10 Profitable Small Business Ideas to start on Campus

Going broke on campus is one mean rite of passage that many students experience from time to time in their school life, and so is starting a business that has no prospects and a ready customer base to earn decent profit. It’s one thing to want to explore as a student entrepreneur or startup founder, and another, looking for viable means to earn money on campus with no luck.

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Choosing to start any of these business ventures comes with its many peaks – right from having real world job experiences down to the high earnings generated from your business. That aside, it is necessary to plan meticulously on ways to run a successful side business while schooling.  Paying close attention to important concepts like active market research, salespoints, customer service, marketing and price especially, will get your business ahead of others.

  1. Clothing/Thrift
  2. Beauty & Lifestyle 
  3. Tutoring
  4. Writing as a service
  5. Photographer
  6. Food Vendor
  7. Delivery service
  8. Producer/Musician
  9. Designer/Artist
  10. Experience as a service

The percentage of student entrepreneurs delving into business prospects has tripled over the years. With the world much open to the creative and innovative expressions of younger people, now is the right time to venture into many businesses for the experiences and income.

01. Clothing/Thrift

Starting a small business venture with thrift or custom made clothing is an easy way to accelerate your success, since fashion accessories are an everyday item we all love. Owning quality clothes means you get to make profound statements and draw attention, especially amongst peers. As a curator or clothing maker, finding the right customer base for your brand, while creating a narrowed demand will boost sales and bring in that needed profit. An instance is only selling thrifted suits to students in the law department or making handmade traditional attire for theatre arts productions. It all depends on what you can make a market out of.

02. Beauty & Lifestyle

Women and girls love beauty products, and so do some men. However, It is speculated that the female demographic are the major drivers of the beauty industry. This means focusing on the ultimate users of beauty products as a small business on campus is essential. And just like clothing, you can never go wrong investing a small amount into the resale of beauty and lifestyle products. As a large industry with multiple categories (skincare, hair care, makeup and cosmetics, hygiene products etc.) to choose from, ensuring that you pick the right product for the market is key.

03. Tutoring

School is the best place to start a tutoring business. In such a diverse and fast paced environment, many students are often left behind academically, either due to absence in class or some form of learning difficulties. Capitalizing on this “flaw” in college education can be an avenue for you to make some money. And although this business idea is limited to specialties and course strengths, a good research skill, planning and simplified course structure can get you that patronage.

04. Writing as a service

Writing thesis, research papers and class assessments for students’ has been a profitable writing service on most campuses. These days, writers can go further to work on campus blogs, brand storytelling and copywriting for other small businesses starting out on campus. Expanding in this field means being open to work with teachers, students and entrepreneurs. Writing as a service is a classic in demand business with a vast customer base and opportunity to scale up. Pairing writing with print services as well ensures double profit margins. 

05. Photographer

Photographers have been in high demand in recent times, and especially amongst the younger generations. The success of the photography business has doubled since there’s been an increase in demand in the event industry. Starting a business of this kind on campus is less likely to fail because of the many celebratory activities; outdoor parties, birthdays, class trips etc. hosted by students. Securing a spot as an in-house photographer with an event house or working as a freelance photographer can fetch you enough profits overtime.

06. Food vendor

The food business is a timeless venture you can break into to make profit while on campus. To avert failure, starting small with crowd favorite staples or fast food options, before widely experimenting is a sure way to build a loyal customer base. These days, many people rely solely on takeout for their food needs. Aside from ordering food for how delicious it tastes, others ultimately rely on it as an easy to grab option, to eliminate the stress of cooking. So ensuring that you have a well rounded menu as a food vendor or a tasty specialty can grow your business.

07. Delivery Service

The world today runs heavily on the gig economy now, and amongst the many factors contributing to this growth is the role of delivery services. Running a small business as an independent delivery person or as a partner to established online food ordering service; Bolt foods, Uber eats, Glovo will fetch you some profit. Although the terms for both options may differ, in time, your work rate will determine what you make. As a delivery person on campus, scouting the school premises and also legally owning a motorcycle or bicycle will eliminate the stress that may arise with the vastness of the job.

08. Producer/Musician

Producers and artists are a popular demographic on campus. Aside from DJs, these two are typically the life of the party and main attraction for school entertainment events. Monetizing this skill is one way to make some money on campus. To operate as a producer, you have the leverage to work with many passionate young talents on campus – creating good beats and charging a fee in exchange for your service is the way to go. Artists on the other hand can monetize their stage performances during events. Working on your craft and securing a spot on every stage is how you can succeed as an artist in school.

09. Designer/Artist

Using your artistic skills to secure jobs is another way creative student entrepreneurs can make money on campus. Making designs for events, parties, and other individual projects can open up various opportunities for you in life. Art is of great value in our society, and so successfully advancing in your craft while on campus can make for a successful career later on.

10. Experience as a service

Solo traveling, adventure lovers, and lifestyle content has begun a new wave for expert travelers to make money. As a student entrepreneur interested in this venture, a mini campus travel and tour business can be established amongst your peers. Overseeing all personalized outdoor experiences and travel activities. For success, this requires you have in place a detailed travel itinerary and a list exciting locations to explore.

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