Do you want to start a business you can do part time after graduating from school? If YES, here are 40 best after-school business ideas / opportunities for 2019.

Small businesses have long been the backbone of the American economy. In the past, founders of these small businesses were older in age but research that was carried out in 2017 by the Center for Generational Kinetics has shown that a lot of business owners today are much younger in age than before.

Even though a lot of school leavers would like to start their own business, the truth still remains that a vast majority of them do not know where to start from. In fact, 74% of millennials said they would be more likely to start their own business if they knew where to get help and 59% said they’d start one within the next year if they had the right resources.

Starting a business can be really rewarding for young school leavers. Here are some reasons why you should start a business after school;

Why Start a Business Right After School?

a. When you leave school, you will find out that you have the most free time that you will ever have in your entire life. Right after leaving school, you are now done with all your classes and course work. You have all of this time and you have nothing to do.

Later in life, you will most likely be bogged down with a lot of responsibilities that may cut into the amount of time you have to start a business. Right now you have the most amount of free time that you will ever have in your entire life.

Why not take advantage of that? Right when you graduate from college, you most likely have no responsibility as well. No children, no family, there’s nothing holding you back. You can do pretty much whatever you want. Take advantage of that. Don’t sit around and do nothing.

b. Right after graduating from college, you have just mastered your ability to learn. It is the culmination of your schooling you are now pretty much at the pinnacle of your learning capabilities. Anything that you are going to have to learn to start your business you be extremely easily, because you have mastered the art of learning throughout the time of your education. You are probably at the sharpest that you will ever be mentally once you finish with your college degree.

c. Having experience running a business makes you more attractive to future employers: this is because running a business is no walk in the park. All the many lessons you will learn when trying to run your business will turn into valuable assets to your future employer even if the business did not work out. This is because of the different level of insight you will have, and the experience you have gathered.

d. Scratch your itch early/no regrets: if starting a business is something that you have always wanted to do, why not start right after school to accomplish that goal? By doing so, you will have an advantage over your contemporaries who took the more traditional route of working two or three jobs that they hate before realizing that they should have gone into entrepreneurship in the first instance. Start working on it now. Scratch that itch sooner than later. Move forward without any regrets.

e. At a regular job, you may learn how to work smarter rather than harder. But, since it isn’t your money you’re toying around with, you probably won’t be trying too hard to get things done very quickly. When you start your own business, you have to learn how to do a lot of jobs in a short amount of time. You’ll become more efficient, leaving you with more time to get other things done.

f. You will become more hardworking: Starting a business can be very challenging, yet it is also just as rewarding. By becoming an entrepreneur, you will be able to cultivate a culture of hard work that is very valuable in life. You’ll appreciate when you make a profit and you will want to continue working harder to get higher numbers. You will never take another hour in the day for granted because you know that time could be generating profit.

g. You’ll gain better sales and networking skills: When starting a business, you’ll have to find the right people to help you. You’ll have to learn how to talk to people and how to sell your business if you want to survive. At a regular job, someone else may be doing the work for you, which won’t benefit you later on when you move up the chain. You’ll learn how to gain stronger relationships, and those will pay off when you need help with anything.

h. You’ll be doing what you love: so many people get a regular job after school because that is what they are expected to do. Don’t be that person. If you have a business idea, why not set it in motion and create a career for yourself.

If you’re thinking about starting a business right out of school, here are 50 businesses that do not need a lot of money to start up nor do they need a lot of experience to get off the ground.

40 Best After School Business ideas & Opportunities for 2019

1. Bar-tending Service

Starting a bar-tending business is fairly easy. All you need to do is to sign up for a bar-tending course at the local community college or adult education center, get a safety certificate if your state requires it, and then you’re ready to start serving.

Usually the client will provide the booze and the glasses, you might bring a few mixing tools or even a service cart if you want to get fancy. Demand for this service will run strongest on the weekends, making it a great part time gig!

2. Bakery business:

Baked food, cookies, bread and pastries are some of the most loved and sought after foods by Americans. To start a bakery business, you will need to have a formal or informal training in other to have the prerequisite knowledge before you can start operating a bakery.

