Instances of young entrepreneurs are well-documented in history, not just millennials like Mark Zuckerberg. Among Gen Z, there are teen entrepreneurs who have achieved more in their formative years than many entrepreneurs will in a lifetime.
The beauty of entrepreneur pursuit is that there is no age cap to it, so teens with great small business ideas can kick-start their entrepreneurial journey at a very tender age. Starting a small business that early is beneficial. At such a formative age, teens are not worried about bills or other huge responsibilities, which may impact the success of their entrepreneurial ventures.
That said, if your teenager is showing great entrepreneurial skills, this article will serve as a guide to the best small businesses they can create to channel such skills, earn extra income, and achieve economic freedom while they're young.
5 Reasons Teen Entrepreneurs Are Likely to Succeed
Young entrepreneurs starting their first business are more likely to succeed for the following reasons:
- Little or no responsibilities guarantee a focus on the business
- Learning comes easy at such a young age
- Family support is guaranteed
- Great flexibility and freedom to try out things
- There's no pressure to succeed
Unique Criteria a Great Teen Business Must Meet
An excellent teen business must be such that it won't affect their studies since the average U.S. teenager is a high school student. Some unique criteria it must meet are:
On average, teenagers spend about eight to 12 hours each weekday in school. The best business plan for teens must be flexible and something they can handle in their free time or part-time, more like a side hustle. It's best to run such a business in the evening, after school and other extracurricular activities, or during weekends.
The business must be easily accessible. Therefore, a home business or online business is ideal as it guarantees safety. Additionally, it helps in cases where the parents have to monitor some operational aspects.
Little or No Startup Cost
Most teens with an entrepreneurial mindset usually save up their lunch money to kick-start their new business. That said, if a business requires a lot of money to start or maintain, then most teens can't give it a try.
Profitability is at the core of every business venture. The same is true for a teen business. Even if it doesn't start yielding returns immediately, there should be great potential to generate profit long term to avoid wasting time and valuable resources.
Must Require Little or No Specialized Skill Set, Training, or Certifications
Being in their formative years means they may not have the requisite certification for advanced businesses. Therefore, small businesses for teens shouldn't require a certificate of any form, training, or a specialized skill set as criteria to startup. Instead, willingness, dedication, and some basic skills should be enough to get it started.
13 Business Ideas for Teens
Suppose you're a teenager wondering which small business you can venture into. In that case, you don't have to worry about that anymore. Here, we have detailed 13 small business ideas that satisfy all the criteria that guarantee success.
Child care or Babysitting
Most parents have a busy work life and require babysitters to take care of their babies while they're away. Teens with a passion for child care can leverage the opportunity to make extra cash for themselves.
It requires little to nothing to kick-start, making it very ideal for teens. As a babysitter, part of your responsibilities may include:
- Changing diapers
- Helping with homework
- Preparing baby food or snacks
- Helping out with minor housekeeping tasks
On average, babysitters charge around $16 per hour. You can charge $14 as a start and build from there. If you're trustworthy and have an excellent reputation, you'll create a core base of loyal customers in no time.
Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are people with an excellent online reputation and huge followership on popular social media platforms. Teens who are social media enthusiasts and know how to navigate platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter can turn it into a business venture.
To become an influencer, you need to find a niche that reflects something you're passionate about. It could be fashion, movies, gaming tips, DIYs, or tutorials that will help you build loyal followers. It requires zero startup capital and very little hard work.
Brands love to identify with social media influencers to advertise their products or services. Influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can typically charge between $10 to $100 per post on Instagram, $5 to $25 on TikTok, and $2 to $20 on Twitter.
Dog Walking or Pet Sitting Business
Statistics show that about 67% of households own at least one pet in the U.S. A dog walking or pet sitting business is an ideal way for teens who have a passion and love for pets to earn extra money. It requires little to zero startup cost as the pet owners are responsible for supplies like dog food, a leash, etc.
Independent business owners can earn as much as $57,000 annually when working full-time. However, the average cost for dog-sitting is $37 per day. You can start small in your neighborhood, charging $20, and go big once you've built a loyal base of customers.
