If you’re a teen looking for business ideas, I want you to know that you’re already miles ahead of other people your age. It can be fun to learn how to make money as a kid and these lessons can help you understand the value of money as an adult.
Many billionaires formed big companies from simple ideas as teens. Take Mark Zuckerberg, for instance. He founded Facebook in his dorm room when he was just 19.
Several of these business ideas for teens you can do in your spare time, after school, and on the weekends.
You have an advantage because, unlike adults, you don’t have to worry about bills or other significant obligations that may hinder your entrepreneurial ventures.
Small Business Ideas for Teens
There’s nothing wrong with old school small business ideas that involve providing services to the local community.
You can start a small business with little skill or experience – you can usually pick that up along the way. You don’t need tons of money either.
The best small business for teens is a bit subjective. The ideal business for your friend might be a dud for you.
When picking a business idea, you should consider your interests and talents and how you can monetize it.
With that said, here are 14 good business ideas for teens.
I know it may sound exciting at first mention, but these are not your siblings we’re talking about. We’re talking about other people’s kids.
Working parents need someone to watch and entertain their kids when they’re running quick errands or going on a night out.
But for most parents, finding a trustworthy daycare is a little difficult. They need to know that their little one is in safe hands.
You may be required to change diapers, feed the baby, prepare food/snacks, help with homework, and perform light housekeeping tasks. Babysitters charge an average of $14 per hour.
Develop a good reputation and collect references from past families to earn repeat clients and referrals.
Ok, so babysitting isn’t a very original idea. But who says you have to put limits on yourself in this category?
Consider acquiring special skills like CPR or childcare training. There are many resources for this online, so that part’s a breeze.
2. Buy Things To Sell
If you’re good at bargain shopping, hit thrift stores, local garage sales, storage unit auctions, and flea markets to land deals for things and turn them into profit.
You’d be surprised at what some folks get rid of.
Before launching such a business, research what to sell to earn an income and what products are in high demand. Best items to buy and resell include brand name clothing, shoes, sunglasses, swimwear with tags on, backpacks, etc.
Nowadays, you can find customers from all over the world, not only in your school or town. Etsy, Craigslist.
Facebook Marketplace and eBay are some of the places to make money. Familiarize yourself with shipping, and packaging.
Just ensure to take high-quality photos of your items and provide clear descriptions. It may take a while for your items to be recognized by potential buyers, but that’s part of the process.
You’ll sell your stuff sooner or later if you’re patient and have priced reasonably.
3. Sell Baked Goods
I have yet to find someone who doesn’t love homemade cookies.
Selling baked goods is another teen entrepreneur activity that doesn’t require any particular qualification, just a strong work ethic.
You can bake muffins and cupcakes at home and sell them to your neighbors and other kids in your school. Just ensure they taste great and are well-packaged.
If you’re not good at baking, no problem. Baked goods can be consigned at local restaurants, stores or bakeries.
Once you’re confident about it, you can expand and begin to take larger orders. To avoid last-minute rush and disappointments, take orders and half payment in advance.
Consider decorating cupcakes on Facebook live and giving them away to gain followers for your business. Remember to check your state’s guidelines on selling baked goods to avoid trouble with the law.
4. Car Detailing
Motorists love their cars sparkling clean and don’t mind paying for the same.
Offer to wash cars at people’s homes or places of work to land as many customers as possible. It could be friends, neighbors or even family members.
For this business, you will need buckets, soap, hose, water, rags/sponges. Look at it this way – you’ll get to use the water at the car owner’s house!
To get the word out, you will need to use smart marketing. Give your first clients a free car wash so they can see how fantastic your services are.
5. House Cleaning
House cleaning is a chore no one enjoys (unless they’re getting paid like you will).
With their busy lifestyles, homeowners cannot keep up with doing cleaning work. This causes a higher demand for house cleaning work.
If you’re naturally tidy and can’t stand dirty spaces, consider starting a house cleaning business.
House cleaning services require a small investment in supplies. Chances are you already have most, if not all, of the cleaning supplies at home. Also, it requires no training or certification.
To generate more income, focus on developing repeat business. You can gather a few of your friends to start this business.
6. Run Errands
Some folks often need help doing even the simplest things.
