Launch a successful business while studying

3 min read

5 tips for part-time business owners. What you need to know about ABNs, invoicing and balancing your study load.

Working part-time while studying can give you a huge head start. It automatically boosts your employment prospects, and you’ll learn those handy problem-solving skills needed to get out of any sticky situation.


A part-time job will also help you stand out from the crowd. Did you know there are currently 1.5 million Australian students in higher education? That’s a lot of competition.


“When you get to the end of your education, your qualification might not be enough,” quotes Lucy Dinnison-Mitchell, a recruitment consultant in her discussion with


So let’s put your entrepreneurial spirit to good use and help you launch a business while you’re studying.


As a business owner, you’re responsible for your own hours and income. You will enjoy the flexibility, especially around busy study periods, exams, pracs or internship commitments. Here are our top Honcho hints to help you get started:


Secure An ABN


Everything starts with an ABN. It stands for an Australian Business Number. Once you have your ABN you can legally start working for yourself.


It’s important to note as a student there are certain restrictions on the number of hours you can work under your ABN. High school students cannot work during school hours or after 10pm on a school night. International uni students (visa) can work 40 hours per fortnight during semesters and unlimited hours during university holidays. Good news if you’re a domestic university student, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work.


When tax time rolls around, you can also claim deductions for any work-related expenses like tools and software. For an in-depth guide to ABNs, read our Unjumbling Acronyms blog.


Have A Game Plan


Make a decision about the type of small business you’d like to run. Here are some examples...


• Feeling crafty? Try selling your art (eg. jeweller, clothing designer, photographer).
• Always helping people? Now you can charge them (eg. pet sitter, house cleaner, cake-maker).
• Enjoy the spotlight? Try freelance entertainment (eg roving performer, DJ, trivia host).
• Hidden knowledge? Time to teach others (eg fitness instructor, maths tutor, music teacher).


Productive Spaces


As a business owner, it’s important to set up mental boundaries between your social life, study and work. But physical boundaries are also helpful. Designate a special place in the library, home or co-working studio to undertake your business duties.


If you find yourself starved for inspiration, why don’t you learn the art of creating the perfect home office?


Tell The World


No one will know about your awesome small business if you don’t tell them. Start with a domain name and website to increase your credibility. Or print out some glossy business cards to make a great first impression.


Short on cash? Here are some brilliant tips for promoting your business for free.




Remember to record your claimable assets. As a general rule, you can claim a deduction for most expenses you incur if they help you propel your business forward. Secure some invoicing software or set up an excel spreadsheet to keep you on track.


Honcho Hint: Not too sure if your idea is a business or a hobby. Find out today!

The latest insights in your mailbox