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You do not have to be an adult to start your own business. There are so many business opportunities that teenagers can use to earn some bucks and also commence their journey towards becoming an entrepreneur.
Bill Gates started Microsoft at the age of 20 and Steve Jobs founded Apple at the age of 21. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at the age of 19. The Internet has made the journey of entrepreneurs easy and for those who are willing to explore and earn a few bucks, there is no limit.
When we talk about business ideas for teens, we are not talking about building a big business idea or making millions of bucks. We are talking about opportunities to make a few good bucks and use their free time effectively. This would give them a helping hand in paying for their expenses and developing a sense of responsibility. As a teenager, the burden of supporting a family and taking care of bills is non-existent for most and hence the fear of taking a risk and losing the game comes down drastically.
As a step towards that direction here are 51 profitable business ideas that you can consider to make money.
51 Small Business Ideas for Teenagers
1. Academic Writer
As a teenager, you would have crossed your initial academic years which laid a foundation for good language and communication skills. It would have also given you an opportunity to excel in a subject of your interest.
So what next? Go ahead and cash in on those skills. There are many students who look for some support in their academics.
Preparation of accurate notes and easily comprehensible notes is an art. The principle is ‘keep it simple’. If your notes can include examples and illustrations, then there’s nothing like it.
2. Child Care
One need not be in a full-time job for taking care of children. Most parents need their children to be looked after for 2-3 hours while they are busy with something else. Child care during the weekend would also be a breather to parents who need to run household errands or go on date night.
Remember, all you need is the knack of handling children and spending time quality time with them—you can play games with them or teach them small rhymes. Further, you can charge on an hourly basis and make few good bucks.
3. Craft Fair Vendor
One might have the skill to create beautiful crafts which attract people, but it also requires a marketing technique to actually sell them. And not all have that.
Attracting customers and explaining to them about the craft items matters a lot when it comes to selling. Further, how a particular craft piece is going to enhance the beauty of its surroundings or the person using it needs to be explained in a convincing manner.
Once the customer is convinced, the purchase becomes inevitable. Selling requires good convincing skills and a go-get attitude.
So if you have all of the above, go ahead and become a craft fair vendor.
4. YouTube Personality
This is the present generation’s business idea. This can also be set up as a team wherein the ideas for targeting specific age group customers can be numerous.
It can be related to music, small drama, dance, cooking, a topic about which you want to educate the public, anything under the sun. As a team, the topics can be distributed and there can be a continuous flow of videos on YouTube to keep in touch with your audience and also to get more subscriptions.
Once your videos gain popularity, you will get ads that will earn you good money.
Podcasting is reaching your audience on a particular topic through audio files. You can start by podcasting for good brands and then you can move to tap the audience on specific topics. Remember, if you have been good enough in catching the eye and ear of the audience, then you can get sponsors to pay you.
People launching new books, projects or even television shows need podcasting. This helps them in advertising their new ventures and reaching out to a major audience. For example, Tim Ferriss used the podcast mode to market his New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans.
6. Car Washing Service
This is one of the simplest business ideas which involves only your physical stamina and labor. Most of the population needs a car cleaning service in the morning hours (i.e., before they leave for their jobs) or weekends.
The choice can be yours. Some will be willing to employ you on a monthly basis for an every morning not-so-thorough cleaning or pay for thorough cleaning on the weekend. Both ways can earn you good money.
You can also Google or watch some YouTube videos to learn the nuances of car washing and a little about the car parts and how they need to be handled. This would give you a good start when you are approaching customers with your service.
7. House Cleaning
No job which involves your hard work is big or small. What is a better idea than making a few bucks and calling that your hard-earned money? Here, if you can get a team for offering such services, you will go a long way.
Working alone may take more time to complete the job. If you can offer house cleaning services as a team then the time taken for the job would be less and payment can be shared among the team members.
Gaining house cleaning skills is super easy—give your parents or cleaning help a helping hand while they do their chores and learn from them at the same time.
Also, make sure to Google and learn more tips and tricks about house cleaning and implement them in your services.
8. Laundry Service
Have you ever imagined that doing laundry can be a thriving and profitable business? You don’t need a separate setup for this. Further, you can start this business and operate it successfully from home.