They may need you to take a pet to the groomer or vet, drive them to a doctor’s appointment or to pick a few items from the convenience store. So convincing them to hire you won’t be that hard.
Wherever you live, you’ll come across senior citizens who love the convenience. You can also help with yard work, making minor repairs, and washing cars.
If you’re generally good with people (patient and understanding), you can try this small business idea.
7. Landscaping And Lawn Care
Landscaping and lawn care may not be glamorous work, but it can earn you a good income.
Most homeowners are either too busy or too lazy to rake leaves or mow their lawns. You’d be surprised how many of them would be happy to throw cash your way instead of paying a large company.
Set a schedule and charge for services such as leaf raking, killing weeds, watering plants, shrub/hedge trimming and mowing.
Your startup costs will be low with this small business. Tools you need for these jobs include
- rake, gloves,
- and pruner.
Also, you get to work outside.
Since homeowners are more likely to be at home on the weekend, you can show off your friendly character and build a bond, to make them customers for keeps! While at it, suggest some additional services you could offer.
To earn more, consider setting a flat fee for all yard and garden services. Build your client base by word of mouth advertising, yard signs and door-to-door flyers. You can also try GreenPal -the Uber for lawn care.
8. Dog Walking
People love their dogs!
The never-ending worry of a busy dog owner is who would help with exercising their dogs. Yes, just like you, dogs need exercise to keep fit.
If you love spending time with pets, and getting paid to walk, why not try dog walking? You can walk dogs for people working long hours, the elderly, and the disabled.
You’ll not only be providing a valuable service but also getting exercise in the process.
You can do this after school hours (in the evening and on weekends). Offer daily visits to provide your services or full-time pet sitting in the dog owner’s house.
Ensure to maintain a good system of communication with your clients.
As demand for your dog walking business grows, consider hiring a few of your friends to help you out.
Make extra cash by providing yard clean-up service. Before you even know it, you could be the owner to a full-fledged dog walking business!
9. Music Lessons
How many instruments can you play?
There are probably a lot of local kids in need of lessons to improve their instrument skills. Teach children and other teens how to play a musical instrument such as a guitar, piano, drum, violin, among other instruments.
Teaching music lessons can be lucrative if you’re a talented musician or musically inclined. Offer music lessons to kids in the neighborhood who may be willing to learn new music skills.
You can teach them how to sing and reading musical notes.
Startup costs for this type of business can stay small, especially if you ask your students to bring their own instruments.
You can advertise your private music lessons through word of mouth at school, music stores or on social media.
While it might be intimidating at the beginning, you’ll get your pitch down in no time, and it will be well worth the effort.
10. Sell Fruits And Vegetables at a Farmers Market
Have you been to a farmers market lately? Selling fruits and veggies is another thriving and profitable business that you can successfully start and manage as a teen.
Plant a garden during spring, start your own booth at the local farmer’s market and sell homegrown food items.
Restaurants tend to pay premium sums for locally sourced produce.
11. Garage Sale Organizing and Hosting
Ever walked past a cluttered open garage, full of stuff that the homeowner couldn’t fit their car inside? That’s your first potential client right there.
Many people have treasures lying useless in their garages. But it’s no secret that organizing and hosting garage sales can be stressful for adults.
If you’re extremely organized, detail-oriented and a well-planned itinerary excites you, offer this service at a fee.
Carefully plan out and host garage sales and trumpet your services on social media. You can also slip your business cards or flyers in homeowners’ mailboxes.
If your first job goes well, make it an ongoing business.
To be successful as a garage sale organizer and host, you need to be enthusiastic, communicative and possess a great attitude as you will likely deal with different types of people.
12. Holiday Decorating
If you’re out of ideas for places that hire at 15, try holiday decorating.
Not everyone enjoys decorating their houses during Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays.
By posting flyers on bulletin boards and word of mouth advertising, you can reach out to families that need assistance with home decorating.
You’ll be interacting with many families, so energy and good customer service skill will come in handy.
13. House Sitting
You can be a house sitter when people go on business trips and vacations.
This can ensure that catastrophes such as flooded rooms because the owner left a tap running don’t occur. You can also perform other small tasks like watering the plants and taking in the mail.
