Small Business Ideas for Teenagers & Kids
One possible reason for this could be that many teens rely on part-time jobs to help pay for college and living expenses during college, and without a job, they could see their dreams of higher education pushed back several years – or even disappear entirely.
I started my first business several years out of my teen years, at the age of 23. I became an entrepreneur for one reason: I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I had great references, I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA, and I was a diligent worker. And yet even Starbucks didn’t call me back. This frustrating time of my life went on for several months. Finally, I realized that if I couldn’t get a job, I’d make one for myself.
I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since.
Today’s teens have an incredible advantage over past generations: More resources to build knowledge and skills are available than ever before. If they have the courage and persistence to take advantage of them, the opportunities are truly great.
While starting a business isn’t easy, it will change your life for the better. You will learn to think on your feet, overcome tough challenges, be creative, manage finances, be diplomatic, and lead your team.
Good Business Ideas for Teenagers
Thanks to the Internet, the resources to learn a brand new skill are at your fingertips. Just be sure, regardless of what business or skill you wish to study, that you find a qualified online source to learn from. The Internet, though invaluable, has a vast amount of misinformation to be wary of.
Here are a few business ideas to consider:
1. Social Media Consultant
As a teen growing up in the Internet age, you have a serious advantage over many adults. Your familiarity with the World Wide Web will make learning and understanding social networking, search engines, and blogging much simpler. Companies pay good money for those with expertise in these areas, and there are plenty of teens and young adults who make a great living as social media consultants.
How to Get Started: There are books and websites that will teach you the ins and outs of how to effectively use social networking as a promotional tool. You can even sign up for a social media marketing course on Udemy. These will teach you basic and advanced topics. Learn how to apply these skills to small businesses in your area, and offer your services creating, managing, and maintaining a blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account for a monthly fee.
2. Etsy Retailer
Do you know how to make awesome necklaces? Do you paint, knit scarves, take photographs, or make your own soap? Do you have a great eye when it comes to picking out vintage clothing?
Selling your artwork, jewelry, and other clothing and crafts on Etsy is a great way to earn money, and you can do it right from your home. There are plenty of artists who make enough on Etsy to ply their craft full-time, so if you’re “crafty,” selling on Etsy is worth considering.
How to Get Started: Take a look at the art, jewelry, clothing, or vintage items you have. Is it good enough to sell? If it’s something you like, then chances are that someone else will like it too. Keep in mind that you can also sell gourmet cookies, cupcakes, sauces, and candy and chocolate on Etsy.
If you do not currently create arts or crafts – but you would like to start – scour the web to search for easy DIY projects. For instance, fashion blog Honestly, WTF has an awesome DIY section, as well as BLDG 25.
Babysitting is a great way to earn money because there are almost no start-up costs. All you need is a great reputation or great references, and the ability to find local parents.
How to Get Started: Post fliers in your neighborhood advertising your services. Join sites like Sittercity and Care.com to put up a profile and find jobs. Keep in mind that if you have special skills, such as CPR training or any certified childcare training, you’ll stand out from the pack.
4. Kids’ Taxi Service
Parents are always stretched for time, so why not start shuttling their kids to ballet, violin, karate, or soccer practice? Parents can stay at work longer or spend more time relaxing and cooking dinner while you drive their kids to after-school activities.
How to Get Started: There are a few things you’ll need for this business idea. First, teens are often seen as untrustworthy drivers. Therefore, you will need a reliable car and the ability to prove that you’ve never been in an accident or received a driving violation. You’ll also need a good car insurance policy, ideally with high medical coverage amounts for your passengers. A couple of great options include Liberty Mutual and Esurance. And you’ll likely want to invest in two quality car seats if you’ll be transporting children who require them.
Keep in mind that in some states you need to be 18 years of age or older to transport people younger than 20. Be sure to check your own state laws to see if you’re eligible.
5. Computer Tutor
Chances are, you’ve been using a computer for as long as you can remember. You know how to troubleshoot, how to organize files, and how to use Google to find whatever you need. Though these are essential modern skills, not everyone possesses them. Therefore, you have the opportunity to impart your knowledge and work as a computer tutor for older adults, teaching them how to set up an email account, navigate the Web, or sign up for RSS feeds.
How to Get Started: Talk to your local public library or community center about creating a computer tutoring class. Ask questions to find out what people need and want to learn. Often, residents will stop by such places that offer adult education to inquire or make requests for specific classes. You can also distribute flyers at senior centers or senior communities – just first check to see if they allow soliciting.
Another option would be to create a course on Udemy. You have full control over course materials and you set your own rates.
6. Errand Runner
The more people are pressed for time, the more they hate running errands. Therefore, you can start a business to run errands for them. For instance, you can pick up groceries, take the dog to the vet, pick up kids from daycare, and chauffeur older kids to the mall or to a friend’s house. You need to be a jack-of-all-trades, but it’s actually rather easy work.
How to Get Started: Seniors, upper-middle class families, and busy parents are all part of this target market. You’ll need a reliable car and good references, as some of your duties may involve handling other people’s money. You might also want to consider offering a “senior discount” to get your foot in the door, or even working for free for the first few jobs in order to get some great testimonials. Use TaskRabbit and Craigslist to search for opportunities. If you’ve already turned 18 you can become an Instacart shopper, delivering groceries to customers.
7. Moving Assistant
Moving is stressful, especially when you have a lot of possessions or a large house to organize. My first business was professional organizing, and moving assistance was one of the services I offered. This was a popular service, especially for seniors who find packing and moving to be physically and emotionally difficult.
How to Get Started: Start by helping someone move for free. Take pictures of everything you do, and put up a simple website advertising your services. Be sure to also obtain a testimonial from the people you help.
Next, start networking with senior centers and neighborhoods. When seniors move in, they always have to dramatically pare down their possessions. By partnering with senior living facilities, you can help incoming residents pack up their old home and move to the community.