Also, you can start in a small way with a washing machine, a dryer, pressing iron, ironing. If you have all this equipment at home you can take your parents’ permission and start the business. If you don’t have the equipment, obtain a small startup capital from your parents and other family members.
Remember, this business does not need much experience to start with.
9. Errand Service
Running a house means doing errands such as picking up groceries, paying bills, dry cleaning, collecting laundry, dropping kids to school, etc.
In the present time, people wait for the weekends to complete their errands. However, there are certain errands that can’t wait and this is where you can pitch and offer your services.
You can offer to complete these errands for a small fee in your free time after your school/college and earn a few bucks.
10. Lawn Care
Lawn care is an easy business to start. All you need is transportation and equipment and you can build a local clientele to offer your services. The time you need to devote is your wish absolutely.
Offer your services to your neighbors first, so you wouldn’t have to travel around a lot.
This will also give you a chance to get some really good fresh air, and will be a sort of workout for you!
11. Dog Walking
Dog walking service is one of the flaring businesses—maintaining a dog requires tremendous time and effort.
This service is well suited for those who love dogs and also can devote some time to them with patience. The investment is very less as you will need just leashes to take the dogs for a walk. You can also offer this service on a one-to-one basis or walk multiple dogs with a multi-lead dog walking collar or leash.
If you are able to manage 2-3 dogs at a time, that will give you an upper hand to increase your revenue. Further, you can either market your services by printing fliers or by putting up an ad on a website that’s doing well.
12. Gift Wrapping Service
Have you ever thought that gift wrapping could be a good business idea? Actually, it is.
Almost all happy occasions require nicely wrapped gifts as part of the celebrations. There are occasions when return gifts are given and this results in bulk gift wrapping.
Not everyone has the knack of wrapping a gift in a beautiful manner. This is where you come in. Offer the service to your neighbors and relatives first, and take advantage of the holiday season.
There are many YouTube videos that will give you good ideas to learn gift wrapping. If you can start by making a small investment in good gift wrappers with ribbons and other decoration materials, then you are ready to go.
13. Computer Setup Service
Not everyone is well acquainted with setting up a computer and getting an initial hold of operating it. Possessing a computer is the need of the hour and almost every person, irrespective of age, owns it.
If you have that basic software knowledge of setting up a computer, you can offer your services for doing the same for a small fee. Believe me, there are many who are willing to hire such services for a small cost. Once you become a good hand in it, the offers will flow in.
You can also have a tie-up with those stores that are selling these products to recommend you for setting up computers.
14. Technology Tutor
Children in the present generation have computer training as part of their education. Further, they are also smart in operating smartphones and exploiting technology to the maximum extent.
However, the same is not the case with their parents and grandparents.
With your computer literacy and smartphone knowledge, you can actually extend your technology tutor services to middle-aged and senior citizens. All you need is the right amount of patience to teach them the necessary stuff.
This business can be started with no or very little investment and you can earn those extra bucks to fund your needs.
15. Online Graphics Seller
Graphic designing is nothing but visual communication. Logos and symbols are used to communicate in a better way with the clientele. All the popular websites you browse through probably use graphic designing to look appealing.
Graphic designs help capture more attention and that too quickly as compared to write-ups. What’s more, drawing skills are not required for this.
You can easily learn graphic design by taking up any online course. Develop good graphics and put them as an advertisement in well-doing websites. Initially, it may be difficult to gain a footing in this area, but once you prove yourself, then there is no looking back.
16. Greeting Card Maker
You must be wondering who buys cards in today’s world. Actually, there are still many who like gifting greeting cards as they seem more sentimental and touching. What cannot be conveyed in person can be said through a greeting card. If you are creative, artistic, and have good drawing abilities, then get into this business.
You can create good handmade cards with beautiful captions to attract customers. You can either sell them online or have a tie-up with a store to display your cards for sale. Cards are still a major hit among people of all ages, so you don’t have to worry about the profit.
17. Party Entertainer
You can either do this on your own depending on your skillset or register yourself with an agency offering such services. The types of entertainers for children include clowns, magicians, pet show organizers, singers, or skit actors.