To maximize your sales, you can embark on some marketing campaigns so as to spread the news about your bakery to as much people as possible. You can also charge extra to make customized cakes and cookies for your clients.

3. Clothing Line: You can start your own clothing line with just a few items, be successful and have a lot of fun along the way. For instance, Ralph Lauren started by selling a couple neck ties and then built that into a multi-billion-dollar empire. You can contract out the manufacturing which is the really hard part of the work, then focus on developing exceptional designs and selling them to potential re-sellers, or selling the items yourself online.

4. Clown Service: if you enjoy making kids smile and laugh while still making money along the way then this is a business for you. What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele.

5. Knitting/Crocheting Lessons: there are a lot of people who would like to learn how to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult education program to get going.

6. Mobile DJ: if you are skilled at developing a playlist, mixing tracks and ultimately providing music at events, then you should consider becoming a mobile DJ. You should have some decent equipment that make your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences.

7. Personal trainer: do you have a passion for being in fit and in shape? Then you can share your knowledge and passion with others for a fee. As a personal trainer, you can work hand in hand with your clients to help them fulfill their fitness goals and still get paid for it.

To become an elite fitness trainer, you will need to be certified from a recognized body. A good fitness trainer is expected to have good knowledge of how the body works and should also have extensive knowledge on personal fitness and how to motivate individuals to work out.

8. Day Care Service: The market for daycare is really huge! You can start in either your home or in the workplace. Corporations may consider providing you with free space if you provide day care for their employees’ kids. Safety and licensing are essential for this business. You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business.

9. Home Landscaping: There is a big difference between mowing a lawn and performing a full landscaping service. Landscape designers design elaborate and unique landscape changes for their clients’ property. Focus on high-end projects to make this business even more profitable. The closer your expertise and confidence allow you to get towards high-end landscape design, the higher the income you will be able to command.

10. House Cleaning: This is one of the most popular small businesses because almost everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive and continuous, but if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently, you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.

There are many directions you can take this business. If you want to work during hours when no one else does, you can focus on office clients. You can focus on retail businesses and keep your customers clumped into one or two blocks.

Restaurants are in great need of daily cleaning and they can be a great source of steady clients. Many times with cleaning services, you don’t have to spend lots of money on advertising or marketing because your customers will come by word of mouth, and as such it can be a really good business for a young school leaver.

11. Bicycle repair: In many parts of the country, this business tends to be seasonal, but you can find ways around that. Rent a storage unit and offer to store people’s bicycles over the winter after you do a tune-up and any needed repairs on them. If you stay in a location that permits all year cycling (a place where it doesn’t snow), then you can offer this service all year round.

12. Boat cleaning

Boats that have been out of the water for the winter or even just for mid-season repairs will need the hull cleaned. And depending on the type of boat, it is a good time to give a major cleaning to everything else too–the decks, the sleeping quarters, the head, and the holds.

Start by approaching homes that have a boat sitting in the yard. Or you could market your services to the marina to contract you to do boat cleaning for its customers. Experience, training or licensing may be needed in order to start this business, but it is not difficult or time consuming to get them.

13. Chimney Sweep: By becoming a chimney expert, you can combine a chimney sweep business with a chimney inspection service–covering more than just whether or not the chimney needs cleaning but whether the chimney is in good working order or in need of repair. Learning to be a chimney sweep may mean nothing more than apprenticing with someone already in the business.

14. Computer Repair: as far back as 2010, 81% of American households already had either a laptop, desktop or handheld computer. Today, that percentage has gone up a lot more. With continual use, it is unavoidable that these gadgets will eventually breakdown and will thus require repair.

This is where the services of a computer repair technician comes in. To be able to carry out the task of a computer repairer, it is expedient that you will have to be technologically inclined. It is really important to invest in computer diagnostic tools so as to make the work easier.

