Business Ideas for College Students

Lifehacks Student Life
Alex Ponomarenko
Sep 23, 2019
Business Ideas for College Students

From a “conventional” perspective, starting a business in college seems like an incredibly senseless and short-sighted idea. As you look for business ideas for college students, it’s vital to understand what running a business entails. Your workload will balloon threefold, trying to strike balance between college and work , along with your social life and of course, relationship with yourself. Does that sound manageable to you? 

Most people will answer no. You see, short of waxing poetic, the idea of a college startup thrives on “realist” romanticizing. The shining trophies won by Google, Facebook, and Snapchat serve as beacons of hope for aspiring college entrepreneurs, and they hold on to the idea of making it big as they look for business ideas for college students. And who would not want to believe in the story of a college dropout making it big through sheer determination and talent? These successful models are blueprints for businesses every young entrepreneur believes they are destined to create. Reality check: for every successful Google, there are thousands of businesses that never make it off the campus grounds.

Business Ideas for College Students

We understand that this may resemble a lecture to make you avoid even remotely looking  for businesses ideas for college students, but you cannot ignore the realities of being a student. In your natural habitat, you have requirements to finish, deadlines to beat, and your holistic well-being to take care of. Every single one of those rightfully demands your attention. Where does your business fit into all of those? You can definitely try, but failure’s bound to happen if you lack foresight. 

Despite all this, though, it is not entirely impossible to become a college entrepreneur. The trick is to be smart about it. Take our word for it, we know what it is like to want some extra cash. It takes money to have fun in college, and tuition fee costs rise each year. Here are some of the best business ideas for college students, categorized accordingly; all you need are skills and brain power:

Expertise-based businesses

Make no mistake, expertise-based businesses require a ton  of time and attention. These are services, and to be more specific, expert services to be provided at a premium price. To start an expertise-based business, limitation of your client list is essential. Failure to do this will cause your business to dominate your time, making you flunk even minor classes. The pay-off, however, can be well worth it. As you search for the business ideas for college students, consider the skills you possess that you can offer. Here are some ideas:

  • Residential cleaning service

A residential cleaning service can be a viable option, especially if you are searching for one that can cater to your busy schedule. This can work as a part-time job, meaning you will not need to clock in that many hours. In 2009, a college student named Kristen Hadeed shared her cleaning services online, and after her first client, she went on to build a network based solely from referrals. Building trust, she says, is the key to this type of business. As her business grew, Hadeed found that cleaning homes granted her the flexibility of balancing her academic schedule and part-time job, all according to her availability. She later on began recruiting other students and the rest is history for Florida’s very own Student Maid business company. 

The foundation of this business, of course, is skill and expertise. While many may not see it, cleaning requires keen observational skills and knack for, well, cleaning. There is no need to heavy startup costs, either, as you can require your clients to supply majority of the cleaning materials. You can charge them starting at $20 an hour; remember to always estimate the amount of time a space will need to be cleaned according to its size. 

  • Babysitting

Being good with kids is another expertise not many possess, most especially a college student. If you are good with kids, though, then a position as a babysitter can be the ideal part-time job. The best thing about babysitting is that there is constant demand, be it for the parents’ night out or picking them up from school. There are already existing websites offering the same services, but never underestimate the power of trust. It is easy to promote your services, especially through trusted referrals. The internet is teeming with strangers and haunting stories, so parents are likely to choose a service they can rely on.

While everything may sound simple, remember that babysitting involves an incredible amount of responsibility. This needs a certain degree of trust not only that you give your client, but to yourself. Trust your skills in caregiving; if there is a need for first aid training and babysitting training, do it. It is more than just your love for kids. You are, after all, looking after young lives. 

Depending on your experience, the city, the number of children and their ages, along with additional responsibilities, rates can fall anywhere between $8 to $40 an hour.

  • Résumé writing service

Majority of college students need well-written resumes , regardless of the purpose. Whether it is an internship or actual job opportunities, both are competitive and will need a resume that stands out. 