Party entertainers are also present at corporate parties as part of their relaxation activities. The investment for this business is low and the revenue is good. The average rate for party entertainers is around $50 per hour.
As such parties are usually organized in the evenings, so you can easily take time out and earn some good money.
To market yourself as an individual party entertainer you can advertise in the Yellow Pages or send fliers to local businesses. Once your skill speaks for you, your best marketing help will be word-of-mouth. Make sure to drop those business cards at every party.
18. Custom Portrait Artist
Many like to get their portrait made as it is way different than getting photographs clicked. Many a time such portraits have a memory attached to them—like the fairs/exhibitions the portrait subjects have visited as a family, a couple, etc.
If you have good drawing skills and can produce portraits, then go ahead and start sitting in those busy market areas or fairs or exhibitions.
Many a time, parents with small kids of up to 7-8 years like to get their family portraits done as this will be a wonderful reminder of all the good times the family had.
19. Pet Photographer
There are a lot of people who are very fond of pets and treat them as part of their family. And many of them will want pictures of their pets captured so that they can frame them or make a photo album.
If you have good photography skills, go ahead and offer your services for pet photography. You can browse the internet to learn more about pet photography and incorporate those ideas when you are offering the services.
All you need is a good camera that can capture those beautiful moments and faces.
20. Event Photographer
Though smartphones allow people to take photographs on every occasion, a lot of people prefer hiring professional photographers.
Almost all functions, be it birthdays or weddings, a silver jubilee or golden jubilee anniversary, everything gets captured in photographs. This is a very profitable business idea even for teenagers.
The basic necessities for this business would be a good camera, a fine laptop, software for editing purposes, and good photography skills. As a teenager, the photography business is a good option to go into.
21. Delivery Service
You can consider getting into this business provided you have a reliable form of transportation like a bike or a four-wheeler which your parents use rarely.
You can offer a delivery service business for delivering items to various locations on behalf of your customers. Many a time, it becomes difficult for working people to reach things to their parents or relations or friends places due to lack of time.
If you can pitch in and offer such services and ensure customer satisfaction, you can get paid well.
22. E-commerce Reseller
Reselling business is a good idea to develop entrepreneurial skills. The business requires commitment and also requires to be dealt with patience.
You are required to buy products from manufacturers and resell them on well-established E-commerce websites. There may be many creators but they might not have good marketing skills to sell their products.
This is where you can pitch in and offer your marketing services—you’ll become a middleman between the manufacturer and the customer. Acquire items from them and sell them on the websites.
You may need some capital to stock the items you propose to resell or have a tie-up with manufacturers. Do not forget to include the costs of shipping etc. while fixing your margins before the sale.
23. Proof Reader
Proofreading is nothing but going through an already drafted document and ensuring that the grammar and spellings are intact. You need good grammar and vocabulary skills to offer such proofreading services.
Many writers who pen down fiction, non-fiction, ghost stories, etc. need someone to go through their writings and ensure that their writings are error-free.
A well-drafted write-up attracts readers’ attention and that is what proofreading ensures. Your skill is the investment and there is no money involved in starting this business. Further, your ability to prove yourself good in your initial assignments will fetch you more business.
Each and every human being values memories of the wonderful times they’ve had, and they’ll want to preserve it for as long as possible.
The scrapbooking business is nothing but capturing these memories which can range from dates or vacations or weddings, birth and so many special events. It could be used tickets, napkins from coffee houses, small handwritten notes from your teachers or friends or parents. If these memoirs are not stored properly in a scrapbook, they may be lost during the long journey of life.
This is where you can step in and offer scrapbook services. You can run this from your home and add captions or quotes to make them more memorable.
25. Snow Removal
Though thoroughly enjoyable, heavy snowfall restricts movement in pathways and outside homes. Many citizens look for people who can clear their driveways and sidewalks, especially the elderly.
If you live in a place that gets snowfall, you would have already developed the knack of removing snow efficiently, especially if you have helped your parents clear the pathway during winters. So you can go around offering your services to your neighbors and earn some good bucks.
26. Open a Video Game Center
Video games are enjoyed thoroughly by adults and also by teenagers. Though they can be downloaded and played on smartphones, not all like playing them on a small screen that the smartphone offers.