15. Dog walking: Dog walkers take dogs on walks for their owners either individually or in small groups. In some cities across the United States, like New York, dog walking alone can be a booming business. But it’s actually more common for dog walkers to offer additional services, including playing with and feeding pets. If you love being outside and hanging out with animals, you can put up some flyers around your community offering your services as a dog walker.

16. Editorial Services: Here are some of the editorial services you can provide right the comfort of your own home:

  • Proofreading: This is the last stop for a “finished” piece. The proofreader makes sure the copyediting changes have been properly made and no new errors are created in the process.
  • Indexing: There are indexing courses available and you can get indexing software in order to help you carry out this job.
  • Developmental editing. A developmental editor works with a manuscript on big-picture things like organization and content issues.
  • Book doctoring. This is an editorial service provided for manuscripts written by experts. They create a manuscript as best they can and then a book doctor puts it into publishable shape.
  • Ghost Writing. As a ghost writer, you actually do the research and write the book while someone else’s name is attached as the author.
  • Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.
  • Book writing. Do you have an expertise in something professional, such as accounting or interior decorating? Then you can write a book about it and make a lot of money from it.
  • Magazine article writing. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to get your writing published before tackling the daunting task of writing a whole book.
  • Web page content provider: Providing content for a web site is a good way to make some money from writing.

17. Electronics Repair

This business is similar to the computer repair business, but it involves the repair of all sorts of electrical equipment apart from computers. With smaller electronics, you will need to be prepared to have customers bring their repair projects to you, as you would have difficulty recovering the cost of driving around picking up broken equipment and returning it. You may also want to encourage people to give you their old electronics so you can use them for parts.

18. Errand service

From elderly people who are too weak to carry out some tasks, to young parents who have little children to take care of and as such are not chanced to do certain task themselves, to just plain lazy individuals, there are always people in need of help to run some errands in the United States.

The errands may be domestic task around the home or even grocery shopping. You can get paid to carry out these errands by starting your very own errand service. You can also take your errand service online to be able to reach out to a wide range of people.

19. Pool Cleaning: Pool owners often hire professionals to keep their pools clean and ready for use in the summer. This requires some experience or know-how, but not much in the way of technology.

20. Car Wash: car washing can be a great money making opportunity that requires little to no tech knowledge. The market for car wash is driven by the purchase of cars and the increase in consumers’ spending – in essence, as the general economy of a country grows, more people will buy cars and more people will patronize the services of car wash on a regular basis especially if their driving habits encourages them to do so.

21. Pet sitting services: if you are a lover of pets, you can delve into pet sitting service and make money from it as well. Pet sitting generally involves taking care of pets in the comfort of their own surroundings. It should not be confused with pet boarding which involves taking the animal to your own home.

Apart from pet sitting, pet sitters usually offer services like dog walking, pooper scooper, pet taxi and even house sitting. As a pet sitter, you do not need a trade business license, however, it is advisable to register your business with the state. With very minimal funds, you can easily start this business.  

22. Blogging/Vlogging: due to the tremendous amount of people who use and rely on the internet on a daily basis, blogging has become a very profitable business to start. It only costs a couple of dollars to get started. Patience, along with a basic knowledge of SEO and being able to create quality content is essential.

If so, you may be able to join the top bloggers who earn high six figures. If you’re charismatic and have some knowledge to share, then you can start a YouTube channel for next to nothing. For instance, YouTube Vloggers like PewDiePie, are making a lot of money doing it.

23. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketers promote the products of other people. In return, they get commissions on their sales. Amazon is one of the most popular platforms for affiliate marketing, but there are alternatives that you can consider like Commission Junction. Since affiliate marketing is typically combined with blogging in order to create a seamless mix of content and promotion, you’ll need to get your own blog up and running first.

24. Website Development/Management: If you have the skills then you can start creating personalized websites for customers. Start small by developing websites on a platforms like WordPress and work your way up. If you don’t have the talent, you can teach yourself through Codeacademy, Udemy. Besides developing websites, you can also offer a service like website management where you keep clients websites properly running and updated.

