Did you know that Fred DeLuca founded the Subway sandwich store with his family friend Dr. Peter Buck when he was just 17 years old? Fred DeLuca, a college freshman, opened the company to pay for his tuition. Subway is now the largest submarine sandwich chain in the world.
Read on for some cool business ideas for teens that you may pursue if you want to earn extra cash.
Many of the ideas have low costs and valuable resource needed. Some of the suggestions do not require any funding, making it easy to manage your businesses.
Let’s take a look at why you should become a teen entrepreneur, how to start a business as a teenager, and 30 of the best small business ideas for teens.
- Why Should Teenagers Start A Small Business Of Their Own?👩🎓
- How Can Teenagers Start A Small Business?💻
- Best Small Business Ideas For Teenagers💡
- Quiz: What Baby-Sitters Club Character Are You?
I. Why Should Teenagers Start A Small Business Of Their Own 👩🎓
It's no secret that young entrepreneurs are the future of small business, but as young people, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help.
You're never too young to start working toward creating the business of your dreams, whether you have a million-dollar concept or simply the desire to be your own boss.
Starting your own business while still in school allows you to bridge the gap between theory and practice. It may also guide your post-graduation decision; whether your small business is worthwhile to pursue full-time, or perhaps you learn that entrepreneurship isn't for you after all.
Finally, launching a business can assist in the development of your professional network. Even if you decide not to pursue entrepreneurship after graduation, the contacts you build may be important sources of professional recommendations or job offers in the future.
Check out Shop Name Ideas generator.
II. How Can Teenagers Start A Small Business 💻
Teens nowadays have a variety of resources, platforms, and simple-to-use technology at their convenience, and there has never been a better time for teens to start businesses while having the accessibility of these valuable resources.
Finally, as a teenager, how do you start a business?
The answer will be determined by the type of business you choose and the age at which you start. You'll need to make things a little more official if you want to start a business that has the potential to expand.
If you're under the age of 18, you'll certainly need your parents' permission to do some tasks. Depending on your state's rules, you may need to start your business with someone above the age of 18, and you may be limited in your capacity to sign legal documents and open bank accounts.
Ask yourself the following questions before proceeding:
- What are the laws in my location for beginning and running a business for someone my age?
- How much time per week can I spend on this business?
- Who will be in charge of my billing and finances?
- How much money am I willing to put into my business before seeing a return?
- What is my exit strategy?
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Here are some valuable tips that will give you a clear vision to set up your business.
1. Brainstorm ideas
Collect as many business ideas as possible. Read up, conduct some research, and attend various lectures and training courses. Gather as many ideas as you can and filter them down to what you believe will work for you.
Find business ideas that are related to your passions and interests, as they will provide you with more satisfaction.
Which tools can you use to brainstorm ideas?
Solution 1: Notepad + pen
Solution 3: Use this Business Idea Generator web app to help you find the small business idea based on your interest and hobby
2. Conduct research
Learn about your competition and the market demand for your products and services. Then, determine who your target customers are.
Afterwards, begin budgeting for your company. Make a precise budget, detailing how much money you have and how much more you require.
3. Implement your plan
You must have all of the tools needed, team members, and staff to run a successful business.
Make a professional website and use social media to promote your products and services.
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It's finally time to launch your company after all of your hard work has paid off. Begin by inviting your friends and neighbors.
As your business grows, you will need to register it in order to operate lawfully. You may also need to select a suitable location to ensure the seamless operation of your business.
Read More: How to Start a Business in 11 Steps - Shopify
III. Best Small Business Ideas For Teenagers 💡
What factors make a good business for teenagers?
1. Home-based or easily accessible 🏠
Depending on the teen's age, transportation can be a huge issue. Teens who aren't old enough to drive or are still learning will find it much easier to run a home business.
2. Flexible hours ⌚
The best teen business ideas will provide flexible hours, allowing them to work in the evenings and on weekends.
3. Low financial investment 💵
While most potential business owners want to make as little financial investment in their new venture as possible, most teenagers will have limited funds and little access to outside financing. Choosing a business idea for teens with a minimum financial investment is critical to success.
30 Small Business Ideas For Teenagers In 2022:
1. Academic tutor
A great business for teens is to become an academic tutor. Everyone has unique skills, so if you're skilled at math, physics, writing, music, painting, or reading, you can teach someone else who is struggling in that area.
Because you may tutor from the comfort of your own home or the home of your students, your initial expenses are minimal. You may need to invest some time and money in advertising, but if you have a captive audience of students in your school or community, simple leaflets can be highly effective.
2. Selling handmade crafts
Teens who are artistic and skilled at crafts can refine their skills while also earning money by selling their creations. This might be a local business, or they can build their business website to sell their crafts to a wider audience and promote craft fair vendor.
Many small businesses find success in making their own jewelry if you enjoy arts and crafts.
Get started and promote your crafts through online marketplaces if you are creative and good at crafting DIY handmade things such as jewelry, invitations, decorations, stickers, or other accessories. Create a website or a social media page to sell your products online.
You can also sell them at local craft fairs.
