In the wake of the global recession, the American job market has undergone a significant transition. It is a growing matter to seek business ideas that are suitable for college students after school.
This change is part of an international trend where people now turn to self-employment and entrepreneurship to earn.
In fact, Quartz estimated that over 40% of the US workforce would work independently by 2020. This statistic is equivalent to more than 60 million citizens. More so, the entrepreneurial spirit is becoming more evident during the recession than other times.
According to the Small Business Association (SBA) reports, approximately 27.5 million independent businesses were operating in America in 2009.
Besides, Reuters reported that US banks and lenders canceled over $3 billion in student debt during the first quarter of 2013. Consequently, these trends have particular relevance to US citizens in higher education such as colleges and universities.
With many graduates struggling with unemployment and underemployment, implementing business ideas can lead to college students’ benefits. In essence, the students can reap significant benefits by establishing a collective business while pursuing their educational goals.
By building entrepreneurial skills, students can reduce their debt liability and improve their earning potential for the future. Besides, these students can start earning additional income and developing a successful career.
How to develop a Profitable Business Idea as a Student
Generally, young people find it easier to get ideas. In fact, it is more as if ideas come to them more than older people. In addition, college students have an enabling environment that allows them to think creatively.
Below are a few steps that can help you churn out some really great business ideas for a profitable future:
- Do some research. What makes a good idea is how it solves a problem. So, the first question is, what do people really want or need? Along with it, how can you provide it? As you think this way, you begin to create great business opportunities. More so, you can begin to search online via Google
- Another important way to find a business idea is to provide for things that make people’s lives easier. People won’t mind paying for whatever gets things done faster, cheaper and safer, to make their lives easier. Find those things and offer them.
- If you want to lead a successful business, find what you love to do and start doing it.
- Think of the future. What business ideas can support your future in terms of career and education? That’s another clue.
What College Student Entrepreneurs Should Consider
Before trying to create a secondary business or income stream as a student, there are several key factors to consider:
1. Start-up costs
Business ideas for college students should be simple with minimal start-up costs: otherwise, you will be charged additional debt.
Given the debt burden of student loans, you need to avoid any idea that requires additional loans. But rather, focus on those that you can finance with the existing capital.
You may also have to try to find a concept that draws on your existing skills and resources. For example, if you’re a prominent reporter, put together an underground school newspaper.
Then, sell advert placements to local businesses to fund the paper and make a profit.
2. The Importance of your Studies
As a student, your level of education must remain your priority. With this in mind, your business idea should be relatively easy to manage. Therefore, it should not consume a significant amount of your time.
This factor is measurable by the nature of your degree, whether part-time or full-time. Also, it factors in your subject of study, level, and the time you can afford to invest in your studies.
For example, if you have a heavy workload, starting a side business may not be a good idea at all. Instead, you can start a seasonal activity, such as pool cleaning, landscaping, shovelling snow, and others during school breaks.
3. The Quality of the Product or Service
Even if you are only running a part-time business, paying customers demand value for their hard-earned money. By value, it means they must get an excellent delivery of product or service.
Therefore, the provision of a quality product or service is essential for business ideas by college students.
For example, if you choose to provide mentorship, offer classes in subject areas where you have a broad knowledge base.
Otherwise, the service will not live up to customers’ expectations. And instead of providing good reviews and recommendations, customers may actively discourage other users from using the service.
4. The Importance of Market Research
Before committing to any business ideas, college students must conduct thorough market research. That is, ensure you evaluate every idea concerning your chosen market. Also, decide on the best methods to reach your target audience and convert them into paying clients.
Another key consideration is the level of existing competition for your business idea. Also, think of well-populated markets are what to do to thrive. Depending on the market’s nature, it is best to choose less popular markets that are easier to penetrate.
For example, the new business side hustle option is particularly competitive among college students and requires significant equipment investment. However, you may be able to operate as a part-time entrepreneur in a less competitive space with the less financial commitment.
The Best Business Ideas for College Students
With these points in mind, what are the best side business ideas for college students? Consider the following options:
Your innate skills and qualities are all negotiable, which means you can use them to develop a vital stream of income.
