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Are you interested in a career in advertising or publicity? These businesses will give you great experience! Design flyers and posters – Help a local business create its brand! Distribute flyers, posters, and brochures – Do stores in your neighborhood need people to hand out flyers? These can be distributed on the street, put on car windshields, or given out at social functions. You could offer this service to shopkeepers on a regular basis. Just make sure you find out where it is legal to put up posters! Publicist – Get hired to write press releases. Help artists, musicians, or entrepreneurs get publicity by sending out releases, e-mailing, and calling local newspapers and radio stations. Image consultant – Help businesses and entertainers market themselves to young people – like you!
Do you like animals? Read books to learn how to care for them. Ask a neighborhood veterinarian to be your coach. Cat sitter – Get hired to care for cats while their owners are out of town. Be sure to have the owner write down the cat’s food and water needs, and an emergency number for the vet. Dog walker – Take three or four dogs at a time out for a walk and make money providing a very necessary service for your busy neighbors. Pet grooming – Give a dog a bath today! Pet bowls – Create personalized doggie bowls by painting each dog’s name on the bowl in non-toxic paint.
Almost any artistic talent can be turned into a business. What can you create that someone else might want? Artist – Offices decorate with art and so do family members and friends. Create a portfolio of photos of your artwork that you can carry with you to show customers. Art gallery – Do you have talented friends? Show their work in your home or at a community center or other public space. You can take a commission for every piece you sell.
Calligraphy – Learn the art of handwriting in an elegant or unusual style. Calligraphy is in demand for wedding invitations, menus, and birth announcements. You can also handletter poems or lyrics on fine paper, frame them, and sell them. Pottery – A hobby like pottery can quickly become a successful business. Sell your pottery at trade fairs. You can put pictures of it online too. Offer to create special pieces to customers’ specifications.
Ideas for selling cakes, cookies, brownies, bread, or other products you can bake at home include: Fresh-baked bread for people in need – Set up a nonprofit business that delivers baked goods to people who are too old or sick to bake or leave their homes to buy fresh bread. Bake sales – Hold a bake sale at a flea market, at your church, in your backyard, or at school (just be sure to get permission first). Cookie delivery business – Sign families up for weekly cookie deliveries. You can deliver a batch of a different type of homemade cookie each week.
Just about any skill you have can be turned into a business, if you can find a way to fill a customer need. Can you ride a bike? Here are some business ideas. Bicycle repair – Learn to repair flat tires, slipped chains, and worn brakes. You could run a special each spring when people get their bikes out of storage for the warm weather. Messenger service – Have wheels, will deliver! In New York City, businesses depend on the bike messengers who deliver important documents all over town. Perhaps you could provide a similar service in your area. Bike design – Be like James MacNeil who started Bulldog Bikes, a company that designs and manufactures BMX bikes for urban streets.
Are you interested in learning about the birds in your area? Do you have a pet bird? Here are some “bird-brained” ideas: Birdcage service – Offer to clean cages regularly and stock them with food and water. Bird owners can enjoy their pets while you maintain the cages. How do you find bird owners? Try posting flyers at pet stores.
Bird watching guide – If you teach yourself about the birds in your region, you can organize bird watching trips to local parks. You can also hire yourself out as a bird guide to people who organize hikes or camping trips. Raising birds for sale – Popular breeds, such a parakeets and finches, are not difficult to raise. Find a coach to advise you, such as a local veterinarian or pet shop owner.
Are you a bookworm? Turn your love of books into a business. Book selling – Start a business selling books, concentrating on those you like to read yourself. Once you start making money, you can buy in quantity to get lower prices. Used-book selling – An even cheaper way to get into the book-selling business is to collect used books from friends and family. Set up a table at a flea market or on the steet and start selling! (Check local laws before you set up on the street!) Write a book – Entrepreneurship student, Michael Simmons, wrote The Student Success Manifesto, which he sells on his campus at NYU and online. What could you write? A novel? A children’s book? A book of advice for other students?
Do you like kids? Are you reliable and responsible? There are a lot of businesses you can create that involve children. Whenever you work with a child, get a letter of reference from the parent so that other parents will know they can trust you. Baby-sitting service – Before parents leave their children in your care, make sure they give you phone numbers where they can be reached, the phone number of the nearest relative, and the number for the child’s doctor. Be sure to ask about bedtimes, food allergies, television and Internet restrictions, and whether they want you to answer the phone. Mother’s helper – A mother’s helper keeps children occupied so busy mothers can relax or devote their attention to something else. The mother will still be home, but you take care of the children. This is a safe way to gt some baby-sitting/child-care experience. Teach activities – Teach your specialty to children one or two afternoons a week, or just have a special playtime with puppets, storytelling, or other activities. Children’s stories – Create a “story-time” at your house for children in the neighborhood. Parents can drop off their children for an hour or two while you read stories. You could also make tapes of your readings and sell them.