Take a look at this Shopify store example, Gunner & Lux, a dad-and-daughter-run store where Riley, at age 10 developed an interest in jewelry and dress-up, her two fathers hurried to gather cast-off necklaces from family friends. Riley then dismantled these discarded items to create her own designs.
3. Soap or Candle Making Business
Making high-quality soap is a skill that anyone can learn, but it does require practice. Buying raw materials, mixing and producing fragrances, making soap, and selling soap are all part of running a soap making business.
The earning potential for this business will vary depending on the type of soap you sell and how far you can expand your business, but the growth potential is tremendous.
Candles are a simple craft that is always in demand. If you're looking for a great business idea for small business owners, this is a sellable craft that's simple to learn and doesn't require a large upfront cost.
Anyone who is creative and crafty may be interested in beginning a candle making business.
It's a fantastic opportunity to start a lucrative business from the comfort of your own home.
Your candles can be sold to friends and family, at craft fairs or weekend markets, or online through your own website or Etsy store.
If you decide to sell online, you'll also need to invest in marketing and the development of a website.
4. Art lessons
Young adults who are talented in art and looking for great business ideas should try becoming art teachers.
You can even do wine and arts evening events after you achieve the legal drinking age. It's a lot of joy to work in this industry.
Here's a great idea if you're into art and meaningful missions like Color HerStory by Simone, a 19 year old student, discovered her role models that looked like her—the influential women of color whose stories helped her overcome insecurity. She wanted to give her sisters and other young women the same experience she had.
5. Lawn care business
If one of your chores is to mow the grass, they already have the skills required for this business. They may be able to find clients by marketing their services across the area, and summer is a particularly busy period for a lawn care business.
6. Music lessons
Teens who are musically talented but do not wish to form a band may be interested in music lessons. There is bound to be a market for this skill, whether they excel at the piano, guitar, violin, or another instrument.
7. Social Media Marketing Business
A social media marketing business is the next small business idea for teens on our list. Young people have grown up with social media, which has given them a distinct advantage in understanding how to use and navigate every social media channels.
8. Photographer or videographer
Teens can start a business as a photographer or filmmaker with a minimal investment in equipment or some skills with a smartphone. Teens can specialize on pet photography, events, family pictures, or providing social media content for local businesses, as there are many niches within this type of business.
Turn your photography skills into a photography business and offer services on different occasions, such as weddings and baby showers.
You may also use your creativity to promote restaurants, retailers, etc.
Or simply, work as pet photographer for your furry friends.
9. Retail arbitrage
Retail arbitrage is an attractive and simple business idea for teenagers. For people who are knowledgeable about the internet, this might be an easy business that generates a good return.
The fundamental idea behind retail arbitrage is to find high-quality products at a low price and then resell them at a higher price in a separate marketplace. Many people who start a retail arbitrage business will purchase stuff at garage sales and resell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
10. Jam business
Anyone who enjoys cooking for others may appreciate starting a jam business. This is yet another excellent and versatile business that a teenager can start in their free time.
The startup costs of making jam are very low, especially if you start on a small scale.
To start out, most jam businesses sell their products at a local market or bizarre.
Finding a local restaurant or local stores to carry your jam is an incredible strategy to promote your jam business.
11. Making greeting cards
Greeting cards are one type of handmade craft that teens can make and sell. Handwritten notes are becoming increasingly popular. Teens can easily sell their personalized designs or eye-catching artwork to friends and family by making them.
A greeting card writer is another business idea that creative teenagers might convert into a business.
They can sell their own greeting cards on platforms like Shopify by working with the print-on-demand provider Card Isle. You might also attempt freelancing for Hallmark. However, do not send them unsolicited card ideas.
12. Makeup Artist Business
Anyone who enjoys dealing with people and has exceptional makeup application skills may find success as a makeup artist.
To begin, you can create your portfolio by doing makeup for friends at events such as prom. As a teenager, this is an excellent business to start. Since most makeup artists operate from home or travel to their customers, startup costs are quite minimal.
If you know how to apply make-up, you should turn it into a business. Make videos showing how to apply various types of make-up and publish them on social media. Make contact with local fashion shows, party organizers, and small and big screen artists who may be interested in hiring you as a make-up artist.
13. Cake Maker
Cake baking or any other food-related business is one of the many business ideas for teens.
If you enjoy cooking, baking, and decorating cakes, starting your own cake-making business in your free time can be a good idea.
You can sell them to your friends and family, or in some situations, you can create a cake-making booth in your neighborhood.
Related article: 14 Best Small Food Business Ideas Of 2022
Another alternative is to set up an online bakery where customers can order cakes and have them delivered on-demand, with further customization choices based on what they order (flavor, toppings, etc.).
Check out this video to see how this bakery entrepreneur got his business off to a good start.
14. Online fashion reseller
If you enjoy shopping and are interested in fashion, this is the online business for you. Go online and sell your stuff, as well as those of your friends and their friends. Post images of those items together with detailed descriptions to spark your buyers' interest.
