You might consider getting a part-time job in the area when you’re not in class, studying, participating in clubs or socializing with friends. For example, you could become a server at a restaurant, bartend if you’re old enough or work retail at the mall. Did you know that another option is to start an online business?
Starting a business online might seem intimidating. However, you’ll learn valuable skills by launching a small online business, and it can even build up your resume to help with your future career. Here are 10 online business ideas to consider if you’re a college student strapped for cash.
1. Content Creation
Suppose you spend a lot of time online. In that case, you can start creating unique content to make some extra money. Think about topics that interest you or an area of expertise you know and share videos on TikTok or YouTube.
You might even be able to find local businesses that need help with their content creation, as it’s becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool. Take time to understand YouTube and TikTok’s algorithms, which can help you reach a wider audience.
2. Translation/Transcription Services
You can offer translation services through an online business if you’re well-versed or fluent in other languages. In addition to translation services, you can consider helping clients transcribe audio or video content.
Some important skills for translation or transcription services include paying attention to detail, strong writing, grammar and spelling knowledge and meeting deadlines.
3. Market Research
You can create an online business to sell your research services to clients for a set rate. Research is a valuable skill for anyone to have, especially college students.
As you spend time researching, you’ll gain a ton of knowledge about various topics and industries. Because research can be time-consuming, some companies will pay a reasonable price for someone to do it.
4. Online Fitness Trainer
Do you love hitting the gym? Are you passionate about fitness? If so, consider creating an online fitness training business.
You can help clients plan appropriate weekly workouts, create meal plans and ultimately help them reach their fitness goals. This could be a fulfilling business because you know you’re helping others in a tangible, results-driven way.
5. Sell Items Online
You probably have a ton of old clothes or belongings that you can sell online. You can use platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, Etsy or eBay, or you can create your own website to sell old, lightly used clothing or items.
There are plenty of resources online to help you start a basic e-commerce business. Over time, your business could grow, and you can create and sell your own unique merchandise or items.
6. Online Personal Assistant
Suppose you have stellar organizational skills and you meet deadlines. In that case, you can set up an online business to be a personal assistant.
You can outline your assistance services, such as filing, data entry, making phone calls, researching, or scheduling appointments. You can charge clients hourly or a set rate based on these services.
People with pets often lack enough time in their day to feed, walk or play with their pets. Cats and dogs need social interaction, which you can provide with an online pet-sitting service.
You can make a business page on any social media platform and make posts about what pet-sitting services you offer. You’d be able to set your own schedule and rates, and the best part is that you can spend time with animals even if you don’t have a pet.
8. Travel Planning
Booking a trip is tedious. Whether they’re going overseas or visiting a nearby state, it can be overwhelming for people to set dates, find landmarks or book hotel stays.
If you love to travel, you might have experience in planning your vacations. You can use those skills to make a profit by offering travel planning services. You can get important information from your clients and sit down with them to plan out their entire trip from start to finish.
Do you enjoy taking photos? Can you afford to buy a high-quality camera? Are you skilled in Photoshop? You can set up an online photography business as a side hustle.
You can build a basic portfolio to showcase your photography skills. Ask some of your friends or family members to pose for practice photoshoots. You can post these online to garner new customers. As you get hired for jobs, you can incorporate those photos into your portfolio and continuously improve your photography skills.
10. Essay Writing
Having strong writing skills might be a good foundation for an online business. You can help students write essays and earn good grades on their assignments.
However, writing their essays for them might go against your school’s policies. Instead, create templates or basic outlines to get them started. Offer writing assistance when possible, but the student should ultimately write their essay in their own words.
Tips on Starting an Online Business for College Students
Here are some other basic tips to follow when starting an online business:
- Develop a thorough business plan, choose a name and focus on your mission statement.
- Discuss your business plans with a professor, as they can help guide you through what steps you need to take to get it up and running.
- If you run an official online business, you’ll need to abide by IRS guidelines and follow the appropriate tax requirements.
- Research website hosting and determine how you’ll operate.
- Focus on marketing your business and using all the platforms available.
- Ask for help when you need it.
There’s no better way to learn business rules than to create one while earning a degree.
Start an Online Business With These Ideas
If you’re a current or soon-to-be college student, you know how crucial it is to save money and cut costs where you can. In addition to tuition and fees, you’ll have to pay for school supplies, dorm essentials, furniture and other daily expenses.
Virtually every college student would agree that budgeting and saving are a staple of the college experience. Consider starting an online business to build your savings, gain valuable experience and learn the ins and outs of what it takes to be a small business owner.