Who says you have to go to college to be successful? Some of the world's greatest successes are self-made entrepreneurs who either dropped out of college or who never decided to go in the first place: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg. These men all had a vision for what they wanted to do, and they started their businesses while they were in college.
High-school seniors don't have to go to college to find their success. They can get a taste for entrepreneurship before they even graduate high school, starting their own small businesses and learning lessons for success. Here are a few business ideas that young entrepreneurs can pursue while they are still in high school:
Students who are a whiz at math or proficient with grammar can share those skills with others -- and made a profit. Students can either work as independent tutors themselves, or they can start their own small business by hiring other students to be tutors and connecting them with clients. An Internet connection and a little marketing savvy can go a long way.
Many high-school students babysit on the weekends for a little extra cash. Why not expand this opportunity to a local nanny service or drop-in services? Students can create a network of available sitters and connect them with local parents for a fee.
Everyone is finding success online these days. Anyone with a good idea and a little marketing savvy can find profits through blogging. Students can focus on topics for which they already have an interest -- pop culture, video games, movies, and more -- to drive interesting, niche content. Blogging is a great match for many student entrepreneurs since it relies on activities that many already do daily, such as social networking, building relationships through forums, and sharing content online.
High-school and college students love to wear t-shirts, and there are always opportunities for new designs. Students can start making their own designs and selling them through sites like Zazzle and Cafe Press. If the designs sell well, there is always opportunity to pursue a more formal marketing and distribution arrangement with a larger company.
Companies like eBay and Etsy have made it easy for home-based entrepreneurs to make money buying and selling items or selling their own hand-made items. Students who aren't crafty or who don't want to both with hunting for bargains to resell can still make profits selling online through drop shipping. With drop shipping, you sell products through a Web site, and the wholesaler ships them directly to the customer. You never have to buy merchandise, so never risk an investment. There are multiple opportunities for drop shipping with a wide variety of products.
Students who are interested in entrepreneurship should start pursuing their passion early. Start by simply brainstorming the things you enjoy and the talents you possess to determine what opportunities there may be to combine both for business success. Explore options early to find out what works and what doesn't, and what you enjoy and what you don't. If you're lucky, you may just end up becoming the next Steve Jobs.
(*) Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for BedBugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a master’s degree in environmental science. Her main focus for the site involves teaching people what to do if they get a bed bug infestation as well as where to find bed bug exterminators.