimes, you will need to know which one is best to prioritize. As a general rule, prioritize the one that you see as a potential future career path once you have graduated. If your degree is simply there to help you become better at running your business and make it into a more successful career for you in the future, bear in mind that you can always take time off school to pursue a truly valuable business career; but the opposite is not always true.
#2. Study Online:
Juggling school with running your business can be tricky, but the rise of online learning has made it easier than ever for business owners to juggle both, thanks to flexible and self-led study schedules. Studying online with a school such as Suffolk University Online can be an ideal choice for entrepreneurs as there are no physical classes to attend at set times; your learning materials are all accessible online and you can study from wherever is suitable for you, whether that’s your home, the office or something else. This also allows you to prioritize day-to-day what you are going to spend more time on. For example, if your business is running smoothly and can be entrusted to your employees, you’ll have more time to study, or you can leave studying for later on days that you need to be more present and hands-on.
#3. Create a Schedule for Managing Your Time:
Students have a luxury of more downtime allowing them to pursue their business idea, compared to life as a full-time working professional. This is especially true if you have decided to study for your degree online, where you will be afforded the additional flexibility of being able to manage your own study times. For example, you could choose to study three days per week and focus the other days on your business, or design a schedule that allows you to evenly divide your time between both each day.
#4. Make Use of University Resources:
As a student, you will have access to a vast amount of school resources that you may not have the opportunity to access again once you have graduated. So, now is the best time to take full advantage of everything that is available to you; student organizations that can help you build your business, additional academic courses and programs, and access to expert faculty members is right at your fingertips, so don’t let it all go to waste. In addition to learning and development resources, it’s a wise idea to take full advantage of any opportunities that you have for networking as a student, too. This is especially true if you are taking a very business-centric degree program, where you may be studying alongside other students who are running or managing successful companies or have other relevant experience and knowledge that can help you further your business career.
#5. Integrate Business into School Work:
There’s absolutely no reason why your business and your degree work should be totally unrelated. In fact, integrating the two could be one of the best things that you do for your entrepreneurial career. If you’re studying for a degree in order to become a better business owner, such as an MBA or a degree in finance, marketing or law to improve your knowledge and your company, then integrating the two can be extremely helpful. For example, you can implement what you learn from a marketing degree into better promoting your company, or use your newfound law knowledge to draft a better business plan and ensure that your business is fully legally compliant.
#6. Take Advantage of Student Discounts:
Last but not least, as a student you will be able to take advantage of a wide range of student discounts that will help you save some cash not only when it comes to your academic and personal lives, but also your business. For example, students are often offered generous discounts on software programs that you can not only use to make studying more efficient but may also be able to implement in your business, too. Look out for other student perks such as free printing, discounted business marketing materials, or even money off clothes and footwear for conferences, networking events and meetings with potential clients. Even if it doesn’t directly benefit your business, signing up for as many student discounts as possible will help you tighten your purse-strings whilst studying and save more money – usually a top priority for those trying to juggle business with school. Today you can find apps and websites designed solely for students, offering a wide range of discounts on everything from fashion to travel from all your favorite brands. And if you’re out shopping, it’s always worth asking if the store you’re in offers a student discount.
Studying for a degree whilst running your own business is a lot of work, but there are certainly ways to make it happen!