Over the course of the last several years, the world of business has changed drastically. Thanks to technological advancements and the ever-so-present transferring of real companies to the online world, entrepreneurship has become a much more appealing option for many young people, including teenagers.
In this blog post, we will be talking about business ideas that can be great for teens since getting early business training might do them a ton of good in the real world, even if they don’t end up earning a lot of money from it.
We will focus on feasible ideas for young people that don’t require a ton of resources, basically, things that anyone can do by putting his or her mind to it.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Why Start Entrepreneurship as a Teen?
Often, adults tend to think of teenagers as children; however, you are not in more than one way. By the time you’re 17, you’re expected to know what you want to do in life, to be able to make responsible choices, and to understand what you have to do should you end up in a messy situation. Starting a business as a teenager is a journey full of endless benefits, with very minor setbacks.
Young people who try starting a business early on in their lives tend to develop more self-confidence and better problem-solving skills and are more resourceful. Along with that, they are able to see the rules that apply in the “adult” world and learn some lessons when the stakes are not that high yet.
Furthermore, regardless of the occupation you choose, you will be able to gain a ton of experience and new skills which will set you apart from other kids your age. The knowledge of what it takes to run a company is something that often gives you a real advantage when it comes to graduating from a university and starting a career. It’s a great start that will only enable you to become an even better professional as you get older.
If your venture turns out to be successful and earns you money, then it’s even better because you will know you can always start something of your own and succeed, even if all other plans don’t work out.
Advantages of Teen Entrepreneurship
As already mentioned, there are many benefits of starting a business very young. If you’re wondering what some of them might be, here’s a short list:
- No pressure: When you start young, there’s no real pressure to succeed. You’re not responsible for making money or sustaining a family, so there can be a lot of trial and error, which is a terrific learning curve to go through.
- Easier to learn new things: Science has long ago proven that young people learn quickly and with more ease than adults. This means you will be able to pick up everything more efficiently and be more creative.
- More spare time: As a teenager, you usually don’t have that many responsibilities outside of school, which means you have plenty of time to spend on developing a business.
- Ability to network: Thanks to social media, networking is now easier than ever. There are many platforms where you can meet hundreds of professionals specializing in different industries such as digital marketers, distributors, etc.
- Learn to take risks: The younger people are, the more likely it is that they take risks. As people age, they start becoming more cautious, something that is not always beneficial in business. When you, as a teen, try your hand at entrepreneurship, you can see the value of taking risks and are likely to remember that lesson for the future.
- Proper business etiquette: When you delve into the world of adults from a young age, you’re quickly able to grasp the rules of adult communication and, more importantly, business communication. You learn how to behave in meetings, how to conduct yourself when presenting ideas and how to negotiate with people. These are essential life lessons that will serve you well in the future.
14 Great Business Ideas for Teens
By now, we’ve clearly established that starting a business as a teen is a great learning curve that will teach you many valuable life lessons that you can use in the future.
That being said, let’s now talk more about how you can start a company and what some appropriate niches might be, seeing as teens are young, inexperienced, and probably underqualified for a lot of positions. Regardless, thanks to the rise of e-commerce and online businesses, there are plenty of opportunities to go for. Here are some of them.
Social Media Management
Nowadays, all companies need to have a social media presence if they want to be successful. You might be a teenager who is great at helping companies or people manage their social media accounts since you know all the current trends, how to work on the different apps and all the modern “lingo” that young people tend to use. As a teen, you are an excellent match for brands that want to appeal to a younger demographic, as you can help create content that’s genuinely relatable and creates a connection with the audience. Along with that, it’s easy to scale this type of business since you can start slowly by working with one or two companies and build from there if you enjoy the job and are good at it.
Freelance Creative Work
If you like doing creative work, you can apply for plenty of jobs on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. If you’re good at design and you love drawing, then a gig as a graphic designer might just be the thing for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy writing and you want to get better, you can apply for writing positions that vary in responsibilities and required skills. Both of these options are great since they let you work from anywhere around the world and allow you to follow your own schedule so that you can work on your terms.
Whenever parents want to enjoy a date night or just have obligations to tend to, they usually need someone trustworthy to watch over their children. Babysitting is the kind of job you can do in your spare time, and if you want to do it frequently, the best advertisement is word-of-mouth. Once you do a good job taking care of someone’s kids, they are likely to recommend you to all of their friends and neighbors as someone who is reliable and responsible. From there, you can start building your own client base and working as much as you can and want to.
Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
When pet owners go on vacation, they usually don’t like leaving their pets in animal daycare, and it’s often that they are unable to find friends or family members to watch over their animal friends. In those times, people look for pet sitters who can take care of their furry friends while they are away.
Another sought-after service is dog walking. Most busy professionals who have dogs sometimes can’t frequently walk them, and hiring someone to do that job is often the only way.
Both of these occupations are only great if you already love animals and taking care of them is fun for you. Otherwise, you may find them to be too much of a hassle.
Being a Car Service
If you’re a bit older (16 years old or above), you may use your driver’s license and car to earn money as a car service. Here there are two options: either working with a dedicated ride-sharing company or working on your own by offering car services to local community members.
Usually, tasks range from providing transport to running small errands like picking up products from the grocery store or getting restaurant orders. If you’re considering starting a car service business, it’s important for you to have and maintain a clean driving record and ensure that your car is in good enough condition to withstand the workload.
Becoming a Tutor
If you’re good in school or you excel at a particular subject like English or Math, then tutoring is an excellent opportunity for you to start working and earning money. You can share the knowledge you have with students that are your classmates or younger ones that are still in middle or elementary school.
Usually, tutoring is done in one-on-one sessions. However, you can also consider having group tutoring sessions. Not only is this a great way to earn money, but it’s also a way to build new friendships with people your age.
If you’re good at making products with your hands and you enjoy the creative process of producing crafts, then you should consider it as a great way to start an online business. You can begin by making pictures, printed t-shirts, or mugs (or basically whatever you think is cool and you can actually create) and then sell them on popular marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.
An excellent way to start is by making items that relate to a particular online fandom, for example, Harry Potter bracelets, Taylor Swift printed sweatshirts, or portraits of famous people. That way, your work has a higher chance of being noticed, and once you gain a bit of popularity, you can begin making your own creations inspired only by your imagination. If you go this route, make sure your creations don’t infringe on copyrights and are clearly fan-art, or are available under creative commons licenses.
Doing Live Streaming and Vlogging
Streaming is all the rage nowadays, especially with the many different styles of video creation we currently have. There’s live streaming while playing video games on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. However, if you’re aren’t really into that, you can also produce higher quality videos for sites like YouTube.
Vlogging and live-streaming have become increasingly popular during the last decade, with many people starting their online careers on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. If you have a particular hobby that you think others might find interesting, creating content related to it might skyrocket your career as a vlogger.
However, be mindful that this job entails a loss of privacy to a certain extent, and it’s also a highly competitive field, as more and more people are starting to consider it as a career option.
Starting a Blog
If you love creating content but are more camera shy and don’t enjoy recording yourself, then starting a blog is a great way to express yourself in front of a large audience. Nowadays, blogs are popular, and they give you the opportunity to write about anything you want. You can make posts that feel like a personal diary, or you can dedicate your articles to things you find interesting – from sporting events to book launches and movie reviews.
Along with that, starting a blog is relatively cheap as you need to pay only for a domain name and web hosting services. Then choose one of the many platforms that offer website creation and make something that you like. You will see the process is straightforward, and there are tons of tutorials online.
Housekeeping may turn out to be a job that earns good money since many families are willing to pay well to get a high-quality housekeeping service. If you’re someone with a good eye for detail and don’t find manual labor too tricky, then this opportunity might just be the one for you. There are many job listings and tons of ways to get started. Once you start working with clients and have some reviews, you can get referrals and expand your “business.”
Becoming a photographer or doing any sort of photography used to be a very expensive hobby, as equipment used to cost a lot. However, nowadays, that isn’t the case. Now, you can take high-quality pictures on your phone and edit them with specific applications dedicated to polishing the photo and making it even more professional.
However, if you want to pursue photography as more than a hobby, you might have to refine your skills and get a high-quality camera to work with. From there, you have to create a portfolio and start working on building a name for yourself. In the beginning, you can shoot local community events such as fairs or school celebrations and publish the photos on your social media pages. Once you have a significant enough portfolio, you can start attracting potential clients and applying for entry-level jobs.
Preparing Home-cooked Meals
People nowadays strive to have a healthy lifestyle, which has helped expand the meal-prepping business in the last several years.
