In his book (Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Robert Kiyosaki said “The Poor Dad says, ‘Love of money is the root of evil’ while for the Rich Dad, ‘Lack of money is the root of evil'”. The statement made by the Poor Dad is so popular that if church microphones could speak, they will tell you they have heard it times without number. Sadly, the second statement seems to be more true than the first. People that do not have enough money to meet their needs are so overwhelmed with that fact that they end up compromising their values just to make ends meet.
University students are not left out. The most common thing they do is lie to their parents or guardian about their school fees and needs just to get extra cash. Others include petty theft, embezzlement by student politicians, blackmail, prostitution, gambling and the list never ends.
It does not have to be so. You don’t have to compromise your value in quest for extra allowance or extra cash. With a little diligence and hard work, you could earn more than what stealing or prostitution would fetch you.
The number of unemployed graduates is increasing at an alarming rate. Even those that have Jobs are at great risk of being laid off. The best way to escape this unemployment issue is to start and grow your business and the best time to do so is before graduating from school.
I have listed 10 things you can do to make money on campus. Although, they are more than 10, however, these are my best picks for the moment. You can check other articles I have posted in this Blog especially the one I wrote on Businesses you can start as a student with little capital.
1) Project Analysis and Typing
Every year, the final year students (both undergraduates and postgraduates) of every University have to do some research work where they are expected to find out new facts and methodologies in their field of study. In most cases, this will involve collection of data from many sources and by several means like multiple experimentation and questionnaire’s dissemination. After Data collection is over, they always have to analyze the data collected.
Data analysis is not a simple task for people that didn’t study Statistics or dread it. People end up paying a lot of money for Data Analysis to those that can help them out. If you can analyze data effectively, you should take advantage of this and publicize your skill. Even if you have not analyzed project data before, you only need the basic knowledge of statistics to begin. You could take advantage of some free data analysis courses online and make your billing a little cheaper to attract you first set of customers.
In addition to project analysis, you can also do some project typing. As an undergraduate, I had a friend that made enough money to rent himself an apartment through project typing alone and still had extra cash for upkeep. Most students are busy with the normal daily school activities and hence may not have time to type their project work themselves. To get the best out of project typing, you should look for students that are either lazy or busy. Those ones would pay higher. You should also add project printing and binding if you can so you could do a complete Job. You don’t need a printer or a binding machine. Just leverage on those that are already in the business of printing and binding. Collect projects (including those you didn’t type) in bulk and take to business centers to get good discounts and make more profit.
2) Dry Cleaning
This is another service you can provide for lazy and busy people and get a lots of extra cash for yourself. When dry cleaning is first mentioned to some people, they immediately tune off, thinking they have to buy a washing machine and get an office (a shop) and get power supply. Well, if you can get all of that for a start, that would be fantastic. With a washing machine and an office, you can definitely make more gain from dry cleaning. However, instead of waiting and wasting time looking for capital to start your laundry business on a large scale, you can start on a small scale with no capital at all and then raise capital for a larger scale later.
To start, you have to learn with your own clothes. Wash them, starch them, press them and fold them properly. Do a job that you can pay for and pay yourself the amount you think your service is worth. If you were not satisfied, ask dry cleaners around how they do their laundry. Once you have succeeded in pleasing your first customer (yourself), you can then look for others.
Start with your friends and people around you. You can give them discounts anytime they refer a new customer. As time goes on, you would get patronage from lecturers, bankers and other high profile individuals. You would have to approach some of them by yourself. At this stage you should get a machine, an office and a business card.
3) Phones and Laptop repair
Sometimes ago, the University where I studied started giving Android tablets to Fresh students. Although, it was open for sale to the whole university community, it was compulsory for Fresh Students. At the time, having a tablet was a little bit of a big deal. This new development was good news for business minded people like us.
Unfortunately, the tablets where not superior. The screen broke readily and not long, the need for phone repairers doubled. Like in my school, everyone has a laptop. Ooh!!! Forgive me, maybe not everyone, but those that do not have a laptop would at least have a phone that might need repair at least once throughout their stay in school. If you can fix basic phone problems, you are set to make some more money.
You don’t need a shop or the tools to start. If you can get those, good for you.
You can start by looking for customers. Talk to your friends, tell them you repair phones and laptops and tell them to refer people to you when they need such services. Before the clients start rolling in, find an experienced phone and laptop engineer not too far from you. When you get a client, take the device to him and add some extra money for transport and your gain (make sure it is very reasonable). You can raise money to buy necessary tools from there.
If you don’t know how to repair yet, you can do the same to raise cash and enroll for training. You can also talk to the engineer and plead with him. Tell him you will pay him to learn in installments or as an apprentice. And if you are too lazy to learn, you can just find where these devices are repaired at low cost and bring your clients’ devices in for repair. As time goes on, you will become familiar with them and they keep giving you better discounts.
