5 Entrepreneurial Ways Highschoolers & College Kids Can Make Bank This Summer
Schools are about to let out and I just can’t stop coming up with ideas that “I would totally do if I was still a college student with a free summer”.
Let’s face it, flipping burgers all day, dealing with sassy retail customers, or mowing lawns in the summer heat for minimum wage is not anyone’s idea of an awesome summer. And you won’t get rich in the three months you have off doing any of those either. Why not try something that will really pay off if you hustle and will also be a better business education than that overrated degree you’re going $100k in debt for…
So if you are a high schooler, college student, or just someone looking to pick up some extra cash with a side-hustle, here are some ideas:
1. Lyft Driving
This one may not work for those of you under 21, but Lyft is a great gig. You can work as much or as little as you want and do it all on your own schedule. Lyft is similar to Uber, but I’m suggesting Lyft because the app lets passengers give you an extra tip right within the app (Uber doesn’t) and there are fewer Lyft drivers which means less competition for you. There are times where you can make up to $35/hour.
2. Flatscreen Flipping
A friend of mine told me about a guy he knew in college that would buy flatscreen TVs off Craigslist and resell them in his spare time. TVs lined every free wall of his place. He made $10,000 a month doing it.
It doesn’t have to be flatscreen TVs exclusively (though sticking to a specific product helps you focus and become a niche product expert), you can make some quick cash by reselling any high-priced electronic product. See how much the product is selling for on eBay, then scour your local Craigslist listings. Buy anything that’s listed below market price or that you can negotiate below market price. Easy. So many people selling on Craigslist are just trying to get a little cash for that Christmas gift they never used and are willing to sell at a steal.
3. Something-Expensive-That-People-Only-Use-Occasionally Rental
People hate spending loads of money for something they only use on occasion. Pick an item that fits that criteria and — BOOM! — you’re in business. Let me give you an example. Moms will be throwing outdoor summer parties for their kids and one of the things they’ll want is a bounce house. Purchase your-city’s-name-bouncehouse-rental.com url, create a free site with Wix, buy a bouncehouse from Amazon (some are as cheap as $200), put business cards in every windshield at nearby pools and toy stores and you’ll be up and running in no time. If you rent out the bouncehouse for $50/hour, you can make the money you invested back in one day. Everything after that is pure profit.
4. Small Business Social Media Marketing
Every (and I mean EVERY) small business owner knows they need to get in the social media marketing game, but are too busy or just flat out don’t know how…and most of the time it’s both. This is an area where your youth actually works to your advantage. Small business owners know that you understand that digital world better than they do and it instantly gives you credibility.
Spend a few hours to complete a free online class and become a certified Facebook ad marketing expert. These classes are given by Facebook itself which will be impressive. Flaunt your new credentials to all the nearby small businesses. Start where you are already known as a loyal patron and have a relationship like your barber, oil change shop, burger joint, or dry cleaner.
Sell them a “summer sales rush” package and charge them $500/month. Spend $200 on Facebook ads and keep $300. $200 is a fortune when it comes to Facebook ads. I promise, they will be thrilled with the results and it’s something you could even continue to do remotely when you’re back at school.
5. Water, Sunscreen & Glowsticks At Outdoor Events
With the kids and sun out for summer, people will be attending all kinds of outdoor events. Large crowds of people in blistering heat is a recipe for making lots of money. When people get uncomfortable, they will literally pay anything to avoid it. In desperation, they will buy stuff for way more than they would otherwise. Ever paid $8 for a fountain drink at a theme park before? Exactly my point. It’s not ripping people off because they have a choice not to buy it. The fair market price of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it.
Load up a cooler full of water bottles and fill boxes with sunscreen, glow sticks, and anything else you think people would have bought if they had more time to think ahead. Mark everything up 5-10 more than what it cost you. Here are example product prices: $2 per bottle of water, $4 per sunscreen pack, and $1 per glow bracelet. Those are huge profit margins! Then go to soccer fields and popular parks on weekends and attend every event you find happening outdoors in the city — especially every Fourth of July celebration. You can make hundreds of dollars in a day.
Don’t Like These Ideas? Not An Excuse.
These are the easy-money ideas that quickly came to mind. If I spent another 30 minutes, I could come up with five to ten more good ideas. The point isn’t how good my ideas are. The point is that it’s easier than ever to start a profitable business venture where you can be your own boss, set your own hours, and make more money than you could at a typical hourly-wage job. And you can do all while being a young, broke student. At the end of the summer you’ll be just a little less young, but a lot less broke.