Do you want to start a small business as a college student? If YES, here are 50 best business product ideas & opportunities for college students in 2020.
It is a popular notion that all college students do is study, or at least most of them work hard to pay attention to their academic work. But sometimes college students engage in businesses that can help them generate some extra money on the side.
Why Start a Business as a Student?
One of the reasons a college student might need to start a business might be to assist the parents with the huge academic financial responsibilities. Yes, the student might have someone providing finances for them, but the fees, accommodation and personal upkeep might be a bit on the high side for the parents alone to handle. The student may want to split his attention a bit to make some more money for the various school bills.
Another reason could be that the student is putting him or herself through school, they have to work in order to pay tuition and handle other financial responsibilities. They may have student loans to pay off, student accommodation to pay for and so on, they simply have to make some type of money on the side.
Another reason why a student may decide to do extra work while in school could be due to personal choice. If they love business and also love the art of making money, or maybe they see themselves as future business people, they may like to get a head start at a life long career of business development and management. Whatever the reason may be, for someone who is in college, establishing a business is the best idea.
If a college student gets a job or even if they decide to work part-time, they will not have control over their hours, so they may be affected by the fatigue that comes with having to go to work after long hours of classes, with major projects and assignments to do. But if one runs a business, especially a business that can run itself, then not only would they have more flexibility with their time, but they would also be able to make money on the side.
What Does It Take to Start a Business Successfully as a Student?
In spite of other interesting businesses a student can indulge in, business product ventures can be very conducive. Business product is basically making sales of products to businesses. Most of it centers on supply, so basically the student is the middle man between the companies that manufacture the items and the businesses that need them.
The student may have to do his own marketing, market research, business plan and feasibility study as is required. However, once the business is up and running, the student may find that they may have more flexible time for studies.
In as much as most businesses require more services than product supplies, there are products that can also be supplied to businesses and lots of profits can be made by such ventures. A few products have been listed below.
50 Best Business Product ideas for College Students in 2020
- ENERGY BOOSTERS
One can understand that there are times when the body needs some extra zest of energy. There are healthy alternatives for increasing energy levels within the body. One could easily do their research on the health friendly products out there and make such products available for those who need them. The kinds of businesses that will need these kinds of products are businesses that center around fitness and health. Like the gym, football teams, basketball teams and so on.
2. CLEANERS FOR MAKE UP BRUSHES
These are some of the little things a college student can build a business around, whether his target market is on the campus or outside the campus, there would always be people who need a faster and more efficient way to clean out their make-up brushes. Beauty shops and salons will need these to make their jobs a lot easier.
3. DESIGN ORNAMENTS
Every season comes with its own set of specialized symbols and artifacts. Many people love to have the appropriate decorations placed around their offices or homes. Whether it’s valentine, Christmas or any other seasonal holiday or celebration, one could specialize in putting together very creative ornaments and making them available for sale across the region where they have chosen to operate in.
4. SUPPLIER OF ARTIFICIAL PLANTS AND GRASS
It is not every time people love to have real plants in their offices. Whether it be for decoration within their reception or even a face carpet grass outside the main building, one could build a business around making these artificial plants available for these businesses.
Some of the advantages of these items would be the very low cost of maintenance and the lengthy duration of beauty it has. It will continue to remain beautiful longer than the real things, if it is kept clean.
5. SUPPLIER OF OFFICE BLINDS
When it comes to interior decoration, blinds have more corporate appeal than curtains. Curtains are best suited for homes or living quarters, but blinds are best suited for office spaces. Making sure that you are the number one office blind distributor in your area would go a long way in developing a secure niche for your trade. You need to know the types of blinds that suit the very ambiance an organization is looking to portray.
6. CARPET SALES
Usually any place where people gather for work requires the right kind of décor to further convey a conducive atmosphere. Carpets are an excellent way to achieve that and specializing in supplying businesses with the right kind of carpets is one way to start your business.
One could say what’s in a carpet, but most times the first impression people have when they step into your office is as important as the various impressions that leads to the business sales or deals. The right kind of carpet will add to the general brand of the business.
7. TEA OR COFFEE SUPPLIER
Let’s face it, every office needs the complementary office beverage to keep everybody sane through the many crazy schedules, deadlines, projects and goals. If you establish a good relationship with tea or coffee brands and the offices you intend to supply, you could be making a whole lot of profits supplying hundreds of offices with the beverage they need.
