I got exceptionally lucky with my degree. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredibly smart people who taught me enough to pass my exams at the last minute. I survived three years at a top university and managed to walk out with a 2.1 BEng, despite having skipped 99% of my lectures. I was far too busy frantically trying to come up with a great business idea so that I could start my own business at university.
Universities should be a breeding ground for startups. Where else can you tap into resources for marketing, video, development and design for free? Not to mention networks like the university TV station, radio station and social media channels to help get the word out, as well as countless societies and clubs. It’s not just about the vast available resources, either – many students are actively seeking work experience, the majority of whom would work on an exciting project for free to use as a reference when applying for jobs after graduation.
Enough background information! This post walks you through a bunch of student business idea, covering online ideas, academic ventures, simple services you can provide, and everything in between.
Table Of Contents (Quick Links)
- 1 1. Photography
- 2 2. Trade on eBay
- 3 3. Become a tutor
- 4 4. GPS tracking business
- 5 5. Videography
- 6 6. Nightlife Promotions
- 7 7. Laundry service
- 8 8. Design
- 9 9. Prom makeup
- 10 10. Become a fitness instructor
- 11 11. Become a budget nutritionist
- 12 12. Flyering
- 13 13. Grocery delivery
- 14 14. Gourmet cooking
- 15 15. Discounts
- 16 16. Nightlife Entertainment
- 17 17. Become a campaigner
- 18 18. Create listings and reviews
- 19 19. Write student news
- 20 20. Start a blog
- 21 21. Become an affiliate
- 22 22. Work as a freelancer
- 23 23. Host webinars
- 24 24. Write CVs and resumés
- 25 25. Offer PR services
- 26 26. Proofread essays
- 27 27. Halls cleaning
- 28 28. End of tenancy cleaning
- 29 29. Start a sandwich delivery business
- 30 30. Flipping burgers
- 31 31. Start a student removals business
- 32 32. Test and review new products
- 33 33. Get paid to fill out surveys
- 34 34. Start a Youtube channel
- 35 35. Buy and sell limited-edition streetwear
- 36 36. Test websites and apps
- 37 37. Enter competitions
- 38 38. Start matched betting
- 39 39. Find Fiverr gigs
- 40 40. Sell your notes
- 41 41. Resell tickets
- 42 42. Run a coffee or snack stall
- 43 43. Run a car washing service
- 44 44. Offer childcare
- 45 45. Sell your baked goods
- 46 46. Become a painter and decorator
- 47 47. Set up a pet sitting company
- 48 48. Start a dog walking business
- 49 49. DJ for parties and events
- 50 50. Set up a nail salon
- 51 51. Become a hairdresser
- 52 52. Offer a house sitting service
- 53 53. Set up an events and party planning business
If you own a decent DSLR, you have everything you need to get this venture off the ground. Partner up with venues directly or latch onto an existing promotions company and become the *official photographer* for specific venues or nights. Get that *official* locked down so that nobody else can get in on the action. Then turn up at the start of the event, sling on a lanyard and get snapping! Venues love posting pictures on social media after big events as it’s excellent marketing, so make that your business model!
Amp your service up to another level by creating a photo booth. Photobooths cost thousands of pounds and are mostly pointless. You can recreate one for a fraction of the price by grabbing a rail and a shower curtain and heading down to your local party store for a bunch of silly props. For £20 ($25), you’ve got yourself a photo booth service which you can sell, watermark and distribute through venues’ social media. Simple!
2. Trade on eBay
My flatmate and I did this throughout our time at university. We bought tablet computers from China and sold them for a profit on eBay. A friend of mine made a fortune buying white headphones (iPhone style) in bulk and selling them on individually.
Another friend purchased jewellery making kits, made necklaces and bracelets and sold them individually. Pick something with a significant markup, buy on mass and invest in some envelopes and parcels, and you’re on your way.
3. Become a tutor
I’ve already spoken about how lucky I was at university. I wouldn’t have done half as well without some serious support from some knowledgeable people.
Looking back on it, the amount of time and value that my friends invested in me was outrageous, and they really should have charged for it! Tutoring isn’t anything new, and it doesn’t need a long description: where there are students, there are tutors. That’s a fact, so why not leverage it? My focus would be around exam time.