Some like playing such games on bigger screens and that is why they are drawn to video game centers. Furthermore, they may not have the peace and quiet at their own homes to play video games.
You may need a good place to open such a center, it doesn’t have to be spacious, your garage or basement would do fine. As a teenager, you will be able to relate better with your fellow teenagers and offer them good services. However, you need a good investment in this business. Further, you can incur such money out of your pocket money savings or your parents can fund it, then go for it.
27. Making and Retailing Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are an integral part of house decor. They can be placed on sofas and beds to make the room look pleasing and decorative.
You will need cloth of different colors and pillow fiber to make throw pillows. There is some tailoring involved in it too. This business also gives you an opportunity to explore your creative side and enhance such skills.
Either you can make such pillows on your own or hunt for someone who can them for you. In that case, you can only market your throw pillows and act as a middleman, which is a good way of making money.
28. Grocery Delivery Services
People hardly find time during weekdays to shop for their grocery requirements and this is where you can pitch in with your services. People usually have urgent grocery needs and they cannot wait till weekends to complete such errands. Further, many stores offer discounts usually on weekdays and many working people cannot cash on them.
You can collect their grocery needs and offer to bring them in at a small cost. You will need to have transportation of your own for carrying out such activities.
Once your good work spreads by word of mouth, you can get good business. Remember, this business might not earn a fortune for you, but it will definitely allow you to earn a little pocket money.
29. Baking and Selling Cookies
Cookies are evergreen side bites to be had with a cup of milk or tea. And baking and selling cookies are an all-time business. If you have good baking skills and love baking, then go for it.
You can ask your mom to allow you to use the oven for baking such cookies. Start in a small way and offer cookies in various packs of different prices to attract a good number of customers. Further, you can start marketing in your own neighborhood and also target kids specials to attract more clients.
What more, you can add that organic tinge into your baking and bake healthy oatmeal cookies for weight-watchers.
30. Baking and Selling Cup Cakes
Who does not have a weakness for mouth-watering cupcakes? And there are so many varieties of cupcakes that you can actually lay down a menu of 2-3 variants every day or on the days your business is open.
You need not have a seven-day week business as that would be costing you a good amount of time. You might be going to school or college and may not be actually able to give that much time every day.
So you can also plan out a weekend cupcake sale wherein you can attract the holiday crowd. Again you require an oven and good baking skills. YouTube also offers a huge number of videos to help you bake those perfect tiny cakes in various flavors.
31. Organize Teens TV Show
As a teenager, you will be able to relate better to your fellow teenagers and you can actually rope in a team to do this with you. These kinds of TV shows can also help steer other teens away from getting into bad company or bad habits.
You will need good organizing skills and also anchoring abilities to host such shows. You may have to develop some sample shows to initially sell your idea to the channels. Further, it is not necessary that you can market such shows only on television. Youtube is a good place to start too.
Your videos may even attract sponsorship once your show gains regular viewers.
You can also upload daily content for teens by teens on YouTube—make sure that the videos are on relevant educative topics of interest to teenagers.
32. Start a Teen’s Magazine
You can invite your fellow classmates and friends to contribute interesting topics to your magazine. You can also start such a magazine on a monthly basis and slowly increase the frequency depending on the feedback.
There might be many talented artists and creative writers in your class or in the neighborhood and together all of you can make the magazine popular. Add stuff like funny short stories, real-life incidents or those PJs which teenagers crack, memes, etc.
Remember, once you have a team, each of you can actually contribute money initially to put this into place. This business includes printing costs which you may like to outsource or you can do it on your laptop and printer with all that beautification in place.
33. Virtual Assistance
There are several corporate offices that hire and pay for virtual assistants. Once trained in the assistance skills which a virtual assistant requires, this job will be pretty easy, and corporate won’t need to hire full-time manpower to handle such things.
Virtual assistance can include responding to emails, online marketing, listing new products, editing or updating web pages, etc.
Do remember, in this job you will be handling requirements on the internet so you will need a good laptop and high-speed internet connection to carry out the job.
Blogging can be creating content on anything under the sun. You need to have a continuous inflow of useful or educative or entertaining content to share. You need skills to present such articles in a crisp and attention-capturing manner.
