Everyone has read stories of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg who started their enterprises as college students. While these tales are certainly interesting, they can make it seem as if only well-funded geniuses have a chance of accomplishing startup success at such a young age. That’s a shame. It’s true that becoming a multi-millionaire or launching a globally recognized business is a bit like finding a unicorn, but startup success is still a real possibility for college students.
It all starts with an amazing idea. The best startup ideas are those that are accessible to most college students, don’t require a ton of funding, and have growth potential. If you’re ready to launch a business from your dorm room, here are some great ideas.
Use Your Web Design And Development Skills
Many tech-savvy college students turn to web design and development to make a bit of many. Some do this for a bit of side cash. Others, use their skills to launch fully realized businesses. It’s easy to see why.
First, it’s quite easy to pick up the skills you need. There are no doubt classes available at your college or university. There are also plenty of free, online classes for learning web design and development.
In addition to this, people who hire web designers tend to be more interested in what you can do, not your years of experience or whether or not you have a degree. If you have a decent portfolio, chances are you will get some clients.
To get started, try developing a few websites for yourself, and some friends. If you take part in any extracurricular activities, volunteer to become the unofficial webmaster. Then, gather everything you’ve done in a portfolio, and start marketing yourself!
Open a Drop Shipping Business
Think about the last thing you ordered online. There’s a good chance that the website you used was a drop shipping business. Rather than manufacturing or purchasing projects, storing inventory, and then selling products, dropshippers simply operate online storefronts. They create internet based stores, list products for sale, allow customers to make purchases, and process payments.
Behind the scenes, the manufacturer or distributor packages the product, adds a label, and then ships it to the customer. As a drop shipper, you don’t pay for products or storage. You simply take orders, and collect your share of the profit.
To get started, you will need to take several steps:
– Obtain an EIN
– Determine the structure of your business
– Open an online store
– Establish a relationship with one or more distributors
One way that dropshippers can ensure their success is to stand out from the ground. You can do this by creating a great online storefront, with really interesting product descriptions.
Take Advantage of Your Car if You Have One
When many people think of car services, they think of Lyft and Uber. While these have certainly made their presence well-known, there is certainly potential to use your own vehicle to start a business. You can:
– Offer courier services to students and small business owners
– Provide rides to the store and other locations for students who don’t have a car
– Offer dry cleaning pick up and grocery shopping services for busy people
– Provide an airport pickup and drop off service
– Become a designated driver for hire for students who can’t get themselves home after a night out
Become a Freelancer
Are you a decent writer? Are you detail oriented enough to edit academic papers successfully? Maybe you have mad graphic design skills. There are plenty of opportunities for you to find work as a freelancer. If you have in-demand skills, check out these resources to help you find a job as an editor, graphic designer, app developer, etc.:
If your business grows, you may be able to bring on other students to help. Eventually, you could outsource the work you get to others. This is a great way to create a passive income stream. Just remember that quality matters. These are saturated industries, but you can really stand out by offering quality services that are delivered on time.
Start a Budget Photography Business
Professional photography services can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Many people who need a decent photographer often can’t afford one. If you have a decent camera, and better than average photography skills, you can turn this into a real opportunity.
There are many people who would love to hire a photographer is capable of taking better pictures than they are, but at a lower cost than most professionals do. They need graduation photos, wedding pictures, pet photography, or other similar services, and they are willing to pay. By offering decent quality, and budget-friendly prices, you can disrupt your high priced competitors, and carve out a decent niche for yourself.
Create Items And Sell Them Online
Do you create things for yourself or your friends in your spare time? Whether you knit, create great cartoons, design cool teachers, even create hilarious memes, there are ways for you to make a profit from the items you make.
Check out websites like Etsy or RedBubble. You can use these to market your creations, and sell them at a profit. With Etsy, you make your products, and sell them directly to consumers who see them in your online store. RedBubble works a bit differently. There, you upload designs you have created. Then, a third party prints those designs on t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, phone cases, and other items. People who like your design buy those products, and you get paid.
Not only can a college student launch a successful startup, but this can also be a great alternative to working for someone else. You can control your own schedule. You’ll certainly develop some marketable skills and great life experience. Identify your talents, do a bit of research, then get started!
Looking for a business idea?
Check out my most popular article, The 300 Best Small Business Ideas. This comprehensive multi-page article offers expert advice on every single business idea. Includes home based, online, steady income, low cost, product and service ideas. Many of the ideas in this long article can be started part time.
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Author Bio: Daniela McVicker is an editor at Top Essay Writing and Grab My Essay, she is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic of student entrepreneurship. As a college student, she landed her first job as a freelance writer. She also created a lucrative (albeit slightly unauthorized) side business selling chocolate chip cookies to other students in her dorm. When she isn’t pursuing her main passions of writing and baking, Daniela enjoys hiking and swimming.