The interesting thing is that it may seem like an insignificant thing to supply, but when you factor in the number of offices you are supplying to, it will make for a very nice profitable business to engage in.
8. OFFICE SNACK SUPPLIER
Apart from the usual office cafeteria where people working in a business can go and have breakfast and lunch, you could secure the contract of supplying simple snacks like cookies, cashew nuts, peanuts and the likes.
Snacks are a great way to entertain the mouth, while thinking through the various paper work, and this will go down well with those workers that like to stay at their desks almost all day. Once again it may seem like a simple thing to do, but once you are supplying for hundreds of businesses, the profits will be rolling in.
9. FLOWER POT VASES SUPPLIER
Offices everywhere need the comfortable professional look, and what better way to do that than to make flower pot vases that speak to the intent of the business. You could either make the pots yourself, that means you sculpt or craft it yourself or you can simply supply from the manufacturers, it makes no difference, at the end of the day, when businesses need vases for their offices, they know who to look for.
10. A SUPPLIER OF SMOKE DETECTORS
Nothing spells safety like a nice smoke detector, when a building that houses hundreds of people every day has smoke detectors distributed around, is says that the business sees safety as important.
There’s really not going to be much cooking going on in a place that is dedicated to work, except of course in the kitchen assuming they have one. But businesses with offices will need smoke detectors to ensure the safety of not just its workers but also its customers should there be an outbreak of fire.
11. A SUPPLIER OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
The brother to smoke detectors is of course fire extinguishers. In as much as homes will need this, but offices even the more, especially those offices or businesses that deal with dangerous chemicals or equipment. The quality and potency of your fire extinguishers may very well be one of your major unique selling points, and with proper marketing you can ensure that one in 3 businesses around your region would patronize you.
12. FIRST AID KIT SUPPLIER
Still on the matter of safety, having first aid kits at strategic parts of an office is just as important as having the business itself. In fact, some businesses will not receive the license to operate until they have most of these emergency safety measures established. Any student in any college can start a business where they specialize in supplying offices with first aid kits to guarantee the protection or resuscitation of victims should any dreadful events take place.
13. SUPPLIER OF AIR FRESHENERS
Every office needs to smell nice, especially the convenience, not just for the workers but also for the clients that go in there. There are branded air fresheners that can be operated in various ways, even automatically, which will save the company the little stress of getting the janitors to always come and manually dispense the air fresheners.
- SUPPLIER OF CCTV AND OTHER SURVAILANCE MATERIALS
Every business needs eyes to keep tabs on the goings on in the office environment. Businesses like Banks, Daycare, Department Stores and so on have to have eyes watching the activities of both workers and clients as well. You could specialize in making sure that offices have the required surveillance equipment.
15. GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM MICRO CHIPS
This is basically for major businesses that are into movement, transportation or logistics. Even every business that would like to know where and when its vehicles are used would need these Global Positioning System Micro Chips placed on the cars.
They can also be placed in company ID cards, to also keep track on what employees do with the company name and brand. It would not be difficult for a college student to get their hands on such high-grade device, all it takes is drive and intelligence.
16. HARD COVER NOTEBOOKS, JOURNALS AND DAIRIES
Most companies would want to have constant availability of notebooks or even journals. What better way to meet that desire than making quality notebooks available to them in large quantities. These writing paper backs can be supplied by the average college student with the right kind of business connections.
17. INDUSTRY BANDING
In certain cases, some companies may want their notebooks, journals, dairies or even pens branded or even manufactured with their unique specifications and logo printed on the items. Whatever the item may be, making, branding and supplying it to the company can be the major business of a smart college kid.
18. INDUSTRY PRINTS
Many businesses would want to print calendars, notebooks, flyers, banners, pamphlets and so on. They definitely will not have the equipment required for such large-scale activity, not to mention the time to put manpower into that kind of work.
So, the best thing would be to look for another business that will take care of that. Once one establishes that the quality of the printed jobs are of industry standard, then the key to making lot’s of profits from this trade is half way done. Businesses go for top quality and excellence, because whatever carries their name on it, projects their brand.
19. SUPPLY OF SPECIALISED CLOTHING
Businesses like construction or clinics would need specialized clothing for their workers on the field. It would be easy to find out which particular businesses you would want to affiliate with and then focus on looking for how to get the specialized clothing across to them. Once this is established and of course you have done your business plan and all, the next step would be engaging in proper marketing.
