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Can Teenagers Run A Successful Business?

Updated on October 7, 2017
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie is a creative person who likes to be organized. She enjoys helping others to organize their life, at home or in business.

Helping our young people to find ways to earn a living and be successful at it is important to their future. How they start to see the business they choose to get into is also important. I am going to offer guidelines to help you decide what they should do and what it takes to plan, track, evaluate and succeed at what they do. They will need some guidance and help to set up this plan and work through the process. You can help them by setting up a ledger and receipt book to track all incoming receipts, bills and if equipment needs to be repaired and costs that occur. Along with a list of jobs that teenagers can do that aren't restaurant jobs.

Lets start by using an example job, I did with my sister, when we were teenagers. Along with a list of job suggestions for teenagers.

Teaching Children to Work

Jacob working with Papa
Jacob working with Papa

The Lawn Cutting Business, example Job

Equipment needed to start your lawn business:

  • Lawn Mower
  • Gas Can
  • Trimmers
  • Weed Eater
  • Gas
  • Large Broom
  • Rake
  • A large Bag for cuttings
  • Gloves

Track and Subtract Costs From the Earnings

Using the lawn business as an example you can get a good idea how running a business works and whether it will work for your teenagers. It's a good job to turn into a snow removal for winter.

The main things that they wil need is to track all expenses and earnings. These figures need to include any repaires that are done on equipment. Track all business transactions in a book, under monthly expenses and payments. Add all together at the end of each month and subtract the total from the amount earned.

Your numbers will look something like the chart below.

Lawn Cutting If Starting From $0.00

Credit or Debit
Equipment purchase 260.00
Job Pay 4 Lawns
80.00 X 4 = 320
Mower Repair
Sub Total
320.00- 260.00
Total $ 60.00 Credit
This sample is for starting the job. Expenses won't be the same for each month. Carry the credit over to the next month and add to the total after deduction that month. Two months will give you an idea of what it will cost compared to earnings.

Working Helps Teenagers Grow

Working with animals at the shelter or vet office is a good job for teenagers.
Working with animals at the shelter or vet office is a good job for teenagers.

Ask Them to Consider These Questions

Get a paper and write down the answers to these questions, then go through the job list.

  1. Do you want to work inside or outside?
  2. Do you love animals?
  3. Do you like people?
  4. Do you want a job where you work alone?
  5. Am I strong enough to do the job?
  6. Will I be able to show my creativity?
  7. Does the job require a specific age?
  8. Do I want to work for someone, or myself?

Great For Earning Money In The Summer

Use a note book track it all.

Mark it down.

Pay the bills and bank the rest.

Open an account for both of you.

Bank 75%, Spend 25%

After the expenses.

Jobs For Teenagers

Most of these jobs I have done and are good places for teenagers to start if they don't want to work in the restaurant service industry. Some jobs will depend on where you live. Some also depend on how old they are. You really have to pay attention and listen to them. It's important to find out what kind of job they want. For preteens and young teenagers sometimes you can start by giving them extra jobs with pay. Use the same money division to show them how to save. Working at home gets them used to working for others.

  1. Babysitting
  2. Advertising sign holders
  3. Lawn Care
  4. Newspaper Delivery
  5. Pet Walker
  6. Community work
  7. Cleaning windows
  8. Work Site Cleaning
  9. Road Work
  10. Animal Care
  11. Sorting Flyers and mail
  12. Stocking Shelves
  13. Beading or Crafting, for markets and trade shows.

Did You Know?

Teenagers Do Better If They Have a Plan?

See results

Teenagers Make a Plan

Turn the Dream a Plan

The Business plan is a very important part of the business or job. Give a teenager the best start to having a business plan. The list of items below will allow them to gather info, bills, receipts, names and phone numbers of everything they need for a successful business.

  • Mini Office, brief case or binder
  • Note book or ledger
  • Contract or info for working contacts, phone numbers and addresses.
  • Pens and highlighters,for writing and marking important points.
  • Receipt book for tracking sales.
  • The equipment you need for the job you choose.
  • A box to file everything.

Keep all papers in order and according to each month they are done in. Fill out the credit and debit papers at the end of each month. This will allow you to see how your business is doing at the end of each month. In a short time you will know if this is the job you want or not. Sometimes it will help you decide if it's something you love, or just wanting to try.

