Making money as a teenager can be a little difficult. When you subtract the time you spend at high school, clubs, and other social activities, you’re only left with a couple of hours to spare each week. And, maybe you’re just not looking to settle for the typical minimum wage job.
You don’t need to work a part-time job to make money as a teen. Here are some of the best business ideas for teenage entrepreneurs to start:
- You can show you’re tech-savvy by selling 3D printed items or becoming an internet influencer.
- You can build a client base by running a lawncare, pet sitting, or tutoring business.
- You can sell crafts or artwork of your own to local customers or online.
The business idea you choose to start as a teen has to be based on something you truly enjoy doing. But, you might have a lot of different interests in your life right now. So, here are six of the best business ideas for teen entrepreneurs to get you started on your startup journey.
If you have a decent camera, laptop, and smartphone, you might as well put them to good use!
Social media influencers are chosen by sponsors to advertise products. This can be through just about any social media platform, including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Check out my guide to costs for starting a YouTube channel.
That means you’ll need to build quite the following first. After all, a company wants to be sure that its products are being seen by as many authentic users in its target population as possible. So, it helps if your current posts already get a ton of likes and comments naturally.
Once a company recognizes your popularity, all you have to do is post videos and pictures advertising their products to your followers.
But, keep in mind that not everybody is cut out to be a social media influencer. When it comes to posting videos, you need to be charismatic and entertaining.
A skilled influencer can make thousands of dollars for every post. Check out my list of the best niches for affiliate marketing as an influencer.
If you’re more of the creative type, 3D printing might be quite a lucrative business idea.
First, your options are practically limitless when you have a 3D printer at home. Not only does it allow you to create and sell items for extremely cheap, but you also have complete control over how the items turn out.
You’ll want to focus on products that are useful to a lot of people right now. That might include a cable organizer, a pop socket for a smartphone, or even tiny knick-knacks that make for terrific room decor.
Better yet, you can make 3D printed items based on customer requests.
But, just how you sell these products depends on your reach. If you have a lot of people in your inner circle, you might want to start selling to your friends first and allow your name to get around via word of mouth.
Otherwise, websites like Etsy and eBay might allow you to reach an even wider audience.
Here are more business ideas for small-scale manufacturing startups.
If education is important to you and you excel in school, pay it forward!
Starting a tutoring business is a great way to make some money while also helping kids that are struggling with their education in your local community. But, the best part is just how much freedom you have.
If you choose to work with the younger crew, you’ll need to have great knowledge of basically every subject area. But, you can also choose to work with middle school or high school students and choose a specific subject area that you enjoy.
Be sure to choose subjects that you’ve taken honors or AP courses in, if possible.
When it comes to tutoring as a high school student, the income could be more than you expect. As a high school student, you might be able to bring in $30 an hour. That means you can squeeze in a few hours a week and take home a good chunk of change.
Tutoring is a great mobile business idea because you don’t need to have a dedicated school location. Here are more of my best mobile business ideas for you to consider for making extra cash.
Lawn Care Services
If you live in the suburbs and have some lawn care equipment, you know the deal.
Many busy Americans hire landscapers to clean up their yard. At the same time, lawn care services tend to be a little expensive for the average family. That’s where you come in!
You can offer your services at lower prices than the professionals in the area. And, you can offer services at all times of the year. That means you can advertise snow removal services come winter (if you have a snowblower or a shovel) and lawn mowing services in the summer.
Just how much money you make will depend on how large of a client base you can build up and how efficiently you work. It’s not unheard of to be able to cut 10 or more lawns in a day.
If you’re charging $20 a lawn, that can be huge. Learn the best way to start your lawn care business by reading our guide.
Selling Artwork or Crafts
If you’re an artist of any kind, getting your name out there now is the perfect start to your career!
Recently, there’s been a newfound appreciation for homemade goods and artwork. That’s exactly why art marketplaces like Etsy have become so popular in the last few years.
The best part is that there’s a market for almost everything in the art world. If you like to paint or draw, you can easily create a Facebook or Instagram page to show off your best work. You can then commission jobs from those in your inner circle.
But, the options are just about limitless. You can also make products like beaded or knitted bracelets, tye-dye shirts, or even stained glass.
It’s definitely difficult being an artist, especially when the outside world doesn’t entirely understand just how much time and effort goes into creating a single piece. It’s important that you stick to your rates and avoid doing projects for “exposure.”
If you’re an animal lover with a little time to spare, pet sitting might be in your future.
This is the perfect business idea if you’re looking to pursue a career as a vet or a vet tech. Or, maybe you just enjoy being around animals more than humans.
Just keep in mind that there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of somebody else’s pet. That obviously includes feedings and providing water. But, it also factors in litter changes for cats and daily walks for dogs.
So, make sure you’re ready to care for animals.
As a pet sitter, you can charge by the day (for daycare) and add on additional fees for overnight stays. That means you’re looking at between $20 and $85 per night, per pet (depending on the rates that you set).
But, you will have to set a cap on how many animals you can care for at once. After all, the last thing you want is a ton of animals running your home or starting brawls with one another in your living room.
Get inspiration for naming your pet business from my list of names.
Starting a business as a teenager is definitely a little tricky for first-timers. After all, the amount of success you see will depends on the time you put in, your personality type, and your level of commitment.
That’s why it’s important to choose a business idea based on your interests, not simply based on how much money you might be able to make. If you’re still undecided on a strategy, create a list of things you enjoy and the talents you have. Then, narrow down your list to your favorites.
- Wired: The WIRED Guide to Influencers
- 3D Insider: 25 Great Things You Can Make and Sell with Your 3D Printer
- Care: How much does a tutor cost?
- Business Wire: New Research Finds Majority of Americans Lack Lawn Care Knowledge
- Thumbtack: How much does a pet sitter cost?
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.