Table of Contents:
30 Business Ideas for Students
1. Twitch Streamer
You probably already play video games anyway. Being a Twitch Streamer can be a great way to earn income and have fun doing what you’re already good at. People can give you donations while watching you play video games.
You do have to treat this like a business though. You have to have a nice presentation, stream consistently, communicate with your viewers, and know that results are not going to happen overnight. You’re going to have to grind every day for 3-4 years before you see big results. If you’re a freshman, start now. There are also many categories on Twitch that you can broadcast such as music production, just chatting, cooking, and more.
If you don’t like the idea of live broadcasting, you can be a Youtuber. Established YouTube channels get paid very well. You can make videos about virtually anything. Just like being a live broadcaster, you are going to have to treat this like a business. Expectations: if you want to stand out from the masses by having high-quality videos and being extremely consistent for 1-2 years before you see the big bucks.
Dropshipping is a way to have an online store without actually having to have any inventory. This is great for a student that probably doesn’t have a warehouse or a bunch of space in their living quarters to store products. You can have your own online store hosted by either Shopify or Amazon that is very inexpensive to maintain. Find out what types of products you want to sell, then contact suppliers of those products and ask if they will dropship for you. It may take a while to find a decent supplier to work with, but with perseverance, you will eventually find a good company to partner with.
4. Start a Social Media Marketing Agency
You’re probably already a social media marketing genius and you don’t even know it. If you have been an active user on Facebook or Instagram for more than five years then you’re an expert on that platform. There are hundreds of local businesses in your area that have no idea how to use social media or build their presence on social media. You can start a social media marketing agency that helps businesses in your area create and grow their presence on social media.
5. Graphic Designer
Most schools these days have at least a basic photoshop class. Even if art or graphic design is not your major, you can still start a graphic design business. If you are just a beginner, you can start by doing simple projects such as logo design on sites like Fiverr. As your skills grow, you can take on larger projects that make more money.
6. Start a Blog
This is one of the business ideas for students that virtually anyone can do. You could start a blog about literally anything these days. Whatever your interests are, just start writing about it. There are many platforms that will allow you to start a blog site for free. After some time of consistency and when you have a larger audience, you can put ads on your site or use any other monetization method and start making money. Companies may even pay you to write about their products that are similar to your content.
7. Become a Musician
Up until maybe 3 years ago, becoming a musician was pretty much a pipe dream that came down to a ton of luck and a ton of talent. These days, it’s a much more viable business. There’s a wealth of knowledge on the internet on how to succeed as an independent musician, grow a fanbase, and make good money.
Any class that you’re getting an A in you can tutor people in. There are millions of people from kindergarten all the way up to seniors in college that can benefit from tutoring. You can start by tutoring people who may not be doing as well in your class and they will surely lead you to other clients by word of mouth.
If you are good with children, starting a babysitting business may be for you. Even though many people are working from home at the time of writing this article, there are still millions of people who go to work every day that need babysitters. Once you build your clientele you could start your own daycare after you graduate. If your schedule is packed with classes, then maybe the next one will work for you.
10. Pet Sitting
Pet Sitting is a little more low maintenance than babysitting. Usually, you just have to make sure you keep an eye out for the animal while you are doing homework and feed them every once in a while. Some classes may even allow you to bring the animal with you. Sites such as Rover.com can connect you with people who are looking for someone to take care of their pet for a period of time.
11. Freelance Programmer
If you’re a computer science major, you can make very good money freelance programming on sites such as UpWork. There are many companies that need plugins and extensions for their websites as well as apps that will pay top dollar for people to code them. You can gain experience for your resume as well as polish your skills before you enter the tech world.
If you’re always getting compliments on your makeup or skincare, or hair, assuming you do it yourself, you could start a business as an aesthetician. There are many people that may need help in this area, probably even at your school. Once you build your clientele you may eventually be able to start your own salon or spa.
Even though you may be bogged down with classes, you may be able to pick up a barber class around your schedule. There are many people that need a haircut every day. Similar to #12, once you build up your clientele you may be able to start your own barbershop after you graduate.
14. Music Curator
Playlists are the radio of today. You can start your own playlist on Spotify for free, and once your playlists gain a large following, artists and record labels will pay you to put their music on your playlist. Exceptionally large playlists these days are commonly bought by record labels for millions of dollars.
15. Freelance Writer
Many companies today are fighting to get on the first page of Google for their particular niche. You could start a business writing SEO content for websites and companies will pay you to write that content. There are many agencies that will connect you with companies that need specific content for their site, and once you build experience and notoriety you can find companies that will pay you a pretty penny to write exclusive content.
16. Become a Reseller
The reseller market is huge right now. The supply and demand in the hype beast community is unprecedented. This is one of the business ideas for students that takes a little more capital to start as well as a little tact to be able to purchase high-end fashion as soon as it releases. The margins are extremely high for brands such as Supreme and Yeezy shoes, and if you can get your hands on some of these items you can flip them for a pretty penny.
There are also many people that find rare clothing at second-hand stores like Goodwill or Ross who in turn flip them on eBay for a significant profit.
