With 2021 keeping everyone in the new normal territory, tech students now have more time on their hands. They have more pressing financial struggles, too.
The pandemic is also the reason why 2021 is bound to be the year of online business opportunities for tech students looking for a new income source. Although, a few in-person services like device repair, for example, are still in demand as they don’t have an online alternative.
Below are the 5 most practical business opportunities for tech students who want to remain in charge of their schedule and workload.
1. Essay Help
Those who ace their assignments can capitalize on their academic research and writing skills thanks to platforms like Write Paper that bring together potential customers and enterprising students. Such platforms are the go-to option for students who don’t want to spend time promoting their services.
Apart from the said research and writing skills, future essay helpers won’t need a lot more: a laptop or computer, a stable internet connection, and enough time on hand. On the plus side, the schedule is flexible, and there is no need to get out of their home to get the work done.
2. Online Tutoring
As in-person tutoring stops being an option in many places, it’s no wonder its online substitute sees a surge in demand worldwide. So, top-of-the-class tech students are more likely to find the demand for their tutoring services on the internet.
Apart from being proficient in the chosen subject, future online tutors need to know how to make the learning process interesting. Tutoring someone online instead of face-to-face interaction can be more challenging.
Talented tech students can teach any number of subjects to others via Zoom, Skype, or specialized platforms like TutorMe and Wyzant.
3. Device Repair and Maintenance
This is the only in-person service on the list, but it is no less in demand in 2021 than in the years before.
According to Statista, 44% of U.S. employees spend 5+ days a week working from home, as opposed to 17% before the pandemic. As laptops, PCs, and smartphones become a must for remote workers, it is more important than ever for users to ensure that their devices function properly.
Suggested Reading: Top 6 reasons organizations need intranet to work remotely
This is where tech students with enough tinkering and problem-solving skills can come in and offer their services. The only downside is that it is impossible to do this work from home. Besides, as COVID-19 remains a threat, young entrepreneurs will have to invest in masks and hand sanitizers or maybe even provide such services via post.
Those with a knack for writing, vlogging, or podcasting can start their own blog. They can share their knowledge on a particular subject, their student experience, or anything else they are passionate about. As for the format, future bloggers’ options are limitless.
However, it is a long-term project that won’t be profitable before it gains a large enough audience. But once it is popular, ads will pay more, and there will be sponsors willing to strike a deal. Monetization strategy can include sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and banner ads.
5. Small Business IT Support
Small businesses don’t have the resources for hiring a full-time IT specialist. But chances are, the employees and owners are not tech-savvy themselves. This is where tech students can offer their IT support services at an affordable price tag.
In the case of small businesses, IT support can include anything from installing software and setting up a local network to introducing basic cybersecurity measures.
Apart from these mundane tasks, small businesses often need help in redesigning an outdated website (or creating one in the first place). So, the tech students who know their way around WordPress or Wix can offer website design services as well.
3 questions to reflect upon first
Before investing their time and resources, enterprising tech students need to ask themselves these three questions:
- Would I enjoy doing this?
- Do I have the necessary skills? If I lack certain competencies, can I catch up on them in the process?
- Is there a demand for what I have to offer?
Ideally, the chosen business opportunity will match what the person likes doing, is good at, and what is in demand, all at the same time.
While it might be easier to analyze their skills and potential demand, some students may find it difficult to answer the first question. It’s nothing to be ashamed or worried about, however. It’s always possible to try and see whether this or that activity results in a serotonin level increase.
3 tips for promoting services at a low cost
Advertising certain services is a completely different experience for a tech student compared to a small business. Launching Facebook ads or setting up a website may be too costly. The good news is, the internet can be both a free and efficient gateway for reaching out to potential customers.
Fortunately, there are 3 ways to promote services at a low or no cost at all:
- Ad websites and specialized platforms. Most people turn to websites like Craigslist when they look for a particular service. So, adding an ad to such general-purpose marketplaces is always a good idea. Some may, of course, turn to specialized platforms.
- Social media. Creating a Facebook page or an Instagram account costs nothing. The return on time investment can be huge, however, depending on the target audience. What’s important is to stand out, especially for those who live in cities and therefore have considerable competition.
- Word of mouth. Starting with the social circle – both online and in-person – can go a long way to get the word out. The most obvious step is, of course, to ask friends and family to share the offer on their social media accounts. Also, chances are they may know someone who might be interested in the said services – so, it wouldn’t be a waste of time to ask around.