As a college student owning a small business things can get pretty hectic. I mean the balance between mid-terms along with finals and creating a new collection and gathering the new art and paying folks on time…sounds easier said than done. But there are some things that this small clothing brand owner has learned over the years.
- Using What You Learn in Class towards Business
Due to me being a mass communications major and a psychology minor I learn a few things that I put towards my business. For example utilizing thirty seconds and at times keeping things simple to show off a bigger picture….if you get what I am saying. For example, the pop up shop event that my brand hosted I utilized simple colors and a simple background for the flyer instead of clogging it up with unnecessary things. Due to me learning in my psychology class that you if you give the mind too much to look at it will stop paying attention and move on to something else. Along with learning in my mass communications class if you present something that has too much going on the public will not know what you are promoting. (Oh and yea that was my event in the featured image section)
2. Utilizing your University
Being a student you meet many…..many….many…many….many people (plus my school is beside another HBCU) so I know a lot of other students. Which means I have nothing but talent around me and other African Americans who have the ambition to work hards for their ending goals in life. So when it comes to art I will see if a student can do it or when I need pictures taken I’ll try to find someone on campus who does photography. Majority of the time if the person is just starting out they may charge you (small fee) or run you the free ninety nine special. No matter what it is you will feel better helping someone out and building them while they help build you.
3. Your Campus Is Your Support System (No Matter if you Mess up)
When I became an official student of Claflin University I did not know what to think when it came to my business due to it being based so heavily in Charlotte, North Carolina but…..after a few conversations with some students who have some social pull within my school. The whole campus opened their arms to my business and said “come on it there is more than enough room for you” so that is when my brand began to get invited to show in events on campus. Overall, folks wanted to buy my stuff. My campus became my major support system along with one of my biggest marketing tools….like let’s not forget everyone is going home with my stuff and when they wear it hope their friends are asking where they got it from….but I cannot tell y’all all of the secrets.
4. Knowing How to Budget that Small Bit Of Money
So as college students for funds at some point may be slow! Even though I have some income streams there has been times when….something was not adding up money wise. With that money I am receiving I am able to still have the nights where I want to eat some unhealthy Cook Out but still be able to pay the monthly fee for my website among other things such as restocking on shirts and hats. I have had to scale back and eat majority of my meals in the cafe and not once step foot off campus to a fast food…all in sacrifice for my small business.
5. Friends Will Help You No Matter What
Do I hear free volunteer work and creative advice? Yes, I do. My close group of friends help me out more ways than one. They even purchase everything that they own of mine and never ask for anything for free. Along with if I send them an idea they will tell me in the most blunt way…..”Travis that is ugly we need something better.” Due to the fact of they all have creative minds like me. If you do not have that within your group of friends there is someone who can give you advice. Along with any events I work they are more than willing to help me run my table at no charge….or they may just want some food or a simple milkshake. Your real friends will help and support you with anything just make sure you do the same for them.
Overall, my experience with owning my business has been quite positive. There are days where things do not look the best but I know that I can and will turn it around and make it something amazing! So for all of my college students it may seem difficult to own a business and be a college student but once you get things down packed and know what you are doing things will become second nature. Stay blessed!
I SPOKE ON IT!!!