Location and target market are among the major factors entrepreneurs consider when starting up a business, and it can take a considerable amount of time and brainstorming to finally come up with a business that’s perfect for the area and your business’ target market. However, for cities that have colleges or universities, there’s no need for extensive studies and guesswork, as you have the location and target market served to you in a neat package.
So, if you manage to secure a retail/commercial space near a university, here are a few straightforward and low-risk businesses you may want to consider putting up that caters to the students’ needs:
Most universities and colleges have their own canteens, cafeteria, and in-campus food vendors, so make sure that you’re selling something that they don’t offer — which could be different menu, higher quality food, or selling at a lower price (although you can always opt to sell better food items at higher yet reasonable prices). You don’t even need to have a huge space to start up a profitable food business either, you can start with a food stall or kiosk, a food truck, or set up a more permanent (student-friendly) restaurant. Remember that pricing is a huge factor, but you can always choose to cater to middle and upper-class students if there are a lot of them in the college/university nearby.
With studies, socializing, and other extra-curricular activities, students barely have any time to do time-consuming chores such as doing the laundry. As such, setting up your own laundry business near a college/university would be perfect, and you can still cater to the nearby community even when school’s out for the summer break. There are many options you can take, from do-your-own laundry to drop-off-and-pick-up laundry models services, and even pick-up-and-delivery. You could also provide dry cleaning services, minor mending, and other additional laundry services, as well. For DIY laundry business models, consider having free WiFi so students can work or browse the internet while waiting for their laundry cycles to finish.
#3 Laptop, Computer, and Phone Sales and Repair
Nowadays, almost every student needs a phone and a computer (or laptop) for communication, leisure, and schoolwork. Unfortunately, these gadgets are quite susceptible to damage and other issues, which can be quite detrimental to student life, but this presents an opportunity for enterprising individuals. You can take advantage of students’ need to keep have functional gadgets by opening up your own computer and phone sales and repair shop or take advantage of phone and computer franchise opportunities. If you wish to start small, you can just go for repair services and selling basic phone and laptop accessories, then start selling laptops and phones when the business starts to pick up.
#4 Convenience Stores
Food, cleaning materials, office/school supplies, toiletries, and personal care products. These are things that students don’t have to travel 30 minutes or more just to buy if you’re able to set up your convenience store near the college/university. Make sure to also stock up on coffee and fresh food (or ready-to-heat-and-eat meals) in your convenience store as they’re going to sell quickly.
These are only a few of many other businesses that you can put up near schools, but the bottom line here is that as it’s easy to come up with a low-risk business as long as it caters to the needs of the students.