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Undergraduates’ Micro-Business Era

SEP . 14 2016

Peking University, Sep. 14, 2016: "As soon as I open my eyes, the first thing I do as a habit is to pick up my smart phone to check if anyone has inquired any details concerning my products.” said Jing, an ordinary undergraduate student studying at Peking University.

With millions of commercial myths springing up one after another, microbusiness has gained flaming prevalence. At present, the number of people who are engaged in micro-businesses has already gone beyond ten billion. The majority of them manage their various enterprises individually in the form of retail investors, and undergraduates, undoubtedly, form the main stream of this nascent community. 

Generally speaking, microbusiness is a fashionable mode of electronic commerce utilizing social media. Relying on itscapability of connecting everybody, WeChat has made it more convenient for micro-businesses to achieve commodity-sharing amid social interactions, publicity among acquaintances, as well as the exhibitions in our friends’moments.

Although doing micro-business is interesting, it also carries its own uncertainties and risks. The first test you are going to endure is professionalism. “If you want to serve as a seller with competence and excellence, getting professional and receiving appropriate training from an expert trainer who abounds in experience and skills is the top priority that you have to do.”

When talking about the day-to-day running of micro-businesses, Jing's face flushed with excitement: “It’s a prerequisite; moreover, you should guarantee the products you are going to sell to be genuine and prestigious. After all, credit-standing is a matter of utmost importance.” Then she added that “if you take up this business, you don’t have to worry about whether it will interfere with your daily academic life or not. Almost all the business is done on the Internet, so just take your smart phone or laptop with you. Whenever you have spare time like breaks between two classes or some seconds before you fall asleep, you can deal with the orders for goods”.

When asked about the reason why she chose to devote herself to “micro-business”, she gave such an answer: “To make money, of course.” As she talked, her face lit up and a sweet smile appeared at the same time, “To be frank with you, I aspire to earn my livelihood out of my own strength instead of having recourse to my parents all the time. I’m an undergraduate and I am 19 years old now. I have grown into an adult and I need more independence as well as ample accumulation of experience in real life.” 

However, it is not always about profits and happiness. Jing also talked about her hardship and sorrow unknown to others during the management of this enterprise. "Starting a business is not an invariably pleasing thing I once had an extremely terrible period the first time I took up this business.” She said this in a solemnly low voice, “In the first instance, I didn't have much courage to face up to the questions of my parents and intimate friends, for fear that they would turn away from me out of incomprehension.” Just like a green hand sailor fighting with torrential waves in solitude, she has been ready to face up to all the bitter hardships and she has always longed for the ultimate victory.

As most of the work relies on the Internet, especially on the social media platform like WeChat, excessive and continuous sales promotion and advertisement will easily incur distaste or even averseness among her friends. Even worse, some customers may be annoying sometimes. They will ask for a giveaway regardless of the cost and profit of the seller, and given that most of the customers are her friends or relatives, it’s hard to refuse, which may result in the decrease in profit as well as a feeling of exhaustion. "Running at the bottom of the whole business chain has already made it hard to profit; things will only get worse if I were to accept the cost of those giveaways,” said Jing with grievance, “but if I turn them down, I’m afraid that they will never come to support my business anymore.”

As a matter of fact, we find that such contradictions indeed exist widely. It seems that it is the running style of microbusinesses that has caused the hardship of choice. In most cases Jing chooses to adhere to her customers’ will, but the exhaustion and the heavy burden deriving from her parents and friends are increasing day by day. She is even afraid that she would quit the occupation one day. “I do hope to do this well and for a longer time, but the reality has made me reconsider my initial dream.”

Jing also mentioned a weirdo encountered during her career as a micro-business runner. Once when she finally posted the ads of her new products on the WeChat after checking their qualities and racking her brain to design the ads over and over again, to her great surprise, or more exactly, her great disappointment, the first comment she received was “Are you going to fool me?” “I never thought about fooling people. I always check every single product on my own before I advertise it to my customer.” When saying this, Jing still tried to maintain the smile on the face and hide her true feelings behind such restraint. Obviously, Jing is an optimistic girl, yet sensitive to such misunderstandings. “But it doesn’t feel good to be misunderstood and it really hurts.” she added at the end of the interview.

"In terms of the present circumstances, the proportion of starting an enterprise and doing vanguard work among undergraduates remains fairly small, and there still exists an enormous gap between the contemporary situation and the government's requirement that doing those work to spur on getting a job. As the application of Internet advances, undergraduates are provided with a much better environment for innovation. Henceforth more consideration needs to be given to the growth of microbusinesses, for the purpose of providing an impetus to facilitate undergraduates to engage in starting their own business." said Mei Guoping, a deputy to the National People's Congress and principal of Jiangxi Normal University. He continued, "Firstly, we offer enlightening courses aiming at doing pioneering work and enhance their fundamental skills to launch on new businesses. Secondly, we should keep pace with the marketization, specialization, integration and globalization as the direction of guiding and encourage them to launch diverse specialized commercial activities with reference to starting an enterprise which count on mobile online technology. Besides, simplify the procedures of registration to offer facile service to undergraduates who start microbusinesses and simultaneously supervise their commercial activities. It accords with the concept of ‘Internet+' to encourage undergraduates to engage themselves in starting an enterprise by means of 'micro business'. "

"You won't depend yourselves on your parents forever,” Jing said, " when you are young, in your 20s, don't hesitate to follow your ideas and get down to it with great patience and courage."

As a rapid-developing form of modern business, microbusiness is no doubt playing an increasingly significant part in our daily life. Whether we choose to start such a business or not, we should take a fair and rational attitude towards it.

Reported by: Zhang Xinyi
Edited by: Xu Liangdi