Getting Started As a Student Entrepreneur
Have you ever wondered what Napster, Dell, Microsoft, and Facebook have in common? Well, not only are they some of the biggest companies in the world, but what’s striking about each of them is the fact they were created by college students.
While I’m not trying to say that everyone can be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, one thing’s for sure: you can certainly start a successful business while in college. Depending on your choice, some require no capital, while others may require a certain amount of money to start. If you do become an entrepreneur in college, you can make a lot of valuable connections. And of course you can generate income to cover things such as textbooks, meals, and yes, tuition costs.
As you can imagine, there are quite a few pros and cons of starting a business in college. Some of them include:
Those who start a business in their twenties have a much greater capacity of taking risks. According to the United States Small Business Administration, even if the business eventually fails, you’ll have learned valuable lessons that you can apply to your next venture.
As a recent college graduate, you can leverage your relationships with the professors and alumni groups in order to start your own business. However, keep in mind that even though they may share your alma mater, that doesn’t necessary mean people will support you.
Starting a business in college is a great way to learn a lot of things and fast, too. In fact, as an entrepreneur, you’ll also need to act as a manager, marketer, accountant and financier. Even if your business doesn’t succeed, you’ll develop a great view of the way business works.
What I learned as an entrepreneur is that getting access to capital is the biggest challenge you’ll face.
I’m going to be 100% honest when I say this: starting a business in college can feel very lonely. Having to work hard for your business will force you to spend less time with friends and family. You will though, get used to this eventually.
Funding can be a problem when starting your own business. Luckily, there are many ways you can secure the money you need to start your business. One option is Kickstarter, but you can also try Crowdfunding, borrowing money from friends and family or taking out a loan. While you have many options, always focus on those that can get you the much-needed capital as easy and as fast as possible.
This is certainly a great business idea, since you don’t really need to have any special skills other than knowing English very well. You can create a company that offers editing and proofreading services, mostly for students. For instance, potential clients could buy your services in order to have their CV, VISA documents, application letters and more, proofread.
By the way, don’t think that your target audience will consist only of students. There are plenty of adults who don’t have much experience in documentation and would love to get your smart assistance.
2. Residential cleaning service
I highly recommend that you start a residential cleaning business. After all, many of you use the cleaners’ services from time to time, so how about you turn this into a great business idea? To get more clients and of course, more business, you need to focus on customer satisfaction. Make sure all your clients are happy, since happy clients will generally refer your services to their friends and family.
Keep it simple
When starting your cleaning business, you need to keep things simple. To begin with, you can start advertising your business through online ads. After that, it’s a waiting game. If you’d like to avoid having to invest a lot in your business, you should require your clients to supply their own detergent, recyclable rags, cleaning supplies, etc.
In terms of how much you can charge, twenty dollars an hour for residential cleaning services should be a good start. One last thing: you should always overestimate how much time it’s going to take you to clean a space. So be sure to adjust your hourly rate accordingly.
3. Moving service
Did you know that movers can actually make as much as 200 dollars on a single move? Moving services are in high demand — especially in the fall and summertime. The way it works is that you’ll create a directory where students can apply to work for your company, and you’ll get a certain commission for each move they complete.
Students can work at their own pace
What’s great about this business model is that students can work at their own pace. They are not required to come to work every day as they would in a ‘normal’ job. They set their availability dates and when a move is scheduled, the ones closer to it will receive an email informing them about it. This means you’ll be making money without lifting a finger. How cool is that?
Have you ever thought about creating a business where child caretakers can get work without having to personally look for it? Well, how about you set up a service for caretakers? Using your service, they’ll create a profile, add personal info, work experience and other pertinent information that will increase the likelihood of them getting hired. Again, referrals work wonders here and the more happy customers you have, the easier it’s going to be to get new and repeat clients.
Being responsible is key
One thing you need to be aware of when it comes to babysitting is that you do have to somehow screen the applicants. By doing so, you’ll make potential clients a lot more confident in your platform. You can charge child caretakers a monthly membership or a fair commission for each successful job they complete.
5. Custom writing
Starting a custom writing company is also a great idea. The way it works is that you hire excellent students online — or they can be your trusted classmates — to write high quality papers for other students. For instance, a student needs to write a paper or an essay by a certain date. To complete his assignment, he has an opportunity to order a paper from your company. You can also charge him more for faster delivery times.
Depending on the availability and skills of your writers, you can give clients the option to place an order that can be delivered on the same day or within 24h. This will not only make your writing service more popular, but also help you greatly grow your client base. But you need to pick your writers thoroughly! No one will ever trust your service if they read negative reviews about grammar mistakes or plagiarism.
If you’re in school, then there’s a good chance you know certain academic subjects like the back of your hand. Whether it’s chemistry, math or English, you can easily use your knowledge in order to make some good money on the side by tutoring others that may be struggling in these areas. Students who want to become a tutor have a lot of options to choose from. These include tutoring through the college’s peer tutoring center. You can also register as a tutor at your school. The great thing about this is that you won’t need to worry about looking for work — the school will find work for you!
Wrapping Things Up
Being a student shouldn’t be associated with less money in your pocket and significantly less time for doing the things you love. After all, there are plenty of business ideas you can consider in order to change your future and start turning your passion into a worthwhile career. These 6 business ideas are just the beginning and there are a million other things you could be doing.
Whether it’s tutoring, starting a cleaning service or maybe a writing business, it’s you who has the power to change your life and your future. So how about you use your skills and knowledge in order to create a business that will pay for college and more? Unless you try, you may never know whether you can be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.
Originally published on Medium