Every college student knows how valuable a few dollars can be. Not only do you need to buy books and school related supplies, you want to have a social life as well. For many college students, this leads to taking a job on campus or at a local fast food joint or grocery store. While these ideas will get you paid, you will have to work the schedule you are given. Along with this, most students find out soon enough that they are not earning nearly as much money as they would like.
So, what does all of this lead to? Simply put, you can start a business in your spare time. If you are lucky, you may find a sustainable idea that can grow into something bigger as the years go by.
Here are five side business ideas that many college students have taken advantage of in the past:
1. Tutoring. You are already on a college campus, so you have access to a large demographic, many of whom need help in the classroom. In addition to tutoring college students in specific subjects, don’t be afraid to reach out to the high school community. With so many students around, this business can thrive if you market it right and have something special to offer.
2. Become a freelancer. There are many types of freelancing that you can get involved with. The most common are freelance writing and web design. But, don’t overlook other options such as computer programming, sales, and marketing. Any skill that you have, for the most part, can be offered to companies on a freelance basis.
3. Cleaning services. This is more common than most people believe. Other students, as well as local residents, may be willing to hire you to clean their dorm room, home, office, or yard. In addition to cleaning, you can tie in an organizational service that helps your clients keep things in order. Work as a maid for another company that will match you up with someone, and you’ll make $7 to $8 dollars an hour, but start your own business and find your own cleaning clients, and you can charge more like $25 an hour.
4. Auction sites and Craigslist. Many students earn extra money by auctioning items on eBay (or other auction sites) and/or selling on Craigslist. Do you have old books in your dorm room? How about electronics or DVDs? You can sell pretty much anything and everything on eBay and Craigslist. Of course, some restrictions do apply. When you finally run out of things that you have collected over the years, hit garage sales and thrift stores to replenish your stock.
5. Child care. Are you responsible? Do you have any past child care experience? Are you majoring in education? If so, this is a great way to earn some side money while also gaining more experience. Every parent needs to hire a babysitter at some point. Many of them will turn to the local college community to find the right person for the job.
Did you work while you were in college? If so, did you have your own business or were you employed by a company?
(photo credit: Dimitry B)