Start-Up Cost: $2,500–$6,000
Potential Earnings: $40,000–$80,000
Typical Fees: $150–$350 (paid by student/parents)
Advertising: College newspapers and Internet sites, campus bulletin boards, email and direct mail to parents
Qualifications: Background in placement services would be helpful
Equipment Needed: Computer and website
Potential Home Business: Yes
Staff Required: No
Disabled Opportunity: Yes
Hidden Costs: Liability insurance
Lowdown: It used to be that companies offering internships contacted colleges to find students for summer or short-term work. But such companies are relying increasingly upon services such as yours to bring them talent in exchange for small pay and experience. It is challenging work to find a suitable internship for a student (and vice versa), and you’ll have enough resources to choose from on the Internet. There are plenty of websites that detail such opportunities. You’d have to work pretty hard to exhaust all of the possibilities. You’d be wise to market to the parents of students, as they are typically the ones with the foresight to see the importance of an internship; they are typically the ones with all the money, too!
Start-Up: You’ll need to have money for your computer and another $2,000 or so for advertising in your first six months. Charging customers $150 to $350 (depending on the size of the university or college market you’re serving) will likely lead you to an annual salary of $40,000 to $80,000 per year. This business can be started and run from home.
Bottom Line: Your work will be different every day, and the challenges will present themselves on a regular basis, too. Often, you’ll work with folks you simply can’t seem to please, or who don’t come across as highly motivated. Remember that part of your job is to sell the student on the importance of internships—what they can mean later on to a job-seeking student is immeasurable.
Looking for more ideas? Do you want to know the ones to avoid at all costs? Check out our article about the best and worst small business ideas.