Lawn Care and House Cleaning Services
Teens used to lawn mowing and house cleaning (dusting, mopping, and vacuuming) as part of their chores can leverage it and earn extra bucks. Using your family lawn mower to start is an excellent idea since buying lawn care equipment can be expensive.
You can start small, working after school or during weekends to build a loyal customer base that will call you whenever your services are needed. You can also use word of mouth to advertise your services and availability.
The average national rate is $13.60, so you can start up with $10 to stay competitive and earn customers. Once you can make enough savings, you can then purchase all the necessary equipment needed to make your business grow.
Offering musical lessons is another great small business idea for teen entrepreneurs, especially for teens who are great instrumentalists. Knowing how to write music is a bonus. You can tell your students to bring their own instruments to minimize startup costs.
Web Development and Graphic Design Business
A web development or graphic design business can be very lucrative, but each requires skills to succeed. A teenager with an eye on web development and/or graphic designing needs to learn basic computer programming such as HTML, CSS, and Python.
There are sufficient resources online to get you started. YouTube, for instance, is a reservoir of quality tutorial videos that you may find helpful. In addition, students with adequate skills can design websites at a reduced cost for small business owners who cannot afford experts.
You can help clients design flyers, greeting cards, business cards, e-book covers, T-shirts, and more. Web designers typically charge $75 or more per hour, but you can start up with $40 per hour to stay competitive and make a profit. Subsequently, you can increase the price.
Art and Academic Home Tutoring Business
People are endowed with varying skills and talents. While some are naturally skilled in drawing and painting, others have a knack for science. A student with good knowledge of these can always earn substantial money teaching other students. Startup costs are small and the primary commitment is your time.
Blogging and Freelance Writing Business
Teens with a passion for writing can make a reasonable amount of money writing about something they are passionate about. In addition, they can register on popular freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Craigslist to start writing for clients in need. It's a great work-from-home opportunity.
eBay and Etsy Store
Etsy and eBay are the two most popular e-commerce platforms where you can sell or resell products directly to millions of online shoppers worldwide. Young people can leverage these to make extra money by selling products online.
All you need to do is sign up on a platform, choose a subscription plan, and upload pictures of your products to start selling. Ideally, for handmade crafts, you should focus on Etsy.
Social Media Marketing
With social media connecting more than half the world's population, teenagers can leverage their immense ability to navigate the platform and earn money. Social media marketing is a great business idea for a teenager who loves to communicate with large groups of people.
Since social media marketing is comprehensive, you can narrow it down by choosing a niche between copywriting, content marketing, direct response, or social media management.
You don't need any startup materials other than your smartphone, a stable Internet connection, and the ability to communicate effectively. Social media managers earn an average of $54,000 annually, though a teenager may have to start as an unpaid intern.
Livestream Video Gamer
Livestream gaming platforms provide opportunities for teenagers who are passionate about video games to earn some money while having fun. You can make money from popular game-streaming websites like Twitch.tv, HitBox, or Beam, where you can either do video game commentary or video game reviews. Twitch streamers make an average of $3.50 per 1,000 views. Small Twitch streamers usually have 50 - 100 subscribers and can earn around $500 a month.
Farmer's Market Vendor
Farmer's markets are a great way for teenagers to sell home-grown food and handmade goods around the neighborhood. In addition, teenagers with extra space in their homes can decide to create a garden to grow their own food and vegetables to sell.
Selling Handmade Crafts
Teenagers with the ability to create handmade crafts can turn it into a money-making business since many people look for unique items to decorate their homes. You can either sell your homemade crafts to local retailers or online via Etsy. Again, the startup cost is low. Once you've got the requisite talent and creativity, you're good to go.
Stay On Top of Your Business Finances With Skynova
Financial management is a vital aspect of running a small business. However, teens may not have the adequate knowledge of financial management necessary to handle their business finances. The good news is that they don't have to if they use Skynova's accounting software.
Our software system can help you track and manage income and expenses through automatic recording of transactions, cash flow management, invoice generation, etc. You can then focus on other aspects of your business.
Notice to the Reader
This content details small business opportunities teens can leverage to earn extra money and may not work in your specific situation. Seek an expert opinion if you're looking to start a small business.