Top Businesses You Can Start Up Near Schools

eating at a fast food chain

They say that business is all about “location, location, location”, which is why if you have a commercial space near a school or university (or if you’re in a college town), you may have just struck gold. There are a plethora of businesses that one can put up near schools in order to cater to students as well as the nearby community and establishments. As such, we’ll be taking a look at the top businesses you can start up near schools:

Customized Shirts and Apparel

From sports teams to different clubs, project presentations, and events, schools have no shortage of occasions or groups that require apparel customized with different designs, texts, and logos. That said, you can invest in a screen printing and embroidery business or franchise to offer apparel customization services to students. Additionally, it’s not only the students that you can market to but also commercial establishments (for uniforms and promotional products) as well as organizations in the area.  You just need to have basic training, materials (the apparels), and the equipment to start up.


This is pretty much self-explanatory, but let’s explore the different types of food serving establishments you can put up near schools. For one, you can put up a fast food business to provide students (as well as other people in the area) an option to grab a quick bite. You could also start small with a food stall or food truck; the latter being a lot more advantageous in terms of mobility. Starting your own small canteen with better quality food than what schools serve in their cafeteria would also be quite enticing for students. For areas that have many dormitories and boarding houses for students, you may also want to consider food delivery services.

School Supplies

Students will always need school and office supplies such as pens, notebooks, calculators, and paper which is why a school merchandise store would be a good option. However, it’s selling more than just school supplies in order to be more profitable and also widen your market. For example, you can also sell books, grooming supplies (combs, handkerchiefs), and even basic electronics and computer appliances such as extension cords, mouse, keyboards, and so on.

Coffee Shop

woman inside a coffee shop

A lot of students are fueled by coffee, especially during the busier days of their academic calendar. That said, putting up a coffee shop near a school is a no-brainer. You could start small with a stall or even a “coffee truck”, or use a commercial space to set up a quaint café that serves all sorts of caffeinated products as well as snacks and other beverages. You can also turn it up by designing your coffee shop as a library-café hybrid, or a study space that serves unlimited coffee. All you need would be the ingredients, machine (or tools), cups and other café items. It wouldn’t hurt to add a Wi-Fi connection if you want to attract more students to your coffee shop.

Fitness Center

It’s a good idea to capitalize on the current health-conscious trend by putting up a fitness center near a school. Fitness centers can have basic gym equipment, instructors, and also areas for group workouts such as Zumba, Yoga, and Aerobics, to name a few. It’s a good idea to have a regular price for membership and other services, then offer big discounts to students. You may also want to consider adding a juice bar to help your customers stay fit and rejuvenated.


These are only a few of the many businesses you can put up near schools to cater to its students. However, regardless of which business you choose, it’s important that you come up with appropriate student-friendly prices and also to take note of any nearby competition.

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