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Five Business Ideas For Teenagers

Updated on June 7, 2013
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Why teenagers should start their own businesses

According to some estimates teenage unemployment nears 25%. There are two reasons for this high rate of out-of-work teens. First, teenagers now have to compete with adults for low-paying jobs. Secondly, few new jobs are being created.

The long-term effects of teenage unemployment are far-reaching. Unemployed teenagers do not have the opportunity to gain the experiences, skills and relationships that will eventually (hopefully) translate into higher earnings.

One way for teenagers to gain needed employment skills is to start their own small business or microenterprise. Microenterprises are often described as “mom-and-pop” endeavors that require less than $35000 to set-up or expand. There are a number of businesses, however, that can be established for much less.

The following businesses can be established over the course of a weekend for $500 or less.

Tutoring

Tutors can work with children at any grade level by helping them complete their homework and study for tests.

Pros of this business for teenagers:

  • You will spend most of your time working on subjects you enjoy.
  • You’ll gain the personal satisfaction of helping a younger student achieve their academic goals.

Cons of this business for teenagers:

  • Unless you are homeschooled and you are tutoring other homeschooled children, becoming a homework helper will eliminate most of your free time. Your after-school time and weekends will be devoted to coaching students.

Requirements for this small business:

  • The main requirements for tutoring are a through understanding of your subject area and patience.

Getting the word out:

  • Tell teachers and parents that you are available to help students and ask for referrals.
  • Inquire about tutoring in after-school programs.
  • Post flyers around your community.

Getting paid:

  • Try to book three or four weekly appointments and negotiate your pricing with parents based on your research. The base rate is generally $15 to $20 for a hour session.

Tutoring Tips

Dog Walking

Dog walkers exercise pets and clean up behind them when owners are away at work or otherwise occupied.

Pros of this business for teenagers:

  • You will get paid to play with dogs.
  • You will get plenty of exercise.
  • You will spend a vast majority of your time outdoors.

Cons of this business for teenagers:

  • You will have to work through all types of weather.
  • You are responsible for scooping dog poop and making sure it is properly disposed.

Requirements for this small business:

  • It goes without saying that you should love dogs.
  • You should have basic dog obedience training skills.
  • You should be a reliable and punctual person.
  • You should be in good physical shape.

Getting the word out:

  • Pass out flyers and business cards at animal shelters and obedience training schools.
  • Ask satisfied customers for referrals.

Getting paid:

  • Do a bit of research and negotiate the price of your service based on either the time allotted to walk the dog, the distance you agree to walk the dog, or the number of dogs in each session. You could also set-up a punch pass system that allows clients to buy a series of sessions at a reduced rate.

Dog Walking Business Tips

Party Planning

As a party planner, you can plan party games and activities for kids. You may also be responsible for serving treats to guests and cleaning up afterwards.

Pros of this business for teenagers:

  • This is a great business if you enjoy working with children and you enjoy entertaining.
  • This is also a great opportunity if you are creative and you enjoy creating games for kids.

Cons of this business for teenagers:

  • If you don’t know a lot of families with small children, it may be difficult for you to get that first bit of business.
  • This venture may also be stressful with you are not used to working in loud, hectic environments.

Requirements for this small business:

  • As a party planner you have to do tons of research to stay on top of the latest trends for kids.
  • You will also have to be able to figure out what will make both the kids and the parents happy.

Getting the word out:

  • Print business cards
  • Set up a website or blog to showcase your party ideas.
  • Print flyers and post them on bulletin boards throughout your community.

Getting Paid:

  • You may wish to set different prices for different age groups and different offerings.

Tips for throwing a great party for kids

Pool Cleaning Business

Opening a pool cleaning business might be a way for you to earn money If you like being in water and if you are in great physical shape. As a pool cleaner you are expected to skim the surface of your client pools, vacuum the bottoms, and adjust chemical balance of the water.

If you live in a warm or topical climate, pool cleaning could possibly be profitably as there will be numerous pools for you to clean. If you live in a cooler climate, your opportunities for business may be limited to the summer months.

Pros of this business for teenagers:

  • You will spend the majority of your time outdoors
  • The work is physically demanding. You will get plenty of exercise.

Cons of this business for teenagers:

  • This may be an expensive business to start if you have to provide your own supplies and equipment.

Requirements for this small business:

  • Your municipality or state may require certification and/or licenses. You may also need insurance.

Getting the word out:

  • Print business cards
  • Pass out flyers to neighbors who have pools or post flyers near the entrance of stores that sell pool supplies.

Making money:

  • It is common practice to book a number of standing appointments. Pricing can range from $75 to more than $100 per monthly visit. You may also consider using a punch card system where clients prepay a reduced flat fee for a set number of cleanings.

Example of pool cleaning business advertisement

Scrapbook Artist

You only have to spend five minutes in any craft store to realize that scrapbooking is a popular hobby and big business. People make scrapbooks to either to commemorate events or organize photos that were printed years ago and gathering dust in boxes. Your chief responsibility as a scrapbook artist would be to help families organize their memories in physical or digital albums.

Pros of this business for teenagers:

  • If you are creative, you can share your ideas with families and help them create special mementos.
  • Scrapbooks can be made for graduations, proms, Sweet 16 celebrations, quinceañera, Bar and Bat Mitzvah, vacations, weddings, honeymoons, and anything else.
  • You can set your own hours. You are not limited by weather or seasons.

Cons of this business for teenagers:

  • If you prefer to spend most of your time outside, this is not the job for you.
  • This business requires long periods of concentration.

Requirements for this small business:

  • Constant research is required to come up with new ideas.

Getting the word out:

  • Create a blog and present a portfolio of your work.
  • Pass out flyers and make business cards. Post the flyers in coffee shops and any public announcement boards and pass out your business card with your web address.

Making money:

  • Determine if you are going to charge a set fee for the project, per page or a la carte based on the type of album the consumer wants.

Story of a Teen With A Successful Scrapbooking Business

Comments

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    • Monica Kay 215 profile image
      Author

      Monica Kay 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks iguide. I'm glad you found the article useful.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for these very fantastic ideas and suggestions. I will tell my kids about this -- how to be entrepreneurial and independent while they're still young. Making their own cash at such an age will be very rewarding for them and it will be just one of the motivators (another is experience) to reach their goals in life. Up and useful. :)

    • Monica Kay 215 profile image
      Author

      Monica Kay 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

      These are all great ideas and good advice for teens hunting for the few available jobs out there.

    • Monica Kay 215 profile image
      Author

      Monica Kay 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you Karen. I'm always on the lookout for microbusiness ideas for myself and others. I'll continue to post them.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      This hub has some really good ideas for teens. I have never seen anything like this before, and the ideas are great ones. It's so hard to get a job these days, even at fast food restaurants because since the economy is so bad, adults are going for the same jobs teens traditionally went for. Good work here with some great ideas for teens. And I am all about people in general starting their own home businesses so a BIG vote up for this hub!