How to Become Self Employed While Still in College
As a college student, you can find a job using the standard methods of applying at local businesses and posting your resume on online job sites such as Monster. If your search is fruitful, you will likely end up working 25 to 30 hours each week at a local restaurant, retailer, or other business. You will make minimum wage and have a reliable paycheck. For many students this is perfect. For other students, this isn’t a good arrangement at all. Some students live in areas where job availability is simply too scarce to find a local job. Other students simply do not want to work for other people. For these students, self-employment is a viable alternative. In fact, more people are working opening their own businesses, working as independent contractors, or freelancing than in recent history. If you think you have the desire and talent to work for yourself, here is a brief guide for you.
Selecting Your Line of Work
The three most important things to consider are, your talents, what you enjoy doing, and which opportunities are available to you. If you can work for yourself while using your talents and enjoying what you are doing you will have hit the trifecta. If you can manage to find work that meets two of the above criteria, you’re still pretty fortunate. As you reflect on your skills and talents, try asking yourself a few questions:
- Do I do well dealing directly with people on a regular basis?
- Am I good at building, fixing, or repurposing things?
- Am I organized?
- Am I artistic or otherwise creative?
- Do I enjoy manual labor?
- Does the idea of working on a sales commission intrigue or terrify me?
- Are my computer skills better than the average person’s?
- Is there some task that my friends and family members are always asking me to do for them?
- What do I do for fun that I would like to do to earn money?
These questions should lead you to some good ideas on the skills and talents you have that are potentially lucrative. Once this is done, you can begin to consider the opportunities available to you. For example, if you live in a town with a large elderly or wealthy population, you may be able to earn money working as a contractor doing house cleaning and yard work. If you are outgoing, you might consider becoming an independent sales contractor. This involves signing on with a national corporation and selling their products. Here are a few other perfect student jobs that may work for you:
- Selling arts and crafts at local fairs and on Etsy
- Collecting and selling scrap and recyclables
- Repairing Computers
- Throwing themed birthday parties for children
- Personal Training
Writing Your Business Plan
Many people associate a business plan with borrowing money. This is unfortunate, because having a good business plan is extremely important, even if you have no plans to ask anybody for money. If you take the time to write a good business plan, it will serve as your personal road map to launching your own business. Your business plan will detail the exact products or services you plan to offer, how you will market yourself to others, the skills you have that will make your business succeed, the costs you will incur while launching and while running your business, your projected income, and any problems that you anticipate. It is very important to create this document and then to adhere to it. The last thing you want to do when you are trying to work for yourself is ‘wing it’.
Opening Your ‘Doors’
Once all of your planning is done, the next step is the most exciting and the most intimidating. This is when you launch your business and begin looking for customers. Your best path to success is to be as bold and outgoing as possible. Share news of your new enterprise on social media. If you have a Facebook page or website dedicated to your business, ask friends and family members to like your page or share your URL.
Jeremy Flores is a young blogger who is always in search of something new. He works as a writer on SmartCustomWriting where he consults readers about their current students’ problems. You can follow Jeremy on Facebook, Twitter and Google+