You may have a wonderful business idea, but most startups require at least a little bit of money–or capital–to get off the ground. Aside from asking friends and family to invest in your business, what’s a young entrepreneur to do to raise money for things like website hosting and product production?
Here are ten simple things to consider trying in order to raise the money you need to invest in even bigger ideas. Who knows: maybe you’ll be so good at one of them, it’ll become a permanent side hustle!
1. Social Media Marketing
You were born for this! No one knows social media like Gen Z, which makes you ideally suited to helping established companies brand themselves online. As new forms of social media take the world by storm, your youth will work in your favor. Not only can you navigate these waters, you know exactly how to gain followers. You already follow trending hashtags online, so why not get paid to do it? If you think you might have a knack for adopting a particular brand’s “voice,” you can easily prove yourself an in-demand social media entrepreneur.
2. Homemade Products
Pick something you love, something you surround yourself with anyway. Maybe you already make your own…thing? Whether it’s candles, soap, cookies, stickers, or whatever else, chances are pretty good that someone else out there wants what you’ve got—and they’re willing to pay for it. These days, homemade items are super trendy. Open up a shop on Etsy or eBay, or create your own sales website. Market yourself using your unique style and share the story of why you are making this product. Most consumers love helping independent business owners!
3. Translation Services
In a global economy, there is always a need for translators. Being fluent in more than one language is your superpower, one that can earn you money from home. Websites such as Translators Café feature job boards for translation freelancers, while other translator services will ask you to take a test in order to be eligible for jobs. But you don’t have to be that formal: local schools and small businesses always need ways to communicate with a broader swathe of the community and may welcome your (paid) help. By adding a human touch, you’re branding yourself as a much warmer alternative to Google Translate.
4. Music and Art Lessons
For those of you who excel at music or art, and are good with people, this job has your name written all over it. By offering 1-on-1 lessons online, you can make money teaching from a distance – which means your clients can live anywhere! You can even offer to teach small groups at a time (making careful use of the “mute everyone on arrival” option). Gain clients by offering a free or discounted first lesson, and make sure you have a website up that shows off your credentials and awards!
5. Sell Photos
Stock photos are nearly always in demand. With little more than your smartphone, you can take amazing photos and sell them to sites such as Dreamstime.
If you’ve never taken professional photos before, it’s worth looking up other stock photos to see what people are buying. Look up tips on capturing the highest quality images, and invest in an app that will help you edit your photos to look their best. One of the best parts of selling stock photos is that they will always be on the site, potentially earning you royalties for years to come.
6. Website/Software/App Design
Spending all day on your computer can earn you money! Someone out there wants to create a game or an online business, and they will pay for your help in writing the code, designing the website, or testing the app. Good coders, software developers, and app testers are in constant demand, so there will always be work out there for you. As a college-bound young entrepreneur, these are amazing skills to monetize, especially if you are planning a career in these fields.
This is such a broad field that nearly any young entrepreneur can do it. There is no shortage of students out there who need help in school. Narrow your focus to one or two subjects you excel in, especially if you already take AP courses in those subjects. As with teaching art or music, tutoring can be done entirely online. (Helping students in other countries with their English, anyone?) For those of you considering a career in teaching, social work, or anything else involving children, tutoring is a great way to get a feel for the job.
Good communication is the key to so many aspects of life. If you cringe every time you see a misplaced comma; if you stay up at night worrying about typos; if you can write an A+ essay without breaking a sweat—then proofreading might be the home business for you. And everyone needs proofreading. You can proofread anything from student essays to online content for business. To get your proofreading enterprise started, build a website that offers your rates per job type (a quick scan for typos will take less time and work than line edits and content advice).
9. Graphic Design
Here’s another skill set that’s in high demand. A unique logo gets a business noticed, so every YouTuber, social media guru, and small business startup wants one. They want something more than a quick copy-paste Photoshop job that pretty much anyone can make. They want you: a young entrepreneur who knows how design works in marketing. When your talent lies in knowing how color, lines, scale, and font work together for maximum impact, people will pay you to help create their brand’s logo.
10. Errand Service
Ok, technically this one involves leaving the house, but it’s still a great way to make money. Some of your neighbors might not know about other errand services or may not be willing to pay high service charges. Or perhaps they need the types of errands done that other services don’t provide, such as going to the post office or doing laundry. Not only can you help out for a smaller fee than they might otherwise have to pay, but you can build up your business by hiring a team across other neighborhoods.
Think of the jobs listed above as the modern equivalent of a lemonade stand or paper route. They’re great ways for young entrepreneurs to get a taste for building a business and making their own money. Best of all, these are jobs that cater to the skills you already have!
Click here to learn how the Kantner Foundation helps young entrepreneurs by offering college scholarships to Florida high school students.