- CERAMIC TILES SUPPLIER
It is a given that offices need to be tiled. When it comes to tiling floors, it is possible for these businesses to locate your business if that is what you want to major in. Office tiling can be a business you have a chance of making a lot of money out of even as a college student.
21. OFFICE PARTITION SCREEN INSTALLER
There are lots of things that can be installed within the office that makes the place more conducive for work and productivity. One of these is a partition screen, usually those within the business may not be able to install such an item themselves, it would require the services of not just a carpenter, but one who can supply install such thing.
22. SUPPLIER OF FURNITURE COVERS
It seems insignificant enough, but a lot of money can be made by simply supplying hundreds if not thousands of companies with the simple items used for covering their furniture. No company wants to spend money from time to time buying new furniture because the ones they have always gets worn out. It’s a simple business that can make lots of profit based on the items sold.
- GLASS BLOCK SUPPLIERS AND INSTALLERS
Glass blocks are very decorative to have within the office building. If positioned rightly, one could make sure they offer their services to not just supply but install these enchanting items to those who will require them.
- DECORATIVE ART SUPPLIER
Nothing communicates in the subtlest of ways than the decorative art one chooses to place in their reception or even in the conference room of their administrative office complex. Starting a business around this can prove to be very profitable.
- SUPPLIER OF OFFICE EQUIPMENT
For the effective operation of the administrative end of every business, there must be devices like computers, laptops, printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers and so on. One could secure contracts of supplying these to offices scattered around. One idea could be scouting out businesses looking to set up offices and securing the contract for supplying them with these items.
26. MAKING SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESSES
If you are a techie or you know how to code, you can develop an application that will help businesses operate their businesses better, or maybe certain aspects of their businesses like the financial documentations, report writing, organization and so on. These applications can then be sold to businesses around the world literally, this is how quite a number of tech companies are making money. You could be the next one on that list.
- GENERATOR SUPPLY FOR BUSINESSES
Power supply is a major part of operating certain businesses; in fact if the power goes out for some businesses they lose a lot of money. Ensuring that these companies have proper backup generators is a great way to assist with what they do. Apart from just supplying them with these generators, you can also make some type of maintenance service available for them from your own company.
28. SUPPLYING UPS’s AND INVERTERS
UPS’s are great for keeping the power in case there is power outage and the facility may not want to use the generator. Or the inverter can kick in the moment the power goes out in order to make sure that the power outage is not taking place in the office, before the backup generator comes on. You could specialize in supplying these UPS devices to businesses especially those that require constant power supply to run effectively.
- ONLINE GAME THAT HELPS ADVERTISE
Once again if you are a techie, you could design an online or mobile game and sell to interested companies that may want to buy such a game, so they can have sole advertisement rights on that product. Nowadays everyone is online or digital in some way, so it would be an interesting way to advertise, of course this will do very well for businesses whose brand is compatible with the online, digital or media landscape.
30. BUSINESS WEBSITE DESIGN
Creating a business website can be your assistance to businesses that need appropriate online representation. After you must have researched your client, you should know what their branded colors are, what they represent and how they want to be perceived by the public. Then you can go ahead and design the website that best showcases this.
- BUSINESS WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
You can choose to improve on the website you may have already designed for a business or improve on the current website of a business that you may not have originally designed. You may install various applications to make the website more responsive, more user friendly making the user experience more exciting and efficient. This will go a long way in keeping the businesses you work for more relevant online.
32. BUSINESS MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
Nowadays, businesses are closer to you; through their mobile applications, they can interact with their clients in real time. You could if you are into the tech world, design these mobile applications for the businesses to remain competitive in the fast-changing digital space.
- E-COMMERCE WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
Apart from developing a great responsive website, you could also develop a great e-commerce website for businesses that need them. This site could stand as a virtual store where their clients can make purchases and have such items delivered to them or they could come and pick it up later at the shop.
- SUPPLY OF CAR MAINTENANCE PARTS
Official vehicles will develop fault from time to time, especially in businesses that deal with transportation and logistics. It will be smart to set up some type of business around meeting the maintenance needs of these cars, especially when it comes to supplying replacement parts when needed.
