Finding the Best Businesses for Students

Paying for college is tough. Tuition costs continue to rise, work-study jobs won’t cover basic living expenses, and loans are accruing interest at higher rates than ever. What can students do to pay for their education?

One of the best solutions is to become a student entrepreneur. Although it might seem daunting to pursue one of the many business ideas for students while also juggling your course load, the payoffs can be great in the long run.

Try thinking of these student business ideas as a supplement to an internship. Many students will pursue unpaid internships while in college, using up valuable time when they could be making money. The alternative, of course, would be to pursue a small business for students instead.

By chasing one of the best simple business ideas for students, you will not only earn much-needed money toward tuition, you will learn how to become an independent student entrepreneur. Employers will look at this real-world experience and will be far more likely to offer employment to those who have it.

It is for this reason that we have compiled a list of the six best small business ideas for students. We hope that at least one of these business plan ideas for students will catch your eye and give you the motivation you need to pursue student entrepreneurship.

Additionally, we will be answering several of the most commonly answered questions, including the following:

  • Which of the best businesses for students is right for me?
  • How do I become one of the top student entrepreneurs?
  • Is it possible to make good money through one of these businesses for students?

As always, you should keep in mind that these businesses for students will be right for some and not for others. Consider your strengths, your weaknesses, and determine which of the following small business ideas for students could be right for you.

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Top 6 Best Businesses for Students | Brief Comparison

Business for Students

Skills Needed

Startup Costs

Potential Earnings

BookkeepingMath and computer skills$5 – $70 per month$60/hour
Child CaretakerMust be highly responsibleNone$8 – $40/hour
Cleaning ServicesAttention to details$50 for supplies$20/hour
Moving ServicesStamina, strength$50 for supplies and flyers$200/move
Resume WritingWriting, organizational skillsNone$20/hour
Tutoring ServicesStrong understanding of specific subjectDepends on materials$10 – $100/hour

Table: Top 6 Businesses for Students | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Detailed Overview of What to Look for in the Best Businesses for Students

Before you choose which of the best businesses for students is right for you, it will be imperative that you consider all of the pros and cons of student entrepreneurship. Keep in mind that these business ideas for students have a wide range of features.

Therefore, when you decide which student business ideas to chase, consider the following components:

  • Startup costs
  • Potential earnings
  • Client base
  • Necessary skills
  • Time of year

Clearly, there is a lot to consider before you open any of these student businesses. Perhaps the most important thing to ask yourself is: can I risk some of my own money to become a student entrepreneur?

As you will see in the comparison table, some small business ideas for students will not cost you anything in startup fees. On the other hand, some will cost you a little something each month.

Decide how much money you can invest in one of these student businesses before you spend time researching the ins-and-outs. If you can set aside between $50 and $100 now, you may be capable of making more money in the long run.

Once you’ve decided how much money you can invest, the next thing to consider is your skill set. Which of these businesses for students is right for you? Are you strong in math or English? If so, a tutoring gig may be the perfect fit.

Or maybe you are a highly detail-oriented person who enjoys a chance to step away from the books. In that case, starting a cleaning business may help you become one of the best student entrepreneurs in your area.

If your goal is to make as much money as possible, take a long look at the range of earnings that each of these simple business ideas for students can offer. For instance, you could make up to $200 per day as a mover, but only $8 per hour as a child caretaker.

With that being said, however, the demand for many of these student businesses will fluctuate depending on the time of year. While child caretakers will always be necessary, movers will only be hired when students are moving in and out of school.

It will be important for you to determine which of these businesses for students can not only make you money now but will keep earning you money in the long term. Perhaps you want a steady job as a tutor but won’t mind working as a mover during peak season. Then the answer may be to pursue both.

Our recommendation would be to start with one of these best businesses for students before taking on others. If you think you still have time for a second small business for students, your wallet will thank you in the end.

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Detailed Overview of What Separates Some Businesses for Students from Others

If you are wondering which features are most important when deciding on the perfect student entrepreneurship for you, consider the following points:

  • Demand: The best businesses for students will have a large demand in a college town. Remember to always consider your audience. If you want to be a child caretaker, make sure there are enough families in the area that could hire you. The best businesses for students will offer steady employment and room for new clients.
  • Opportunities for Growth: Many of these small business ideas for students will allow you to increase your hourly rate as you gain more experience. For instance, tutors may have to set $10 per hour as their starting rate in order to get hired. As long as you continue to improve, you can raise your rates from there. Additionally, when you look at these student business ideas, decide which one might help you get a job in the future. After all, you are in school to better yourself. By becoming a student entrepreneur in the appropriate field, you will be able to get better jobs in the future.
  • Overall Happiness: College is supposed to be one of the best times of your life. Therefore, you should only focus on one of these simple business ideas for students if you will enjoy the work you’ll be doing. Do not pursue a small business for students simply to make money. Do it because you will enjoy your time as one of the many rising student entrepreneurs across the nation.

