Commentary: Launch a summer business

Commentary: Launch a summer business
June 21
02:00 2018

By Algenon Cash

Since the unofficial start of summer, I’ve been sharing helpful insight on why internships are critically important to college students.  Most students look to intern or work for a large company during the summer, but more entrepreneurially minded students may launch their own business.

Here are some comprehensive tips to help high school and college-aged students to best flex their entrepreneurial muscles this upcoming summer season:

1. House sitting – Many people will not leave their house empty for extended periods of time, so the summer season is a perfect time to offer house sitting services.  You may agree to water plants, bring in the mail, or walk and feed pets.  Some families may ask you to stay overnight just to keep a close eye on things.  Most providers charge somewhere between $10 and $25 hour for the service.

2. Instructor or tutor – Kids often dislike schoolwork during the summer season, but parents may choose to boost their children’s skills during the down time.  Not to mention summer is a great time for teens to prep for advanced placement tests or simply to gain skills that will help them during the school year.  If you’re musically, artistically, or physically gifted, then consider providing lessons to children and adults. For example, teach others how to play an instrument, swim, paint or dance.  People who provide these services charge $10 to $50 per hour.

3. Lawn care – Many homeowners dislike spending precious summer hours on landscaping or gardening, so it’s a perfect opportunity to earn additional money.  You can offer to mow, trim branches, prune bushes, plant flowers, mulch, seed or water your neighbors’ grass.  Providers often charge $10 to $25 per hour.

4. Errand runner – I absolutely loved to drive once I turned 16, so during the summer after my birthday, I offered to run errands for my close friends or family members in exchange for a small fee.  You’ll need to be sure you have a car, a good driving record, up-to-date insurance and local inspections completed.  You can earn $10 to $25 per hour for providing the service.

5. Catering – People love to host parties and cookouts all summer long.  Those events often require someone to supply the food.  If you’re a skilled cook, then you may want to consider small catering opportunities this upcoming summer.  My grandmother often provided food and desserts for various events, which boosted her retirement income quite a bit.  If you have a large network of friends, they will be the best method for you to generate word-of-mouth advertising that may lead to catering opportunities.

I deeply encourage high school and college students to invest time this upcoming summer in gaining new knowledge through entrepreneurial opportunities.  If you’re interested in joining Wharton Gladden this summer, then contact me and let’s schedule a meeting.  Good luck!

Algenon Cash is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at

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