How to Start Your Own Business in College

Start Your Business in College: 2 Ways, 8 Options

You don’t have to drop out of college to start a business!

In fact, most startup founders hold at least a Bachelor’s degree these days. Still, the earlier you set up shop, the sooner you will make money, and the more chance you will have of becoming a successful business owner after graduation.

Let’s talk options. To make your choice easier, consider this: there are only two ways to run a business. You can either provide services or sell products. We’ll take you through both approaches and share eight quick and easy business ideas.

Provide a Service

If you think about it, you will come up with a long list of things you can do for money. The best part about the service-based business is that you need virtually no upfront investment. You can use Facebook, Instagram, or free platforms to advertise your services and find the first clients. If you do a good job, word-of-mouth will work for you, and your customers will refer their friends and family.

One downside of this model is that it’s challenging to scale up unless you are willing to hire help and share your profits. Moreover, you will have to invest most of your free time to make money. If you are not careful with time management, you will have no time to spend your earnings, and that will make you give up on business before it gains momentum.

With benefits and drawbacks in mind, let’s consider some of the easiest options for you.

  • Offer services in line with your major. For instance, if you study Marketing, you can charge clients for copywriting, social media marketing, or search engine optimization services. Besides earning an extra buck, you will gain valuable practical experience, and that will look great on your resume.
  • Run errands. It can involve anything from cooking dinner to cleaning the kitchen or standing in a queue for your customers. You can either choose one specialty or vary the tasks depending on your mood. Be reliable and trustworthy, and you will never be out of customers.
  • Provide a means of transport. Uber and Lyft and just a couple of easy choices if you own a car. However, delivering packages, moving furniture, or becoming a tourist guide are all viable options as well. Make sure you have what it takes to join this niche (i.e., be able to handle heavy lifting without throwing out your back if you start a moving company for college students).
  • Take care of others. Your babysitting days don’t have to be over after you graduate high school. It’s a solid business opportunity, the same way dog walking, house sitting, and care-taking is. Choose the option that suits your passion and interests, and you will never be tempted to give up your business.

Sell a Product

You can either produce the merchandise for sale or operate a retail business and make money by keeping solid profit margins. The beauty of this model is that you can sometimes scale it up without investing more money or resources. However, producing a product or getting the initial stock can require significant upfront investment with no guarantee of returns.

If you choose the product-based business model, you can sell

  • Digital products. Stock photos, graphics, apps can all help you start a business. The choice depends solely on your skills and passion. Besides, you can always outsource the production if you have the resources.
  • Handmade pieces. If your hands are never idle, sell your masterpieces on eBay or Etsy. Jewelry, accessories, and clothing are all fun options to offer. Remember to take high-quality photos to attract more customers and research selling strategies before you sign up for an account and add your first pieces.
  • Used products. Second-hand clothing, textbooks, and even furniture make excellent options for a small on-campus business. Depending on your choice and business operation, you might need to find a storage space to hold the products while you are looking for buyers.
  • Student essentials. After a few months on campus, you can easily find out what students always need and yet forget to stock up. Snacks, stationary, and personal hygiene products are the first to come to mind. However, your dorm’s needs might differ.

Before you jump into business mode, remember to check your college and dorm rules and avoid breaking them. You might lose your place in school and with it, your business home base. The same goes for local and federal laws. Filing your tax returns report will become a must for you, so you need to learn how to do it early on. Finally, make sure your chosen niche doesn’t come with license requirements. You will need one if you want to try your hand at business consulting or bookkeeping or open a mechanic shop. You will need to go through training and certification, and that can take too much time and money for your business to take off.

When you are ready to become a startup founder, don’t be in a hurry to quit college. A degree can help you along the way. And with HomeworkFor.Me on your side, your assignments will never be late again!

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