Place Holder Banner

Start a Dorm Room Business This Year

Dorm Room Business

I bet you there is at least one dorm room business in your building! Between classes, extra curriculars, and the unavoidable need to socialize with other human beings, it can be hard for college students to find time to work, let alone start a business. But in this struggle lies the answer. Being your own boss seems daunting, but might actually be the best way to accommodate the flexibility you want for yourself. So could starting a dorm room business be a possibility for you? 

Cutting/Styling Hair 

Arguably one of the oldest professions, cutting and styling hair requires two things that are perfect for the busy college student. The first is that it requires people to make appointments with you ahead of time. The second is that if you do a good job, it’s recurring business. The fact is that hair grows around a half an inch every month. Moreover, cutting hair also means a steady flow of tips and the ability to take walk-ins and develop reputation for convenience as well. 

Web/Graphic Design

Within the employer market, there is already a massive demand for skilled workers who are computer literate. This means that more college students (i.e. those who will be seeking employment soon) are looking for ways to stand out in this regard. One of the best ways comes in the form of a website. It’s not overly complicated, but managing one implies some technical know how and is inarguably more convenient than Googling you. The problem is that HTML and web development are tricky to learn on your own. This means people are more likely to find a person who can design the page and do the heavy lifting for them.

This presents good dorm room business opportunities for the aspiring entrepreneur looking for an in-demand niche. While learning HTML and web development on your own is hard, it’s far from impossible. There are more than a few web design courses available on YouTube to get you started for little to no money. It seems basic, but being able to build even a basic landing page is a valuable skill for someone with limited time every week, and you’d be shocked how many people need help doing it. 


Remember taking grainy selfies on your Iphone six years ago? While a fair amount of the people who are alive now most certainly do, you’re hard pressed to find such low resolution images blowing up on Instagram in 2020. Just as the cameras in our phones have gotten better, so has the standards for commercial photography risen. Yet, as the standards rise, our ability to produce the same high quality images has increased exponentially. Buying and selling camera gear is more accessible now than it has ever been before and that is a huge opening for someone looking to make a few bucks doing photography out of their dorm room. 

Local businesses will always need visual promotion, actors and performers will always need headshots, and event coordinators will always need someone to shoot a function. As a photographer you can set your own rates, and after you set yourself apart, you can raise them. 

Tutoring/ Writing Coach 

If you’re a busy student, but have the patience to teach, tutoring is perhaps the simplest and most in-demand gig you can land on a college campus. Not only are you in school, but everyone around you is as well. Every college student knows what it’s like to be in a classroom learning about something related to your major and seeing a student across the room pulling their hair out because this was the only gen-ed that fit their schedule. Running a lowkey tutoring service could be a great way to make money and help your fellow students get more accessible help than they might get using an on campus resources.

Working as a tutor can put you in even greater demand if you have a skill for writing.  A 2015 Education Trust analysis of middle school language arts work, found that only 9 percent of assignments required that students wrote more than one paragraph. It’s also been found that students who received A’s on average are required to do more writing than students who receive C’s on average. Moreover students who receive C’s on average specifically admit to needing more help in the area of writing their counterparts who get A’s. If you are a good writer in college, there are many opportunities to help college students improve writing skills.

By the way, clear all disruptive activities with your roommates. You don’t want your dorm room business to crash and burn before it really gets off the ground because of annoyed roomies.

*Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email to Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Create Your Unique Email Alert for Jobs or Internships!

This entry was posted in Career Advice, Careers, College Life, Entrepreneurship, Future of Work, Leadership, Student Career Journal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.


    Your company can be showcased as a Featured Employer on our site! Your 30 day job posting will be featured on our job board home page, and your organization will be in the spotlight as a Featured Employer across The HBCU Career Center social media footprint.

    • Our only mission at The HBCU Career Center is to be an advocate for America's diverse and often underrepresented professionals seeking career and professional success.
    • If you share our vision for diverse, inclusive workplaces and would like to connect with the diverse talent from America’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, then consider becoming a Featured Employer on our site.
    • Contact Dr. Robinson at mrobin@thehbcucareercenter.com to discuss features such as banners, newsletter or career article sponsorship.