Are you a neat freak? Turn your passion for cleanliness into a business! Car washing – Washing cars can be a steady source of income if you put some effort into it. Consider working with a team of friends and advertise speedy service for busy people. Learn to wax and detail cars, so you can offer these services, too. House/office cleaning – Houses and offices need to be cleaned. Many people and business owners do not have time to clean and would be happy to hire you. Laundry and ironing – do you have access to a good washer and dryer? Doing laundry is a chore many people can’t find time to do. Both laundry and ironing could be combined with another service, such as child care.
If you enjoy clothes, there are many businesses you could start. You can sell old fashions, create new ones, or bring the latest trends to the people in your market. Clothing design – Create your own line and start out selling to local stores. Vintage clothing – Fashions from 20 years ago often become popular again. Do your parents or other relatives have old clothes that they would like to gt rid of? Collect them and start selling “vintage” clothing! Buying wholesale for resale - Buy from clothing wholesalers and sell them locally through your own business or to local stores.
If you collect baseball cards, sports caps, comic books, or other items that are inexpensive now but might gain value in the future, consider a collecting business. You can visit collector fairs to buy and sell your items. Collect things that you genuinely like, because you might have them for a while. Vinyl records – DJs are always looking for new sounds, so you never know what someone might pay for an old record you bought. Comics – It does not require a lot of money to begin collecting – and selling – comic books. There is software available to help collectors catalog and price their collections.
Having computer skills will open up many business possibilities. Computer repair/software installation – Are you the person your friends call when they have computer trouble? Become a computer consultant and sell your expertise. Word-processing service – Are you a fast and accurate typist? If you can type well, there are many services you could offer, such as typing papers for other students, or typing a manuscript for a busy author. Desktop publishing – You will need access to a computer, laser printer, and a good word-processing program. You will also need design skills. With these resources, you can create newsletters, menus, and programs, and create and maintain mailing lists. Web site design – If you are computer literate and comfortable on the Internet, assist others in designing their “home pages” on the Web. Graphic arts – Lean how to use programs that provide graphic arts services, including photo retouching, and creation of flyers, poster, brochures, and other promotional materials.
If you enjoy cooking, you can provide products, services, or both! Catering – Do you like to cook? A catering business can supply whole menus for parties and other occasions. Pasta – Create a line of fresh pasta and sauces. Organic baby food – Let your creativity soar, but always with the customer in mind. What kind of food do the people in your market like? What is difficult to find? Cookbook – Do you come from a family in which a lot of great recipes have been handed down over the years? Put them together in a cookbook!
Do you like to make jewelry, leather goods, or other handicrafts? Sell your own work and perhaps, for a percentage, creations by your friends, as well. Jewelry making – Start with inexpensive supplies, like wire and beads. Greeting –card design – You can create beautiful greeting cards with rubber stamps, ink, and small silkscreen. If you have a good sense of humor, this is a great place to use it. Handbags – Decorate vintage handbags or make your own out of felt, fabric, or leather.
Candle making – A crafts store will have everything you need to make decorative candles. You can buy wax or melt down old candles and crayons. Try using empty milk cartons as molds.
Dance lessons – Even if you are a beginner, you probably know enough to teach young children. Hip-hop dance troupe – If you have friends who are also talented dancers, why not get a group together and offer your services to local hip-hop groups?
Do you love to drive? If you start a business using a car or van, make sure you have upto-date insurance. Do not borrow a car from a parent or friend for your business without being added to the insurance. Errand service – Offer to run errands and make deliveries for small business people and others who don’t have the time to do so. Meal delivery – Are there restaurants in your area that don’t offer delivery because they don’t want to pay for their own staff? You could offer to make deliveries for these restaurants. Messenger service – Try small package delivery. It is a business with low start-up costs. The service can expand rapidly as you build a reputation for reliability.
Are you a natural performer who enjoys being in front of an audience? Do you know any magic tricks or have theater experience? Clown – If you love making kids laugh, become a clown and you’ll be in demand for birthday parties. Magician – Is there a magic club in your neighborhood? You can learn from books and practice on your friends. As a magician, you can entertain at birthday parties and other events. Party DJ – A DJ lays records during a party. You’ll need one or two turntables and lots of records. Some DJs form record pools so they can share their records and equipment. Balloon decorating – earn how to make balloon animals and how to tie balloons together to make decorations for parties!
If fish are a hobby or yours, why not turn it into income? Aquarium care – You will need to know how to care for both fresh and saltwater tanks. Offer your services to local businesses and restaurants, as well as to individuals. Fishing – If you live in an area that has good fishing, become a fishing guide. You can organize day trips to nearby lakes and rivers.