A resume writing service is one of the best business ideas for college students out there, but first, it is paramount that you learn to perfect your very own resume. This, and only this, will guarantee the credibility of your services to other students. To gather more skills, visit your university’s career counseling center for training, where you will be given the chance to make yours impeccable. To further strengthen your reliability, never cease to study: the internet is a primary tool that will provide you with a wealth of tips and tricks. This opportunity is excellent for writers with excellent organizational skills, as resume writing calls for the best possible way of organizing information using the least amount of space.

If you look it up, professional resume writers charge hundreds of dollars per resume. As a college student, however, cater to the needs of your peers – keep your hourly rate fairly low, perhaps $20 to $25 per order. Lower rates does not necessarily mean lower profit! Learn from the philosophy of resilient Chinese entrepreneurs – but that is an entirely story. 

  • Editing and proofreading

Not everyone possesses sophistication and caress for the written word, but if you happen to be one, your skills are in high demand. This service, in all honesty, almost runs itself – this perhaps is the best of the best business ideas for college students. Simply posting on the bulletin board will send client after client running. For a foolproof business plan , though, consider the some factors. You need to be familiar with the professor grading the paper; we all hate to admit it out loud, but these instructors are often biased. You also need to limit the scope of your services. More often than not, you will be asked to produce their entire papers, but never agree, as it might get you into trouble. Offering essay writing services can be a good place to start. 

There is not much money here, though, as an hourly rate will only cost $8 to $10. 

Knowledge-based businesses

So much of your mental capacity is already owned by your classes, so if you are planning to begin a knowledge-based business, leverage the knowledge you already possess. Here are businesses ideas for college students, opportunities that will not be adding anymore stress and pressure. The knowledge you need is one you are already gaining:

  • Tutoring

As a college student, chances are you are proficient in at least one subject. It could be math, chemistry, philosophy, essay writing, or even standardized testing – the idea here is using your knowledge to earn extra cash and teach the struggling students the subject areas you excel in. 

There is always a constant demand for tutors in college and the opportunity to promote your services are always magnanimous. You have multiple options, such as tutoring through your college’s peer-tutoring center. By applying and registering as an official tutor, you will be able to earn without the need to market your services. Going independent is an option, too, but it is best to look for an online community where you can post your rates and services. You can also opt for traditional marketing, such as posters and fliers. Consider tutoring high school students in your area, too. SAT tutoring is high in demand, both for general SAT and the specialized subjects. 

As a tutor, you can charge anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour, depending on the city and subject matter. SAT tutors, however, tend to charge higher. 

  • Consulting

If you are a student taking up business administration, then consulting can be a gold mine. This not only helps you earn extra, but helps hone your skills through a real-world experience. For instance, most businesses today use social media to advertise their services. Every business also needs to monitor their cash flow, but unfortunately, small business owners rarely have the time to develop special skills on these areas. As a consultant, this is where you come in. As you begin, choose an area you wish to specialize in and take as many classes as possible on that subject. If possible, intern at the respected company for practical experience; this also guarantees quality services from you. Lastly, as a business partner, the value you input should always be more than what is expected.

Leaning towards on the more professional side, consulting can help make you up to $100, depending on the scale of responsibility. 

Surviving college is hard, but running a business is even harder. You will be needing extreme dedication to commit to them both together. As a college entrepreneur, expect to ensure early mornings and long nights. Stress will always be present, more than what you have expected, and the fear will slowly creep in. Self-doubt will soon follow, threatening to cripple you. The struggle will be real, but despite all this, you will love every bit of the process.

Why? Because you are growing. Failure does not mean the absence of success; it simply means you are trying and learning, and that is already an achievement. And if your business does thrive, you will find that the life of a college entrepreneur can be as rewarding just as it is liberating. 

Academic writing service company for students

As you continue your search for the best business ideas for college students, consider your own  need for services – after all, a businessperson as much help as possible, too. If you ever find yourself facing a tight deadline, drowning in requirements, or simply in need of more time to perfect your business plan, call on CustomEssayMeister for help! As the premier custom writing service for students, we guarantee you 100% original and custom papers, custom term papers, custom research papers, thesis, and even dissertations! Need more details? Contact us now!

Written by
Alex Ponomarenko
I am a content manager from California, US. I started as a content writer intern eleven years ago and became a content manager six years after. I joined CustomEssayMeister five years ago and enjoy being a part of the team every day.

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