4. GPS tracking business
The £2.26 billion GPS tracking industry is taking off at speed, and luckily there’s a lot of room for new entrants. The competition is low, and there’s plenty of opportunities to find a niche. You can focus on markets such as family and pet GPS tracking, tracking for consumer vehicles, expensive equipment and business fleets, as well as GPS monitoring services for governmental organisations and NGOs.
Even better, you don’t have to develop your own hardware or even your own software. You can simply sell GPS trackers by dropshipping or buying them in bulk. Then, you can combine GPS tracking hardware with white label software, put your own branding on it, and sell it all as a package – this is one of the newer, top startup business ideas for this year.
Video opens up a new arm of a photography business. You can make promotional videos for specific nights out, or branch out from nightlife altogether and make video advertisements for local companies, or even businesses listed in this guide. Just like photography, if you own a decent camera and have a copy of Final Cut Pro, your costs should be covered straight off the bat.
Go crazy and create a photography or videography company where you hold exclusive rights across every venue or event and license out the photography itself to other students for a cut!
6. Nightlife Promotions
This guide isn’t just about making money; it’s about coming up with business ideas. Sure, you can become a nightlife promoter for an existing promo company overnight, but why be the little guy?
If you have a big social media following, access to a network (like a society) and some good branding, you can pitch to run your own events. Pick the quietest night of the week and approach a big venue with a solid plan. For zero upfront hiring fees, you can have a shot at running your own promotions company, make it work and before you know it, you’ll be running events all over the city.
7. Laundry service
If there’s one thing students can’t be bothered to do, it’s laundry. You can capitalise on the laziness of your fellow students by offering to wash, dry and deliver their clothes for a modest price. You can also target busy professionals or parents that don’t have the time to do their laundry. Make sure you brush up on different fabrics, so you don’t accidentally ruin anyone’s favourite jumper.
Leaflet dropping is a speedy way to market your services. It’s a good idea to target blocks of flats where there might not be any washing machines on-site – head to a laundrette or max out your washing machine, and you’re quids in.
Pretty much every business idea listed here needs some form of design. Whether you’re studying design or are just a keen artist, there’s a definite market here. Design flyers, websites, banners – think how many popup banners are around at the start of the school year. Make some slick business cards and start handing them out to anyone that might be interested.
9. Prom makeup
If you’re reading this guide word-for-word, you’ve probably realised a recurring theme, and that’s playing to student seasonality. Just as students need to move every year (see cleaning, removals), school leavers go to prom every year in the thousands.
Makeup artists cost a tonne of money, so if you’re a dab hand at makeup, invest in some quality products and start hitting up all your peers to find clients.
10. Become a fitness instructor
When I was at school, I joined the gym for £100 ($124). While that may sound like a bargain, it was a complete waste of money. Why? I had no idea what I was doing. I would’ve gladly paid for a personal trainer. In regular gyms, PTs can charge up to £100 an hour for a session – the same as the ANNUAL membership fee! Set up shop closer to £20 ($25) an hour and you’ll crush it.
11. Become a budget nutritionist
Students love to budget, be that wearing a duvet as a coat to avoid heating bills, or eating beans on toast every day for a year. Having a small budget for food doesn’t mean you have to be unhealthy.
Put some time into researching cost-effective, healthy meals, and you pave the way for nutritionist revenue. Maybe you could partner with a fitness instructor and sell a joint package.
There are plenty of businesses around the country that specialise in flyer and leaflet distribution. For university students, there’s no better place to hand out leaflets than on campus.
You can leaflet drop through doors without a license, but if you’re planning on handing them out in a busy place or on private property, make sure you have the required paperwork. Target nightclubs and student startups as your initial clients.
13. Grocery delivery
Just like laundry, this is a classic *lazy economy*. As a student, you need food. Supermarkets can charge £5 for 3-day delivery. You could charge £2 per person per £20 worth of food to manage weight and complexity, and go every day.
Amazon makes a killing on 2-hour delivery slots in London. You can extend our business into general delivery, such as delivery from any department store which would otherwise take a week. However, be careful not to spend all your time making little profit. For the effort to be worth it, you need to scale.
14. Gourmet cooking
In my first semester at Southampton, somebody in my building almost burnt the block down by putting a pizza in the oven and forgetting about it. Amazingly, somebody else in the same building later tried to cook pasta without any water and promptly fell asleep… cue the fire engines.
