Maybe you shouldn’t go to college right now?
College is where almost 70% of high school graduates go these days (about two thirds to four-year colleges and one third to two-year colleges). A few have clear and realistic career goals but many go because they can not figure anything better to do.
Here are just a few of the many business ideas for graduating high school seniors:
1) Create a web-site development business.
2) Offer to promote new music talent via the internet.
3) Create online (Youtube) and television ads for small businesses in your area.
4) Manage the Google search business for small businesses.
5) Create a neighborhood tech consulting business for your neighbors – set up wireless networks, new HD tv sets, do wired and wireless setup.
6) Edit and manage photos and video files for your customers.
7) Recondition (added memory and new software) on older PCs for your customers.
8) Recycle electronic equipment for your customers.
9) Install new energy efficiency control equipment for your customers to reduce their energy bills.
10) Install video and security equipment for your customers.
11) Do online research about any topic for your customer. For example they wanted to know everything they can about the dog-friendly motel business – you charge them a fee for search and analysis on their topic.
12) Offer to do online research about a defendant for law firms (like creditworthiness and assets). Check out their real estate holdings, bankruptcies filed, and other liens and judgments against them.
13) Do surveys for small business. For example survey the college students at your local university asking what they want in a good pizza delivery business.
14) If you are a good writer then offer to write a newsletter for your small customers.
15) Create a model for how much business a customer is going to get each day – how many cars will a car wash handle based on the day of the week and the weather forecast. How many patrons will the local pizza parlor have each day by hour? The goal is to allow them to optimize their manpower.
16) Pickup and set up big new tvs purchased at COSTCO.
17) Set up the cell phone phonebook and back it up periodically for your older customer’s.
18) Set up an internet phone system for your customers (like Skype).
19) Program and teach your customers how to use their digital video recorders.
20) Set up plasma screen video art work and slideshows customized for each customer.
21) Set up your older customers Ipods for them including downloading the music from their CDs, purchasing other music and creating customized playlists.
22) Help your customers sell or buy tickets on Craigslist, eBay or Stubhub.
23) Help small businesses get the value of PodCasts.
24) Become a low-cost high tech travel agent – do the research online and charge by the hour to get the best deals for your customers.
25) Provide a security checklist for clients – go through with them and videotape and take still images of their stuff so that they have a current inventory in the event of a fire or theft. Then keep the videos in a secure spot in the event your client needs them and be willing to testify to their authenticity in court.
Here are the general guidelines for running this kind of business:
1) Pick a business that requires little or no cash to get started – just your brains, hustle, your existing PC & cell phone.
2) Try a few related services simultaneously – you won’t know what your customers want until you ask them to pay for it. So you need a little of the “I can do almost anything” attitude. Some of the best ideas will come from your customers. But most importantly who will pay for your service and needs the service today? Don’t get into a lot of costly surveys; just get the word out that you are talented, smart, hard-working and honest – opportunities will come your way. But don’t make your message too broad. In other words, future customers can understand that you do high-definition tv work and computer networks but I would not advertise lawn mowing on the same flyer.
3) Offer a money back guarantee – if your customer is not satisfied – there is no charge.
4) Under promise and over-deliver. In other words if you think you can get it done by Wednesday promise that you will have it done by Friday.
5) Every time you are done with a job ask your customer if he/she is happy with what they got. Will they give your business card out to their friends? Do they have any other work for you? Do they have any suggestions for making your new business successful? Can they please let their friends and family know about your work?
6) Be very easy to get hold of day or night. Always answer your cell phone and if you miss it then get right back to your customer.
7) Be willing to get paid in trade – i.e. so many pizzas for every new customer you bring to your customer.
8) Start out relatively cheap (say $15 per hour including your travel time) and work your way up from there.
9) Gradually find ways to leverage up your business. This is not easy; it means finding ways to use other people and companies to provide some of your services without cutting you out of the equation and without losing the quality that your customers have learned to expect. This is where you turn a job into a homerun – but it is by far the hardest part of being an entrepreneur.
“If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of your flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying, 'Do you want fries with that? George Carlin
Here are a few links on the subject: