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    How To Be A Young Entrepreneur And Cater For Yourself During NYSC

    As recent graduates, we can relate with the cost of managing ourselves while serving. Truly, the costs are probably daunting. The cost of just a year in a foreign land can go as high as you can imagine and the #19,800 (now #33,000) allawee cannot do much. The whole year can be expensive, but it’s still an opportunity for you to gain practical business skills that will hopefully give you a basis for entrepreneurship that will stay throughout your many careers and help you find opportunities that will enable you explore your passions as well as accumulate wealth. Moreover such people are the major people creating jobs today in the world. 

    There are many things you can try out as youth corper while serving to help manage the cost and keep you comfortable. 
    But first, here are some tips I want you to have in mind: 
    1. You Have To Be Motivated: 
    People easily conclude that this is almost an impossible mission but they forget that most businesses don’t need to have employees or complex operations in order to generate profits. Some businesses don't even require much of your time. 
    You just need to identify a product people want to purchase and you can sell it at a profit. You can also identify services people always look out and you can provide them at your own fee. If you do this well and generate self-sustaining income, you can minimize the amount of times you'll need to call your sponsor for help. You'll also get this feeling of achievement and focus on other things in life knowing you are well catered for. 
    Those who are took business-related courses in college can even go ahead to apply their newly learned knowledge in business. 

    2. Be Passionate About Your Hobby: 
    Whatever your hobby is, learn to expand on it. Your hobby can become small business opportunities that can actually create mini-incomes that will help you achieve financial goals and provide a basis for future entrepreneurial endeavor. 
    For instance, if you love taking pictures, you can get a camera and hook up with social directors in tertiary institutions around or individuals/agencies so you can be in charge of photography during events. 
    If you love swimming, visit a close pool once in a while and you'll find people who can't swim, meet them and offer to teach them for a fee. 
    Even if you love reading or writing, you can decide to help students read and summarize recommended texts or simply do other assignments for them at a fee. 

    3. Improve On Your Skills: 
    Every person has a skill (try to find out yours). It could be ICT skills, communication skills, coaching skills, writing skills, cooking skills, and so on. Whatever you know how to do, improve on it and use it to get yourself an extra income. 
    If you are very good in something, you can choose to tutor other people who would be interested in learning it. 
    If you are also very good in a particular course, you can fix tutorial classes for people who find it difficult to understand the course. Doing these can be rewarding and can provide a good income stream. 
    4. Get Yourself Packaged: 
    To look like a professional in your field, you need to package yourself in the right way. If you can spare extra cash, go ahead and create your own fliers, posters and business cards. In yours fliers/poster/business cards, write a summary of the services you render or products you sell. Also include your contacts there, you can even add your address if you wish. Paste your posters in strategic places and various notice boards around. You can even take it to places outside where you are just to reach a wider customer base. Let your fliers and cards always be with you everywhere you go. Give out your fliers to people you meet in church, market, bus, class, events etc. You can also ask for referrals from customers that you satisfied and reward them when they refer someone. Also remember to take it online and sell yourself there too.

    5. Learn To Be Creative With Your Talent: 
    If you are good at hand works, you may want to add creativity to your products. Don't just make regular, boring handcrafts people see every day, add something different to them and give the customer a reason to buy your crafts. 
    If you are good with your intelligence, add creativity to it and give other people a reason to come to you when they need help understanding something. Your creative speech presentation or writing can fetch you people who would come for you to make a speech at their event or write a proposal or something for them. 

    6. Don't Use The Social Media Only For Socializing: 
    The internet is a great place for selling and it doesn't require retail space, going to craft shows, or any complex arrangement other than you been in your room. 
    Anything you can do well, take it online and market it. Create your own crafts and take pictures of them online. Who knows, you may land a deal with someone who would pay for your crafts and decide to retail it. Alternatively, you can work with someone you know who makes handcrafted goods and create a website and marketing plan for them. Yahoo stores or similar sites are available for you to market your products. Besides, setting up an e-commerce site is both cheap and easy. Whatever services you can render, market yourself online and be ready to receive requests from people who are not even close to you.

    7. Getting Capital: Raise the initial capital from personal savings and donations from family members or friends or maybe your first allawee. Never borrow or take loan from a financial institution. It is not worth starting off a new business and using all the profits to repay debts.
     8. Secure An Operating Space: A corner in your room, a spot in your PPA,  a shared space under a tent/canopy, a kiosk. Choose whatever you can afford, you can upgrade as business flourishes. 
    9. Tell People: Inform colleagues, friends about your business, ask them for referrals and to help you spread your business to others. Remember word of mouth advertising is the most reliable, fastest and cheapest form of advertising. Make use of it wisely and youll like the result.
     10. Keep Track Of Sales And Expenses: This is not the time to engage in distractions or frivolous expenditure. Scrimp and save if you must. Try and record all expenses and income to help guide you in making good decisions. 11. Expand: Plough back profits into the business to create bigger expansion and new opportunities. Just dont stay at the level you are and expect growth.
    12. Inform All Necessary Agents/Authorities Such As Nysc Officials: Register with the appropriate authorities if required amd let the NYSC officials and your employer at the PPA know just so you dont get queried for nothing. Chances are they would try to support you in their own way.
    13. Manage Your Time Well: Time your activities from PPA hours, or community development days or personal time. Do not let business interfere with your primary priority which is to finish the mandatory youth service program.
    14. Pray: This is something you are encouraged to do. Try to pray for direction  and commit your ways to God.  

    Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a corper that will not interfere with your service. You can engage in them and live comfortably in helping ease the burden of your sponsor. Here are some things you can try out as a corpreneur”:
    To start selling products, you have to either make them yourself or buy from people who make them and sell at a profit. But the first option is always more profitable. 
    1. Fashion Products like bags, shoes, clothes and jewelries. 
    2. Foods and drinks like small chops, cakes, cocktails, mocktails, snacks, pancakes, party meals etc. 
    3. Beauty products like makeup items, soaps, body creams, perfumes, hair extensions and treatments etc. 
    4. Household products like utensils, toilet wash, plate or laundry wash, antiseptic and germicide, umbrellas, hand wash etc. 
    5. Recommended textbooks or materials for students around. 
    6. Gadgets like phones, pcs, sockets, chargers.
    7. Sale of consumables and personal items.
    8. Sales of arts and designs.

    Look for opportunities to provide services for your fellow corpers or others. You'll want to market the services you can provide to people that have the money to pay for them. Some people are likely to have more money than time, seize this opportunity and get paid.
    1. Shopping for others. 
    2. Tutorials.
    3. Photography.
    4. Doing assignments for others. 
    5. Catering services.
    6. DJ or MC services. 
    7. Event managing. 
    8. Drycleaning 
    9. Hair dressing/barbing.
    10. Personal weight loss trainer.
    11. Sports betting agent.

    Note that the above options are not the only things you can do. Just be smart, look around you for needs of others to fill and turn it into your very own business idea.
    If you want something online, go to freelance websites and signup to work for people who already need your services or become a brands social media manager and get paid.
    The good things is these businesses require no fixed location, you can provide mobile services. It is so easy to select the tools/portfolio you need and to move around. Your flexibility gives you an edge over other rigid companies. Starting early in business gives you an edge because you have a business to fall back on when no jobs are forthcoming or need to submit a business for an investor's grant. You start from where you are and with what you have. Risks and losses are minimal. you grow with your customers and learn as you grow.   so, next time you complain there is no money in your pocket, you should have yourself to blame. There are lots of business ideas around and you just have to snatch one, work on it and turn it into a profitable enterprise.

    You can always ask for guidance when you need help.

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