5 Small Businesses a Student Can Start Over Spring Break

Michael Essany Headshot by Michael Essany on March 28, 2011
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Forget Fort Lauderdale and drunken debauchery. There’s a lot of money just waiting to be made in the world of small business, even for college students simply looking to make some extra cash over spring break. Looking for an idea that may be right for you? Check out these promising suggestions.

1) There’s Money in Social Media

Social media is more than just popular, it’s also increasingly profitable for those who wield its power with savvy and consistency. If you’re familiar with Facebook and talented at Twitter, you could be a valuable asset to more than one company. Small business owners, as we’ve seen, are not only ramping up their dependency on social media for online marketing purposes, many are also creating full- and part-time positions dedicated exclusively to social media marketing. If you’re comfortable and well-versed in social media, why not pitch your services to a local business and start getting paid for what you would otherwise be doing for free?

2) Consulting Equals Cash

You may be a student, but that doesn’t mean you lack the know-how to teach whatever it is you’re vastly knowledgeable about. Every year thousands of students earn extra cash doing everything from foreign language tutoring to helping tech-illiterate iPhone owners customize their new handsets. Given the growing popularity of consultation services in both the public and private sectors, simply slap the “consultant” label on a business card and begin promoting yourself to and networking with individuals who may possibly need your services.

3) It’s Lucrative to Lend a Hand

The secret to lifelong professional success may be elusive, but money, as a general rule, usually comes to those who can provide something that’s in demand. In today’s embattled economy, millions of Americans demand only one thing: a job. As a result, many entrepreneurs are finding work (often more than they can handle) providing job-search related services. From resume preparation to completing and submitting time-consuming online job applications, an economy that could use more jobs may inadvertently be creating more work than we realize.

4) Blogging is Bankable

Whether it’s for yourself or for a professional client, blogging can definitely turn a buck. But is blogging right for you? If you have a passion for writing about subject matter that someone might pay for, it could be a lucrative proposition to promote yourself as a blogger for hire. As an increasingly large segment of the online community turns away from content mills and toward talented, aspiring writers to produce original and thoughtful material, the demand for quality online written content has never been greater. And it just might provide a promising — and flexible — short term employment opportunity capable of opening many more professional doors down the road.

5) Get Physical

Some of the most successful local businesses owners in America today are those who rolled up their sleeves many years ago and began digging deep roots with blood, sweat, and tears in their community. Many of today’s top dogs in corporate America, in fact, had humble beginnings cleaning gutters, washing windows, and providing unglamorous services that laid the foundation for a future business development. Getting your hands dirty to earn a few extra bucks over spring break is not only a time-tested tradition for many entrepreneurs, it’s a learning opportunity that could, in many ways, shape for the better the professional you ultimately become.

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