Business ideas

Business ideas for new college grads

Traditional 9-to-5 jobs are no longer a strict norm, especially for young people just entering the workforce. Huntslings, freelance work, and self-employed businesses are growing in popularity and offer a plethora of ways to earn a living outside the confines of a cabin.

Many recent graduates choose to forge their own path by starting their own business in a wide variety of industries. Here are 10 low cost business ideas you can start as a new graduate.

clothing company

Dreamed of working in the fashion world, but only found a few low-level opportunities in the field? If you have a great sense of design, you can go it alone and start a freelance clothing business. Knowing how to sew or screen print will help you get off the ground, but eventually you’ll need to find a good manufacturer to reach the next stage of growth. As with any business, high quality products combined with great marketing skills are the keys to success.

Content creation

Thanks to social media and the 24-hour news cycle, creatives like writers and graphic designers can use their talents to produce high-quality, shareable content for business and media. A growing gig economy of freelancers and contract workers makes it easier than ever to market yourself as a professional freelance content creator. It can also be a great way to build your skills if you choose to pursue full-time employment later on. To stand out, make sure you have an idea of ​​your brand, how you want to market yourself, and how you want your skills to be used.

electronic repair

In today’s tech-obsessed world, most people use smartphones, tablets, and laptops daily. With this constant use, chances are that at least one of these devices will fail or break at some point. If you’re a techie who can fix these issues with relative ease, you can offer to fix people’s electronics for less than the big retailers charge. Start by marketing your services to students at your alma mater who don’t want to wait for campus IT to fix their hard drives.

Event entertainment

If you spent your undergrad years tinkering with sound mixing software and outfitting the DJ booth at your college radio station, starting an event entertainment business might be the right path for you. With just your music collection and laptop, you can get people on the dance floor at weddings and birthday parties, or just provide background music at more casual events. DJ equipment is a big investment, but many companies offer daily rentals of speakers, subwoofers, and other accessories that you can use until you save enough to buy your own.

fitness instruction

Were you constantly in the gym after class? Turn your passion for fitness into a lucrative job by becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer. You’ll have to spend some time and money to get certified, but organizations like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America offer online certification programs that you can complete at your own pace. Once you’re a certified trainer, you can research openings at local gyms or work one-on-one with clients in their homes. You can also find many certification programs to teach fitness classes such as yoga or zumba.

Graphic design

Are you a whiz at software tools like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop? Many small businesses are clamoring for affordable access to professional branding, such as logos, banners, and signs. If you’re about to leave college with a toolbox full of graphic design skills, consider starting a freelance design business that caters to other entrepreneurs. Once you’ve established a network of contacts and a reputation for quality designs, you can leverage previous work to create new jobs and maybe even settle down with a full-time job right out of college. .

Handmade crafts

Do you have a knack for knitting, jewelry making, or creating other small crafts? If you can produce a lot of items quickly, you can open an online storefront and sell your creations to the public. Startup costs are extremely low if you buy your materials in bulk from a crafting supplier, and if you can process orders quickly, you’ll be turning a profit in no time. You could even turn your store into a full-time gig. Websites like Etsy, Bonanza, and ArtFire are great places to sell your work, and an extra Instagram account can help drive traffic to your online store.

Want to put that marketing or communications degree to good use? Consider starting a social media consulting company. Small businesses often have to take care of their own social media marketing. With so many other responsibilities, however, business owners can be too busy to come up with good strategies for each of the growing number of social channels businesses are expected to use. As a consultant, you can help businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules, and content for your clients’ target audiences. As their subscriber count grows, so will your business.

Teach your skill

Are you a photography expert? Guitar? Coding? Consider starting a freelance business teaching your skills to others. It’s a great way to use (and monetize) your passion, and if you have a knack for teaching, you can grow your business to incorporate multiple teachers and skill sets. Start by making sure you have a way to show off your expertise in your field (think a website with your photos or audio clips, or an active Instagram feed with other examples of your work), and spread the word. through as many channels as possible. .

Partnership with man’s best friend

With 7 in 10 millennials reporting owning a furry friend, there is a rich market for all types of pet care, such as grooming, walking, boarding and training. If you have skills or a passion for any of these areas, you can start a business in no time. Keeping and walking pets requires little or no professional knowledge or equipment, while grooming and training will take more time and money. Head to your local dog park or grooming center to find clients and identify their needs.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you know about.

“Recent college graduates should focus on a particular niche,” said Matthew Ross, co-owner and CEO of The Slumber Yard. “Don’t worry about capturing the whole market early on – you can always expand your operations later.”

Looking for even more ways to start a business? Check out these insights from our partners at CO— by US Chamber of Commerce. Or dig into these other great business ideas.

Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Adam C. Uzialko.