25. Graphic Design: businesses are always in need of talented creatives to tell their story through branding. This could be anything from designing a logo, advertisements, newsletter, magazine, flyer, or information sheet. You can learn graphic design yourself with the aid of the internet (Udemy and YouTube) or you can learn it from an institute or school. With the aid of your laptop, you can offer this service without having to leave your house.

26. Lawn Care/Snow Removal: Do you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and have equipment like a lawn mower, weed wacker, chainsaw? Then why haven’t you started your own lawn care business yet? If you already have the tools to get started, the main cost is advertising and marketing your business. If live in a region where you have snowy winters then you can offer snow removal services as well.

27. Domain Name Buyer: Purchasing a domain is cheap. You can even obtain one for under $10. But, the real money is purchasing a domain that can be profitable and is memorable. This way when a business comes along and needs that domain they won’t hesitate to pay your top-dollar for it.

28. Personal Concierge: A personal concierge handles everything from managing schedules to running errands like taking clients to the airport or their dog to the vet. In a nutshell, it’s being someone’s personal assistant. But, depending on the market, it can make you some serious money.

29. Cleaning Out Foreclosed Homes: When a bank forecloses on a home they always have to hire a business to clean the place out. Sometimes this can be really dirty, both physically and emotionally, but it’s an overlooked and profitable business idea that a school leaver can start.

30. Smoothies services: For this business, the location is everything. To succeed at this business, you will need to perfect a few interesting smoothies drinks. Then you need to find a location that has very high foot traffic.

31. Personalization Business: The idea of this business is that you can personalize just about anything your customers may want. T-shirts, hats, mugs, pens et al. Initially you may want to outsource all of the work, but if your business takes off, you may want to bring some of the personalization processes in–house to further boost your profit margins.

32. Food Truck: a food truck is one of the various types of mobile vending businesses. This type is food business is quite advantageous because you can easily move your truck to another location that has more potential customers than your present location. Many Americans have a busy routine and as such they may prefer to grab a bite on the go. Starting a food truck business requires little investment, yet with proper management, it can really yield a lot of turn over.

33. Translation service: if you can read and write more than one language, you can always monetize this skill to make money by offering to help people translate written and spoken words from one language to another. With the ever increasing number of non-English speakers in America, translation services are a booming business. You can be an independent translator and offer your services on freelance websites.

34. Makeup artist: irrespective of your location in the United States, there is always money to be made as a makeup artist. You can learn all about becoming a makeup artist in a short period of time and you don’t need a lot of money to get the business off the ground. To start, you can either set up your own shop or simply advertise your services in local newspapers and the internet.

35. Personal Shopper: Shopping for groceries, clothes, or electronic goods can eat up a lot of time very quickly. A personal shopper can help busy people reclaim this time in exchange for a small fee. A personal shopper can be someone who goes to stores in person, or it can be someone who gives online recommendations about which product the client should buy. As a school leaver, you can easily start this business.

36. Virtual assistant: virtual assistants are growing in popularity in recent times because they reduce the cost that would have normally been incurred by employing regular staff. A virtual office assistant provides services in the same way that a normal assistant would. He/she sends emails, enters data, manages calendar and helps in the upkeep of the social media account. Most virtual assistant jobs usually pay between $10 to $15 an hour.

27. Jewelry making: There are different ways of getting into the jewelry business and different types of materials you can work with. Working in metal will probably require the most in the way of specific tools. You need to be able to heat the metal to manipulate it, and you need metalworking tools to cut and engrave it. But there are many other materials that you can work with to make jewelry–glass, plastic, beads, feathers, even wood to name just a few. With minimal training you can start up a jewelry making business.

28. Upholstering: If you are good at sewing, then upholstery repair might be a perfect business for you. One of the best ways to learn how to upholster is to get some discarded upholstered furniture and start tearing it apart. Many books and some videos are available to help you learn this trade. You can also make use of the internet. Often furniture ready for upholstering will also need repairs.