You can also add cartoons or creative quotes/notes to your articles as well as tidbits of information on the latest happenings. Once your blog attracts good human traffic, advertisers will contact you for the display of their products and you can make good money.
The larger the traffic, the more money you earn in this business.
35. App Development
There are so many apps that are downloaded every day—music apps, meditation apps, educational apps, etc. If you have the software skills necessary for developing apps which can make people’s life easy either for their home management or entertainment, you can cash in on this business.
If you want to target a specific genre and group of the population, you can do that. Remember, you don’t need to develop a wide range of apps in this business.
Target a specific age group and keep developing apps that would interest them. Do not forget to upgrade such apps once in a while to retain the customer’s interest.
36. Buying and Selling on e-bay
This may not be a modern business idea, but this will definitely fetch you some money. As a teenager, anything that’ll add to your pocket money makes it worthwhile.
All you have to do is buy stuff whether it is clothes or artificial jewelry or any item at the time of sale from local stores and sell them on eBay for a higher price. Once you sell the stock and make profits, you can reinvest the profit to buy more items and make a profit.
The only knack you require is picking up that good quality stuff at the sale so that your stuff gets good reviews on e-bay. Just keep an eye on all those sales which may be coming up in your local area to cash in on the opportunity.
37. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing can be in any field—you can write articles for blog posts, magazines, newspapers, sales letters, draft annual reports, prepare case studies, prepare school projects, etc.
If you are creative, have good vocabulary and grammar, you can also contribute to fiction/non-fiction like short romantic novels, ghost stories, etc. You should also be able to make the content engaging.
Keep in mind that you have to focus and narrow down the topics on which you can contribute to the best of your ability.
38. Start a Small Library
If you are an avid reader and have been collecting books from your childhood, you can start a small library in the garage or basement of your house. There are many children and also teenagers who love to read books on varied topics including comics and short stories.
However, not everyone intends to buy all the books of their interest. Many prefer to rent books, read them, and return.
In a book club, if you can create a membership and allow children and teenagers to be part of the club for renting books, and make good money in the process.
39. Voice-over Artist
In order to be a successful voice-over artist in this business, you need a good voice. But other tools can certainly help you refine it and make it more appealing to potential clients.
Prepare a one-page flyer containing what you have got to offer and how you would offer the same. Make sure your flyers reach the right type of clients. You can also get in touch with mediators who buys voice-over for their clients.
40. Sale of Children’s Educational Materials (Toys, DVDs, CDs, and Pads et al)
Kids’ materials such as toys, storybooks, jigsaw puzzles, educative video games, audios, etc., are always in high demand. If you position your business in a neighborhood with a lot of children, you can make good money by selling these items.
You can market these items in schools also and present what you have to offer to a group of kids. But you might require a specific license or permit to run this business.
41. Retailing of Hair Extensions and Haircare Products
It is a well-known fact that the cosmetic items used by ladies are voluminous in nature and have a huge variety. Due to this, they end up spending more time shopping as compared to their male counterparts.
Any business targeting items used by women is known to thrive. Of late, hair extension and hair care products are in huge demand. These products give a look-good feel without having to spend much at parlors for hair care. As a teenager, if you’re into this sort of business, you can earn comfortably by targetting the right clientele.
42. Retailing of Soft Drinks
Have you ever thought that the retailing of soft drinks can be a good business idea? Indeed it is. Various soft drink brands all across the world look for people who can retail their soft drinks. The soft drink business is a very large market that has clientele is across all ages.
You can keep assorted soft drinks for retailing. Besides, you can also add some healthy drinks to cater to those clients who are conscious of their calorie and sugar intake.
You need a space where you can display such drinks and also sell them. Locations such as sports centers, school campuses, religious gatherings, and public facilities will fetch you good business.
You can also think of running this business in your house on an everyday basis to cater to the clients in your locality.
43. Ice Block Making and Sale Business
You will need an ice block-making machine for this easy-to-manage retail business. It would not take much of your time—all you can do is employ a salesperson. Once your machine is making ice, the salesperson will help you handle the business by selling blocks door to door.
Remember, you don’t have to do any door-to-door selling other than managing the business. You can also concentrate on your studies and operate this business on the side successfully.
