1. First Business Idea: If you love Do-It-Yourself and everything about design
- Handmade goods such as accessories, clothes, labels design, cross stitch
- Designs such as T-shirt design, Illustrators, Prints, Graphic Design
Platform: Door to Door, Your website, Etsy, Amazon Handmade, Zibbet, ArtFire, Fiverr, 99Designs, Threadless
Why: If you have the talent or are good at crafting and making DIY goods, this is a great opportunity for you to start with a low to medium investment. DIY has been popular in the US for a long time; therefore, it’s never too late to start this business. Depending on the products you are planning to sell and the logistics of packing and shipping, you will spend only about 5 hours to 10 hours per week to start off this side product.
For design work such as Graphic Design or Illustration, you don’t have to invest any money in it if you already have the tools. There are online vendors and small businesses that are looking for a logo, brand design, social media design, or t-shirt design. You can start opening your business today quickly and easily. However, you will need to have portfolio pieces ready to show the clients to see if your design style fits the client’s needs.
2. If you are good at certain subjects and enjoy sharing knowledge with people
- Academic tutoring: Private Tutors, School Tutors in various subjects
- English tutoring
- Standardized Test Tutors: SAT, TOEFL, SSAT, etc.
Platform: School, Preply, Varsity Tutors, Cambly, Tutor.com
Why: For this business idea, Students who excel in certain subjects, such as math, science, language arts or history, can definitely offer assistance to other students who need help. This business doesn’t have to be limited to your school. Instead, it can be offered to anyone around the world, especially with English tutoring. Or, students can tailor their tutoring services specifically for standardized tests. This business can sustain itself because students are always in need of tutoring services. But keep in mind that some tutoring platforms will request you to obtain certain certifications before you can start tutoring. Therefore, make sure you have the ability and the trustworthy credentials to attract many students.
3. If you enjoy writing and proofreading
- Essay editor
- Freelance Writer
Platform: Your website, Journals, News, Opinion Magazines, etc.
If you enjoy writing, from creative writing to scientific writing, consider these business ideas as well. For this writing path, you will have to spend more time than the average, because you will have to research sources, come up with ideas, and write. But if writing is one of your passions, and you want to pursue writing in college, having a business like this helps you stand out among other candidates in the application process. For essay editing, you can start within your school because assumingly, students in your school already know who you are and what you are good at. However, many schools don’t allow you to do this kind of business, because you’re offering help for other people’s work that has to be done independently. Furthermore, there is a fine line between you helping edit the essays and you rewriting the whole essay for them. Therefore, we would recommend you find international students or students who are English language learners who are struggling with writing or English writing. Alternatively, you can go freelance and offer your writing services to other publications from a range of industries. If you have extensive knowledge or a long-lasting interest in certain subjects, you can start freelance writing or blogging.
Blogging gives you more freedom on what you want to write about because it’s your blog. You can blog about a hobby, an interest, or a topic that interests you. You can start building the structure for your blog using website building tools like Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, etc. Blogging will be hard at the beginning because you don’t have a presence on the internet yet. However, once you have a good list of articles, start receiving traffic, and keep engagement with users on the blog, you can start monetizing your blog. There are three main ways to monetize your blog:
- Paid ads: If you have enough traffic, you can sign up for Google AdSense to start selling your ad space to other businesses. You will get paid once someone views or clicks on your blog’s ad
- Sponsored posts: other businesses who fall under the category of your topics will reach out to you and ask for sponsored posts in return for a commission.
- Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is when you write a blog post about products and you use the affiliated link in your blog. You will be paid a percentage commission for every product sold using that link.
4. If you enjoy public speaking
- Youtube Personality
- Speech Writer
Platform: Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Youtube, Upwork
Why: With the rising popularity of podcasts and Youtube, you will be able to attract subscribers and users online by posting videos and podcasts like Youtube. Since you enjoy public speaking and are good at it, with a unique personality, you will be able to grow your channel and potentially attract brands and other sponsorship opportunities to earn money. Whether you prefer speaking by yourself or talking with other people, you can choose your format accordingly. There are numerous opportunities by being a podcaster or YouTuber, through affiliate marketing, sponsored videos, or ad revenue. If you’re a great public speaker, you can also consider being a Speech Writer. You won’t be able to do public speaking, but the current skillset you have will help you succeed with this business idea.
5. If you love creativity, from photography to film editing
- Freelance: Photographer, Film Editor
Platform: Fiverr, Behance, Unsplash, stock photo websites, etc
Why: There are millions of small businesses and Youtubers out there who are in need of a photographer or film editor. Photography also has become a popular side project among high school students, especially because of their understanding of new technology and a keen eye for new trends. There is a need for advanced quality equipment if you’re a photographer. However, if you have a strong portfolio in the field, you can consider becoming a photographer or film editor. Photographers can range from Wedding Photographers, Event Photographers to Stock Photographers. You can start your business by taking portraits or studio photos for friends and family, or for local businesses, then expand to a larger audience on the internet. Photographing and Film Editing will take up more time, because you have to commit a certain amount of time within the week and have to be flexible with the changes of deadlines.
6. If you’re a coding expert
- App creators, app designers, etc
Why: If you are a coding wizard, you can consider creating your own app that satisfies a deficit in a certain area of the app market. There is a range of apps that you can brainstorm about, from motivational apps to game apps. This side business will help you significantly if you decide to pursue computer science in college. It will also be a highlight on your resume because you show your ability to work on a project from end-to-end as well as your creativity and your passion. To monetize for the app, you can put ads on the app or sell the app at a certain price range on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or another app store.
These are unique ideas for business that will help you get started on brainstorming for your next side project and business. The idea is the core of a business, but having a clear business plan with a thought-out business model, which includes everything from logistics to marketing is also an important part of a business if you want to scale up or expand your business.
Aspiring entrepreneurs will create, promote, and market a company to win over the Diamond Challenge Business Competition’s judges. In this intensive format, students will conduct the business ideation process, create a business plan, conduct environmental scanning, establishing the organizational mission, vision, and value statements, create marketing and promotion strategies, write the business proposal and create a pitch deck required by the Diamond Challenge Business Competition.
This class is for students who are prepping to enter higher education with the hope of pursuing a research field in the context of business research. This course is taught by a scholar-practitioner who has extensive teaching and research experience at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.