Working while in college is no easy task, but you may not have another choice if you want to pay the bills. It can be even more challenging if you’re forced to take a job with a rigid schedule that doesn’t always complement your class schedule.
That’s when starting your very own side business comes in handy. It will give you experience in the real world that’s just as valuable as your college classes while helping you stay above water with your expenses. If you need cash but don’t have the time, flexibility, or patience to work for a fast food restaurant, consider starting any of these side ventures on your own.
- Catering Business
If you or a friend has a knack for whipping up delicious meals, appetizers, and desserts, consider offering your services in catering. This could present itself as a weekend job only, leaving your weekdays free for classes and studying.
To get started, you need basic equipment like a gas grill large enough to cook for multiple people, fancy trays and utensils, beautiful plates, and serving trolleys. You also need a few people who can serve guests and cook food to perfection. In a college setting, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the help you need for minimum wage.
- Online Reselling
Anyone can sell gently used and new items on Amazon, eBay, and similar websites for profit. You can easily find cheap and free items of value at garage sales, thrift stores, and even dumpsters. Oftentimes people don’t realize or care about the value of what they throw away.
Then, you can create profiles on these online selling sites and sell your products for more than you purchased them. Other than a small fee paid to the selling platform, you’ll get to keep all the profits for yourself.
If you’re particularly knowledgeable in a specific course or subject, you can make big bucks with your tutoring services. It’s true that most schools offer free or steeply discounted tutoring services, but if you can set yourself apart as an exceptional tutor, people will pay for your one-on-one time and advanced skills.
Market your services through school community boards, Craigslist, and social media. Once you’ve built up a solid clientele, news about your skills will travel all by itself. The best part is you have the power to accept or reject new clients, and you can choose the hours that work with your schedule.
- Tax Preparation
If you’ve passed the CPA exam, but you’re still finishing up school, use that certification to make a little money. Since you can’t officially get a job as an accountant until after you graduate, offer your services as a tax preparer.
Individuals, especially college students, are always looking for experienced, but affordable tax preparers to remove that April 15 burden. It will give you the experience you need to enter the business world and make yourself a more valuable job candidate while putting cash in your pocket.