Photo: Esporte Clube Pelotas
For those with entrepreneurial instincts and a business-savvy mindset, more is desired. These type of students seek to be their own boss one day. Unlike internships and summer jobs, these businesses put the student in charge and give them the additional experience that will make any future investor, MBA admissions officer, or employer understand the student’s dedication.
Here are 10 low-cost starter businesses that college students can begin:
1. Food Cart: There are only three things you need to create a food cart: a cart/kiosk, a licence to sell, and food to cook. Sites like GigMasters.com offer food carts for rent across the U.S., or you could set up your own table. The key is to finding a good location, such as near a college campus or shopping area. Permits range depending on the location. For instance, a permit in Philadelphia is $150, while a permit for New York City is $200. Hot dogs, baked goods, and tacos sell well due to low-cost supplies and minimal labour.
2. Avon Sales Rep: If you’re good with sales and you want to be your own boss without the added costs of starting your own business, being a sales rep for Avon is a good bet. With just $10, you’re on the way to getting things started, and unlike other direct sales companies, the starter kit is included in this fee. Set your own hours, a space for yourself in your house, and run your business as you please.
3. SAT Tutoring: No one is more qualified to tutor prospective college students on the SATs than a college student who did well on it. SAT prep books cost between $20-30. Set aside money for advertising in your local paper, and put up your own ads in public places. Set your hourly rate at a reasonable price. TestMagic charges $85 per hour, while others go as high as $200 per hour.
4. Start A T-Shirt Company: Raymond Lei, creator of ooShirts, created his own custom t-shirt business while in college. If you’ve got a funny sense of humour or great design style, starting your own t-shirt company is a great venture. After you’ve drafted a few ideas, the next step is to find a printer. Depending on how many shirts you’re printing, costs can run high, but as long as the demand is even higher, you’ll continue to be profitable.
5. Moving Service: All you need to begin your own moving services is a moving truck, a valid licence, and the manual labour. U-Haul trucks can be between $20-40 per day, plus mileage, and most movers charge about $200-400 for a local move. Advertise your service on Craigslist and in local areas.
6. Childcare: Starting your own babysitting services or daycare centre can be easy, as long as you invest in the proper resources and become qualified. First, obtain a childcare licence, which can cost up to $100. You should be First Aid and CPR trained, and these certificates cost about $50 (thought there are some places that offer this for free, such as Red Cross). Make sure that your home is childproof and have toys to keep kids occupied. Advertise your service locally, or on trusted babysitter websites, such as Sittercity.com and Care.com.
7. Sell Your Arts & Crafts: If you’re an artist, selling your work can be the perfect entrepreneurial venture for you. You can set up a profile on Etsy and sell your work there, as well as at arts and crafts festivals and school campuses. It might be helpful to have a web site you can direct people to for photos of your work and contact information.
8. Pure Romance Consultant: Pure Romance is one of the fasted growing direct-sales businesses. Unfazed by sexuality, women become consultants to make a difference in the lives of other women by hosting in-house parties and bringing fun and awareness to sexual health and products such as lubricants, performance enhancers, arousal creams, and more. Start off by purchasing a starting kit for as low as $199 (lower if you catch it on sale), and you’re on your way to turning a profit. Consultants can make between $100-$500 per party. These are perfect for bachelorette parties, but you can also create your own party themes, such as “Wine & Chocolate Party” or “Back On The Market Party.”
9. Web site Design: Everyone wants to start a website but they don’t know where to start. Fortunately, if you’ve got some graphic design experience, you can freelance your work for a hefty profit. Logos can be sold for over $300, especially if you are designing for a small business. Set packages for yourself, where you offer web design and other website services for a flat fee.
10. Take Advantage Of College colours: These days, students are making money off of school colours and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to capitalise off this trend. Buying shoelaces, sweatpants, bracelets, etc., in bulk with your school colours will we easy to sell—especially during sporting events.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.