As a student, you don’t necessarily need a shop to repair phones and laptops, but if you can manage your time, I would recommend that you get one. To get the best out of Phones and Laptop repair, I suggested that you also buy used devices and resell. I am saying this because as a phone and laptop engineer, you already know a lot about phones and can detect problems with phones when you want to buy. Also, some people bring their damaged phones and want to swap with another phone. You can pick one of the phones you have earlier bought and swap with them. You can then repair the phone they brought in and keep for the next buyer.
Most people look down on phone and laptop repairs, but you could make good and legitimate money if you maximize it well.
4) Graphics design and printing flyers
The University community is filled with countless number of associations (both religious and non religious ones). From Christian student fellowships to departmental associations, to Muslim student association and to faculty associations. In fact, you will lose count as soon as you start counting. These associations run programs every now and then throughout the year (even during holidays). They also know the importance of flyers and handbills in propagating their programs.
If you are smart, you will take advantage of this to make extra cash for yourself. If you are a Graphics designer, most of your clients will be student politicians, departmental associations, faculty associations, Student Union, religious fellowships and associations, and some cases, individuals.
As an undergraduate, I usually design flyers for online advertisement. I did that mostly for churches and fellowships. You can do same. All you need to start is some basic knowledge of CorelDraw and Photoshop which you can get online and a laptop (even if it is borrowed). Just search online for tutorials on Graphic design and keep learning till you are perfect. CorelDraw and Photoshop are applications used to create colorful designs. There are other useful applications you will enjoy using once you start. You can do a lot of designs (like Birthday Designs) for free to perfect your skills. The only way to become better at designing is by designing.
Now, unless your clients wants to do just online advertisements, Graphics design is sometimes not sufficient. Most of your clients would require a full job from you. You also need to get a printing press where you can take your jobs to for printing. You also need to know a little about printing to make things easier for you. Things like the type of material to print on, the size of the material and so on.
But if you don’t know how to design Graphics and you are not willing to learn, you can focus on printing alone. You can get bulk printing jobs and send it to the printing press. You don’t need to go to the press every time. You can get their mail and send a job and description anytime you have one. So you can do either Graphic design or Printing, but it is better you do both to get the most out of it.
Lastly, you might have to make friends with people in those associations to be able to get Jobs from them. This is not a necessity, it is only an added advantage.
5) Hostel and Office supply
“We were all born as lazy sets of people”. I say this a little more often than I attend wedding parties and if you are sincere, you would agree with me. The only reason we have hard working people is because it is a major prerequisite for success. If we could sit and cross our legs and end up getting good grades in school without cheating, we would all prefer that.
When people think of the stress of going to the market to purchase something, they become tired even before going especially when the need is not too urgent.
You can take advantage of this and bring products to people in their hostels and offices. With little capital, you can get a product you know people will always need. It could be clothing items, shoes, underwear, clothing accessories, bags, handouts, perfumes, and so on. A little survey would be very helpful; ask your target market the things they would like you to supply them. You could focus on ladies stuff; shoes, clothes, earrings, necklace and underwear. Ladies are buyers. They can buy things for Africa. I would not recommend that you supply food for some personal reasons.
Next, determine the grade you want to sell. This depends on your target market. If you are selling to students in public schools for example, they probably to do not have a lot of money and may prefer fairly used products.
Next, pick a day or two in a week that you would visit every single hostel and office going from door to door. If you have a large area to cover, you can divide it into sections and assign days to each section. Just make sure you are back to a place before another week. The more often, the better.
Next, look for a place where they sell these things in bulk for cheap price. You can search google and ask friends too. If you are the one producing the products, that would better.
If you have to register with school Union or those in charge of the hostel, it would be better. Just make sure you don’t ignore those that are in charge of the places you supply to.
This service is one that people are too shy to involve themselves in. A lot of money is left uncleared just because of the stigma that have been placed on rendering this type of service. I do not wonder why people are too shy to make money. I only wonder why they prefer begging, borrowing or stealing when they can just the money themselves.
Before now, I didn’t envy photographers. Over time, I have been forced to change my mind. People like to keep memories and they can pay you well to help them do it.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to start making money from photography. All you need is a working digital camera, a laptop and a little determination.
To start, learn how to take and print a passport. Taking and printing passport is the first step I want you to take if you are a total novice. Get a small printer that can print the passport. If you cannot afford it at the start, look for somewhere nearby where you can print. Make your service so cheap that people (like course mates) want to patronize you even if you would delay.
Then, take your camera to parties and ceremonies to take pictures for free. This is a way you can learn how to take good pictures. Always show the subjects of your photographs the pictures and give the digital copy to them for free. Don’t stop until people start liking your pictures and until you see that you have improved.
One thing about learning on your own is that you may have all the theoretical knowledge and the terminologies, but you would be very good at it. But once you start making money, please go and learn from an experienced photographer.
