Four Small Businesses You Can Start In College With Less Than $1000

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I mentor Freshmen at a local university. Something I often hear is how much extra time they suddenly have compared to when they were in High School.

Usually, my students find ways to fill their time. They join intramurals. They find jobs. They join the orchestra. And then they complain about their sudden lack of free time.

If you’re in college, you might not want to fill your free time the conventional way. You’ve got that entrepreneurial itch and you want to use your free time to make money.

I’ve got you covered. I’ve collected a list of viable businesses you could start during your four years. Who knows, maybe you’ll drop out and become a successful entrepreneur and I’ll be writing about you someday. Let’s make some money!

1. A Childcare Business

The childcare industry grew four percent in the last five years. And if you ask any parent who tried to procure childcare for their little one, you’d hear about the waitlists and troubles.

With the gig economy in full swing, it’s easy to start providing services. Apps like SitterCity and Care.com are great places to advertise your services. You no longer have to paste tabbed flyers around town to get a gig.

Once you have a few jobs under your belt, you’ll gain clients by word of mouth. Parents like to talk and a great sitter is hard to find.

2. A Pressure Washing Service

If you learn how to use a pressure cleaner with finesse, you’ll be someone’s champion. It’s super easy to mess up a pressure wash job if you’re not careful. You could permanently damage someone’s deck.

You can find a decent pressure washer for less than a thousand dollars. When you figure out your price point, you’ll cover the cost of the washer within a month or two of purchase. And once you’ve covered that, it’s all piles of cash from there on out.

Be sure to start an LLC so that if you do mess up on a job, you’re covered. And to keep from messing up, practice on some old boards somewhere. Paint them, then strip them.

The goal of pressure washing is to take off the surface without marring the wood or another surface. Once you can do this, you’re good to start using it on a client’s deck or siding.

3. A Resume Writing Service

Most people hate writing their own resumes and CVs. You’ve been taught your whole life to downplay your accomplishments and not brag. Now you’re told to find all the great things you’ve done and put them on one page.

It feels like an intrusion and enough people will feel this way. They’ll be willing to pay someone to take away the burden if they have the money.

If writing about other people’s lives seems interesting to you, then this might be the gig for you. You just need to interview someone and learn standard resume and CV formats.

You might even be able to charge more if the client wants a cover letter as well. And depending on what industry this client works in, you might make a lasting connection and garner future jobs.

4. Make and Sell Jewelry

Thanks to sites like Etsy and EBay, you can start your own jewelry company with very little capital. And the jewelry doesn’t need to be fancy in order for it to sell. Some people make money on simple knot bracelets made from hemp and beads.

As long as you’re making something authentic and appealing, you’ll sell something. You’ll need to understand marketing to help your product rise to the top, but with social media and paid ads, it’s simple to promote a product.

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