Homeowners with pets don’t want to put their furry friends in a kennel while they are away. You can offer to offer this service as an extra.
14. Pet Sitting
Fun fact: According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67 percent of U.S households own at least one pet.
Busy pet owners need someone to look after their four-legged companions when they are away and can’t find a friend/neighbor to watch them.
They don’t want to leave their pooches in animal daycare.
If this is a job you can handle – and enjoy, expand your services to include dog washing/grooming.
You can advertise your business online or approach neighbors to offer your services.
Online Business For A Teenager
Teenagers have grown up on digital technology.
Technology offers a wide array of online business opportunities for students.
Tech-savvy teenagers can do social media consulting, sell tech support, freelance, proofread, and teach older generations how to utilize tech, etc.
15. Social Media Marketing
Brands know that they have to leverage social media to reach their target audience, but they are often overwhelmed.
Modern businesses need individuals with social media expertise to help them with marketing. Teens have an advantage over adults when it comes to social media.
I can bet my lunch money that you’re active on at least one social network.
If you speak emoji like a second language and are well-informed of what’s trending and what’s not, helping other businesses promote their products/services may be the best way to capitalize on your skillset.
First, establish a presence on sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Find out all you can about social media marketing. Then use your skill to help clients spread brand awareness.
Offer starter packages to land more clients and build a long-term relationship. After that, you can offer a fixed package for a monthly or annual subscription.
You will need to be polite and professional when representing a company. Don’t post inappropriate stuff.
Blogging is another way to make money, but if you can get people to read what you have to say, it’s a low-cost way to profit on your passions or interest.
As a teen, you have a unique perspective on life. Use that to share your ideas and view while connecting with your peers.
It takes hard work and determination to build a blog with steady traffic. Pick a niche that interests you. Assess your inner qualities to get a niche you can write on with continuity.
Depending on your interest and proficiency, it can be gardening, fashion, gaming, tech, fitness, crafting, etc.
Next, choose a domain name and hosting service from a reliable hosting company.
When your site goes live, write engaging content to build your audience and bring traffic.
You can monetize your blog through affiliate marketing, posting sponsored posts, displaying online ads and selling your own physical or digital products.
17. Freelance Writer
The internet age is brimming with golden opportunities. You can become a successful freelancer if you have marketable writing skills and creativity in the way you play with words.
There is always a queue of clients willing to cooperate if you are a pro in a particular niche. Companies need blog posts, articles and sales copies to reach audiences worldwide with a variety of perspectives.
With a laptop and good internet connectivity, you can start searching for local and international clients.
Turn your talent into an online business by advertising your skills on freelancing sites like
- Text Broker,
- Hire Writer,
- and UpWork.
Some sites allow you to pick jobs directly while others require you to bid on the posted jobs.
Focus on building your online portfolio to land more and higher-paying clients.
Are you ahead of your class? Can you explain concepts in a way that is easy to understand? Turn your passion into a money-making machine.
Many teens like you provide after-school tutoring and lessons to younger kids and their peers. Getting good grades in school really does pay off, huh?
It’s common knowledge that some kids struggle in some school subjects. Such kids need little tutoring and test prep to boost their grades. And that’s where you come in.
Teens are more likely to pay attention to someone closer to their age. If you’re simply good at geometry, reading, French, or any other subject, you can offer to tutor at a fee when you’re free.
This is another online business that can take you far beyond your high school years.
If you’re proficient in English, consider teaching adults whose first language is not English. You can form a tutoring company with your studious friends.
Post fliers around the neighborhood advertising specific subjects and respective tutoring rates.
Sites like Tutor Vista and Tutor.com hire teenagers with excellent academic knowledge in just about any subject.
19. Selling Crafts
Many people are looking for unique and innovative gifts or home decoration items. Your ability to use your hands and tools to create stunning objects can be lucrative.
Young minds typically have a better grip on creative stuff. Online marketplaces are a great platform for crafty teens.
Fulfillment by Amazon also allows teens to sell crafts through its stores. Amazon takes care of inventory, taking orders, and shipment.
Selling art, printables, and other creations online can be a great way to get started with online retail and e-commerce. It may look small, but making and selling crafts has a great earning potential for teens.