Chores like mowing the lawn are a lot more fun when you are getting paid. Almost anything you do around the house can be turned into a business. Fresh herbs and flowers – Is there a room in your house or apartment that gets a lot of sunlight? You can grow fresh herbs and flowers and supply them to restaurants. This can be a good “second” business because plants don’t have to be watched every minute of the day. Yard work – Do you like working outdoors? From the street, you can often spot lawns and gardens that are not being kept up by their owners. You could get paid to help. Plant care – Offices could hire you to come in once a week to water, clean, and fertilize their plants. As more and more people work outside the home, there is more demand for household plant care, too. Window boxes – Fill wooden window boxes with flowers. You can even make and decorate the boxes yourself.
Do you like to make your friends’ hair look great? Before you start a business styling or wrapping hair check out local regulations for any licenses you might need. Hairstyling – Offer styles for special occasions. Hair clips – Create jeweled hair clips and sell to retailers. Hair wrapping – Children especially love temporary colorful hair wrappings.
Are you one of those people who gets excited about holidays? Each holiday is a business opportunity. Gift Baskets – Every holiday is an opportunity to create a different gift basket that you can sell for a profit. You can also offer customizing and make baskets based on the interests of the personal receiving them.
Seasonal sales – Do you have spare time during the holidays? Try selling seasonal specialties, such as Christmas decorations or Valentine’s Day candy.
People come up with creative new businesses using the Internet every day. What can you think of? Genealogy – Researching genealogy, which is the history of a person’s ancestors, is easy online (but you will have to subscribe to some basic sites to access the genealogical information). Teach yourself how to create family trees. Every family is a potential customer. Web site – If you come up with a popular idea for a Web site, you can sell advertising space. On-line auctions – Learn how to bid and you could offer your services to people who have things to sell but don’t have the time or skill to get them online.
Do you play music? Or just love being around it? Either way, there are a lot of businesses you could start. Band – Start a band and get hired to play at parties, weddings, and corporate events. Music lessons – Do you play an instrument well enough to teach someone else? Even if you have only intermediate knowledge, you could teach young beginners. Stickers and buttons – Artists need stickers and buttons imprinted with their logos for promotion. So do stores and sports terms. Why not save them the trouble of contracting with a sticker or button manufacturer. String quartet – Do you play in the band or orchestra? Get some friends together and start a string quartet to get hired for store openings, weddings, and parties.
Are you good with a brush? Advertise your services on bulletin boards and with flyers. House painting – You will need to learn about types of paints and how to make your lines look clean. Furniture – Old furniture can be made to look like new with a nice coat of paint. Shop flea markets for bargains you can refinish and sell. Signs – If you can paint, you can create signs for local businesses.
Are you a people person? Try businesses that involve getting people together or waking them up! Newsletter – Start a newsletter to help people meet each other. Wake-up service – Are you an early riser? Start a wake-up service for your fellow students.
Have you thought about a career in photography? Get experience and earn money at the same time. Wedding photography – If you are a skilled photographer, offer to shoot a couple of weddings for free to build your portfolio. Wedding photography has to be very professional. Photo journalist – Local newspapers often buy photos of events and parties from freelance photographers.
Buy and resell almost anything. Contact wholesale suppliers for discount product and resell to customers in your area.
Silk screening is easy and inexpensive. All you need are a silkscreen, ink, a wedge to press the ink through the screen, and fabric to silkscreen. T-shirts – Many organizations need T-shirts with their logos. Creative clothing – You can also silkscreen pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses with your own designs.
Are you always explaining school assignments to your friends? Do you like helping people understand things? Tutoring – Do you know one of your school subjects well enough to teach other students? Giving lessons requires patience, but it is rewarding. Give lessons – Anything you can do, from playing guitar to making clothes, you can teach.
Did you grow up speaking another language? Put your language skills to good use! Translation – Translate ads, flyers, signs, and other things for local shopkeepers who want to reach customers who speak different languages. Teach English as a second language to people in the community who need help. Teach your other language to people who only speak English and want to learn another language.
Do you have a good camera or video recorder? Videotape events – People like to have their weddings, birthdays, parties, and other events videotaped. You will need samples of your work to show to prospective customers. Videotape concerts – Bands like to have their shows videotaped so they can see how to improve the performances. You will have to follow all laws and restrictions Digital moviemaking – With digital video, anyone with a camera can make a movie without the expense of buying film.
Woodworking skills can be used to create many types of businesses. Carpentry – If you are skilled at carpentry, sell your services. You can build cabinets, shelves, and help renovate homes. Bird cages – One student who completed an entrepreneurship course started a successful business by building bird cages! Decorative carving – If you are artistically talented, try learning scroll work, which is the decorative wood carving of screens or other furniture. Board games – Create beautiful versions of board games, such as chess or checkers.
Are you a talented writer? Discount Newspaper – Get local businesses to buy ads in your newspaper that customers can use as coupons. Fan magazine – This is a magazine written specifically for fans of just about anything, from music to movie stars.
Poetry for special occasions – How about composing poetry for special occasions, like birthdays and graduations. Sell poetry personalized with names, dates, and photos.
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