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Easy Ideas to Start a Business as a College Student

Updated on September 27, 2012
Starting a business in college is a great way to earn some extra money while studying.
Starting a business in college is a great way to earn some extra money while studying. | Source

If you started a business in college, what would the goal be?

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If you have started reading this article, it is likely that you are:

  1. In college.
  2. Interested in becoming an entrepreneur.
  3. Not interested in working for someone else.
  4. Lazy (because you are looking for "Easy" ideas).

Now, if you are looking for easy business ideas because you do not have a lot of time, then this may be a good article for you. However, if you are just lazy and looking for a get rich quick scheme, keep searching. Don't worry, there are plenty of websites out there that will promise to make you rich without doing anything.

Here are some great ideas to start a business while in college. But remember, you will not become the next Mark Z of Facebook by following the ideas on this list. To become famous and rich you will need to be creative.

However, for those who are interested in making a steady side income while studying, these ideas may be exactly what you need!

Things to Consider When Starting a Business in College

There are many pros and cons to starting a business on a college campus. You have a huge collection of the same demographic in one place, who have more money to spend than the same demographic did 20 years ago (thanks to dad's help). However, these people are also smart, savvy, and creative - you cannot pull a fast one of them.

With a bit of promotion, self-discipline, and patience, it is possible to make some nice spending money (or even pay for a large portion of tuition) through starting a college business. The key, as with any business, is to know ones strengths and weaknesses

Starting a College Business Pros: Things in Your Favor

  • Large potential customer base right in your backyard.
  • Many creative and brilliant people who may be interested in working with you.
  • Access to professors - some of the most brilliant people in their fields.
  • Free-time to dedicate to business during summers and holidays.
  • Freedom to fail - fewer responsibilities to worry about.
  • Potential to use business projects as class assignments.

Starting a College Business Cons: Things to Consider

  • Many things to distract you (class, homework, friends, a job).
  • Inconsistency of time and location (if your university is miles away from home, you will not be in the same area for summer and holidays).
  • College students have very specific product interests.

All in all, starting a college student focused business can be very financially lucrative and a great learning experience. By keeping in mind many of the benefits and challenges, it should be much easier to determine where and how to market your business.

College Business Ideas

Here are ideas for starting a business while in college. Some of these are fairly popular, others may be a bit obscure. I hope that reading through these ideas will help you to get your ideas flowing.

Provide a Laundry Service

Although a very unexciting niche, doing laundry is something that all college students must do. If you are willing to spend the time picking up and dropping off laundry from dorm rooms, you may be able to make a significant amount of side income. In fact, several very successful business people started with a laundry business.

Provide Transportation

Do you have a car? If so, doing trips to the mall, grocery store, or other points of interest may be able to make you a bit of extra income. Although the odds of this becoming a full time gig are few, the potential of making money while doing tasks that you needed to do anyway is not a bad idea.

Assist with Moving or Junk Removal

Have you heard of the company College Hunks Hauling Junk? These guys simply started a waste pickup service while in college where they found (and were) good-looking, well-built men who would come and do trash removal. A great way to make an uncool job appealing.

Start a Website

The majority of big websites seem to be developed while on college campuses. If you are, or have friends who are programmers, consider developing the next Facebook, Twitter, or HubPages. Who knows, you may make a fortune off of it!

Renovate a Foreclosure

This is what my brother and I are doing. We found a house for $10,000 and are spending our time fixing it up. Not only should we be able to make some money when we are done, but we are avoiding having to pay rent for this entire time!

There are many jobs associated with foreclosures and selling houses at this point. If you can find a niche here, your potential of making some good money is relatively high!

Write a Book

Anyone can self-publish a book on the Kindle. Why not put your writing skills to use and write that dream novel, or how-to book that you've always wanted to. You can make a significant amount of money if you develop a well written book and market it successfully.

Create Videos

YouTube pays out a portion of advertising income to those who have developed a large number of views on one of their videos. If you love the camera, think that you are entertaining enough to keep people's attention, then consider making videos to earn a living.

Sell Food

Whether it is in the dorms, on campus, or near campus; whether it is food you made or food you bought; college students LOVE food. Selling food on a college campus is a quick way to make a good amount of money. Sell food = lot's of money. I've done it before and it works (but still do some planning).

Advertise Brands to College Students

A lot of businesses would love to have access to the large crowds on college campuses. The problem is that most of those students are a hard market to reach. If you go out and contact businesses that sell items that would appeal to college students, you may be able to get paid for referrals! Definitely worth looking into.

Think Creatively

In all reality, it is highly unlikely that you will implement someone else's idea to start that multi-million dollar company. It will need to be an idea that you have developed on your own. Few people will share their secret ideas with the world (although there are some amazing ways people have become rich in the past).

However, starting off with one of the above mentioned ideas will certainly give you a solid, steady income. With any business idea, make sure to develop a business plan and make sure that you can start making money immediately. While the dream is to have something become huge, you need income right now. Start with a steady income stream and slowly develop it from there.

If you have any other great business ideas that you either started in college or think would be great for a college student, share them below!


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    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Very good addition! And it's true, HubPages can provide a valuable income stream for life. Thanks for sharing.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      What a teriffic hub. I'm way beyond college but will pass this along to friends to pass to their kids. Some trivia - President Nixon ran a laundry business when he was in college. You forgot to mention writing for HP. It can build up over the years to a nice income.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I will check them out! Thanks for stopping by.

    • The Invincible profile image

      Hitesh Bubbar 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great Hub. I've written a few like this. You may want to have a look..