Deciding to become an entrepreneur has been an incredible journey. In one of my latest posts, From Employee to Entrepreneur, I shared my journey to entrepreneurship with you all after making the decision to quit my 9-5. While business has been great, one of the most important concepts that we have to remember is that "it takes money to make money". Even though I'm making sales, the money is recycled into my next set of inventory until my business grows to the point where the sales become profit and funds simultaneously.
If there's one thing I'm thankful for, it's the refund checks that I receive from my college every semester. It was a blessing in disguise; being able to fund my business through my college refunds. Every semester I'm able to purchase new inventory to keep up with the trends and keep my sales up to par. It's made my journey a lot easier than trying to figure out where the funds for operation costs would come from. If you're a college student looking to become an entrepreneur and start your own business, here's how you can use your refund checks smartly to get started:
Register your business - I chose to register my business through Legal Zoom to save myself time and a headache from having to figure it all out on my own. Although, I've heard doing it on your own can be cheaper, I bit the bullet and paid around $400 for Legal Zoom to do everything for me and I don't regret it. It made for an easier process.
Purchase all business-related needs - This includes business cards, "thank you" cards, shipping materials, a printer, your website platform, etc. These are essential for starting your business; without them, it's going to be difficult. Make sure you have these purchases taken care of before anything else.
Stock up on your inventory - I spent about $1000 on inventory for my boutique's launch. Getting inventory is most likely going to be the biggest cost that you have. Make sure that you are able to spend the amount you want to get what you need.
Open a business bank account - My preferred bank is Bank of America. Whatever bank you decide to go with is fine, but make sure to open a business account (checking and savings) that you're not going to use for personal matters. It's a great way to keep your money separate and to keep track of your costs and profits. My profits from sales go directly into my business savings account so that I know exactly how much profit I've accumulated. I use my business checking to make purchases for my boutique. Make sure that whatever bank you decide to go with will provide you with tax forms for your business. Bank of America keeps all my records so that when it's time to file taxes, all the necessary paperwork is there.
Once you register your business, there's nothing further to be done. However, for business-related needs and inventory, the costs are ongoing. Be sure to not spend your entire refund and put some funds into your business checking account for future needs. Being a college student does make for an easier start up, but we have to remember to be smart with how we manage our funds. So, if you were thinking about being an entrepreneur before, here's your sign to get started today!