Overall, business plan ideas for students are meant to give you a sense of what type of job you want you want to have later in life. No one goes to college with the goal of finding a dead end job they will hate. Small business ideas for students are a perfect way to work in a particular field to determine what you really want to do later on.

Keep in mind that if you choose one of these six business ideas for students and you do not like it, you can always switch directions later.

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Detailed Review –Best Simple Business Ideas for Students

Below, you will find a detailed review of each of the best small business ideas for students. We will focus on some of the most important factors that make these the best businesses for students that you could pursue this year.


Although many people associate the term “bookkeeping” with accountants, you do not need to be a finance major to pursue this small business for students. It will help to have a basic understanding of mathematics, but considering the rise of small businesses across the United States, the need for bookkeepers is on the rise.

To put this student entrepreneurship into effect, you simply have to have a good understanding of computers and an ability to be detail-oriented. Your clients will hire you to keep track of inventory, hours, and other business-related information depending on the job.

Business plan ideas for students like this one will require you to put a little money into your startup, however. Depending on your client, it may be helpful to download software that helps you navigate Excel spreadsheets and keep detailed notes when necessary. It will be up to you to make sure all the information is up to date.

That being said, you can make money quickly when choosing simple business ideas for students like this one. We recommend charging around $60 per hour, depending on the scale of the work. In essence, just one hour of work should cover your startup expenses.

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Child Caretaker

Do you like working with children? Are there families in your area? If the answer to both questions is yes, then child care taking is among the best businesses for students around.

Small Business Ideas For Students

Image Source: Free Images

Chances are, there will always be a demand for child caretakers. Simple business ideas for students like this one are perfect for those who want to balance work while also making money on the side. Businesses for students often require an entrepreneur to work at various hours, but most child caretakers can set their hours weeks in advance.

Other than gas money, this small business for students will not cost you anything to get started. You should start around $8 to $10 an hour before working your way up. The most experienced child caretakers can earn around $40 an hour.

This last point is especially important. Small business ideas for students will require you to gain experience before you make a lot of money. As long as you approach one of these businesses for students with an open mind and a willingness to work, you will notice that more and more people will be willing to hire you.

Cleaning Services

As mentioned earlier, the best businesses for students don’t always have to fall in line with school work. If you would like to pursue one of the many simple business ideas for students that give you a break from your studies, you could begin by cleaning residential houses.

You may need to spend around $50 in supplies, but if you know other student entrepreneurs who would be willing to start the business with you, you could split the costs. Having multiple student entrepreneurs may help you gain clients if you do not mind splitting paychecks at the start.

We recommend charging around $20 an hour when opening student businesses like this one. $20 will keep your prices competitive and will open you up to more opportunities later.

Remember that business ideas for students do not always have to make you the most money upfront. As long as you build your client base, you will ultimately earn what you need.

Moving Services

Not all small business ideas for students will provide constant work; however, college towns will always need movers at various times of the year.

If you decide on opening one or more moving businesses for students, you will get your widest audience in late August and early May, right around the times students move in and out of their dormitories. There will be locals who need you throughout the year, too, but students will be your bread and butter.

In general, you could make around $200 per move while working as a mover. When comparing $200 to some of the other student business ideas, you will ultimately be making more in a day. You will have to keep in mind, however, that you will not be working as many days per year.

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Resume Writing

If you have what it takes, resume writing services will be one of the most lucrative businesses for students out there. While you need to have a strong grasp on writing and organizing, there won’t be many times when you are searching for clients.

Businesses For Students

Image Source: Free Image

College students all need help writing their resumes, and if you are an expert, you can charge around $20 per hour. While that might not sound like much, keep in mind that you will not have any startup costs and you will be able to set your own hours as a student entrepreneur.

Simple business ideas for students like this one will not only add to your wallet, but you will also be doing a valuable service for the people you meet. The more people you help, the better off your peers will be.

Tutoring Services

Similar to resume writing, tutoring services are one of the most beneficial businesses for students. If you are strong in one particular subject, you should be able to teach it to a wide range of audiences.

Consider which age group you would like to work with. While you could try to tutor at the college level, just as many children will need help with their studies. As a student entrepreneur in tutoring services, you can determine who you work with and how often you need to meet with them.

There will be some basic startup costs associated with this student entrepreneurship, but you can keep them minimal if you teach the same subject to the same age group every day. We recommend charging $10 per hour as you get started, but you can quickly raise your prices depending on the size of your client base. The more clients you have, the more you can charge.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Simple Business Ideas for Students

Throughout this article, we discussed six of the best businesses for students, some of which require an expertise in a particular subject and some which don’t. If you are one of the many student entrepreneurs out there who would like to give one of these small business ideas for students a chance, remember to consider what type of employment you are looking for.

There will be several factors you will have consider, including startup costs, hourly rates, and your basic skill set. Once you have determined the type of work you would like to pursue, try zeroing in one of the businesses for students we mentioned.

Remember that the best businesses for students should help you decide which type of employment you want after graduation. Choose one you like, make sure it will earn you a basic income, and give it a shot. What do you have to lose?

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