Students don’t have enough income to hire a full-time chef. Still, for weekly dinners (we had a flat lunch every Wednesday) or special occasions (Easter, Christmas, dates, anniversaries) there’s probably a market if you know your way around a kitchen.
When I was at university, I started a discount company called Student Hero. We approached every club in Southampton and asked for an exclusive discount. It didn’t have to be the best, but it had to be exclusively for us.
We did the same thing with other popular places like Pizza Hut and Krispy Kreme. After just a couple of days walking around your local city, you can put together something of real value for thousands of people. Package your deals as an app or discount card and sell it to other students.
You can also sell advertising on the app or card in the form of logos. We charged six venues £200 a logo, which covered all our design, print and manufacturing costs straight away.
16. Nightlife Entertainment
Nightlife entertainment can cover a range of things, but here I’m talking about supplying venues and promoters with what they need to run events, minus the hassle.
Perhaps you’re a DJ or a band; maybe you own sound equipment, perhaps you own a foam machine. Become the go-to supplier for every venue for the main events of the year, and you’ll have an easily scalable business.
17. Become a campaigner
As far as I’m aware, this is yet to be turned into an actual business. Every year in Southampton, the whole place becomes insanely active for the sabbatical nominations, where people campaign to win positions like Student President for the upcoming year.
For the effort that goes into these campaigns, you’d think the candidates were running for the White House, with speeches, lecture campaigning and viral videos. If they’re running like full-blown government elections, why not commoditise it like one? Become the authority and supplier of all things campaign-related.
18. Create listings and reviews
My first foray into startups came through a listing site. Make a catalogue of every single shop, nightclub, event and activity that may be of interest to a student at your university. Create a website like Yelp, add a personal review and open up the platform for student reviews. Market it on to first-year students.
19. Write student news
The news industry is one of the most competitive in the world. In the UK, you have at least five mainstream newspapers to choose from every day and countless online news outlets.
Why isn’t the same true at your university? Just because there are union-backed media, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for innovation. A friend of mine created a student news website which did phenomenally well. Add in advertising and partnerships, and you’ve got a real business opportunity. One benefit of being unaffiliated? You can set your tone and be as blunt as you like.
20. Start a blog
With the right time and effort, any blog in any niche can become profitable. This website is a blog – this post may be an “ultimate guide”, but in reality, it’s just a very, very, very long blog post. If you’re passionate about a specific topic, buy a domain for £6 ($8), set up a WordPress site and get writing. Aim for 500+ words per article and share it on your social media. When you have real traffic going through the blog, add Google Adsense to start making money.
21. Become an affiliate
Being an affiliate goes hand in hand with starting a blog. An affiliate marketer is somebody who sends traffic to an eCommerce site like Amazon and gets a commission on any sale they’ve generated through their link.
A great example of this is tech – if you’re a bit of a geek and are strongly opinionated, start a blog writing reviews for new tech with an affiliate link to each product. If you get good traction, you can eventually get the products for yourself for free from brands in return for a review. You can then sell these products on or gift them through a marketing campaign.
22. Work as a freelancer
I wouldn’t have survived starting up a business if I didn’t have an alternative revenue stream. My primary revenue came from freelancing. Over time, this became a full-time revenue stream, and I worked as a freelancer for six months straight. If you have an online business idea and you’re skilled in any online discipline like the design, copywriting, A/B testing, coding, set up a profile on UpWork or PeoplePerHour and start bidding on jobs! These platforms are reviewed-based, so go above and beyond for your first 20 customers to get great reviews, and it’ll snowball.
23. Host webinars
This idea is an extension of tutoring, but if you’re terrific at one particular subject, you can host webinars across the country to tutor people from other universities too. Charge a small amount to participate, or charge people to download the recording afterwards.
24. Write CVs and resumés
One thing that people generally suck at is talking themselves up on paper. It’s one of those things that is a lot easier to do for somebody else than for yourself. If you’re great at writing in a punchy tone, you can build a business by writing CVs and resumés for your peers. If a client gets a job using the CV you wrote, ask them for a testimonial to put on your website, detailing who they are and where they now work. Before you know it, requests will be pouring in.
