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Low-cost business ideas for university students (Part 1)

By News Express on 29/08/2016

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It takes money to have fun in the university, and it’s no secret that tuition and costs go up every year. But with classes scattered throughout the day and even at night, how can one add a job. That’s why more and more university students are opting to go into starting their own business to fit their skills and limited time.

Here are some business ideas that cost little-to-no money that you as a university student can build while you’re still in school.

Residential cleaning service – Startup costs is little or nothing: Are you in search of a part-time job that caters to your busy class schedule. A residential cleaning service can be a viable option.

In 2009, someone started a residential cleaning services, and after successfully cleaning her first home, She was able to build her network of clients solely off referrals.  She never had any financial concerns in school. “With cleaning, it’s a trust thing. When you trust someone, they’ll refer you,” she explains.

Cleaning homes granted her the flexibility to balance a heavy academic schedule while maintaining a part-time job based on her own availability. She eventually recruited other students to join her business, founding one of the largest independently owned cleaning services.

In the beginning stages, keep it simple, she advised, starting with an online ad for your services. From there, the opportunities will flow. To avoid heavy startup costs, require all of your clients to supply the majority of the cleaning supplies and use recyclable rags and a diluted white vinegar solution to clean.

For residential cleaning services, you can charge starting at 10,000 Naira a week. Other advice is that you always overestimate the amount of time it will take to clean, and charge accordingly in case you have got a large space.

Moving service – Startup costs is little or nothing: Whether moving back for the September semester or to home for the long vacation, movers can make an incredible income helping on-the-go students. A mover can make up to 20,000 Naira for a single move. Someone can notice this need and create, a student moving service, which can spread nationwide. It’s twice what students could make working at a fast food shop, plus the regular tips, and they work whenever they want.

The catch is that being a mover is hard work and involves a lot of heavy lifting so having the ability to move large items and furniture with ease is a must. Joining or starting a moving business where you are able to have flexible hours and build your own schedule is a great idea for university students. If you have a large network already, spreading your services through word-of-mouth, social media, online ads, flyers and a website can jump start your entrepreneurial career for little-to-no startup money.

Child caretaker – If you are good with kids, a position as a babysitter or nanny is the perfect opportunity for a university student seeking a part-time job. Whether it’s taking care of kids on date night or picking them up from school, there is a constant demand for babysitters. Technology makes it simple and easy to promote your services as a baby sitter and tap into a network of busy parents. The universities in Nigeria should start officially encouraging entrepreneurship by offering a dedicated career listing sites that connect students to local babysitting and nannying opportunities and others, though the best way to pick up new deals is through trusted referrals.

Babysitting involves an incredible amount of responsibility, so it’s important to have confidence in your skills as a caregiver. Providing a background check and taking first aid and babysitting training classes are great places to start. Babysitting rates can vary between 15,000 to 100,000 Naira a week depending on your experience, the city you live in, ages and number of children and the amount of responsibility (driving, cooking meals, handling pets, etc.).

Tutor – If you are in school, chances are you know a thing or two about certain academic subjects. Whether it’s math, essay writing, chemistry – or standardised testing – use your knowledge to make money and teach others who might be struggling in the areas you excel.

There will always be a high demand for tutors in universities and the resources for promoting your services are expansive. Students who wish to pursue a job as a tutor have multiple options, such as tutoring through your college’s peer-tutoring center; by applying and registering as a tutor at your school you will be able to earn extra cash without having to market your services yourself (leave that to the school). If you wish to go independent, find out if your school has an online community board where you can post your services and rates or go into your student center and library and leave flyers at the front desk.

If you excel in a certain subject, talk to those professors and see if they’ll help spread the word. Many schools often let you register as a tutor with them so students are able to look up your information on the school’s website. Also, tutor secondary school students in your area. One area particularly in demand is WAEC, JAMB, POST-UTME tutoring for both the general WAEC, GCE and JAMB UTME students. Recognised prep companies review constantly and do have available job opportunities if you can contact them.

Tutors can charge anywhere from 8000 to 100,000 Naira per month depending on the subject matter and the city, however the going rate for JAMB UTME and POST-UTME tutors tends to skew higher. Look up what tutors are charging in your area before setting your rate.  

Event organiser/promoter – It is undeniable that a number of university students get wrapped up in their school’s social scene. Why not capitalise on it and create a great business and make the extra money. Use your time in the university to create an entertainment and event management, promotion and consulting startup; as you have noticed an unmet demand for off-campus events in your university community.

To bridge the gap, network with local venue owners and musicians by acting as a liaison between local entertainers and venues; plan and execute successfully events that you are promoting on-campus through guerilla marketing tactics, such as passing out flyers, putting up posters and speaking to students one-on-one creating buzz among the student body. Also utilise major social media channels and created a website to get your name out to the community. Make it a win-win for all parties: the venues to get more customers, musicians to get exposure and, you and your team to take a percentage of cover charges and ticket sales. Find the right people to work with and make sure you have good chemistry. Everyone is painting a small part of a larger picture so communication is key.

On top of exceptional communication skills, having organisational skills as well as a grasp on the fundamentals of business, marketing and finance are necessary as an event organiser.

We would continue with this article next week as we discuss further the subject of college entrepreneurship and how to take advantage of opportunities in the university community.

•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via (07066375847).

Source News Express

Posted 29/08/2016 5:15:04 PM


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