Now that you have learnt how to take pictures, you can start advertising your service. Your clients would include birthday celebrants, wedding parties organizers, models, fellowships, associations and so on. For their birthday, some people just go to a studio, take pictures and get the digital copy.
Lastly, as you get more and more money from photography, make sure you keep sharpening your skills. Get a better camera and if possible, rent a studio.
Making up is a major part of a woman’s life. Someone hilariously said “Men should not bother about pleasing their wives or girlfriends. Even God could not please them. He gave them eyebrows, they decides to shave it off and draw another one”. That is on a lighter note, but it goes a long way to show how ladies are very much interested in the way they look.
Some make-up artists didn’t set out to be make-up artists. They simply knew how to make themselves look good and decided to make others look good for a living. That could be you if you already know how make your face up. But if you don’t, you could learn either by enrolling for make-up classes or watching video tutorials online. The latter method can be stressful and may take you longer time to learn, but you could do that instead of just shoving the whole idea away because you could not enroll for classes.
As soon as your make-up skills start improving, you need to start experimenting on others. Ask your friends that are going for parties or to church to allow you make them up for free with their own make-up kit. If they don’t have a kit, you can offer to do it at a very cheap price. Those ones will be like marketers for you.
Take their pictures every time you are done. Create social media accounts for your make-up brand or just use your personal accounts. Post pictures of your work online and make your clients comment under explaining how happy they are to look that great. Also make them upload on their own accounts and tag as many people as possible.
The more you do this, the better you become and the more patronage you start getting. Always make sure you upgrade your make-up kit so that you can have better tools for better paying clients.
If you really want to make good money, you should start seeking to make-up for a whole bridal train or even for models, actors, musicians and so on.
8) Hair Styling
Just like they do with their face, women also like to make their hair up. A friend of mine styled hair throughout her 4 years in the university and that is what she used to patch the stipend she was getting from home.
If you go to any salon on a Saturday or the evening of any other day, you are sure to see a lot of ladies waiting for their turn to come. The market is a very large one to tap into especially on campus.
Since they don’t have much money, a lot of ladies prefer to patronize their friends and pay a little lower than what other stylists would charge. You could be that friend that they prefer patronizing. Enroll for training at any nearby salon. You could also apply as an apprentice that may not pay anything (but you must be ready to work and not get paid o). As soon as you start Learning, you should start practicing. Just like I said in the last item, you should start with free services and once you start getting better, you should start showcasing your work on social media and WhatsApp chat groups.
You can later get a shop and hire people to work for you. You also would like to hire a barber for male customers.
Another thing you can do is find small primary and secondary schools with a boarding facility. They may be able to give you the contract of styling their girls and cutting hair for their boys.
If you are good at what you do, you can start offering home service to high class people. I know hair stylists that don’t have any office anywhere. They get jobs through referrals and they go to people house. Of course, if you are starting small, you have to start by being mobile but to get the most out of hair styling you should get a salon.
Another thing you should do is sell weavons, attachments and hair cream. People that are not interested in your service may at least buy your product. Also, clients may come to your salon without a weavon. It would be nice if they could just buy from you.
9) Party MC
I had always known MC to be the short for “Master of Ceremony”. But that is until someone told me it also meant “Microphone Controller”. Whether Master of Ceremony or Microphone Controller, all I know is that some people are bagging money home just because they came to a party or program to talk.
Just talk! I thought that was unfair the first time I discovered but on the contrary, they don’t just talk. They practically manage the event.
If you want to become an MC, you should start with events like reunions, fellowship love feasts, friends birthday and some departmental programs. The more you practice Mic controlling or Ceremony mastering, the better you become. It is from such events you start getting clients. When the attendees see how well you performed your role as an MC, they would want to patronize you. If you are doing a free service, you can take a time during the ” item 7″ session of the event to advertise your service. You would have to take permission from your client if it is a paid service.
However, your performance is your best marketing tool. Everyone that attends an event where you were the MC would organize an event in the nearest future. Do all you can to make them remember you.
10) Disk Jockey (DJ)
Wikipedia defines a disc jockey (abbreviated DJ , D.J. or
deejay ) as “a person who mixes different sources of pre-existing recorded music as it is playing, usually for a live audience…”. No one ever organizes a party without music and if there is music, there should be a DJ.
The best way to learn how to mix music is to actually mix. I don’t know if there is any school or center where people are taught how to become good DJs. If it does exists, there might be only a few of them. However, you can start learning by using an application called Virtual DJ. This application mimics everything a real DJ mixer can do. In fact, some DJs only use a computer system in the absence of specialized DJ mixer with Discs on it.
You can apply the same methods I stated in number 9 above.
In addition, you should know that your self-confidence increases when you can provide your own needs (even if it is some of it) by yourself. Also, making and spending your own money helps you developed money management skill, develop decision making skills and become more responsible. Trust me, money is being made everyday, whether you make it or not.