35. SUPPLIER OF COSMETICS TO RESELLERS
There are so many cosmetics brands out there, and these are also matched by those who have chosen to sell these products. So making a business out of selling these cosmetic products to resellers would be very lucrative. Beauty shops, spas and salons are places where these products may be needed the most, other places one can supply these products to are boutiques or super markets.
36. SUPPLY PARTS FOR HEAVY MACHINERY
There are businesses that work with heavy machinery, they either use these machines for manufacturing or any other type of work. From time to time these machines will get spoilt and require for parts to be changed. One could be the go-to guy for such products.
37. GYM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Fitness is great business and the establishment of gyms have become a necessity for the ones who understand the health benefits. These gyms will require equipment for their members, so one could make a business out of getting the best gym equipment for the gyms that need them.
38. CATERING EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Catering businesses need equipment for the very intense work that they do. Making sure that they have what they need to effectively do their jobs is one business that can be profitable for the young college student. With drive and focus they can really make a lot of profits from this venture.
- INDUSTRIAL COOKING EQUIPMENT SUPPLY
Restaurants, hotels or other businesses that cook for large numbers of people will require equipment to do their work efficiently. They have very specialized machines and equipment to make this possible. Setting up a business that supplies these equipment to them, will prove to be very lucrative if done with the intelligence of a proper business person.
- SUPPLY OF PERFUMES
Lots of people enjoy the scent of interesting fragrance when worn, these people will regularly visit boutiques and other places where they can get these perfumes. Setting up a business around the supply of perfumes is a great idea and could be very profitable.
- SUPPLY OF DESIGNER CLOTHES TO RETAILERS
Boutiques major in selling the clothes that people love to wear, most of which are popular designers and known brands. You could develop a business around making sure that these designer clothes are supplied to the retailers who sell them. Lots of profit can be made in this type of business.
- SUPPLY OF WINE TO RETAILERS
Quite a number of businesses deal with assorted wines and so on. You could major in making sure they have the wines when needed. You can supply to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, bars and so on.
- SUPPLY OF FRUITS TO RETAILERS
There are people that specialize in selling fruits to customers directly or those who make products with certain fruits as the main ingredient. You could set up a business that ensures that these fruits make it to them when they need it.
- SUPPLY OF FOOD STUFF TO RESELLERS
There are quite a number of businesses that deal in selling food. You can stand to make a lot of money because food is something everyone needs, so there would always be a business round it.
- SUPPLY OF DRINKS TO RETAILERS
A lot of businesses make profits from selling drinks. You could set up a business that supplies those drinks to these businesses for resale. You could get the drinks at wholesale prices and then make profits when you make your sale to the businesses that need them.
- SUPPLIER OF GOODS TO RE-SELLERS
There are general goods that can be bought at wholesale prices and then sold to those who need to sell them to their clients that need them.
- SUPPLIER OF OFFICE ACCESSORIES
Offices will always need printing paper, pens, pins, masking tape and so on, so they will always need consistent supply of office accessories. These may seem like small items, but imagine wanting to print a document really fast and discovering that the office is out of printing paper, then you would realize how important these items are. So becoming the person that handles the supply of office accessories to a great number of offices can make one financially stable.
- SUPPLIER OF OFFICE FURNITURE
Anyone would agree with me that office chairs, tables and so on are very different from the furniture you find at home. Choosing to specialize in the supply of office furniture can be very good for one in college.
In conclusion, as a student, there are practically hundreds of businesses you can get into that will make you extra money on the side. The student would have to express a high level of discipline, focus and drive to be able to run a business alongside their educational aspirations.
But having that extra money at the college level is very good as the student can take some of the pressure off of the parents. They can even get so prosperous that they are able to live more comfortably on campus and even send money home for their younger ones.
Another great thing that this will do is to give the young person great knowledge of the world of business and entrepreneurial activities. This will be very advantageous when they graduate if they want to continue in the world of business, which I suspect that most people who do business in school will still eventually set up a business, even if it is a side business. Starting a business while in college is a great idea, if the business does not distract the student from their studies.
Even if the student decides to work as an employee in a company, his vast experiences in dealing with people will be a great advantage to them when they begin to interact with their fellow colleagues.
In as much as most will advice students to simply focus on getting their education and not distract themselves by anything, it does more good than evil when one engages in something lucrative while in school. So, there is really nothing bad to say about engaging in a business while in college, except that it should not take from the attention one is meant to give to their studies.
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