29. Used Book Sales: Almost everyone has a few boxes of books stashed away in the house somewhere. Why not make a business out of them? In order to gain customers–especially repeat customers–you will need to have some regular shop hours. Make your shop known for something – a specific category (or two) of books, having some first editions for sale, all paperbacks a dollar and all hardcovers two bucks, and/or a swap program. Maps, illustrations, postcards, greeting cards and magazines are good sidelines to include in your shop.

30. Graffiti Removal: this may seem like an unusual business but it can be very profitable if done properly. You will need to have a host of cleaning products that can clean almost every kind of product (paint, chalk, markers) from every kind of surface (cement, wood, pavement). The best way to conduct a graffiti service is to offer a subscription-like arrangement.

Once a month or whatever interval makes sense to your clients, go around to their property and clean off the graffiti. Charge them a monthly or quarterly fee and make it simple for everyone–they don’t have to think about graffiti, and you just do your job.

31. Photographer: money can be made out of photography in a number of ways. You can specialize in one area, the most common being weddings. There are niches you can explore for photography: portraits of people and their pets, families, and homes; photographs of holiday events, birthday parties or Christmas cards; the possibilities are endless.

32. Rug Cleaning: You will need to learn how to work with all kinds of carpet fabrics, from synthetic to wool carpets. If you will take on valuable antique carpets and family heirlooms then you will need to get specialized training on how to handle these carpets and the specialized ways of cleaning them. Learn how to get tough stains and odors out of carpets and your services will be in great demand.

33. Leaflet distributing: you can start a business where you will be paid to distribute promotional fliers, campaign leaflets among others. The cool thing about leaflets is you can truly pinpoint marketing for your clients not just in a particular town, but to houses in a particular neighborhood, or on cars in a particular parking lot!

34. Firewood Service: People with wood burning stoves and fireplaces need wood and most of them will prefer if the wood is delivered to their doorstep, cut up into bite-sized pieces. You can help them out by offering this service to them for a fee.

35. Cosmetic Sales: the sale of cosmetics is a multi-million business in the United States. This is not surprising because everyone wants to look good which means that cosmetic products are always in demand. You can go into the sales of cosmetics and make money from it.

36. Pet grooming: a lot of pet owners don’t have the time, equipment and the skills that are required to groom their pets. So if you love pets, you can take up this service. Pet grooming requires very little start up fund and skill in order to begin. Before you set up a pet grooming shop, you will first have to find out about the regulations that are in place in your state that govern such business.

37. Pest Control Service: This is a great service that residential and commercial businesses are in need of. The rates vary hugely from one locale to the next, so carefully survey nearby markets to determine which market may be the best opportunity for you.

38. App development: every day thousands of applications are developed. If you are skilled in programming, you can make a lot of money from developing application as long as your creations are useful and are fun to use.

39. Buying and Sell on e-Bay: Buying and selling happens to be one of the easiest means of making money and one of the biggest online platforms that you can leverage on to make money via buying and selling stuffs is e-bay. E-bay is an internet platform that you can sell your stuffs on. All you need to do is to sign up for their services, play by their rules in listing and selling your products, and be extra careful when dealing with your clients.

Unlike most online businesses, your location has little or no influence on your business, so you can start this type of business from anywhere in the United States and still be very successful. Furthermore, you can start this type of business with little cash and no experience in business. You can sell almost anything on eBay, from cloths, to books, electronics et al.

40. Home Painting Business: Home painting business is yet another highly lucrative and profitable home improvement business that a school leaver who is interested in making money should consider starting. One of the easiest ways of improving the appearance of your home is to paint your house. This goes to show that there are indeed loads of business opportunities for professional painters.

So if you are looking towards starting a business that requires very minimal start-up capital and a business that you can successfully operate alone or with one or more employees, then one of your options is to go into the home painting business. Before you start this business it is imperative that you should get a training as a painter.

Ajaero Tony Martins

Founder / Publisher at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Ajaero Tony Martins is an Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer and Investor; with a passion for sharing his knowledge with budding entrepreneurs. He is the Executive Producer @JanellaTV and also doubles as the CEO, POJAS Properties Ltd.
Ajaero Tony Martins

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