If you have a large following on social media, there are brands and companies that will pay you to promote their product. Gaining a large following on social media is an entirely different post, but if you can amass a large following, companies will be reaching out in droves.
18. Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is when you promote another company’s product and in turn, they will give you a percentage of sales from the traffic you drive to them. This is one of the business ideas for students that can create financial freedom relatively quickly with the right education and execution. There are many ways to go about this, but that goes beyond the scope of this article. Think of some products you love to use, look up the manufacturer’s website and see if they offer an affiliate program.
19. Start a Moving Company
Especially right now, thousands of people are moving every day. If you are an athlete or if you are in any way physically active, you could be a mover. It would take a little more capital than some of these other methods to start (purchasing a box truck, straps, tie-downs, etc.), but once you have the supplies you can post an ad on craigslist and be on your way. Eventually, you can scale up and hire other people to move for you.
20. Selling Arts and Crafts
If you have a knack for making jewelry, costumes, furniture, trinkets, etc. you can sell your arts and crafts on sites such as Etsy or even your own website. Many people will pay more for custom, handmade items than they would for commercially manufactured items from a department store.
21. Create an Online Course
The amount of available information available on the internet is endless. Even with that said, there are still things out there that people want to learn where education is just not available. Or maybe it is available, but they want to learn it from YOU and your personality. Have you ever had a class in a subject you were very interested in, but the teacher sucked? You could be the solution!
22. Start an Online AD Agency
This one is a little more complicated than starting a social media marketing agency because it involves knowing how to create profitable ads and using other people’s money. The good thing about this is most people don’t know how to run targeted ads at all, so if you can learn how to do that you’ll be lightyears ahead of everyone else. There are many businesses in your area that would love to run ads online. Just do a little bit of googling to find out how to run a locally targeted ad and contact some of your local blue-collar businesses to see if you can earn their business running ADs for them.
Even now, there are still plenty of parties, weddings, events, etc. going on that need music. You can learn how to be a good enough DJ online, get a cheap used DJ controller, record a mix, and start networking to find gigs within a couple of months. If you don’t want to go out in the ‘rona to DJ, there are plenty of sites and apps where you can live stream and make some money there. This is probably one of the most fun business ideas for students to start, but it may be hard to scale up. due to a lack of autonomy.
24. Pool Cleaning Company
This kind of depends on where you live and what season it is right now, but starting a pool cleaning company can be extremely cheap. You’ll want to start in high-income neighborhoods to build your clientele, but once you gain enough clients you can hire other pool boys (or girls) to work for you.
25. Personal Trainer
It seems like there is some unwritten rule that you have to have some sort of nutrition or physical therapy degree to be a personal trainer, but that’s actually not true. If you have been working out consistently for a few years, you can train people that haven’t been working out at all. You may want to only train them specifically in workouts that you are proficient with form in for safety starting out. There are many very successful personal trainers that didn’t even go to school that started out training people at the park. You may even work your way up to the point where you can own your own gym after you graduate.
26. Start a Landscaping Company
Basically, grab a lawnmower and start cutting some lawns. Once you save up enough capital, you can afford more complex equipment and hire a crew to do the more complex work for your clients.
27. Start a Cleaning Company
This is one of the easiest and cheapest business ideas for students to start. All you need is some basic cleaning supplies and some towels. Start knocking on doors and ask people if they need anything cleaned around the house. There are also many apps that can help you get clients. This one can also scale very well because eventually you can hire a crew and have people cleaning houses for you all over town.
28. Start a Cell Phone Repair Business
This one is going to take a little bit more capital than some of the other ideas here. There are short 4-6 week classes that can teach you the skills and safety protocols to undertake this endeavor that can be quite expensive ($1,000 – $3000). Luckily, once you complete training, the tools used to repair phones are relatively inexpensive. You could then either repair other people’s phones, buy broken phones and resell them, or start your own chain of cell phone repair shops.
If you know multiple languages you can start a translating company. There are many legal documents, articles, audio, and video that have been sitting around for years waiting to be translated. You could start a company that can translate these items. There are many agencies and brokers that can help you find work, and once you build your name and portfolio you can get large contracts from companies to translate for them for a lot of money.
30. Event Planning Business
Imagine getting paid to throw parties for people! For this one you will want to incorporate your company early as an LLC just in case anyone gets hurt or something gets broken at your events so you will not be liable. Also, make sure that you are putting in your contract with the people you are throwing the party for that your company is not liable for anything that may happen at the party so you don’t get sued.
You will want to have a very professional approach so that people will take you seriously. If you find out someone has a wedding, party, or baby shower coming up you can approach them and offer them event planning. People may be happy to accept your services in order to take the weight off of their shoulders so they can focus on other aspects of the event.
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These are just 30 business ideas for students to hopefully inspire you to get started building your own company. Starting a business is a serious undertaking that involves taking risks, consistency, and being laser-focused on your goals. Most of the ideas here will take a few years or more to get off the ground. The good news is, while you’re in school you can get the groundwork done. Once you graduate you can scale them up and make lots of money. Good Luck.