Starting a business as a student can seem like a daunting aspiration in today’s ever changing world however it is not as impossible as one might think.
All businesses big or small begin with an idea, the only block from growing this idea is yourself, so believe in your abilities as this will give you the confidence you need to succeed.
Gilleesa Gillen, a third-year DCU student, began her small Instagram and Facebook business, Left-Handed Design by Gigi during the first pandemic last year in 2020.
“The deciding factor in starting my own business was the first lockdown, I wanted a project to work on and I had the idea in my head for a while,” said Gillen
“I decided to just go for it and to set up an Instagram page and from there its all kind of grown.”
Creating a business can stem from your interests and hobbies, there are no rules or guidelines on what a business should be.
“How my business works is basically I take commissions from customers who will send on a photo and then I transform it into a painting,” said Gillen.
“Apps like Revolut and Paypal can make it so much easier to be able to deal with people taking commissions or orders”.
The branding of your business also showcases who you are to your audience, it is generally the first aspect and impression of your business a potential customer will see and hopefully will remember.
“I remember I brainstormed a few names for my business and I finally ended up with Left-Handed Design by GiGi,” said Gillen
“Have a plan in the sense of what you want to sell, be a bit more niche, think about your market, who are trying to sell to, is it your friends, is it an older generation”
“Think about what makes you different, have your own brand and just be yourself, dont feel forced to follow what similar businesses are doing,” added Gillen.
Organisation and time management delegation are also vital when planning to begin a business as you will need to incorporate extra tasks into your daily life.
“Also to consider what else you have going on” said Gillen
“Chances are you’re a student, you could be working full time and think about this balance you’ll have to strike and get into the groove of that earlier on.”
“It definitely becomes less intimidating than when you feel like you’ve more control,” added Gillen.
Social media platforms have also become a form of free advertisement for businesses and allow customers to get a better insight into the process of how businesses operate.
“I think the importance of social media cannot be underestimated as a tool for advertising, it allows you to connect with people, to share your content on a large scale,” said Gillen.
“Another great benefit of social media is that it’s free to set up an Instagram and Facebook account.”
Starting a business depends on your own initiative and confidence, if you believe and respect your idea, gradually so will other people.
“The aim for Left-Handed Designs is honestly just to keep the balance between being in the final year of college and running the business,” said Gillen
“At the minute I’m working on a bigger piece, that I can’t wait to share online, so that’s currently apart of the future too.”
Make sure to follow @lefthanded_design_bygigi on Instagram and Left-Handed Designs on Facebook so keep updated on all the talented and colourful content created by Gilleesa Gillen.