25. Offer PR services
Another idea for the writers out there. Press releases are the business equivalent of a CV. There are opportunities left, right and centre to help local businesses with PR. You can team up with your university’s blog too and start offering your help as a service. If you want to do this at scale, check out the freelancing suggestion in the Everything Else section of this guide.
26. Proofread essays
The prank of choice at my school was to cmd-f-replace words like “a” with a swearword on someone’s homework, just before they turned in their assignment! Start proofreading your friends’ assignments for a modest fee, such as a pound ($1) per 1000 words. You need to scale to make money, but you’ll get faster and faster with practice.
27. Halls cleaning
I swear by this idea as one of the best small and self-sufficient businesses you can start at university. Print out some flyers and go door-to-door around your halls of residence.
You can get going with zero experience (assuming you know how to do the dishes) and there’s no cost beyond cleaning supplies. If you wait until your first booking to buy cleaning products, your idea is instantly profitable. This idea can scale too. By managing the commercial relationship with students, you can build a cleaning empire around your university, hiring friends, classmates, or anybody you know to clean, and take a cut yourself.
28. End of tenancy cleaning
I’ve kept this separate from halls cleaning for a reason. Halls cleaning is all about scale by numbers – you take on a large volume of in-and-out jobs for which you charge a small fee per person, room or flat. For anyone who’s rented a student house and had to clean it at the end of the year, you’ll know this is a much bigger job.
Once the semester is up and it’s time to leave, students are required to deep-clean their entire house, scrubbing the walls, cleaning all the appliances and windows, sponging alcohol stains out the carpet. Professional cleaning companies can charge upwards of £200 ($250) for a single day’s work. As a student, you can easily undercut this. With thousands of students doing this every year in every university, there’s enormous revenue potential.
29. Start a sandwich delivery business
A revelation when I was at university was a household offering a 30-minute delivery for any sandwich of your choosing. You can capitalise on hungry, lazy students by
That in itself was worth a mention on this list, but you can do it with anything. The trick is to focus on something straightforward and cheap, like sandwiches or crepes, and have a swift turnaround time. BBC Dragon Duncan Bannatyne made his fortune selling out of ice cream vans. Maybe you can be the first sandwich Dragon! One crucial caveat – if you’re selling food, make sure you have all the required paperwork.
30. Flipping burgers
Burgers weren’t on my initial draft, but then I remembered that the sports fields at Southampton university are miles away from any form of take-out. Athletes, and more importantly, sports fans, need to eat! You’d make a killing if you set up a simple burger store near the action.
Buying frozen burgers in bulk is very cost-effective, and you could sell them for £3 ($3.7)/burger for an insane markup. As above, be sure to get the necessary paperwork and be aware of any allergens in your food before you sell.
31. Start a student removals business
I moved house six months ago and paid £200 ($250) for just half a day for a removal company to move all my stuff. You can hire a van for an entire day for significantly less than £200, and students don’t have furniture, making it far quicker – if you’re efficient, you can move 10+ people per day.
That’s a fantastic profit margin and a great form of exercise. The best part? Students move every year, so just like cleaning, your market is close to guaranteed.
32. Test and review new products
If there’s one thing students love, it’s freebies. Most freshers will grab enough free pens at the Freshers’ Fair to last them a lifetime. This idea will earn you freebies and some cash, all in one.
New products need testing before they launch to the market. Companies will look for people to send items to in return for feedback which they can then use to improve their product before they sell to the public. Beauty companies and electronics companies tend to be two of the most common industries looking for testers – ideal for students who covet these expensive items.
Sign up to ProductTestingUK to get going. You’ll need to answer a few questions to see what products you’re eligible to test. When you’re a match, you’ll receive the product in the post and have to test it out and leave feedback. A lot of brands will let you keep the product for free, and some will pay you on top of that. In some cases, you can even resell the product you’ve tested to make even more profit – but be careful to read the small print first.
33. Get paid to fill out surveys
Paid surveys are a lazy student’s dream. You can flick through the questions while sitting on the bus, watching TV or even while dozing off in the back of lectures.
Businesses use surveys as market research, to figure out the demographics of their target customers and find out what they look for in a product or service. There are hundreds online which will pay you for your opinion, and take only a matter of minutes to complete.
