College is not just about being academics. It’s about networking, joining organizations, meeting your best friends… and becoming a business owner? Yes, you read that right. Have you thought about the possible profitability of your college or university? Now is the time to start.
Working college students who stay on top of both work and academic studies have grit, determination and the ability to multitask. So, you’re wondering: how do they do it?
You will need to adapt academically, financially, socially and responsibly. Starting my business, Marisa’s Minks, my freshman year was exciting. Providing college students with the ability to look and feel beautiful on a college budget was my goal.
Organization and responsibility were cornerstones in making Marisa’s Minks the owner and Marisa Meeks the student grow simultaneously. I have two agendas — one for school and one for business. If it’s not in one of those agendas, it’s not getting done. For my business, I take clients regularly for eyelash extensions. After scheduling out class times, studying hours, and homework hours, I create my schedule for appointments. My mother always tells me, “Remember what you are in college for, you are a student first!” Following your agenda and keeping organized will set you up for success.
As an entrepreneur of any kind, business does not stop. Ever. You should be running your business; your business should not run you. You must make sure that you are equipped and focused on making the right choices when you have that moment of “free time.” Is your determination there? Are you willing to sacrifice? There will be times when you may be extremely tired from working on a school paper that you don’t even want to think about marketing strategies for your business, but you have to do it! You may not be able to answer that FaceTime call from your best friend, but you must stay focused.
Multitasking is a huge part of my success. As you build your brand and market yourself to the world, begin to think about daily interactions. After mastering my schedule to incorporate and assign the days where I take clients for appointments and school necessities, you have room for a social life.
College is an excellent time and place to start your own business! The target market, as far as demographics, psychographics and behavioristics are all at your fingertips. Utilize them. When I go out, which I rarely do anymore, I always bring business cards. Freshman year, I would be out all the time, so I took advantage of that time. Passing out Marisa’s Minks business cards at parties was very beneficial to my growth and exposure not only on my Kent campus but at other surrounding colleges as well. I’m a very social person so having business cards on me at all times is important.
After networking, following up with a conversation is a great way for potential clients to remember you. Reaching out to other business professionals, and organizations on campus, will really set you apart and establish your name as credible. Don’t be afraid to DM or email some of your favorite celebrities about collaborating! After cleaning up your social media of inappropriate language or unenticing pictures, you should use your social media to engage with those that you want to do business with in the future. Make the meetings and meetups that you would never think about doing. The sky is the limit with your business! All it takes is time-management, consistency, and dedication.
Marisa Irene Meeks is a Junior Fashion Merchandising major and Marketing minor at The Fashion School at Kent State University. She is the owner of Marisa’s Minks, an eyelash company established in February 2017 that sells strip lashes and provides excellent service of eyelash extensions. Follow her on Instagram at @marisa.meeks and follow her company, Marisa’s Minks, at @marisasminks.