Crowdfunding As A College Student
I set up a vintage clothing business through crowdfunding while attending college. I learned a thing or two in the process, and my friends said I should put my lessons learned into a crowd funding blog. Well, here goes:
- Set Objectives: Not necessarily the strong suit of any college student, but essential to the success of your future ventures. Objectives reflect our desires and priorities, which in turn shape our decisions and actions. A clear set of objectives will save you from wasting time on unproductive activities. Start with larger goals, such as raising a specified amount of funding by a certain date; Follow up with smaller goals that support the larger ones.
- Plan Ahead: With objectives in hand, create a detailed step-by- step plan specifying what to do and when to do it. Each step in the plan should support the achievement of one or more goals. As a young student, I found planning to be the hardest skill to acquire, but also the most valuable.
- Learn From a Mentor: Mine was a professor from the business school. He loved seeing the principles he taught in class applied to a real world endeavor. He had a wealth of knowledge that he was happy to impart – without charge! In fact, I recommend you find several mentors, as each will have their own particular strengths. At different phases, I received help from a web-design teacher, a fashion designer, and of course the aforementioned business teacher. His specialty was marketing, which proved extremely useful.
- Exploit Your University’s Resources: My university provided free business counseling, subsidized advertising in the school newspaper, and tons more. The university also gave me access to a lot of equipment like the projector system, video editing facilities, conference rooms and computer hardware/software. Don’t be shy about asking – most universities are happy to help out.
- Leverage Coursework and Projects: Hey, if you have to do a class project anyway, do it on your business. Check class syllabi to see ones that require projects that dovetail into your plans. For instance, if you take a video-editing class, make the video about your business and then use it for marketing. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter recommend you submit a video when requesting funding, so voila! Other ideas: take a marketing class that has a project for branding and marketing a company; or try a web development class to help build your company website.