While most busy professionals want to eat healthily, the reality is that most of them simply don’t have the time to make meals that fit their goals and so are constantly looking for quick dining options that are good for the body.
If you’re good at cooking and you know a fair share about nutrition, you can start a meal-prepping service. In the beginning, you may have to start out with just a few clients, as you won’t have the time to prepare that much food, but if you start to enjoy it and you have a growing clientele, you can start thinking about letting your friends and family help out.
Creating an App
If you have some knowledge in programming and you enjoy coding, then starting a side-hustle that revolves around creating apps might just be the right business opportunity for you. You can create apps and games that you think would be useful for your peers and that don’t exist in the market currently. Alternatively, you can think about apps that your local community might find helpful such as a tour guide of local restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Once you have some experience and know how to make simple apps, you can start offering your services to companies looking for app developers, thus expanding your business.
If you excel in English class, love reading, and have a keen eye for detail, then a proofreading gig might be great for you. Nowadays, many companies need someone to look over their blog posts and marketing materials and check if everything is grammatically correct.
The cool thing about having such jobs is that they’re convenient – you can do them at your own pace, whenever you have free time and from anywhere (as long as you have a stable internet connection). At first, you may not be able to earn a ton of money, but after some time, you will start getting better and faster at proofreading, and so you will be able to take on more clients and thus have higher earnings.
Inspiring Real-life Examples
You may think that all this talk about starting a business young is just foolish dreaming and that it’s highly unlikely for such ideas to prosper in the real world. However, that’s not the case. In fact, there are many examples of entrepreneurs who started their companies young and turned their dreams into reality.
Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and impressive ones.
Are You Kidding – Sock Company by Sebastian Martinez
Sebastian Martinez may only be seven years old, but he’s already a CEO of a company and a philanthropist. Sebastian always loved collecting funny, bright socks and the idea for his company “Are You Kidding” came when his mother suggested that he start designing his own socks.
The company, which makes specialty socks, has teamed up with organizations like Live Like Bella Foundation and the American Cancer Society to raise around $3,000 for cancer awareness. Along with doing humanitarian work, the company made $15,000 in revenue in 2013, and the number has only continued to grow.
NayGames – iPhone games by Robert Nay
When Robert was 14, he wrote 4,000 lines of code and created his first game for iPhones called “Bubble Ball.” When the game launched, it gathered over two million downloads in its first two weeks, and it managed to knock the blockbuster “Angry Birds” out of the first spot in the Apple App Store.
Robert came up with the idea to create a game by himself and dedicated a few months to learning how to code and thinking about what kind of game might become popular. Before writing the code for “Bubble Ball,” Robert didn’t have any coding experience, and he relied on heavy research to turn his dream into reality.
Nay now has a mobile game development company called Nay Games, which develops new projects and is working on improving “Bubble Ball.”
Kangaroo Cups – Special Cups by Lily Born
When Lily was just eight years old, she noticed that her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease, struggled to drink from regular cups without spilling. Upon witnessing his struggle, Lily began thinking of ways to make this simple task easier for him and for all other people who have a similar illness.
That’s how Lily came up with the Kangaroo Cup: a no-spill cup that uses three legs for stabilization, which makes it harder for it to get overturned. With the help of her father, Born went to China to work on the original design of the cup and to find a manufacturer. Now, Lily and her parents have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds so that they can create a plastic version of the Kangaroo cup that’s more durable.
Even though there aren’t that many business ideas for kids and teens that are actually realistic, there are still quite a few that are worth exploring, especially nowadays when technology has broadened the horizon so much.
If you’re someone that’s in their early teens or even a little bit older, don’t fear that you’re too young to try your hand at entrepreneurship. Instead, take one of your hobbies or something else you’re passionate about and think about how you can turn that passion into work. Another essential thing to remember is that a side-hustle should always be something you genuinely enjoy – don’t try to do things you don’t find captivating and engaging; it will just be a waste of time.
If you’re a creative person, search for ways to let your creativity flow: write blogs, make crafts or start a gig as a graphic designer. If you’re an animal lover, consider dog walking or pet sitting. If you have a knack for detail and a love for technology, you can think about programming or social media management.
The most important thing is to always put your whole heart into what you’re doing and try to make the best out of every situation. Entering the “adult world” as a teen or child can be stressful. However, it’s also the best way to learn vital life lessons about hard work, earning money, and taking responsibility.