If you are asking “What business should I start as a student?” I have some useful ideas for you. As a student, having an auxiliary income can be very helpful but it needs to come from something that won’t tax your time too much, as not to disrupt your studies.
I know how hard it can be as a student to hold down a proper 9-5 job, so having a business of your own that you can run on your own schedule is crucial.
It wasn’t long ago that I was a student, struggling to juggle my classes, part-time job, and expenses. Starting my online business back then really helped!
In this article, I have included some of my favorite ideas for starting a business as a student, as well as a self-assessment exercise that will help you figure out what kind of business is right for you.
What Business Should I Start As A Student?
Starting a business as a student is an ambitious endeavor, teeming with both potential challenges and rewarding opportunities.
You could potentially start paying back your student loans from the income you earn online, before graduation, before you have to pay any interest!
Balancing academic responsibilities with entrepreneurial ambitions isn’t a walk in the park, but for those with a clear vision and determination, it’s an incredibly enriching path.
1. Become A Content Creator
Hands down, being a content creator is one of the best ways to generate money online. Not only can be a pretty good way to make money in your spare time, but it’s also much easier for younger people nowadays, who often already have established social media followings.
If you feel like you might be one of these people, why not consider taking your influencer status a little further by blogging or vlogging?
These days you can easily vlog or maintain a TikTok account by just using your phone camera.
Posting regular updates could attract brand interest for potential sponsorship deals, and you can always reach out and pitch them, first.
If that sounds interesting to you, read how to become a content creator.
Whether it’s writing, graphic design, or web development, freelancing allows you to leverage your existing skills. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can be great places to start.
If you excel in a particular subject, consider tutoring fellow students or teaching online.
Whether that is playing an instrument, speaking a language, using a piece of tech, or just because you are good at a particular subject, you can easily offer up your tutorship for a fee.
There will be loads of people on campus who want to learn guitar, learn another language, or find any new skill to learn.
Platforms like Tutor.com can be lucrative avenues.
You might even wish to sell your own online courses, to scale faster!
4. Sell Handmade Crafts
Turn your hobby into a business by selling your creations on platforms like Etsy or at local markets.
If you already have a decent following on a social media account, you could start to make some money from selling your crafts on Instagram or TikTok.
Lots of people get a good amount of their income from making their own crafts to sell to their followers. Whether that is little trinkets, earrings, rings, necklaces, candles, bespoke cards, cakes, engraved wood items, literally anything you can think of!
This works specifically well if you have already got a following on social media and maybe consider yourself a bit of a low-key influencer.
Your followers may like the unique crafts you offer and may be more inclined to help out fellow students with their money rather than big corporations.
Add your own little touch and make your items unique and made with love, people will reciprocate this with their money.
Moreover, you can do these crafts by order so you can essentially decide when you want to work and how much you take on per time.
Many people have great success doing these sorts of crafts from their own home, and many can easily be done in a dorm room.
5. Offer Social Media Management Services
Many small businesses look for savvy individuals to manage their social media accounts. If you’re a pro at Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, this could be for you. Pinterest management is in high demand too!
6. Event Planning and Promotion
If you love organizing and have a knack for details, consider starting an event planning service focusing on campus events, parties, or local businesses.
Re-sale is a great way to make money and if you are already interested in fashion or looking to venture into fashion as a career this can be a great way to make money while also making some connections in industry.
People will pay good money for these items after the fact, and can often go for double what you spent.
Conversely, if you consider yourself a bit of a thrift store queen, many people make good money on second hand clothing sites such as Depop by finding vintage items that are unique and reselling them for a little extra.
People will pay a little more to avoid rummaging through dusty piles of clothes at a flea market.
Find the right gem and you could be set for the month!
Dropshipping is a popular business model. It’s where you list products for sale on your website that you don’t actually have physically. When someone buys it from your site, you go buy it from a supplier for cheap, and then supplier ships it to your customer. Learn more about dropshipping.
Utilizing Campus Resources and Networks To Help You Start A Business As A Student
Your university isn’t just a place for academic learning; it’s a goldmine for budding entrepreneurs.
