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5 Businesses to Start Right Now from Your Dorm Room (or Kitchen Table)

Updated on January 21, 2019
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a community college educator and distance education support specialist focused on student success.

Many college students need to earn money while they attend school. The problem is that there just aren't enough hours in a day to include school, homework, and a job. The same is actually true for everyone. It's hard to earn a little extra money for a vacation, new car, or living expenses when you have family and full time job obligations already. Here are five jobs to get you earning right from the comfort of your dorm room (or kitchen table):



Be a flasher

Wait -- don't get the wrong idea! Most young people are way more computer savvy than their elders. Start a business storing photos from digital cameras onto flash drives or DVDs. You'd be surprised how many people don't know how to get the photos from the camera and into their hands. Advertise for free by placing fliers at area supermarkets and restaurant bulletin boards. Use your printer to make some business cards to leave, too.

Sing it

If you have a good singing voice and don't mind using it, offer a singing telegram service. Expect to be busiest during seasons like Valentine's Day and Christmas. Craft a season-related costume and get the word out about your service. Advertise by posting video samples on You Tube and other social media. Talk with the local florists to see if you can work out a partnership.

Make and sell slgns

You've seen them -- the stork sign that welcomes a new bundle of joy and the Grim Reaper that let's the world know that "Lordy, Lordy, somebody's 40." Think of other occasions, too. Use foam core to craft the signs, and add metal stakes to the back to firmly plant it into the ground. If you have more room in which to work, you can use plywood instead and rent the signs. Deliver them and pick them up at a scheduled time so you can re-use them.

Record history

It's not as boring as it sounds! Offer your services to record then transcribe stories and family history told to you by clients. Type up their stories and print them to deliver to the client. You may even be able to do this without ever leaving the house!

Get social


Lots of small businesses would love to have a social media presence, but they don't have the manpower to do so. Offer your services to provide pages on Facebook or Pinterest, or to set up and write blogs for businesses. Know your client's needs up front and be responsible with their pages. Advertise by dropping fliers off at area small businesses that could benefit from such a service.

Don't forget

No matter which business you choose, be sure to let your customers know exactly what they can expect from you.Decide on the fees you will charge and how much time you will devote to each task.Determine when you will issue invoices for billing. Some services, like singing telegrams or yard signs, might be better paid in advance.

Be sure to keep records of your invoices by providing receipts to your customers. Always keep a copy, too, in case you need them for tax records.

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