Sign up to a few websites to find as many paid surveys as possible. Worth checking out Swagbucks, Onepoll, Lifepoints and Toluna. Be sure to check the payment for each survey. Some pay in cash, whereas some offer vouchers or gift cards instead.
34. Start a Youtube channel
A fun money-maker is starting a YouTube channel! You can do this on your own or with your mates – all you need is a camera and an idea. It can be anything from a pranks channel to a makeup channel or even just a day-in-the-life of a student.
Becoming a hit on YouTube takes some hard graft, but an innovative idea can take off overnight. The biggest challenge is producing regular content – try and think of something sustainable. Funny videos tend to go viral, which is a good place to start in your bid to achieving YouTube fame.
YouTube can earn you big money if you get enough views. Per 1000 views you’ll roughly get £5-7 in ad revenue. The benefit of uploading a video to YouTube is that it’ll rack up views over time without you doing anything, making it a nice passive earner. If you’re lucky enough to reach YouTube stardom, you can get paid partnerships with brands if you promote their product in one of your videos.
35. Buy and sell limited-edition streetwear
Students dig fashion. Wearing designer brands or dressing in current trends is never more important than when you’re at school or uni. If there’s one thing students will splurge their cash on, it’s limited-edition streetwear.
Limited-edition items sell out in a matter of minutes, leaving many disappointed. If you’re a bit of a keyboard warrior, you can buy these items and sell them on for a sizeable profit. For tips on hot products and market trends, follow @flipping_supreme and @hustle_the_hype on Instagram, successful resellers who give free advice on upcoming trends.
Consider using Fillr, an app which auto-fills your details, to reduce your checkout time. You can sell your items on through Depop, or higher-end sites like Grailed, StockX and Stadium Goods which sell only exclusive items.
36. Test websites and apps
Much like testing and reviewing products, apps and websites require the same kind of testing, called usability testing. You’ll have to use a website or app and give feedback on how easy it was to use and how well everything functioned. You’ll need a laptop and a microphone, and you’re good to go.
Companies list testing opportunities on sites like UserTesting, TryMyUI and Webusability. Sign up and create a profile and complete some short online training. You’ll then be able to choose from a list of websites and apps and start earning.
UserTesting is the biggest site for website testing and can earn you up to £10 for just 20 minutes testing. Other sites offer anywhere between £1 and £36 per test – not bad for a side hustle!
37. Enter competitions
Entering competitions may seem like a potluck, but enter enough, and the odds will be in your favour. There are thousands of competitions online which are free to enter – spending a few hours completing as many as you can is likely to see you some decent rewards.
You can find competitions anywhere on the web, but to save time, use sites like The Prize Finder, which lists links to hundreds of free competitions all in one place. You can win anything from cash, a new phone or even a car. The smaller competitions tend to have better odds.
I recommend setting up a new email address to enter competitions, so you’re not inundated with promos on your personal account. Be sure to check it regularly though, in case you’re a winner!
38. Start matched betting
Lots of students turn to gambling when they’re strapped for cash. But there’s now no need to take gambling risks, as you can now use no-risk matched betting to earn big money.
Most gambling sites and bookmakers offer a “free bet” now and then, usually to new customers, where you’ll get a free bet after you place your first bet. To bet risk-free and win some cash, you place your first bet on the promo site, bet against yourself on another betting site to cancel out the risk, and then use your free bet to bet on anything you like in the comforting knowledge that you can’t lose any money.
Take the time to learn the proper process by reading up online – most failed attempts at no-risk betting come down to human error. Always check the T&Cs before you sign up and be careful – betting can be addictive.
39. Find Fiverr gigs
You can make a profit out of almost any skill. Posting an ad on Fiverr is a quick way to start earning money. You can offer photography skills, essay writing help, a typing service – the list goes on. Fiverr attracts a lot of visitors to its site so you’ll quickly find interested customers.
To get going, create a profile on Fiverr and write a listing for the “gig” you’re offering. Interested customers will contact you through the site where you can negotiate a fee and timescale. Gigs start from £3, but you can earn upwards of £100 per project depending on the service and the competition.
If you can, include a portfolio. This can be a collection of samples of your work or previous jobs you’ve done for other clients to give prospective customers a taste of what you can offer.
