Online Biz: Should You? Could You?


As someone who is active in social media, I come across a variety of people of all ages and of many backgrounds while surfing the ‘net. Some are in business for themselves and not quite a few are college students.

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that college students are so active online. After all, this generation grew up with the internet and basically make up the money jarfoundation for a worldwide community of active web participants. But, what has surprised me are the number of college students who are making money online, not necessarily a full time living, but enough money for what amounts to be a nice part time job.

How about you? Are you active online? Do you manage your own business? In most cases the students I have contact with are operating on a shoestring budget but are pulling in some decent cash. Best of all, they aren’t locked into a rigorous schedule, the sort of thing where shift work is required or some other regularly scheduled working hours are kept.

We can’t all be like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who quit Harvard and is now a billionaire, but if you have an idea and a few spare hours each week, you can go into business for yourself. In most cases you won’t need a license to do what you do. Please read on and we’ll explore the fundamentals of starting and running your own business:

Get Equipped – If you have a laptop (and who doesn’t these days) you’ve got the most important “overhead” you’ll need. Likely, you’re already using the campus WI-FI system or you head over to your favorite college hangout and use your computer there. Whatever, you’ve got online access which opens the world for you to get the work done.

Get Looking – Facebook, LinkedIn, Craigslist and countless other sites allow you to be plugged in with people from around the world. You can provide SEO services for a company, help a student out with his term paper, create a blog and run paid ads on the site, you name it. If you can’t do the job yourself, you can find someone to do it for you and operate as the middleman, reselling your work for a nice mark up.

Get Connected – Online contacts are great but you meet so many people offline that they can help you with what you do too. Join up with some classmates and friends to brainstorm and implement your plans. Online and offline socializing aren’t that much different, but with the former you have the name, face and their physical body in the same room with you.

Get Funded – If your idea has “legs” meaning some potential beyond part time, side job work then check with your school’s business department to see if they’d be interested in funding your business, for a cut of your profits of course. If your college isn’t able to help out, google the words “venture capital” and be prepared to submit a detailed plan for consideration. Who knows, but you could end up building a site that rivals Facebook!

Most students would be happy to receive a few bucks per week, enough to cover the incidental expenses of college living. Regardless, working in a pizza joint isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun job while online generated revenue continues to grow in appeal to college students the world over.

Adv. — If you’re looking for additional consumer advice, please visit our sister site at to find information about managing your income, handling debt, and other money saving tips.


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Categories: Personal Advice