3 Keys and Ideas for Starting a Small Business as a Campus Student.

As a student, getting your own extra cash is your road to independence before you are done with your studies. And, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur this might be the start of your entrepreneurship journey. Years later, you never know, you might find yourself running a business empire.

Some of the successful entrepreneurs we all know started their now million-dollar business empires while they were still undertaking their studies. Look at Mark Zuckerberg the Facebook king for example. Zuckerberg launched Facebook while he was a sophomore student at Harvard.

A business is like a job and starting one as a student is particularly challenging.

Two key things about running a business are the time and efforts you put into it. And as a student, you might feel like you can’t afford the luxury of extra time to run a business with classes and assignments hanging on your back.

However, that should not discourage you from starting your entrepreneurship journey young and still a student. And, anyway, most young people are now more than ever embracing financial independence and entrepreneurship before they even graduate.

School has a great way of defining and influencing your career goals. And following your entrepreneurial spirits alongside your studies is a good way to beat two birds with one stone.

Earning a living as you study is one of the best feelings ever and would term it as an accomplishment. There are so many ways you could turn your hobbies, interests and skills into a small business that is lucrative.  

3 Key Things to Running a Small Business while still in School.

1.Figuring out and understanding your priorities.

Honestly, this is the first thing you need to thoroughly think about. How important is school and why do you want to start the business while still in school?

Don’t just think of the now but incorporate your bigger picture and consider your long-term and your short term career goals. Think of whether you want to continue with your business after school or whether it’s just for a short while.

You need to know why school and business are important to you and which comes first between the two. Determine how you will create time for both school and the business you want to start without draining either.

When you know what and how to prioritize your needs and your responsibilities you will be able to know your goals in order of urgency and deadlines. This way, you actually know what you need to focus on at whatever given time.

2.Having a routine, a schedule, and working with to-do lists.

Doing school and business is a lot and draining and if you don’t plan yourself, one of the two will suffer.

If you plan to start a business and still be in school, you need to be able to balance your focus on school and your focus on your business. Your school work should not suffer just because you have a business to run. If you cannot balance tasks and priorities, starting a business as you study might not work out for you.  

Develop your own routine that will help you balance school, work, and play. Create a list daily that guides you on that day’s school tasks and business tasks putting important deadlines in mind. Also, plan to rest or do something else away from school and work once you have completed your school and business tasks for the day.

Planning your days effectively is what will help you beat overwhelm and meet your goals on both sides.  For example, you can plan to dedicate your first half of the day to focus on schoolwork and the other part of the day to work on your business.

Remember, to create a rest and reward system too where you can actually have a life away from school and business. Time to have a social life, attend networking events, etc.

3.Connecting with fellow students.

Depending on the type of business, your fellow students can be of great help to your business. Either as your employees, collaborators, or your customers.

As you plan, start and build your business, let your school mates know what you are doing. You might find a student who wants to collaborate with you or partner with you and this will be a plus for you since you are not doing it all alone.

If your target audience is not students alone, consider interacting with your school’s alumni connections, and tap into their networks. Alumni connections are a great source of mentorship, clientele, and partnership.

Small and lucrative businesses you could start.

There are so many business ideas out there that you can start as a student. All you need to do is to find which one interests you and which one works for you. Look at your passions, your skills and the needs you want and can actually meet.

Laundry bar.

People love looking put together but busy schedules stand in their way most of the time. Offering laundry services is a good business venture that you can approach in two ways.

One, you can go the easy way and do the cleaning at your place whether you live on or off-campus. Two, if you have enough capital, consider opening a small laundry bar at a centralized location near your campus.  This way you attract both students and non-student customers who live around your campus or where you live. Also, this makes it easy for customers to know and reach you. 


If you have the skills to do nice haircuts or can even learn how to do haircuts consider opening a barbershop. You can do this by yourself or bring in a friend who has the skills.

With a barbershop, you don’t need to open throughout, your evenings and your weekends are a perfect choice.

Considering haircuts don’t take forever, you can actually make good money by the end of the evening or the weekend. And, you can easily create a great customer base among your friends, your school mates and the locals.

Nail and beauty bar.

A nail bar requires skills and if you have the skills you can open a small nail bar. You can also consider combining your nail business with selling beauty products.

If finding a business space is out of your budget, all you need are the tools and the products. You can run a nail business and sell beauty products at the comfort of your hostel or your house. When you do your marketing right, you will definitely create a customer base for your nail and beauty business.

Fast food café.

The food industry is a good industry to venture into. If you have the skills of a chef or can make good healthy or fast foods you can open a fast-food business.

And anyway, there is always a ready market for a food café.

Cyber café with a document café.

People are always in the quest for information and near a university, a cyber café and document café is a good venture.

With research and projects to be done by students throughout, there is a need you can help meet. Also, not everyone can comfortably afford the internet or a printing and photocopying machine. Therefore, opening a cyber café providing printing and photocopying services will earn you some good money.

Movie shop or video game spot.

Students love entertainment and a movie shop or a video gaming spot can build a small but very lucrative business for yourself.

Movies and video gaming are not expensive and most people can afford to pay for these services throughout.   All you need is to be up to date with what is new in the market to stay top of the game.

Clothing retail store.

People, especially university students love looking good and most of them spend a good amount of money to look stunning.

This is a ready market and a great opportunity for you if you have an eye for good pieces attractive to your customers.

You don’t even need to sell new or expensive merchandise. You can focus on selling nice second hand or thrift pieces. Get a store that is in a good centralized location and stock it up.

Web and graphic design services.

If you have skills in web design or graphic designs you can start a small business by offering your services. Most people don’t have these skills but need these services and if you are a good web design or graphic designer, you can make a good fortune.

Freelance jobs.

There are so many freelance jobs in so many industries open to working with students who have skills. Look at your skills and what you can do and look for freelance jobs that you can do during your spare time or during weekends.

You can find these jobs online or find them through your networks.

Event planning.

If you have an interest in events, whether virtual or physical, you should consider this.

There are so many social and corporate events you can help plan and earn from them. You could do this by yourself or join event planning companies.

Final Thoughts…

The main issue in being in school and having a business to run is finding the balance. It’s possible to balance your days and your tasks and stay dedicated to both your studies and your business.