When you think of student businesses, what comes to your mind? Typically, people consider regular business ideas like tutoring, babysitting, or proofreading. These are in their own right solid business ideas.
However, if you want to start a business while studying that can offer you time and financial freedom, you’re going to need to think a little more out-of-the-box.
To help get you started, here are four of our favourite left-field business ideas that you can start and build while studying at university (and beyond).
1. Create a student guide
Most university students have moved halfway across the country to start a new life; because of this they typically have zero knowledge about the local area and about what university campus has to offer.
Starting up a simple guide for students to the local town, city, the university campus or all three can be of real value to new and existing students. The guide can showcase local nightlife, restaurants, services and more. You have to remember also that students are not usually as broke as society likes to imply, they have a level of spending power (from student loans or private funding).
This makes them attractive customers for local businesses, to monetise your guide, you can offer to advertise for local businesses in your guide, allowing them to reach your audience.
This business will take you a while to build, but once you have a good level of circulation, you’ll be able to produce a decent revenue from local businesses to advertise.
2. Start proofreading
Let’s face it; no one likes to proofread their work, and in University most students are faced with an endless stream of essays, if they’re not using a professional paper writing service, odds are there going to need someone to proofread (read and check their essay work).
To start your going to need to have a good level of patience, an eye for details and access to professional grammar and spelling programs (i.e. Hemingway, Microsoft Word, Open Office). You can set a rate per word and set a minimum number of words for work to be undertaken. If you have a good level of English grammar and spelling, this can be a great business to start and expand, with a high demand for proofreaders on campus.
3. Become a promoter/organiser
Spending money on going out and partying is typically one of the significant expenses of any university student (at least in year 1). This makes nightlife an incredibly lucrative local industry in most university towns and cities. This in turns typically attracts lots of clubs, bars and venues which vie to get the local student population to grace there establishment.
Many of the local nightlife venues are willing to pay student promoters to bring customers to their venue/s. Or host events in their venue/s. This means you can strike up a deal with a local venue and frequently bring crowds of students to them or separately organise clubbing nights yourself and charge ticket fees for entry to students (typically discounts are agreed and used to entice students).
This business can quickly make a serious amount of money, but it does require you to have strong social and marketing network among your student population.
4. Become an influencer
Social media is becoming a significant part of the advertising spend of most major corporations and small business aiming to reach and gain new customers (many have an influencer marketing strategy and budget now). When it comes to online business ideas, you can start by becoming an influencer.
This means if you can build up a following on any number of platforms (via a business brand or your own), you can charge these businesses to promote their products or services.
To give you an example; some of the most successful Instagram influencers are earning hundreds of thousands of pounds of advertising revenue each year (promoting clothing, makeup, travel and more).