Track It Without Paper

For the teenager who would rather use a computer or phone.

find an app for business info. You can also down load a tracking page and sales. Apps for adresses and phone numbers can also be kept online. You don't have a printer? There are places that will let you use thiers. You can also purchase a mini one if you need it. Remember to add all debits and credits right away and then you have a running total of all business transactions.

Having a Direction and Plan Gives Motivation

When helping children work out a plan and a job, they gain confidence. By being part of the decision and forming the plan, they feel in control of their life. Sit down and go through the list of job ideas and add any they want to consider. Assist with the plan and guide their direction. Young teenagers will need your help to open the bank account and figure out how much should go into it and how much they get to spend. I gave an example above if you want to use it. Any encourage you give and the excitement you show will help them to want a job and a show them whats involved in having and keeping a job. If your teenager doesn't drive, be prepared to have a way to get them there. You don't want to prepare them for all that is involved in these jobs and then tell them you can't help. You are also showing them how to divide up the money receive and how to put some away to save for later. For those that will be making it their own business, it shows them that expenses should always come first and savings and spending are last. Think of these jobs as a learned experience not a loss if they quit. This is how they will know what they really want as an adult. It's better they try different jobs now than later, when trying to care for a family. I wish more of these kind of things were taught when I was in school. Maybe more of us wouldn't be in debt and have more in our savings for when things get tough.

So the answer to the question; can a student, teenagers or young person all run a successful business? YES they can! All it takes is the right guidlines, directions and questions asked to help them make the best choice.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn

Comment If You Need More Information or You Find This Helpful.

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    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      2 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Teenagers are generally easy. For the most part they listen. I spent years dealing with business owners who thought they knew it all and felt they really didn't need help.

      One of my former customers died with three million in assets, he had started with $50,000 three years before. His monthly income was 10 times what he had earned from his (J) just (O)over(B)broke. This though was not typical.

      The sad ones are those who didn't listen. All except one of them are out of business.

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Thats great. It good to hear about others encouraging teenagers in business. There is always good to be had when they learn a work ethic and ways to manage money. you sound like someone who would give great advice. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      2 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Through the years I have helped children (teens) start their own businesses. Most of them stayed in a business they started themselves.

      I started my first business at age 15. If I didn't earn I didn't get anything I wanted. This included new clothes for school. Savings kept me solvent during slow times. At age 17 I was married and living "In my own home." As well I was helping other teens start their own businesses.

      Granted I did have a father who built spec homes, and was allowed to live in them (paying rent on top of sanding/painting).

      Building a reputation for teens will hold them in good stead. I found the biggest part of finding buyers was having a great reputation.

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Hi Lena, that is true the Experience is good and helps prepare them for work and jobs later.

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 

      2 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Even if a teenager's business isn't a runaway success, I think it's a great experience. There are so many lessons built-in, on everything from basic organizational skills to independent motivation to calculating profit from earnings vs overhead!

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      2 years ago from Canada

      A lot of people I know re on to 3rd and 4th carears. The one day they take here to go over college coarses just Isn't enough. THere are quite a few people who moved on to a life different than what they went to school for. Thank you stopping and commenting.

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Yes three keys, our children need help to succed with all the changes and cost of everything. If we help and encourage them they can find the one that suits them and hopfully one they will love.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 

      2 years ago from Northern California

      Good idea for an article. Yes. Schools should focus on more succeeding in life, life skills. Today and sadly, it's more about test scores and getting into a college.

      Gary Sinise, a talented actor, Oscar winner and more, founded Stephenwolf right out of HS. It is one of the most successful theaters in Chicago.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Inspiring and encouraging with practical tips and ways.

      I think our teens more so than any other generation, need to start thinking if not acting as a entrepreneur, creating their own employment. No such thing as security. I, too, wish I had been encouraged this way. Nice and clear reading. I will pass it on. Cheers Terrie Lynn

    • Terrielynn1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terrie Lynn 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Larry. I wish there was more taught in school about getting children ready for working and goal setting with a plan. I hope it helps people help their children.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      2 years ago from Raleigh

      A great article on a good topic. I think it is good for teenagers to start their own business. There are many jobs that teenagers can do that will give them the work experience, teach them responsibility, and interact with their clients.


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