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5 Low-Cost Business Ideas For College Students | Startup, Entrepreneurship

5 Low-Cost Business Ideas For College Students | Startup,  Entrepreneurship

Low-Cost Business Ideas For College Students

Getting into college requires a lot of money, especially when tuition and expenses skyrocket each year. Sadly, money doesn’t grow on trees and many students have to resort to working part-time. But with class schedules scattered throughout the day, getting a part-time job can be challenging. This is why many college students turn to setting up their own business that suits their hectic schedule and skill set.

Realistically, there aren’t many types of businesses that you can start if you’re still just a student. Your time and attention are limited, so running a large-scale business like a café might be impossible at this point. However, certain businesses work best at working with or around a student’s limitation. Below are 5 low-cost business ideas that you can get in to while you’re still a college student.

Photography Business

Do you have a knack for taking Instagram-worthy photos of interesting places and people? Why not turn your hobby into a source of income?

Starting a small photography business requires little to no money. You don’t even need an expensive DSLR camera to get started. If you’re confident about your photography skills, you can show off your pictures on social media. Post regularly to let everyone know that you’re available for hire. Aim to expand your community and produce lots of great content. The more people see your content, the more opportunities for you to tap on. And of course, never settle on your current level of skill and experience – aim to learn new things and improve along the way.


A savvy student-entrepreneur knows how to use their unique skill set to launch a business. If you’re an expert in a certain field of study, you may want to consider tutoring other students. It’s a simple, straightforward way to earn some cash and since it requires little to no overhead, most of your income will surely be profit. You only need to invest a bit of your time and energy.

While many universities offer free tutoring, chances are they’ll only be offered for a limited time. On the other hand, if you start your own tutoring business, you can offer your service at night when most college students are cramming, or in your own time.

Education is a business that will never die, and there will always be a need for tutors. Make sure to take advantage of this demand. Once your business takes off, you can target a wider audience. For example, if you live in the campus or in a college town, you can post fliers in the school library. You can also promote your business online via social media.

Freelance Writing

Do you have a flair for writing? Freelancing offers a great opportunity for you to help others and make fast money on the side – at the comfort of your own room and in your own time.

The Internet is a vast, content-driven place, and there’s a constant need for fresh content every day. Why not take advantage of this demand and offer your skills to a multitude of potential clients? You can even offer your service to fellow students who may be in need of your gift with the written word. IHateWritingEssays can help you get on the right track when it comes to helping other students in academic writing.

Web Development and Design

There’s a high demand for web development and design, but it’s rarely done right. There aren’t many business owners who can dedicate their time to learning the basics of web development and design, so they often end up paying a great deal of cash to those who can make their business look great through a well-designed website.

If you’re an expert in this area, now might be the perfect time to start your own web development and design business. Look up potential clients and do your research before contacting them and offering your services. Make them understand how your services can help them solve the problem their business is facing, or improve the way they do business.

Always strive to improve and be up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in web development and design. Specialize in a specific element of digital marketing and make it a signature in your designs. This is a great selling point for your small business.

Delivery Service

There are only two types of people: The lazy ones and the industrious ones. With a delivery service, you can offer running errands – and earn extra income – to busy individuals or those who simply don’t want to step out of their house. This can be anything from buying groceries or picking up take-out.

One popular food-delivery service, Postmates, is making a fortune by doing tasks for other people. You can do the same by starting small, say, in your own town or school area where delivery services aren’t available yet. To generate income, you can add as much as a 30% service fee to the total cost of an order you’ve completed.

Setting up this type of business isn’t costly. You can build a website where people can place orders. If you’re really strapped for cash, you can simply advertise your service on social media or through word-of-mouth.


There are a lot of great business ideas out there, but only a few can actually turn your dreams into reality. If you take a smart approach and give yourself the best chance to succeed, you’ll soon realize that there’s nothing quite as fruitful and satisfying as becoming an entrepreneur while still just in college. Hopefully, these ideas can help get your entrepreneurial juice flowing and set you off on the right track towards small-business success.

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