Business Ideas for College Students


As some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs will tell you, it is never too early to start your own business. Ambitious college students who are looking for more than the next unpaid internship are often some of the best candidates for starting a new company. In fact, many of today’s most innovative business ideas actually came from college dorms. For young people looking to start their own company while in college, there are a number of different ideas to consider that won’t take a great deal in startup costs, time or resources.

Starting an Online Store

The age of the Internet has brought about a number of new opportunities for any person to make money online. Start your own online store selling arts and crafts, painting or other handmade items. If you are not particularly crafty, there are other items you can sell as well. All you need is some basic understanding of the internet: online stores are easier than ever to create thanks to web templates and design services.

You don’t have to create your own site either; online marketplaces like Etsy take an extra step out of the process and make it simple to sell your own items online.

Running a Side Business

Your business does not have to be a full-time gig, there are plenty of things you can do on the side in order to earn extra revenue. Subject tutoring, editing papers, SAT and ACT tutoring are all easy side businesses. You can easily market your services around campus and set your own hourly rate. You may be surprised to find how many college students are making $30 an hour or more with this type of tutoring.

If you are not an ideal candidate for tutoring, consider a more labor-intensive business. Perhaps you can help with moving, painting or landscaping. You don’t need very many tools and you can typically charge a good amount. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Consider offering your services for specialty tasks, like setting up Ikea furniture during move-in time.

Traditional Low-Cost Business Ideas

More traditional brick-and-mortar type business ideas can still be great solutions for college age students. There are several different types of business that require very little in terms of startup. Food carts are a popular option for college students as the right location near a college campus can bring in plenty of revenue. Plus, all you need to start a food stand is a cart or kiosk, food to sell and a license. These licenses typically only cost around $150 and are easy to obtain.

Web Design

If you have a basic understanding of coding, then you are on your way to having everything you need to run your own business. If you love to code, consider a career in web design or creating mobile apps. The right apps are selling for more than ever before, and it’s easy to get started if you just know how to code.

The reality is that there is no end to the different options or avenues available when it comes to running a college-friendly business. One of the best things to remember when it comes to running a side business like this is that you need to be able to find a target market of consumers that will be ready and willing to buy what you are selling. As you start to think of these business ideas — whether it’s a t-shirt company or a photography service — make sure you think about the type of consumers (college students) that you have access to as you start to develop your more refined business plan.

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