Part-Time Business Ideas For Students: Starting your own business may seem like an impossible dream while you’re still in school and tied down by the responsibilities of part-time jobs and classes, but if you’re creative and determined, it can be done.
Part-Time Business Ideas For Students
The key to creating an effective part-time business is choosing something that’s flexible enough to work around your schedule but still generates income that will help pay for college later on down the road. Use this list of eight top part-time business ideas for students to brainstorm your own way toward entrepreneurial success!
1) Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is a flexible, relatively low-cost business idea that anyone can pursue. To get started, you’ll need a few pieces of basic equipment and access to your chosen niche market. Next, you’ll need to start pitching articles for publication (or pitching directly to clients). From there, marketing yourself comes down to hard work and dedication—you’ll likely spend countless hours networking with editors or attending networking events.
As with any business idea, it can take some time before you see results—but once they come in (along with income), they can be quite substantial. That said, freelance writing is not easy money. You’ll have to put in plenty of effort before you see a return on your investment.
There’s a good chance that your high school or college has a tutoring program, and if you’re getting great grades in a subject area (or even one you hate), tutoring is an easy way to make some money. Offer to tutor people online or at their homes using Google Hangouts or Skype. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, go get certified in something like teaching English as a second language and offer private lessons for students overseas.
Be smart about choosing your clients, though: remember that they could become raving fans—or bitter enemies—after just one session. And always read reviews before accepting a new client. Theater/art gallery/music venue: If you have enough space, consider opening up your house to local artists looking for a place to show off their work. You can charge them rent and take a percentage of sales. This is also a great way to meet new people who are interested in art!
If you live near any colleges or universities, ask around to see if there are any student groups looking for meeting space on weekends when no one’s around campus. Student organizations will often pay reasonable rates (usually $50-$100 per day) because it’s cheaper than renting out hotel conference rooms during the weekend.
3) Freelance Photography
As a freelance photographer, you can work on your own schedule and set your own prices. It’s also a great way to meet new people and connect with different communities. This business idea can be particularly beneficial if you’re trying to develop your photography skills. You have to find clients willing to pay for these services, but once you do, it’s worth it. One of our favorite sites for finding high-paying photo gigs is Fiverr.
You can earn $100 or more each time you sell a service. The site even has its own marketplace for adding special effects like blur and blacklight effects. If you want to see what kind of money you can make as a freelancer, check out How Much Money Can I Make as a Freelance Photographer?
4) Photography and Videography Services
Most people like looking at pretty pictures and videos. That’s why photography and videography services are such great side business ideas for students. And it makes sense to offer these services in your free time, as well. While you can never guarantee that people will hire you for a job (even if they do go to your portfolio site), more often than not, offering professional photography or videography services at a cheap price will bring in some extra cash when you need it most.
To help get started, here are a few examples of part-time photography/videography services: 1. Event Photography – Weddings, Birthdays, Graduations, etc. Make sure to put together a portfolio website where potential clients can view your work! You could also consider starting out by doing some unpaid work for local businesses in exchange for experience and exposure. The key is to start small so you don’t take on too much risk with your first jobs!
5) Personal Assistant
Virtual assistants are hired by clients to perform administrative and executive assistant duties. Typical tasks include scheduling appointments, email correspondence, writing reports, managing contacts, word processing, and making travel arrangements. General skills required to be a virtual assistant include organization, problem-solving, and time management. Work can be performed remotely with varying requirements on hours per week based on the client’s needs.
Potential for advancement exists with additional experience; salary typically increases with the level of education. Education/Experience: Some post-secondary training or previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, an accountant should have accounting qualifications and several years of experience in public accounting or in the private industry working as an accountant. An architect should have a degree from an accredited architectural program and several years of experience under his/her belt.
6) Virtual Assistant
The responsibilities of a virtual assistant are dependent on your experience, but most people in this role perform administrative and clerical tasks. Duties could include scheduling appointments, sending reminders to clients, or managing company email. On average, virtual assistants make $15 an hour. How do you land a job as a VA? Start by creating your own website. Then start reaching out to potential employers through LinkedIn and Twitter. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of sites that allow you to sign up for hourly work like Upwork and Fiverr. Good luck!
7) Customer Service
Working in a call center or through an on-demand job site like TaskRabbit could be a part-time business idea for you. I’ve also heard of people who earn extra cash from websites like Swagbucks by taking surveys, watching videos, or shopping online. Since these tasks are easy to do anywhere with your phone, it makes sense that people engage in them while watching TV or waiting for dinner to cook. As always, watch out for scams that ask you to pay upfront—you might lose all your money before you ever see it again!
If it sounds too good to be true, then chances are it is. Be wary of any opportunity that asks you to pay anything upfront: Even if you can afford it, avoid any schemes like making $200 per day doing nothing and getting rich quick offers. Instead, start small and work your way up as much as possible.
Remember: It’s important to make money doing something you enjoy doing—and if there isn’t much profit in that activity yet, then find another one until there is! That’s how most successful businesses get started anyway… so why not use someone else’s success as motivation? And if you’re really not sure what kind of business will suit you best just yet… well don’t worry about it!
8) Virtual Bookkeeping Services
Working with small businesses, you might find that they don’t have time to stay on top of bookkeeping. If so, becoming a virtual bookkeeper can be a great part-time gig. It doesn’t require any previous experience or training, just strong organizational skills and attention to detail. That said, it does help if you have a background in accounting and finance. (Here are some tips for getting started with virtual bookkeeping).
You could charge small businesses between $10-$20 per hour for your services—and potentially get paid double if you give them an introductory offer (like try me out for two weeks of free work). To look like an expert from day one, upload your own professional-looking company logo to your website and start making business cards. Check out our complete guide to starting a freelance bookkeeping business here.
Also Read: 12 Unique Business Ideas For Students
Starting a business from scratch as a student is hard. But it doesn’t have to be—not if you pick something smart and know what resources to utilize. The important thing is that you start—and with these part-time ideas, you can get your idea off on a solid footing while still in school, then transition into something more serious once you finish (or even during your breaks!).
Just remember: It’s not about making money on day one, it’s about getting experience so that one day down the road, your time spent now will actually help get your idea off of ground zero. If you follow through with all of these steps, I promise it’ll pay off!