Author Topic: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer  (Read 3626 times)

tkirk62

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Hello Mustachians,

I am a university student and my summer job doesn't pay too well. But the bosses are going to write me great references and the hours are ideal for allowing me to do volunteer work or anything else around work. The hours I work are 7:30-4 Monday to Friday.

Because the money for the otherwise very good job doesn't really jive with my early financial independence goal, I have often thought about starting some sort of small side business. I would prefer the experience of running something myself, something I have control over and the freedom to do it my way. I really like the idea of growing the side business into a real success that I can do over multiple summers while in school, maybe even a little during the school year and then continue doing once I am out of school working full time and if I am lucky, do it on my own schedule in early retirement.

So I am asking you mustachians if you had any experience with similar ventures, and for your ideas for good side businesses to run? I live and work in a small rural town in Canada.

I have really mulled over two ideas of my own.

The first would be to do driveway asphalt sealing. I could start this one with nothing more than a paint roller and the actual sealant. After some success I could move up to a full tank and sprayer. I have an uncle who does this for a living who could help me out maybe with the equipment and show me the ropes.

The second would be selling ice cream by bicycle. This I think would take an initial investment for a trike with a freezer on it (not sure I could rig one myself), but after that the only cost would be the ice cream and maybe electricity or dry ice.

Both ideas would be best for weekends as the driveway sealing needs perfect weather and the ice cream would be best during the hottest parts of the day, but both could be done after work as well.

So what do you guys think? I would love to hear new business ideas that I haven't thought of and what you guys think about my ideas and they best way to go about them. Thanks for the insight.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 07:46:12 PM »
I had been thinking about getting some red wrigglers and selling their castings to gardeners, and lo and behold, someone on the ERE forum said he does that exact thing!  I'm not sure if the scale I was thinking off will suffice, but if you have room, you can probably make some good dough just by eating (then putting the scraps in with teh worms).

Reepekg

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Re: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 07:46:55 PM »
I admire that you're trying to get into business for yourself, and I wish you success although I don't have any advice as I've never tried myself.

What I can recommend if you are interested in a high paying gig is something that worked great for me as a university student (and still now), and that is refereeing youth sports. Soccer games in my area pay $50-60 or $20-25 per game depending if you are the head or assistant. Making more per hour running around on a sunny Saturday than I do in my cubicle sure feels nice.

Advantages: Great pay, games are nights or weekends, you put in for whatever days you're available with no hard feelings, get some exercise while watching a game, and you're the boss on the field (aka, can do it your way)

Disadvantages: You have to be able to handle/disregard people yelling at you

In college during the summer I had an unpaid chemical engineering internship during the day for substance and recommendations, while making enough money for books and liquid refreshments by reffing on the weekends.

marty998

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Re: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 11:02:53 PM »
Yeah I did the soccer ref thing. Pulled in about $100 a week + another $100 maths tutoring. Many I knew has to work 3x-4x as long in retail for the same dosh.

I didn't get penalty rates though. Triple time always seemed to make a few of my mates happy. Those days are long gone, **lousy Liberal Party, grumble grumble**

tkirk62

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Re: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 12:09:21 PM »
A small worm farm is a cool idea, one I never though of. Thanks for that, but I know someone does something similar in the area, so the market might be saturated, but I will check into it further.

I could definitely do soccer refereeing, as well as possibly umpiring too. That is a good part time thing I can look into for just some extra cash for saving. I know people who do it but never thought of it for myself, but now I will look into it as the combination of convenient game times and beautiful outdoor weather would be nice.

All that said, I am looking more for something I can build up for myself. The money from refereeing will obviously help in my situation but I am looking for flexibility to work as hard as I want and have the potential for this small side business now to grow into something bigger, money wise and possibly be my primary work in future summers and a money maker for years to come.

tkirk62

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Re: University Student Thinking About A Side Business During Summer
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 09:29:33 AM »
I could really use some help and advice with this everybody. I am out of school on April 19th and would like to have a jump start on what I plan to do by then. I am not solely depending on the opinions of others but the different views I was hoping to benefit from here would either help me choose between one of the plans I've thought of or illuminate a new idea for myself. I already have contacted the minor sports coordinator in my area and will be both umpiring and reffing soccer so that adds some income but I still want to attack my own business idea. Thanks in advance.