Starting your first business as a college student may just be the best idea you ever conceived. You would be surprised if you knew the benefits of running a business when you are still in college. Countless organizations have programs, products, and services that you can take advantage of only while you’re still a student. If you already have a business as a student, kudos!
Running a business as a student can sometimes be challenging. However, browsing through business topics for research papers can help keep you informed on trends and opportunities in your vicinity. You will find a variety of business essay samples to choose from. These free essays contain examples of business that other students have started, how they started, the trials they encountered, and how they surmounted those challenges. You will stand a better chance of succeeding if you learn from the mistakes that other people have made.
Many companies that have become giants started off in college dorms. Evan Spiegel’s Snapchat and Mark Zuckerberg are just two such examples. The college environment is a fertile ground for business ideas because of all the freebies that you stand to enjoy.
Why you need a website for your business
A website is a virtual online place where you can meet with customers who either want to buy an item or learn more about a product or service you offer. There are many ways a website can be useful to your business as a student entrepreneur. They include:
- As a powerful marketing tool: Your business website can be the driving force of your advertising campaigns. Every picture, video, product description, and other content that you put on your website will help paint your customer a clear picture of the products or services that you offer. What this does is that it will keep inspiring customers to keep coming back and even make referrals. Information about your business should be displayed in a place where your customers and prospective customers can access it, and a website is just the place for that.
- Boosting Sales: If you create your own website for your business, you will be able to reach more customers than you would be meeting face to face. Being able to reach more customers means that you will have more opportunities to make additional sales. A website will take so much work off your hands, you won’t have to go about looking for customers. The content you display your website already serves as your sales pitch.
- Providing credibility: Having a business website will provide credibility for your business. In this time and age, businesses that don’t have a website are perceived to be less credible when compared to others that have websites. A website can go a long way to assure a potential customer of your legitimacy. When customers visit your website, they find information about your business and the products or services that you offer. This is a very critical trust-building tool that you should tap into today.
- Accessibility: Having a website makes you accessible 24/7. Even when you have closed for the day or gone to sleep, your website stays open. It will work round the clock to bring you customers. When you display your products or services on your website, you can wake up to new orders from customers that had access to your business while you were asleep.
Building a website on a student’s budget
Being a college student, however, means that you have limited resources. There’s no way you can match the website design budget of already established businesses like Facebook, so you must find a cheap way to create a website for your business.
When you are looking for ways to build your business website on a student’s budget, there are several factors to keep in mind. These factors will determine how your website will look and function, how much you will spend, and how your customers will navigate through the pages. They include:
1. Choosing a Domain name
Your website’s domain name will be your business’ address on the internet. If you have a physical location for your business in the real world, it means that you have an address that you can give your customers to find you. A domain name is the online equivalent of a physical address.
When setting up a website for your business, you will first need to reserve a domain name that will reflect your brand and what products or services you offer. Your domain name should be unique, witty, and very closely related to your business. YummyTreats.com, TexasOven.com are examples of domain names that are related to the confectionery business.
After choosing a unique domain name, you will have to register it with a domain registrar. Domain registrars are companies that manage the reservation of domain names. Most of the time, your web host will serve as your domain registrar.
Now that you have a domain name or internet address for your business, you will have to rent the space where you can store and display all your business information, products, and services. This process is called web-hosting. If you don’t have this “space” on the internet to display your business, your customers will be unable to find your business information online.
A web-hosting provider will rent out space on a web server for you where your customers can find and patronize your business online. It is the responsibility of your web hosting provider to display the content of your website when a customer enters your web address into their browser.
There are several web-hosting providers on the internet, so before you choose, go through the services they offer to check for a package that will most fit your needs. Before you choose a hosting provider, you should do some research to answer the following questions:
- What kind of website am I building?
- What amount of bandwidth will I need to run my website?
- Will I be able to create email addresses for my domain?
- What hosting options does this provider offer?
- Does the hosting service provide SSL certificates?
As a student on a budget, the best option for you is Shared Hosting. Shared Hosting is not only the most common type of web hosting, but it is also the most affordable and easy to use. This is because you don’t have to rent a whole machine, you share with others, and the hosting company will be responsible for all maintenance and security updates.
3. Content Management
Content management refers to how you will manage the content on your website. If you know programming languages like HTML, CSS, etc. you will be able to make a website without a CMS (Content Management System). If, however, you are a novice web designer on a budget, you will save a lot of time and money if you choose to use a content management system.
A content management system will provide you with all the tools you need to manage and tweak your website without any background knowledge of HTML, CSS, etc. There are many popular content management systems available online, like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
As a student who will have school assignments like essay titles and paper summaries to turn in, WordPress is your best option. WordPress is very reliable and perfect for beginners because it is easy to use. You will find customizing your website and adding extra features easy with WordPress. The best part is that it is absolutely free to use!
The design of your website refers to its overall appearance. It covers the colors you use, the type of font, and how your business information is structured and presented. Your website’s design will ultimately determine your customer’s experience as they navigate through the pages.
WordPress is a handy tool because it makes designing your website very easy. You can change the font, color, and even install themes that most fit your business.
Don’t let a tight budget stop you from building a website for your business, use the tips mentioned above, and watch your business grow.