Do you have a teen who is always looking for ways to make money? Maybe they’re hoping to save money for college or purchase a car. Whatever the goal, it can be frustrating to come up with realistic business ideas when you’re in high school. Here is a list of 20 tried and true ideas for your teen entrepreneurs.
There are countless benefits to teens who start a business. Not only will they learn valuable life lessons like perseverance and hard work, but pursuing entrepreneurship will help them stand out from their peers when it comes time to apply to college or enter the workforce after graduation.
Here are 20 creative ideas for teen entrepreneurs to consider or use as a jumping off point for their own business idea.
Use Your Location
What if where you lived could be used to start a business? Here are 3 ideas.
Local Town Podcast: You could create a podcast that features business owners and interesting residents from the community. Everyone loves to hear from the local veteran, teacher of the year, or the person running the community food drive. There are probably tons of interesting local interviews just waiting for you! And the fun part is that you can ask local businesses to sponsor the podcast because the more the reach grows, the more exposure they will have to your listeners. What local business wouldn’t want a shout out and a quick 60-second promo clip on your soon-to-be-famous local town podcast? Want to learn more? Check out the Podcast Launch for Teens where I show you how to use this model for your podcast.
Walking Tours of Your Town: If you live in an interesting town and your parents would be willing to partner with you, you could set up a website for tourists to book walking tours with you at a competitive hourly rate. Offer to do this service to a few free customers at first to build up your testimonials.
Doggie Day Care: Could you offer to watch people’s pets while they’re at work during the day? Do you have a big yard that could fit several dogs during the day? Do you love animals? Then consider this option! You could even charge more if you offer to pick up the dogs.
Sell Veggies: Do you have a garden? Can you grow vegetables and sell them at a farmer’s market?
Use Your Talents
When you’re considering the best ideas for teen entrepreneurs, you can to evaluate what you’re naturally good at.
Music Lessons: If you’re an intermediate or advanced musician, you can offer beginner lessons at your own home. This was one of my side jobs during my teen years, and it paid a wonderful hourly rate! Word of mouth will grow this business quickly. Advertise on local Facebook pages and with local homeschool groups.
Swim Lessons: If you have your YMCA Swim Instructor Certification and have a pool, you could offer swimming lessons to local kids.
Sports Lessons: Are you talented at a sport? Consider offering lessons to local elementary kids during the summer. You could get permission to use a public field or court. Consider running a sports camp with your friends for several hours a day for a week. If it goes well, you can run several during the summer.
Furniture Flipper: Can you build furniture that other people want to buy? Or if you can’t build from scratch, what about re-doing older furniture you get for free or cheap by fixing it up and painting it? You can sell it on Facebook Marketplace so that you don’t have to ship it!
Birthday Party Themed Character for Rent: Can you transform yourself into Elsa or Cinderella? How about Spider Man or Captain America? If you invest in one costume and learn how to become that character, you could have a very successful summer showing up at kids’ birthday parties in your area. Collaborate with some friends for multiple character options and bigger payouts.
Solve a Problem for Pet Owners
Of course, every business needs to solve a problem. But here are some specific ideas for teen entrepreneurs.
Pet Care for Vacationers: Start in your neighborhood or with friends and family and offer to watch pets while their family is on vacation. You could do this by stopping by their house several times a day to feed and play with the pet, or you could keep the pet at your house. Word of mouth will grow this business quickly!
Dog Walking: If pet owners work during the day, they may be happy to pay you to come let the dog out for walk. Create business cards and start sharing for more exposure. Visit a pet store or shelter and ask if they will recommend your services.
Cleaning Aquariums: Dentist offices, doctor’s offices and other professional buildings sometimes have large aquariums that need to be cleaned regularly. Do you have experience with this type of work? Create a business card and offer to take over the regular cleaning of these fish tanks.
Solve a Problem for Parents
Childcare: Babysitter’s Club isn’t just a book series from 1986! It’s a viable business option for teens. Another job I did in the summers between high school years was to watch kids at their home while both parents worked from 8-5 during the week. See if you can fill a need!
Tutoring: Are you a good student? Would you be able to tutor a younger student in math? Then consider offering your time and talent as a tutor! There are many parents who are willing to pay for this service. Your business will probably grow best with word-of-mouth referrals. So, maybe consider offering your first tutoring service for free to get a testimonial from your client.
Solve a Problem for Home Owners
House Cleaner: Do you enjoy house cleaning? Do you do a thorough job? Advertise your services in the community! Many older people would gladly pay someone to do a light house cleaning once every week or so.
Yard Care: Many people are willing to pay teens to mow their lawn and clean up the yard. Create some fliers and business cards and start advertising.
Ideas for Teen Entrepreneurs to Take it Online
No need to only sell to people in your area. The world is ready to buy from you! Consider these 3 options.
Reseller on eBay: If you declutter your own personal stuff first, you can begin this business with no start-up cost. Then, learn to reinvest and purchase more inventory. Check out the eBay Reseller Mini Course for Teens and save $5 with coupon code DECLUTTER
Handmade or Vintage Seller on Etsy: Find out how to set-up and grow a successful business on Etsy with the Selling on Etsy Masterclass for Teens and save 20% off with coupon code 4onemore
Here’s one teen entrepreneur’s experience:
Last summer I joined Abby’s Selling on Etsy Masterclass for Teens. I was 12 at the time, and only had a couple sales. Abby was quick to answer my questions. She also gave me personalized advice to improve my Etsy shop. After investing time to experiment with what worked and what didn’t, I learned a lot about business and selling on Etsy. I’ve been able to reach over 100 sales! It’s so helpful for a new Etsy seller to have a step by step action plan to start their shop. Anna from AnnaMadeDesignCo
Subscription Box Service: What if I told you that there are teens who are trying out the subscription box business model? What can you provide to about 20-50 customers each month and still make a profit? There are subscription box services all around: food, clothing, shaving supplies, makeup, printables, home decor, coffee, and more! What can you source or create to include in a subscription box that dozens of people would love? Some ideas to get you started: handmade items, soaps, fun boxes for kids, nature boxes, or maybe a dessert of the month club for local customers? Check out the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast for an interview with a teenager who is starting this type of business.
I hope these ideas for teen entrepreneurs have made you excited to take action. Make sure you grab the Summer Business Brainstorm for Teens and start making those entrepreneurial dreams a reality!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.