13 Going on 30: Kickass Business Ideas for Students

Let’s face it: life is expensive, especially when you’re a student. The USA has some of the highest tuition fees globally, and it can be a battle to pay your way through university or college. You’re already trying your best to balance a hectic study schedule with your home and social lives. Throw hefty costs into the mix, and it becomes clear that you need to start making your own money.

The great news is that earning money as a student is simple – with the right know-how. Even if you haven’t yet earned your degree, you can still put your creative thinking skills to the test and earn income with your own start-up.

Google, Reddit, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook were all started by students, so there’s no reason you can’t be a success story too.

Here are 7 kick-ass business ideas that will suit your busy (and pricey!) student lifestyle.

1 – Tutorship

All the most successful entrepreneurs know that they need to play to their strengths and use their unique skills to their advantage. You can do the same by offering to share your expertise on certain subjects as a tutor.

Whether you’re skilled at music, great at English, or adept at accounting, you can pass your knowledge on to others in a time frame and price that suits you. If your schedule is packed, you could offer evening sessions and create a flexible roster that works both for you and your students.

There are many fantastic websites like Tutor Hunt that make it easier to get your tutoring business up and running. Remember to spread the word around campus and among your friends too. Word of mouth is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get your business noticed.

2 – Virtual Assistance

Have you considered freelancing as a virtual assistant to make extra money? This job title could be an excellent match for your lifestyle as a student, and it’s easy and affordable to establish your own virtual assistance business too. You can do it in just a few hours from the comfort of your sofa.

Virtual assistants offer a variety of services to their clients, including email communications, bookkeeping, and social media management. You can specialize in one of these fields, or offer a variety of services to attract a wider client-base and show them how versatile you can be.

Before you launch your business, brainstorm a list of services you can realistically offer. You should settle on your rates beforehand to avoid any lengthy negotiations later down the line. Once you have these details figured out, you can create your own website and market your skills.

working student

3 – Web Design, Content Writing, and Proofreading

All three of these skills are in high demand in the age of technology, and you should be poised to capitalize on this demand.

If you’re adept at creating beautiful and functional websites, offer your skills as a web developer or designer to the public. Alternatively, if you have great language skills and a keen eye for picking up typos, you’ll find content writing and editing easy and rewarding. You could even offer your services as a thesis proofreader or similar.

Alternatively, if you’re good at all of these things, you could even set up your own digital media business offering all the aforementioned services. Remember to check out the industries’ going rates to ensure that you get paid fairly for your hard work.

4 – Event Organizing

College students are all about the social scene, and you can make money out of your own social skills too. The trick is to find an unmet need for off-campus events, and to fill that need efficiently.

You can network with local musicians, entertainers, and venue owners to act as a middleman between them. You could help to plan and organize events, promote them both on and off campus, and even chat to student bodies to get the word out there faster.

Social media platforms can be very helpful in this regard. Just make sure you get in contact with the right people and communicate every step of the way to turn your event organization’s visions into reality.

5 – Graphic Design Services

Are you a wiz at creating graphic designs using your preferred virtual tools? There are so many people who are looking for skills like yours. You can sell your graphic design work both online and physically, and you’ll be able to work from home at your own pace. Better still, by the time you graduate you’ll have an exceptional professional portfolio to show your next employer.

You can start your own graphic design start-up by piecing together samples of your work to create a portfolio. This portfolio could include websites, social media graphics, flyers, posters, and everything in between.

Next up, you’ll need to form a network of contacts and promote yourself through any channels you think will be most effective. Once you have a solid client base established, you’ll be able to use your entrepreneurial skills and make a decent income while you’re at it.

6 – Delivery and Errand Services

The demand for delivery and errand-running services will never dry up. Busy people and seniors will always need someone to pick up their takeout, dry cleaning, or groceries, or to deliver various items for them. You could be the person to fill that need and profit from your services.

You can kick-start your delivery and errand business by starting a website where people can place requests and orders. Many sites already offer this functionality cheaply, including TemplateMonster, GoDaddy and 1&1.

Save all of your receipts and invoices and charge your customers for your services after each delivery or errand. You can add a 20% fee to the total cost of a purchase to make a profit, or calculate whatever markup you feel is fair. Remember to market your services by using methods like social media pages, word of mouth, fliers, and on-site SEO optimization.

7 – Bookkeeping

We did mention bookkeeping earlier in this article, but it can be so profitable that we thought it deserved a section of its own.

If you have a passion for numbers, you can be sure that there are individuals and businesses that need your accounting and finance services. The great news is that you don’t even need to be a finance or accounting major to moonlight as a bookkeeper.

You will need a solid basic knowledge of accounting, but you don’t have to be a math wiz to do a good job. If you require capital to get your start-up off the ground, you can use a business loan calculator to see what’s needed – and the results may surprise you. 

Once word gets out that you can do people’s books effectively and accurately, you may soon enjoy plenty of interest from potential clients too. You can charge anywhere up to $80 an hour for your services, based on the complexity of the work and how much experience you have. Consider starting out at a more competitive price and raising it as you gain more experience and confidence.

working student

Student Start-Ups in a Nutshell

The most important skills you need to make money as a student are creativity and a will to take a chance on yourself. There are people who are looking for your unique set of skills—all you need to do is offer your services, market yourself, and wait for the orders to roll in.

Do as much research as you can on your business pursuit of choice and use this knowledge to design services that will always be in demand. Remain competitive with your prices and always offer reliable and consistent services. Once potential clients know that you are trustworthy and capable, you’ll generate a steady stream of income that will go a long way to making your student years less stressful.

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