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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Businesses You Can Start From Your Dorm Room

From information technology consulting to snow removal, the sky’s the limit for college students to become entrepreneurs.

Hunter Hoffmann

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Mark-Zuckerberg

What do Microsoft, Dell, Napster and Facebook all have in common? Aside from being among some of the most market-shaking companies of the last quarter century, they were all also created by college students.

Sure, not everyone can be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but starting a small business while in college is definitely possible. There are several options that require little to no startup capital and can be done without an office space.

Entrepreneurship in college can help make valuable connections while also generating some income to cover tuition, meals and those very expensive textbooks.

Related: The Basics of Registering a New Company

Here are 10 ideas for starting a business from the comfort of your own dorm room.

1. Information technology (IT) consulting

Information technology is one field where having years of experience can actually work against you.

College students typically have the freshest skills in this area and knowledge of the newest technologies.

If you don’t feel confident promoting yourself as an IT consultant to businesses, put the word out on campus that you’re available to help the less tech-savvy majors with their computer issues, and build from there.

2. Social media consulting

College students are often on the cutting edge of social-media trends. Use this knowledge and experience to advise companies on their social-media strategy. Take them beyond Facebook and LinkedIn, and introduce them to new channels to get their messages out.

3. Graphic design

graphic-design-tools

Graphic design consulting relies more on creativity and talent than years of experience. Design majors should grab a portfolio of their best projects from class, print off some impressive looking business cards or feature them on a website, and get started.

4. Website design

Students are much more exposed to designing websites than ever before. Many have done so for a campus group or club, a fellow student or just a personal blog.

Those sites can be used as samples and leveraged in order to branch out to designing websites for a profit.

5. Photography

Thanks to platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, the world has become more accustomed to using images to communicate.

With a rise in the need for visual content, there has also been growing sense of comfort with using amateur photographers.

Due to advancements in technology, these amateurs have the ability to churn out high-quality work.

Related: 10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time

6. Event planning

College students have probably attended their fair share of parties, but putting that party experience to good use is another story. Event planning requires attention to detail, organisation, the ability to multitask and creativity.

If equipped to handle the job, start a business around campus and become the go-to source for planning campus group or club activities. It’s important to note that taking your business outside of school may require special certification.

7. Personal trainer

Personal trainers have flexible hours and can conduct workouts almost anywhere. Personal training can oftentimes require a certification through an organisation such as ACE, but meeting the requirements, such as taking a certification exam and passing CPR/AED courses, may be easier than you think.

8. Cleaning services

Starting a cleaning business allows students to work flexible hours and doesn’t require an office. Not to mention, supplies needed for this business can be purchased at your local grocery store.

Many people are willing to pay someone else to do a dirty job. A gold mine for the cleaning business lies within fraternity or sorority houses the day after a big game.

9. Freelance makeup artist

make-up

According to Federal data, women have outnumbered men in American colleges for nearly 35 years. This provides the perfect opportunity to start a small business geared towards the female demographic.

Freelance makeup artists can generate revenue in the traditional sense of applying makeup to customers ahead of special occasions. Alternately, one of the newest ways to make money is by providing tutorial videos on social media.

Great content that attracts a high number of viewers can turn into YouTube sponsorship dollars.

10. Landscaping / snow removal

Landscaping and snow removal services are great seasonal businesses that can carry over vacation breaks and throughout the semester. Armed with a shovel, garden store equipment and some sturdy boots, students living off-campus or local residents could become very lucrative clients.

Related: 6 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me When I Started My Small Business

Even if a business is started by a student while in college, it’s still a real business, with real rewards and risks. No matter what the business or size of the company, it’s important to have insurance protection.

Things like specialised IT consultant insurance or a more general professional liability policy will help a company stay out of trouble if anything goes wrong. The bottom line is that college entrepreneurship can be a great way to earn some money as well as pave the way for continued career success after graduation.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Hunter Hoffmann is head of US Communications at Hiscox Small Business Insurance and is responsible for media relations, social media, internal communications, content marketing and executive messaging. Hunter lives in New York City with his wife and two sons, Walker and Otis. In his spare time, he moonlights as Chief Marketing Officer for Junior’s Fresh, a healthy pre-school meal provider in New York City founded by his wife, Michelle.

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Business Opportunities In Printing And Signage

The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.

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sign-africa-tshirts

In an entrepreneurial environment, people are seeking innovative ways to make extra money. The signage and printing industry offers opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses.

These opportunities will be showcased at the upcoming Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo, which is co-located with Africa Print for commercial print solutions and Africa LED for professional LED lighting. The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.

T-Shirt and Bag Printing

Embellishments and glitter help transform a simple shirt into a unique garment, and depending on the specific shirt and techniques used, it could become a high priced item. Shirts and bags can be customised, a key aspect to targeting millennials, who require unique products, want to stand out and want items that are Instagram-worthy. You can target this market with personalised bags and unique T-shirts, which do not require large and expensive equipment to produce.

Mugs and Promotional Gifting

While others may see public holidays as opportunities to relax, entrepreneurs can see them as money-making opportunities. Capitalise on trendy markets and popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day by producing themed and personalised gifts. Other profitable options include: shopping bags, decor and invites, promotional, corporate and safety wear, wood, vinyl, paper, plastics, metals, flat substrates like clipboards, binders, notebooks, mouse pads, coasters, business cards, stickers and corrugated signs or posters, smart phones and tablet cases.