44. Start a Gourmet Business
The gourmet business is an evergreen business any entrepreneur can start and grow only vertically.
You can set up your mobile gourmet outlets sports events, other outside events, cinemas, etc. where a lot of people gather and you can make good money.
However, as the food industry is a delicate industry, it will undergo official inspections and you should be prepared for those. However, once things are in place you can earn a good income as this business would never let you down.
44. Sale of Customized Greeting Cards and Flower Bouquets
Greeting cards and bouquets are the order of the day even in today’s technologically advanced world as they have a personal touch.
As a teenager, you can consider starting the sale of customized greeting cards and flowers. The occasions when you’ll get a lot of sales are Valentine’s Day, New Year, Christmas, birthdays, Easter, etc.
Once you establish yourself you can actually take online orders and engage a delivery person too. This being a more or less seasonal business, you can continue with your normal studies.
45. Sale of Hampers
If you have good marketing skills, you can actually get into the business of selling hampers. During festivals, most people present hampers to their family and friends so you’ll be able to make enough pocket money. You can customize hampers according to the needs of your clients.
There are many corporate organizations that supply hampers and if you are able to get a contract from them you can definitely make good money.
This business will further tone up your marketing skills and gives you a chance to step into other business ideas.
46. Chocolate Making and Selling
Making chocolates is not a very difficult task—you can learn chocolate making through YouTube videos or by attending fortnight cooking classes. The process of making chocolate varies as per the quality and flavor of the chocolate and the raw materials required are easily available in the market.
There are many occasions like children’s birthday parties, anniversaries, etc., where chocolates are used extensively as return gifts also.
You may target such clients and offer a wide variety of chocolates in affordable small packs. Chocolate making is one of the most profitable food processing businesses.
As the process is not cumbersome, you can easily spend some time off your school/college work and work on this business.
47. Gift Baskets
Many people prefer arranging their gifts in customized gift baskets. If you’ve taken various art and craft classes, you can use your creative side for this business.
For example, if the gift baskets are for children, you can add in various designs of cartoon characters who are famous at that point in time. For family gifts, you can create a basket that can be subsequently put to use for their regular household activities.
This business will bring out the innovator in you and also give you an edge to tone up your creative skills.
48. Garage Sales
Garage sales always find lots of clients. You can put up a garage sale for lost and found items or items in the house that are not being used. You can also buy some items from local thrift stores or at other garage sales, improvise upon them and sell them at your garage sale.
Once you become good at it, you can offer to organize a garage sale for your neighbors or others in the locality every weekend or every alternate weekend. You can earn a percentage of the sales.
Such sales will get a good flow of customers, especially during festivals.
Any business would not grow if its marketing is not proper. Teenagers can be good at marketing due to their high levels of energy and their exposure to social media.
Not all corporate offices like to spend a fortune on marketing and are actually looking to cut costs in that field.
As a teenager, you can put your creative ideas across for the marketing of specific products and offer tailor-made solutions to these corporate offices.
If you spend a lot of time on social media sites, then you’ll be able to have a huge reach and bring good clientele into corporate’s fold.
50. Run a Summer Science Project Camp
Organizing a summer science project camp is a huge task.
It involves conducting experiments, teaching various science activities, presenting projects, etc. You are also required to keep motivating children so that the week-long program becomes successful. Many hire a high school science student or students who are good at science.
Remember, you will be paid well for this job. If you are good at it, just go ahead and offer your expertise for running a summer science project camp. Initially, you can be a part of such camps for a limited number of projects/sessions.
Such camps will also give you an idea of how to go about marketing and learn about profit-earning aspects. Once you gain good experience, you can offer your services for organizing the full camp.
51. Vending Machines
You can actually make money by buying vending machines and putting up things of interest for sale.
Initially, you can buy candy vending machines that are available at a reasonable rate and make sure to find a suitable location. Once you are successful in that area, maybe you can expand to vending machines for cool drinks, health drinks, etc.
You can earn a good income from it every week. It’s not required to put all your time into it and the investment will be less too.
After going through all these business ideas, I hope you’ve found the one most suitable for you. So, go ahead and choose a business that can give you a few good bucks while managing your studies on the side.