You can offer a tutoring or mentoring service by focusing on your knowledge base and specific academic strength areas.
This service is one of the business ideas for college students to explore. Already, there will be colleagues who are struggling to reach their potential.
Also, numerous student-driven platforms allow you to guide disadvantaged or international students. Therefore, you can reach out to students on an individual basis or to a larger group of students.
Start by offering your service to friends and colleagues on campus. Afterwards, your reputation will improve and allow you to benefit from referrals.
Once you have established business concepts, you can advertise through online and offline methods to other college students. Besides, advert options include promotional flyers, campus bulletin boards, and social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
2. Freelance as a Writer and Blogger
The demand for creative skills continues to grow in the freelance market. Working as a freelance writer or blogger can be lucrative if you focus on commercial copywriting for large organizations.
While the market is extremely competitive, you can still succeed by emphasizing the quality of your content. By the way, the market will likely be even more competitive in the next few years than it currently is.
Businesses are increasingly becoming aware that they need relevant, high-quality content to market online successfully.
All these companies definitely need expert writers. So, focus on writing in your area of expertise and using freelance resources like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork.
These freelancing sites are fit for newbies, as they boast a wide range of activities suitable for all experience levels.
Firstly, create a core resume that shows the quality of your writing and academic achievement. Afterwards, apply for the displayed jobs or put out a gig that matches your skillset.
Also, you can use these sites to research the rates of competing service providers. More so, this service allows you to charge a fair price without losing ground in the market.
3. Sell Your Essays and Review Notes through Online Communities
In the plot to maximize existing resources to make money, advertise and sell your academic work for research purposes.
Sites such as Gradesaver.com post such content and allow members to use it as a reference. However, they retain the copyright so that people cannot claim the work as their own.
Completed essays and notes during the review process are of practical value. This value remains true, especially if they are of high quality and reflect a genuine appreciation of the subject.
Moreover, documents are sellable to other students through various online platforms. By so doing, college students now have a passive income stream without extra effort.
Also, Gradesaver.com pays up to $25 for literary essays. On the other hand, Academon.com offers an online bidding platform where reviews and reference materials are available for sale.
4. Establish a Cleaning Service
Academic activities can be mentally draining. Therefore, students may decide to pursue a money creation concept that revolves around providing a simple and practical service.
A campus-based cleaning service offers the ideal opportunity to earn extra income and refresh your mind.
Since student dorms have a reputation for being scruffy, this option ensures a consistently high demand level.
The biggest benefit of this idea is that it’s scalable. In other words, you can reach people outside of your social circle.
Also, you can start modestly and offer the service to friends and family. And if you are successful, you can invest more funds into creating promotional materials such as flyers and business cards.
If you also need extra work on your summer break, you can expand landscaping and pool cleaning services. These additional business ideas can work under the same business name even as college students.
5. Embrace the American Thrift Culture
The US Stock Industry rebounded significantly since the onset of the global recession in 2008. And it occurred as consumers sought to reduce spending and maximize their income.
According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, market leader Goodwill Industries generated $2.69 billion from 2,500 stores in 2011. This profit margin was due to citizens flocking to sell their clothes, appliances, and clutter unwanted household.
Such business ideas present an excellent opportunity for college students who can sell their properties. Online markets such as eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and local garage sales are profitable.
Moreover, pay special attention to academic reference books, academic papers, clothing, and fashion accessories. Therefore, market items with high demand and good resale value. Besides, reselling thrift items online can also lead to an attractive profit.
These business ideas are not only used to earn significant income but reduce college students’ debt. Also, teach fundamental skills that are applicable in both the current and future economy.
Moreover, having the ability to start a business or market a valuable skill will improve your earning potential after graduation.
Besides, it allows you to close the gap as you seek long-term profitable employment or increase your establishment.
Conversely, you may decide to avoid employment altogether and build your business after graduation. But don’t become a slave to your student debt; rather, find a sustainable way out.
Even if your academic studies aren’t on entrepreneurship, self-study skills can help you earn extra cash. More so, it can help to secure your future.
Leave a Reply