12 Great Summertime Business Ideas for College Students - Ben Edlt

12 Great Summertime Business Ideas for College Students

Posted June 22, 2017 by Ben Edtl

When my Dad was in college he started a business washing windows. It turned out to be a great side hustle for him because, when he graduated college and became a school teacher with summers off, he was able to continue supplementing his income.
His desire to provide a great service, at a great value, along with his attention to detail earned him repeat business and customer relationships that lasted decades. Not only did it put him through school but, had he wanted to and with his core values, he could have turned his window washing business into an empire. Instead he gained fulfillment teaching science and banked extra cash in the summers.
There’s not a lot of high paying jobs available in the summer for college students. Most seasonal work is remedial and pays close to minimum wage. But, if you’re the enterprising type and the guts to launch your own thing, like my Dad, I’ve got some great summertime business ideas to get you inspired.
Almost all of these business will require an EIN and a simple operating agreement. You can take those two items to your bank and open a business checking account. I also recommend getting a website URL and email from GoDaddy. You can use GoDaddy’s website builder, wordpress, wix or squarespace. These are all free or next to free options. Other low cost marketing tactics include print flyers, social media, and email blasting using GoDaddy, Constant Contact or, my new favorite, Robly.
For those ideas below that require equipment to start, search for used and also try renting until you’ve earned enough money to buy your own gear. Just make sure to include those (and all your other) costs in your SGPA (Sales & Gross Profit Analysis). That way you price your services right and make yourself a sweet profit.  Here’s a tip: don’t make less than 50% profit, but shoot for 70%.
If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to send me a message and I’ll answer on the Ben Edtl Show. And, if you need some startup cash, hit up your friends and family for a loan. Or try GoFundMe. All of these businesses can be launched for a $1,000 and under!
So here’s 12 great summertime business ideas for college students that you can grow year over year:
#1 Window Washing
Lowest estimated startup cost: $500 - $750
You’ll need a truck. So, if you own a car, sell it and get a truck. You can buy ladders on craigslist for under a couple hundred bucks. Search the web for window cleaning / janitorial supplies to get your squeegees, sponges, towels, buckets, etc. Don’t forget your blade for scraping. Then start getting the word out to your friends and family and close some deals.  
#2 Landscaping
Lowest estimated startup cost: $500 - $1,000
Getting into the landscaping business takes some light machinery. Most of which you can rent per job. Find used mowers, trimmers and blowers on craigslist. The rest you can find at Home Depot or Lowes. Get the word out to friends and family and start making the world a better looking place.
#3 Graffiti Removal
Lowest estimated startup cost: $1,000
A pretty easy marketing plan for this business: find buildings with graffiti and drop a flyer. You can also contact your local city municipality and get on as an approved vendor. The City of Portland is promoting its graffiti abatement program as we speak. It’s a major problem, just look around. You’ll need a pressure washer, chemicals and a portable sandblaster. You can purchase this stuff up front or you can rent per job until you’ve earned enough cash to purchase and reduce your ongoing expenses.
#4 House & apartment cleaning
Lowest estimated startup cost: $300
Everyone needs a clean house, but trust is the issue. Head down to the store and pick up some cleaning supplies, tell your friends and family and let word of mouth spread like a disease.
#5 Tutoring
Lowest estimated startup cost: $0
If you’re in college you can certainly help a high school or middle school student improve on your favorite subject. Again, tell your friends and family, blast it out on social media and make the world a smarter place.
#6 Childcare
Lowest estimated startup cost: $0
I’ll tell you this: from my own experience, lack of summertime childcare is a real problem. If you’re into kids and want to make great money, go get your child care license (or at least a CPR credit) and start spreading the word.
#7 Moving Service
Lowest estimated startup cost: $300 - $500
You’ll need some muscles, a buddy and a box truck. You have to own the muscles, but you can rent your buddy and the truck per job. Plus, practically everyone is moving in the summer so it’s delightfully seasonal.
#8 Graphic Design
Lowest estimated cost: $200
If you’re into visual art and graphic design, subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud and start downloading the software you need to create stunning digital graphics, logos and flyers. Get the word out, post cool stuff on Instagram and watch your side hustle grow.
#9 Video Editing
Lowest estimated startup cost: $300 - $750
Everyone needs video editing. Yet, as simple as it seems, we both know it’s not. So, if you have the know-how, get to it. All you need is your brain, a computer and whatever editing software you like. Get the word out, post awesomely edited videos to your Instagram, throw up a website and get the word out to friends and family and start earning.
#10 Photography
Lowest estimated startup cost: $1,000
Summer is wedding season. That means full-time photographers are booked and your skills are needed. Assuming you’re into photography, you probably already have a nice digital SLR. If not, your startup costs will go above a thousand. But included in the thousand is a decent 80mm 1.8 prime lens for shooting portraits, lights, umbrellas and the rest you can rent from Pro Photo Supply per job. Showcase your work online using a website, tumblr and social media. Get the word out that you’re looking to take some pictures.
#11 Web design
Lowest estimated startup cost: $200
With just the basic knowledge of coding you can hammer out custom WordPress and other platform websites quickly and profitably. Get your own site launched, optimize that SEO and start marketing for free on social media. There’s a nice market out there for selling customized websites for under a thousand dollars.
#12 Uber / Lyft
Lowest estimated startup cost: $0
It’s a gig economy. If you have a vehicle that meets the social taxi service requirements, you’re looking at a zero startup cost to start making bank on your own time. You don’t even have to spend any time or money advertising, just sign up and go to work. Plus, you can work whenever and wherever you want.