You don’t need an A+ in art, just a little creativity to make
- decorated totes,
- customized quilts,
- decorated mugs/glasses,
- homemade soap and spa products,
- and other home décor items.
Even without traditional skills, you can take advantage of technology to create stunning crafts or artwork.
20. Computer And Tech Support
Most American homes have at least one computer.
But just because one can buy it from the store doesn’t mean they know how to set it up. This means there’s a big demand for in-home tech services.
If you know your way with computers or technology, you can help people
- set up and transfer personal data,
- install security software,
- remove trialware and unwanted programs,
- create system recovery discs,
- troubleshoot issues,
- perform system updates,
- and repair computers at a fee.
While it’s not exactly a business, you can make some quick bucks quite easily. Provide a “help-line” for clients to reach you when they need help.
21. Sell Printables
If you’d rather sell products instead of services, printables could be ideal.
Time is a precious resource in the modern world and creating printables like weekly planners can help people manage their time.
People love printables but run short on the talent of creating them. You can also create
- monthly budgets,
- meal planners,
- greeting cards,
- birthday invitations,
- fitness planners,
and sell them as downloadable files online.
Creating practical printables is a great sellable skill. You just need tools like Canva, PicMonkey, and Google Drive to get started.
22. Graphic Design Business
Graphic design is one online business that needs training and some practice to get started.
There are a lot of people out there calling themselves graphic designers but lack the skills to design stellar logos, drawings, etc.
If graphic design is something that interests you, it won’t take long to learn the ropes. Check if your school offers classes on graphic design. Learn graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator inside out.
After acquiring the skills, be proactive and aggressive in marketing your services.
Companies like Fiverr, 99designs, and threadles.com provide young artists with the opportunity to compete for money when they submit designs that meet a client’s needs.
23. Sell Photos
Photography has grown to become a very popular side-hustle among teenagers.
Do you have a great eye? Are you always the one in the group who people trust to document special moments? Selling photos is a fun way to earn extra bucks if you appreciate being behind the best shots.
Most teens have an eye for what’s trending and have a better understanding of technology. If this sounds like you, you can sell photos on Foap, Stockimo, ScoopShot and Shutterstock and get a handsome paycheck.
You need a good professional camera, a laptop, editing software and some post-production (editing) skills. You can start without a studio.
24. Play Games
Yes, you read that right, you can get paid to play games!
Earning money while playing video games is living the dream for most young gaming enthusiasts. This can become a reality with enough drive and enthusiasm.
Sites like Twitch get their revenue from subscription fees, channel ads, selling their merchandise and donations.
All you need to do is to become a Twitch streamer and spend hours streaming your gameplay and working on building your followers.
When you acquire 500+ followers, you become a partner, meaning you can start earning money for generated traffic.
You can also try GPT sites like Swagbucks, InboxDollars, Bananatic, AppNana, Exodus 3000, Free Slots 4U, etc.
Proofreading and editing services are sought after, making them another easy to establish but highly thriving and profitable small business idea.
Do you have a good grasp of writing error-free texts? If your answer is yes, this is another online business to explore.
Proofreading requires little to no capital to start. You can work from home when you join freelance work sites.
26. Creating & Selling T-Shirts
Like selling crafts, this small business is for those with a creative flair.
Starting a T-shirt business is as easy as grabbing a pack of wafers. There are teens already making big money.
It might require a little capital to get started, but you don’t need a lot of training.
You, your friends or even your parents can bounce ideas around and brainstorm T-shirt ideas that would sell fast.
27. Affiliate Marketing
Here’s another business that doesn’t conflict with your school schedule.
If you already have a blog, there are thousands of affiliate programs willing to pay you when people click through from your site to theirs and complete a purchase.
Some businesses may be clueless on what to promote on your blog, so you have to develop the ideas from the ground up.
The entrepreneurial spirit can take hold in the teen years. Never underestimate the potential for big success from small starts.
Starting a small business is a fun way to earn income as a teen. You can tap into your passions, interest and experiences to make money. You can also run your business from the comfort of your home.
Just because it’s a teen business doesn’t mean that running it will be easy. Successful entrepreneurship requires hard work and consistent effort.
Not ready to start a business? Try one of these high paying jobs for 18 year olds.
What other small business ideas for teens can you think of? Let me and other readers know in the comments below.