Business Incubators: Many universities offer programs that support student startups with mentorship, workspace, and sometimes even funding.
Networking Events: Attend job fairs, speaker sessions, and entrepreneurship clubs to connect with like-minded individuals and potential mentors.
Leveraging Alumni: Many successful alumni are willing to offer advice or even partnerships to current students.
Time Management and Setting Realistic Goals
Balancing coursework and a business is no small feat. Here are some practical tips for managing your time effectively, avoiding burnout, and setting achievable goals.
Prioritization: Understand what needs your immediate attention and what can wait.
Scheduling: Learn how to create a realistic schedule that includes time for your studies, business, and relaxation.
Goal Setting: Break down your business goals into manageable steps and celebrate small victories along the way.
Quick Start Tips For Starting A Business As A Student
Understand Your Why
As a budding student entrepreneur, take some time to reflect deeply on your motivations. Is it the lure of financial independence, the desire to solve a problem, the need to pursue a passion, or the urge to gain real-world skills?
Starting a business as a student offers the potential for personal growth, career flexibility, and long-term benefits that extend far beyond the campus.
Excercise: Assessing Your Skills and Interests
Now let’s take a moment to do a guided self-assessment to identify your strengths, passions, and areas of expertise. It’s about recognizing what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and where those two intersect.
Doing this assessment will shine a light on how you can align business ideas with personal interests and academic pursuits, ensuring that the venture is not only feasible but also fulfilling.
This introspective process is not just about inventorying what you’re good at, but also understanding what drives you and how you can use your unique skills to carve out a niche in the business world.
Because understanding one’s inherent skills and interests is the first step towards brainstorming a business idea that resonates and has the potential to succeed.
- Identify Your Strengths:
- Skill Inventory: List down all the skills you possess. These can include technical skills like coding or graphic design, soft skills like communication or leadership, and even hobbies that could translate into business ideas.
- Feedback Collection: Sometimes it’s hard to see our own strengths clearly. Ask friends, family, or professors what they think you’re good at. Their insights might surprise you and reveal hidden talents.
- Pinpoint Your Passions:
- Reflect on Enjoyment: Think about the classes, projects, or activities that you lose yourself in. What topics do you find yourself reading about in your free time? Your future business should align with these interests to keep you motivated.
- Long-Term Vision: Consider what impact you want to make in the world. Often, your deepest passions are tied to bigger, more meaningful goals. Aligning your business idea with these can provide a profound sense of purpose.
- Areas of Expertise:
- Academic and Extracurricular Insights: What subjects do you excel in? What clubs or organizations are you involved in, and what roles do you play? These areas often highlight your natural abilities and knowledge base.
- Professional Experience: Any internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work can provide a wealth of insight into your skills and preferences. Reflect on what tasks or roles you enjoyed most and performed best in.
- Combining Elements for Business Ideas:
- Intersection of Skills and Passions: Look for overlaps between what you’re good at and what you love to do. This intersection is often where the most viable and fulfilling business ideas are born.
- Market Needs: With a list of potential business areas in mind, consider which ones have a market need you could meet. Research and initial customer interviews can help validate your ideas.
- Seek Feedback and Refine:
- Mentor Input: Discuss your self-assessment with a mentor or advisor. They can provide valuable perspective and help you hone in on the most promising ideas.
- Iterative Process: Your understanding of your strengths and passions will evolve over time. Revisit this self-assessment periodically to reflect any new skills, experiences, or interests.
What Business Should I Start As A Student? Conclusion
As you can see there are so many ways to make money out there, you just need to find the right one for you.
Whether that is using your piano skills to tutor a fellow student, using a keen eye to find books or records to sell, or simply offering to help the faculty out by ushering in events, etc.
These types of business, essentially self-employment, mean you can make your own work schedule, work when you want to, all while still being able to focus on your studies and go out with your friends.
If you get one of these businesses right you might just find your next career.
Beyond simply making money, these endeavors are all a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and explore parts of your city or state you might not have seen before.
These opportunities can bring life experiences that are worth much, much more than any amount of money.