40. Sell your notes
Why not make money on work you’ve already done? You can make serious money online by selling your notes. Websites like Stuvia have made it even easier to get cash for your study material. You can sell anything study-related, from GCSE and A level revision notes, to university lecture notes and even essays.
Selling on Stuvia couldn’t be more straightforward. Once you’ve made a profile, you can upload as many documents as you like and set a price for each. It’s a good idea to offer a free preview to encourage people to pay for your notes. Typed notes tend to sell better and are easier to upload and download.
Remember that your target audience is other students, so keep your prices low to sell as many as possible.
41. Resell tickets
For keyboard wizards, buying tickets for shows and concerts before they sell out and selling them on for a profit can be a lucrative money-maker. You can set up an account on ticket exchanges such as Viagogo and Biletto to sell on your tickets. For uni students, some universities have their own buy/sell Facebook pages where you post the tickets close to the event.
To make money, you’ll need to buy a fair amount of tickets, which means you’ll need enough capital to buy them in the first place. Be aware, too, that it’s illegal to resell tickets for some events, including sports matches, without the club’s express permission. Always check the T&Cs before putting your tickets up for resale.
As a secondary ticket seller, you can make anything from 30% to 500% profit margin for a sold-out event. By far the most profitable idea is buying tickets to popular music festivals and selling them on a few days before the festival starts, just when FOMO hits and people are willing to pay ludicrous amounts of money not to miss out.
42. Run a coffee or snack stall
Make the most of the daily footfall on campus or at a local hotspot in town by setting up a snack or coffee stall for a tasty profit. The markup on a cup of tea or coffee can be up to 90%, making it a nice little earner.
Make sure you get permission from the relevant authorities or property owners before you start. If you can get your uni on board, your best bet is setting up outside hotspots like the library – particularly if you can undercut the coffee machine prices.
For snacks, you can buy wholesale or even bake the goods yourself to save on further expenses.
43. Run a car washing service
Offering to wash people’s cars is a speedy and cheap way to earn some extra bucks. You can either sell door to door or offer the service in car parks, provided you’ve got the right permissions. You can sometimes get consent from local supermarkets or sports clubs to provide your services in their car parks. You’ll need some cleaning supplies and access to water, and you’re good to go.
How much profit you make depends solely on how efficient you are. You can charge anywhere between £3 and £15 for a carwash – the lower end will get you more customers, but you’ll have to get through more per hour to earn a decent profit. If you’re opting for a door to door sales technique, target large estates so you can get around as many houses as possible in a small space of time.
44. Offer childcare
A popular way to make money as a student is to offer childminding and babysitting services. Parents are always looking for minders to look after their children after school or while they enjoy a night out. It’s an easy cash-in-hand option for students who have experience working with kids.
To find local families, you can post on local Facebook groups, advertise at bus stops or drop round flyers in your neighbourhood. You can also reach out to local primary schools to see if they’ll pass on your service, but you will need a DBS check for schools to consider endorsing you.
45. Sell your baked goods
For Bake-Off enthusiasts, selling cakes, cookies and other treats can be a fun way to earn money. You can get going from your kitchen at home with some basic baking supplies. You can advertise your baked goods on Facebook groups or by putting up flyers at school or uni.
If you’ve got a car or bike, you can offer to drop round your products in your local student area, or sell door to door. Some schools and unis will let you set up a bake sale on their grounds, although this is usually reserved for charities. If you start making a profit, you can consider paying for a stall at local farmers markets and fates.
Talented bakers can charge higher rates for custom made goods, such as premium birthday cakes or wedding cakes.
46. Become a painter and decorator
Why not offer to paint and decorate for money? It requires little to no previous experience and is popular with homeowners who don’t want to pay the high prices charged by professionals. Many customers are happy to provide the materials, too.
To find customers, reach out to family friends and neighbours. If you’re living in a house-share at university, you can contact your landlord to see if they need any painting or decorating services. Many landlords own several properties in student areas and will often need someone to carry out touch-up jobs during the holidays.
47. Set up a pet sitting company
Are you obsessed with animals? One of the nicest ways to earn money as a student is to offer to pet sit. Pet owners are always in need of help looking after their pets when they need to leave the house. You can offer to feed or look after people’s pets while they’re at work or on holiday and benefit from all the animal love in the process.
