Looking for a summer job? Why not start your own business instead of working for someone else? Besides accomplishing the main objective of making money over the summer, when you start your own business you’ll have the satisfaction of being your own boss and of creating something yourself. Another great advantage of starting your own business is that you won’t have to waste time looking for a summer job – you’ll already have one.
Besides making money for your education, having business experience looks great on your resume, particularly if you plan a career in business. Being able to state on your resume that you “ran a successful landscaping business during the summer months” is more attractive to potential employers than “was in charge of chicken nuggets at The Chicken Shack…”.
When you’re choosing a small business idea for your summer job replacement, there are two approaches you can take. You can plan to start a seasonal business that you can pack up and close down at the end of the summer when you go back to school, or you can choose a business that allows you to continue running the business (on a reduced scale) throughout the year. There are some of both in this collection of the best business ideas for students.
So consider the possibilities and start your own business this summer, working for yourself rather than working for someone else. While some people are still looking for a summer job, your own business will already be up and running – and making money.
1) Lawn Care/Landscaping
This is a great summer student job because it’s seasonal and is greatly in demand throughout the summer season – and almost anyone can do it. Another great thing about this small business idea is that it’s easily expandable; add landscaping and/or gardening services if you have the knowledge and abilities. See Pros & Cons of Starting a Lawn Business.
There are many variations on this type of service, some of which require no special skills or training – in my neighborhood a student comes around every spring with a rented lawn aerating machine and services all the lawns in the neighborhood.
Another rents a truck and spends the spring/summer hauling garden mulch. His customers can have mulch delivered and spread on their lawns and gardens.
2) Guided Tours
If you live in an area with historical/cultural/scenic attractions, why not start your own business offering guided tours? Don’t despair if you don’t live in a place with spectacular scenery or historical chops; ecotours and guided hikes are becoming increasingly popular. Taking people on tours of the local flora and fauna has the added bonus of getting outside in the sweet season.
This type of business is particularly suitable for those with language skills in tourist areas.
Multilingual guides are in high demand in locations that get large numbers of non-native speaking visitors. Having a knowledge of local history, geography and (for ecotours) biology/botany are also beneficial.
3) House/Pet Sitting
Many people travel during the summer and need someone to look after their houses and/or pets while they’re gone. Making the rounds and taking in newspapers and mail, checking the house and feeding or walking “Sweetie” could be a great “summer job” business for you and it could even have the added bonus of giving you a place to live over the summer.
4) House Call Geek
If you’re technologically savvy, you have expertise that a lot of people still don’t. Start your own business making house calls troubleshooting computer problems and/or showing people how to do what they want to do with their computers and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
This is another small business idea that would work well as a part-time business post-summer, too.
5) Rubbish Pickup and General Hauling Services
There are lots of people with lots of junk that they would like to dispose of, as the success of 1-800-GOT-JUNK testifies. Whether it is old furniture, debris from construction projects, or electronic junk that needs to be recycled, there is always a demand for rubbish removal, particularly if it is properly sorted and disposed of in the most eco-friendly way possible. And late spring/early summer is the season of the highest demand as people do their spring clean ups.
If you have a particular skill and the necessary certification, teaching can be a very satisfying and lucrative small business. Music lessons spring to mind, but there are myriad other possibilities, from yoga and aerobics through mountain biking and horse riding. Tutoring in the traditional school subjects is another small business idea with an instructional theme.
7) Exterior House Cleaning
Window washing, gutter cleaning, power washing exteriors – start your own businessdoing the home care chores that others hate to do and you can clean up during the summer clean up season! And once you’ve established this business, it should have great carry-over potential, giving you a list of repeat clients summer after summer.
The gutter cleaning/window washing service that I use is booked up months in advance during the spring/summer season, so demand for these services is strong.