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When in Doubt

In tough times, which comes first: your business or your education? Start by exploring your options.

This story appears in the June 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just as in your personal life, there will be times when your business is up against the wall and you find yourself facing major difficulties. Whether it's a sales crunch or a failed deal, if trouble hits while you're in college, you're going to have some tough choices to make. Do you continue to work on the business overtime while letting some of your schoolwork slide? Do you bring in extra help? Do you take a semester off to deal with the tough times? Or do you cut your losses and end the business?

Your first step should be enlisting the help of your network. If your business difficulty can be solved with a few extra hands, look to trusted partners for help picking up the slack. "The [trend] we found is that students who go it alone run into [problems] more than students who approach [things] as a team," says Jay Kayne, chair and professor of entrepreneurship at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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