Related: Move Your Brand Forward With Eye-Catching Vehicle Wraps

Vehicle Wrapping

Business owners are constantly seeking ways to get their brands noticed. And with all the gigantic billboards, street pole advertisements and other media vying for consumers’ attention, it’s difficult to stand out. Enter vehicle wrapping, which is an effective promotional tool as it’s cost-effective, impactful and long-lasting. Besides cost-effective general wraps for corporate fleets, custom vehicle wrapping offers special effects that create Instagram-worthy wraps that get brands noticed.

Of course, these business opportunities require training and some research. Luckily, industry experts will be available at the Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo to answer visitors’ questions. There are also free educational features such as a T-Shirt and Bag printing workshop featuring demonstrations by local experts on T-shirts and bags with speciality printing techniques as well as the Textile Experience, which shows how to screen print onto T-shirts.

Opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses will be showcased in daily 30 minute Business Opportunity sessions. For more information about the event, and to register online, please visit: http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurSignAfrica.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time

Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.

Nadine Todd

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businesses-you-can-start-part-time

Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business.

What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.

Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.

Corporate Communications & Promotions

Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house. If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.

Contents

  1. Public Relations
  2. Freelance Photography
  3. Corporate Videos
  4. Small Business Advertising Agency
  5. Writing, Editing and Proofreading Services
  6. Internet Marketing Consultant
  7. Web Design
  8. Tax Accountant
  9. Business Consultant
  10. Business Plan Consultant
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Types of Businesses to Start

A 7-Step Guide To Starting Your Own Trade Business

With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.

Morné Stoltz

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trade-business

Skilled tradesmen are always in demand. Whether you are a plumber, electrician, cabinetmaker, refrigeration expert, tiler or builder, there is a ton of work out there. For many, the best way to make the most of the opportunity is to open your own business.

Where do you start? The first step is to register your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Look for a catchy name that is easy to spell and memorable – you do not want customers to struggle. The CIPC will tell you which names are taken. It is also a good idea to do a trademark search before deciding on a name. Register with SARS and make sure that all your tax affairs are in order.

It is a very good idea to get a good accountant right at the early stages of the game. They can also help you set up the legislative requirements for running a business. The National Small Business Chamber is a non-profit organisation that offers a range of services to its members that aim to help them grow faster, save money and receive the support they need.

With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.

1. Finding customers

You want to find customers in order to grow your business beyond the ones you already have. These days, that means a website and some smart online marketing.

This can be as simple as setting up a Facebook page and any one of several other social media sites (like Instagram and LinkedIn). These services are at no-cost to you and allow you to quickly build up a following of loyal customers. You can share ‘jobs well done’, so prospective customers can see what you are capable of, while your contact details are easily accessible. In due course, consider some paid averts on relevant social media platforms and perhaps a website of your own. It is a good way to get potential customers on board.

At the same time, list your services in community newspapers, noticeboards and newsletters so everyone in the area can easily see that you are available and what it is you do. Also, keep your eye on social media community groups – and ask family, friends and existing clients to refer and/or recommend your services when an opportunity arises.

Finally, there are many government initiatives and non-profit organisations whose aim is to help small businesses succeed – with a particular emphasis on black-owned businesses. This help could range from facilitating access to finance, all the way to mentorship. Spend some time finding out what help is on offer. The SME Movement site also has this kind of information.

Related: How To Start Your Own Artisan Business

2. Stay focused

For those just starting out, there might be a temptation to take any job that crosses your path. Rather stick to your area of expertise to build a reputation based on proven skills. If you are an electrician with a little plumbing experience, for example, tackling a piping job could cause more trouble than it is worth. Every trade is different and you are an expert for a reason.

Leave the other work for experts in those fields – but build up relationships with them so that you can refer work to each other.

3. Ride on your qualifications and references

You have spent a lot of time getting certified. Let your customers know about your qualifications and experience by putting it on your Facebook page, your invoices, e-mails and other communications. The same goes for references; these are valuable and provide evidence of your ability to get the job done. Ask for a reference when the job is complete and then on to social media it goes. The good news with social media, by the way, is that these references do not ever go away.

4. Stay on top of the paperwork

The good old days of doing business on a handshake may be behind us. Providing quotes, contracts, invoices and records of payments electronically makes paperwork a whole lot easier by creating a digital archive where physical copies aren’t needed, but it serves the same purpose, when it is formally recorded, it is far easier to see what has been agreed to, done and paid for. Do not skimp here, even the best customer service provider relationships can go awry if verbal agreements are all you have to go on.

5. Register with your trade association (and invest in CPD)

Being a member of a trade association (like Master Builders, the Institute of Plumbing or other professional bodies) lends credibility to what you are doing. It also provides access to new customers should larger contractors need to sub-contract. Your trade association also formalises training and continuous professional development (CPD).

Related: 6 Tips For Launching Your Global Brand

6. Get business insurance

All too often, this crucial coverage is ignored by those starting out on their own. You want to protect tools and equipment on the one hand and you also want broadform public liability to safeguard yourself, your employees and your business against third party claims should something go wrong on the job. It provides cover in connection with your normal business activities and also your liability if any employees are injured in the course of work.

Putting the right insurance in place can mean the difference between staying in business for the long term or folding the minute the tools grow legs and disappear.

7. Deliver good service

Do not forget that every job is a potential reference and, at the very least, is your entry into that client’s network of friends or business associates. Concentrate on giving good service and actively request feedback so you can remedy any shortfalls. A take-it-or-leave it attitude may be relaxing, but it will prevent your business from growing to what it potentially can be.

MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)

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