Decide on the type of service you want to offer. You can go round to people’s homes and feed their pets while they’re away, which works well for self-sufficient animals like cats and rabbits, or offer to look after pets at your own house – provided you’ve got permission from your housemates!
Some pet owners, usually customers with dogs, will ask you to live in their property to take care of their pet while they’re away. This can be a great option during school or university holidays as you’ll get to stay in a nice house and benefit from free food and a furry study pal.
You can market your services by posting flyers in the local area or posting on Facebook. Some Vets and pet shops will let you put an ad in the window, too.
48. Start a dog walking business
Speaking of pets, for canine-crazy students who enjoy being outdoors, walking peoples’ dogs is the one for you. Many dog owners don’t have time to walk their dogs once or twice a day or need help when they’re sick or injured.
The standard rate varies from £8-15 per dog, per hour. To make more money, you can walk several dogs at a time if they’re all in the same area by using a master harness, provided they’re friendly with other dogs.
49. DJ for parties and events
With more and more young people getting into techno and house music, students are increasingly turning their hand to DJing. Disc jockeys are in high demand for local student nights, house parties or more formal events like weddings and big parties.
If you’ve got some good music playlists, your own mixing deck or some high-quality speakers, you can charge your friends and peers to play at their events. Start off your marketing by word-of-mouth and reach out to friends and family over Facebook and Instagram. Once you gain experience, you can partner with venues and events companies who need disc jockeys for bigger events.
50. Set up a nail salon
A professional manicure can cost anywhere between £15 and £30. If you’re the arty type and have a steady hand, you can earn a decent amount of money by offering to do your friends’ and fellow students’ nails for a competitive price. You can charge £5-10 and fit in two or three clients an hour, earning you a sizeable profit.
Invest in some high-quality nail polish and consider investing in a nail lamp to set and dry the varnish for a more professional finish. Reach out to all your friends and ask any customers you get to recommend you to their circles – chances are if you’re undercutting the high street prices and do a good job, word will quickly spread.
51. Become a hairdresser
Even the most basic trim can cost upwards of £30 at a professional salon. For a more ambitious style or at a higher-end salon, it can be triple this figure. If you’re brave enough, why not earn some cash by cutting your mates’ hair for a third of the price?
You can invest in a decent pair of hair scissors for as little as £10. To learn the basics, you can find hundreds of video tutorials on YouTube. Start by offering to cut your friends’ hair and if you get good results, branch out to friends of friends or put up an ad on Facebook, or stick up a flyer in university halls of residence. Start with basic cuts and if you want to experiment with trickier styles, consider offering the haircut for free to give it a go before you start charging.
Take before and after pictures of all your customers. If you get good, you can start an Instagram page showing your results to grow your business.
52. Offer a house sitting service
House sitting is a super chilled way to make money. Some people don’t like leaving their houses empty when they go away on holiday for fear of thieves. Others have plants, animals or crops that need tending to while they’re gone.
As a house sitter, you’ll move into someone’s property for the duration that they’re away so that the house is always occupied. You might have to feed some animals or water some plants. Occasionally property owners will ask you to carry out some decorating, cleaning or basic property maintenance while they’re gone, too.
In most cases, house sitting couldn’t be an easier job. Instead of doing nothing in the comfort of your own home, you’re getting paid to do nothing in the comfort of someone else’s! Hanging out in someone else’s house can be a lot of fun, particularly as people seeking house sitters tend to have luxury homes. They’ll usually provide a full fridge or money for food – what more could you want?
It takes a lot of trust to allow someone free reign over your home while you’re away. For that reason, it’s best to market your services to friends and family and ask them to spread the word to people they know – even a loose link will build far more trust than an online advert.
53. Set up an events and party planning business
Eat, sleep, rave, repeat… the typical student knows how to party! If that sounds familiar to you, consider turning your party knowledge into a business. You’ll need excellent organisational skills and plenty of contacts.
For most parties and events, the planners will be responsible for the venue, food and drink, music and decoration. Try and build up a good relationship with any suppliers you use, as you might be able to strike up a deal with them to get a discount on party supplies or decorations.
This is a business that you can quickly market through word of mouth referrals. Spread the word to your friends and acquaintances by posting on social media. You can also drop flyers round to your neighbours.