Here's an example of an online fashion Shopify store, namely Project I Am by Jahkil, an active kid who loves basketball and tap dancing. At just 12 years old, Jahkil also runs an online apparel store and loves speaking at events across the country.
15. Farmers market vendor
Farmers markets are a fantastic way to sell handmade goods and promote handmade vendors at your local farmer's market, and they can be a simple way for teens to establish a business and sell their crafts close to home. There are numerous opportunities for this type of business, whether it is selling crafts, food, or handmade beauty products.
16. Print-on-demand designs
With a little upfront setup, tech- and business-savvy teens can run a simple side hustle with a Shopify store and a print-on-demand Shopify app, which can assist you in personalizing white-label products with your own design.
17. Data entry
Teens will need to know how to use spreadsheets and work with data for the majority of future jobs. Teens might establish a data entry business to master these skills. This type of business provides teenagers with a flexible work schedule as well as the opportunity to learn a valuable new skill.
18. Graphic designer
There is an opportunity for a tech-savvy teen who is also artistically gifted to launch a graphic design business. This might be as simple as making a few creative designs and then printing them on T-shirts for friends, or it can mean performing freelance work for local businesses' social media marketing efforts.
Starting an online photo editing service can be a great order to successfully market if you have photography and photo editing expertise.
The startup costs are minimal, including a computer and graphic design software.
19. Sewing Business
A sewing business is a great approach for a skilled tailor to make money. This business offers a great deal of freedom and is ideal for young people who are particularly interested in current fashion trends.
Startup costs are reasonable, particularly if you already own a sewing machine.
You might start a blog with some tech knowledge, basic writing skills, and a passion for a specific topic. Keep in mind that this business will take a little longer to make a profit. They'll need to build an audience first, and then they'll be able to collaborate with advertisers and affiliate partners to generate revenue. However, if they can optimize their blog, this might be a simple way for them to make extra money.
The podcast industry is still a very new and growing one. Teens will need to have a passion for a specific topic and the capacity to build a decent audience, but once they do, they may generate income by finding advertisers interested in placing ads on their podcast. With the rising popularity of podcasts, it's also a popular practice to get the help of podcast sponsors and succeed faster.
22. Social media influencer
As most teenagers are aware, there are numerous celebrities who make money by promoting things on their social media accounts. This is referred to as a social media influencer. Many brands also seek out local celebrities with a strong audience.
Find your expertise and use social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok to build an online community. Perhaps it's beauty tutorials, gaming advice, or do-it-yourself projects.
23. Create an app or online game
Nowadays, anyone, including teenagers, can design an app or an online game. If you has a brilliant idea and the technical ability to make it a reality, you may be able to transform it into a business.
24. Gift-wrapping Business
Gift-wrapping is a great idea to make additional money over the holidays. You can set up booths near department stores or offer your services from the comfort of your own home. This business is great for students because most transactions will take place on weekends and during holidays.
You should anticipate to spend some time and money on building an appealing and professional-looking booth as well as purchasing supplies. However, because this business has a high profit margin, your earning potential is substantial.
25. Web designer
A little education can go a long way toward strengthening this teenage business idea. Many small businesses require websites but lack the funds to employ a specialist. Teens can start their own web design business by giving their services at a lower fee. This is a superb chance to hone your abilities while also earning some extra money.
26. Dog walking
Dog walking is a useful tactic for kids who love furry friends to spend time with them while also setting up a business. Dog walking businesses can have flexible hours, and the pet owners will supply you with everything you need, from leashes to treats and more.
27. Live-streaming gamer
There is no better ideal for a teenager who enjoys video games than to make money by playing video games. Gamers who live-stream do simply that.
28. Car washing service
Everyone wants their car to look sparkling and clean, but not everyone has the time to commit to washing it. All you need to start a car washing business is a bucket, a soft sponge, window cleaner, and elbow grease for polishing.
29. Tech Support
If you have a knack for computers, a cheerful attitude, and are good with people, you may launch a tech support business or work as a technology tutor.
30. Errand running service
An errand running service is an excellent idea for teenagers since it allows them to work as both a personal shopper and a courier who provides delivery service.
However, this can also include child care services, laundry service, recycling service, etc...
IV. QUIZ: What Baby-Sitters Club Character Are You?
Are you more of a Claudia or a Kristy? The Baby-Sitters Club, a popular YA novel series recently recreated by Netflix, features a group of entrepreneurial teenage ladies who band together to dominate their town's temporary child care industry. Take this quiz to find out which Baby-Sitters Club character most strongly resembles you—and what it says about your small business personality.
If you don’t yet know your Founder Sign, start with this quiz.
Success in business can happen at any age, and you never know who will come up with the next big idea. If you are a hardworking teen with an entrepreneurial spirit, or if you simply want to generate some extra cash on your own time, starting their your own business could be the answer.
There are endless types of businesses you may start right now, regardless of your age, and in certain circumstances, your youth will really work to your favor. Whatever type of business you intend to establish, one common thread remains: the sooner you begin, the better, and the sooner you fail, the sooner you learn from it and achieve success.