According to a press report, a few second- and third-year university students decided to try their hands at business and opened some small shops near their university. The decision provoked opposing response form their teachers and classmates. Some hold that this experience would give them the edge in future competition after graduation, while others argue that it might hinder their academic pursuit. From my point of view, university students should not plunge into business without sufficient preparation.

First, university students may not be able to run the shop smoothly without relevant knowledge and experience. Doing business is a very complicated and demanding job. Different from selling our own belongings in the flea market, running a shop requires careful consideration and preparation in many aspects. We must pinpoint our customer’s needs, stock the goods, advertise the shop, keep accounts and so on. Obviously, to be successful, we should at least possess some financial and marketing knowledge, negotiation and sales skills. If we have not equipped ourselves with any of the knowledge and skill before running a shop, going in for business is just as foolish as trying to dive without knowing how to swim.

Second, university students usually cannot afford to lose with limited finances. There is no denying that doing business involves high risks because of unexpected changes and fierce competition in the market. Indeed, few businessmen can make money all the time. This applies to running a shop on campus. We cannot expect customers to be always interested in our goods, and we are always faced with many competitors. Whether it is a bookshop, hair salon, restaurant, or laundry, you can find one almost very hundred meters. In this case, a newly-opened shop is less likely to survive, let alone thrive, without considerable capital or specialty. Therefore, it is unwise to make the investment if we do not have rich financial resources.

Last, it is extremely difficult for university students to balance between learning and doing business. Unlike temporary part-time jobs such as being a tutor or guide, running a shop usually requires long hours of hard-word a day. Looking after the shop and attending to customers can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Owing to the time and energy running a shop demand, we may easily get burned out and fail to perform well in our studies.

Admittedly, running a shop can help university students accumulate valuable work experience and adapt better to the business world in future. However, from the above analysis, we can see that it is also complex, risky, and tiring. Just as the old saying goes, look before you leap, so I suggest that we should think twice before starting a business, especially when we are not academically, financially and psychologically well-prepared.

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