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Cashmir 18th March 2011 04:40 PM

Start Business While Studying

I am a young man, 19 years of age. I will study HR and Leadership in Norway for 3 years. Studying in Norway is very expensive. Most students here have a part-time job in order to have money for food and daily expenses.

I could always find work at a store or what ever, but I wish to start my own small business. The workforce will be a small number of students who are willing to work in order to have a small income.

I already have an idea, it requires around 2-3 people who will work for me. The idea of this business is to help larger businesses with paperwork. Many new business and such have a lot of paperwork which needs to be done, and my business would make it easier for them to increase the companies efficiency.

I will hire 2-3 people who are fast at writing on the computer. I will not do much writing, but I will be the manager, sort of. I will create relations and contacts with the different businesses, which hopefully will be my clients.

I have some questions: What sort of paperwork would they be willing to hand over to my workers? Is there any chance that my business can have a nice, modest income [student level, not billions of dollars]. Should I give up with this idea? Are there many places where I can find work?

Thank you in advance :)

Logan 19th March 2011 05:36 AM

Welcome aboard :standingw

I like the idea of starting a business while in college, but can you explain further the type of work you are looking to complete. For example, can you tell me of another business that provides similar services or is this something you think has not been done by others.

When you say paperwork and writing on computer, I think of typing jobs. But those are not common based on my experiences when it comes to outsourcing like you described.

It can be tough to find new clients regardless of the business. One thing you might want to do is go to local businesses and ask them if there is any type of work your company could do for them. Don't guess what others need, go ask them.

Cashmir 20th March 2011 12:10 PM

Ah I see. Well, my idea is something like, general help to other companies and such. Like, prty much anything. But I wonder, what sort of help do they need in general?

My employers will be prty much students. So all they would be able to do is type work, physichal work... I rly do not know =/.

Seems like I still need to work on the idea, but I am rly new to this... As said, prty much my business would work to help out other business's to grow and survive I guess. If in this case my employers cannot be students and require some schooling or experience, that will be ok as well.

Regarding the start capital, I would like for it to be at a minimum. Let us say, enough in order to pay 3 employers for 2-3 months.

All I can say about me is that I can make people agree on my terms, so cutting a deal should not be impossible. I am great at management, organization and such of groups of people or teams. I am great at coming up with ideas and such.

Hope this info helps so I can get some help as well :P

Logan 20th March 2011 12:25 PM

Are you familiar with "Virtual Assistants". Do a search on it and you will find it is along the lines of what you are describing and hopefully you can start to better define the type of business and work you will be doing. I think that is the closest thing to what you are describing, and many do assist businesses in the manner you propose.

Cashmir 20th March 2011 01:06 PM

Virtual assistance sounds like something I try to come up with :P Thanks a lot!

Right, so... Lets say I have enough capital to hire around 2-3 specialists for now. Uhm, 1 designer, 1 market manager or something similar, 1 accountant.

Do you think this 3 choices are good enough to be able to supply a new business with great overal service? Let us say the designer to make a company logo, 1 market manager to help them with the marketing and 1 accountant to... well, do the job required of him/her.

I am thinking of hiring students who study in the fields I named above. As students, they know something about what to do and they keep on learning at school but also get a lot of experience by working for my. I do not need to pay them as much as full time workers get since they work when they have time and such, + they are just students.

Again, if I NEED people who have a diploma, I do not mind doing so, just that it will cost me a bit more but then I can have experienced workers.

startupadvisor 22nd March 2011 01:52 AM

Hi Cashmir!

I'm also new to this forum and read your question. Starting a part time business idea while in school would be a great idea! You could gain the support of your teachers as added resources. To start, you may want to consider putting a plan together, like a business plan.

Hope this helps and good luck!

lordspace 22nd March 2011 02:02 AM


my advice is to find a job for at least 5-6 months and carefully watch for unmet needs in that company. If you could find a co-founder he/she could work in another company then you can make a huge list of tasks that can be outsourced to students. Try to generate as much as possible items.
Later on you'll keep the most promising ones.
Also, your team may have to sign an NDA agreement.

I can't stop recommending this book (even though it's still on my read list :D; however I read the author's blog)

Good luck

startupadvisor 28th March 2011 11:39 PM

Steve Blank's book recommended by Lordspace in this post is great and I highly recommend you start reading a few chapters. He often gives talks as well around the Bay Area. Where do you reside? I can let you know when he next speaks.

lordspace 31st March 2011 12:18 PM

I personally would love to see a Steve Blank, Seth Godin's speach.
maybe someday.

Jerad 5th April 2011 11:39 AM

Bravo for wanting to start a business while in college. That shows some real entrepenurial spirit. After doing some more research into your "office assistant" idea, you may decide there are greener pastures to explore. But my advice would be to focus on providing a *service* rather than trying to sell a product. Selling a product presents all sort of cash flow difficulties, inventory issues, marketing challenges, and usually much, much lower profit margins. Service is where the profits are at. If you zero in on a service you could provide that people don't want to provide themselves, or are unable to do themselves, you could have a marketable business right away. The advantage to sevice businesses is that you can usually start by yourself with some basic training, a few tools and a vehicle. Some examples: lawn care (or create a niche of Organic lawn care), handyman, trash removal, house, office or medical office cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning. I actually teach a dryer vent cleaning business training course, so I have seen guys with no experience be able to learn the skills, get some heavy duty marketing know-how, buy a few tools and start making $150/hr with just them and their van. So look for a service you could provide that people have to do frequently, that they either don't like to do or don't have the proper tools to do themselves. Just identify a problem in peoples lives (I hate mowing my lawn, my grass isn't as green as my neighbors, I have a dirty house, my office needs cleaning, my dryer vents are a fire hazard and my clothes are taking too long to dry) and figure out how you can solve their problem. Best of luck

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