College Connect: Think small business when you have extra money

Posted By Natalie Savarino

Jiahui JIA[4]By Jiahui Jia

If I ever find myself with extra money and there are business opportunities, my experience indicates it is a good time to act.

When I was 13 years old in my home country of China, my friends and I made money by running a gift booth in the annual Spring Festival Market. Each of us invested 200 RMB (nearly $30), building to a total of 4,000 RMB ($600) to run our small business. We purchased a variety of popular gifts and sold out in three days, making a profit of nearly 2,000 RMB ($300). 

We decided to sell gifts because everyone goes to that market to buy gifts for friends and family during the celebration period, so we were sure we could make money.  In all ventures, you always need to know what to sell.

Another example was when I was a sophomore at China’s Sun Yat-sen University. I sold bicycle covers to incoming freshmen and used the money to buy my books. In the heat, students often came out of class encountering red-hot bicycles unpleasant to try to ride.  So I knew there was a strong demand for that product to keep the bikes cool. I purchased 100 online very inexpensively and sold all of them at a profit.

If you have extra money, don’t let it sleep in your bank account. Try to do some very small business such as selling special school souvenirs at graduation. You can learn a lot from a small business venture, such as how to purchase goods at the lowest price, how to set a reasonable price for your customer, how to communicate with different people and how to control your expenses. All skills that are very helpful in the future.

Jiahui Jia is a student at Arizona State University

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