I have been an entrepreneur since grade school and unless neon fanny packs go out of style (won’t happen:), I will continue to be one for years to come. Since lemonade stands on the street corner to gumball machine in local businesses my mind has always been pumping out business ideas; some are genius, and some are quite the opposite. I have friends ask me for business ideas and as sure as the sun comes up, I have new ones almost daily. People think that starting a business in college is impossible due to time constraints and the fact that most college students are poor. On the contrary, there are a myriad of low cost start-ups that require little to no capital. Here are some ideas for ya.
1. Sell something online: I started selling my fanny packs on ebay and when I was selling 5-10 a day, I decided it was time to take the next step and make a website. Now I didn’t have the faintest idea of how to start a website, but the good thing about the college dorms is that someone who does, probably lives 3 doors down from you, and that was my case. Now I can use the Adobe creative suite and am somewhat functional with wordpress.
2. College Niche apparel: Starting your own clothing line sounds glorious, but the chances of it succeeding without an extremely targeted market are slim. Find a phrase that only students at your school know and slap that on a shirt. On the first round, print only 5-10 shirt, so you don’t lose your lunch money if the idea doesn’t stick. I had a friend who made a killing selling shirts which had our schools quarterbacks catchy nickname on it. Sell your shirt online and spread the word via Facebook.
3. Party: If you like music, become the DJ and slowly start piecing together a killer sound system and lights. If you and your friends throw the sickest college parties on campus, then you can charge at the door, or sell pre paid tickets online via paypal. BTW, paypal is magic for a college entrepreneur. I don’t use a merchant service for Party Pack Sam because Paypal is free and until I am selling over 100 packs a day, which I am close, I will continue to use the free service of Paypal.
4.Service: Forget the fact your trust is paying for your education, roll up your sleeves and mow some lawns, paint some houses, or plant some trees. Your neighbors will always hire poor college students to do yard work or rid a gutter full of leaves.
If you have any questions about a business idea you would like to entertain while in college, shoot me an email, I am more than happy to help out. I still have so much to learn about business and running an online business, but after doing it for a few years, it’s clear to me I will be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life.