Small Business Ideas for Teens
We live in an era of innovation, and there’s no age limit on entrepreneurship or small business ideas for teens. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to find work online in just about any niche.
We live in an era of innovation, and there’s no age limit on entrepreneurship or small business ideas for teens. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to find work online in just about any niche. There are thousands of job opportunities online for teenagers that offer flexible hours and pay.
In the past, positions for teens mostly involved physical labor, the service industry, or helping out friends and family for cash. Nowadays, we have access to a huge number of online opportunities that can be performed from the comfort of our homes. This type of work can be more lucrative and arguably more rewarding than unskilled positions.
This article is the ultimate guide on ways for teens to make money online. Not only are these jobs gainful, but they also provide valuable experience you can add to your resume to give you a leg up in the future.
Indicators of Good Business Ideas for Teens
As a teenager, you probably have a few limitations that prevent you from taking just any job. Things like being unable to drive, having schoolwork, or even curfews can get in the way of local job opportunities. All this considered, you’ll have to look for key characteristics to qualify for a position before taking it.
Don’t get discouraged – even with these limitations, there are a ton of ways for teens to make money at home. Here are a few qualities to look for:
Work From Home
Working from home gives teens a safe environment to work in and saves them the trouble of paying for transportation. The number of remote job opportunities has boomed in the past year, opening the door to higher-paying jobs that teach many valuable skills at the same time.
With the right position, you can even gain the experience needed to work towards starting a business as a teenager.
You probably have school and extracurricular activities that occupy around 8 hours of your day, if not more. The best side jobs for teenagers allow an even balance of work, school, and personal life. Look for a position with flexible hours so you can manage all these aspects without too many conflicts.
Ideally, jobs will allow you to work at your own pace, so you can take time at night or on weekends to complete your tasks.
Most teenagers don’t have vast credit lines or a huge cash flow to invest with. You may not be ready to take the plunge financially, but it’s never too early to start preparing.
Look for openings that require small investments – if any at all. Investments should be calculated and well-planned if you feel prepared to go that route. We’ll get into teenage business ideas further along in the article.
The most important characteristic of a job is that it teaches you skills that you can bring with you to your next position. In the long run, the experience will likely prove to be more valuable than the money earned along the way.
Look for jobs that teach you teamwork, time management, or even the ins and outs of software or programs that could be useful later on. There are endless easy ways for teens to make money, but not all of them will open doors for your future.
21 Ways for Teens to Make Money
No matter your schedule, interests, or skills, there are a wide variety of positions that teens can take on. In-person jobs teach teamwork, collaboration, and customer service skills. Online positions can help you foster technical skills or even entrepreneurship.
Keep in mind your goals, passions, and priorities when reading this list of ideas for teens to make money.
Ways for Teens to Make Money Online
Modern teens know their way around the web. Being raised around technology, you might even have more technical knowledge of it than many older adults. Even the social media we use daily like TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter are potentially lucrative side gigs.
You may not realize how profitable your skills could be. Here are 10 ways you can make money online as a teen.
If you’re in school or just finished, your writing skills are probably fresh and proficient. Freelance writing is a great way to earn extra cash and enhance your resume. You have the option of working for an agency or starting your own operation independently. The latter is one of the best and most accessible small business ideas for teens.
Upwork makes it easy to connect with employers. Start by applying to positions and accepting low pay until you build a solid portfolio. Once you have some good reviews under your belt, you can start charging more and using your resume to land jobs outside the platform.
Textbroker is another platform you can use to browse writing opportunities easily. Start by submitting a writing sample that you’re proud of. They’ll rate it and use it as a baseline for which jobs to connect you with. As you get better, they’ll raise your score and allow you to apply for more exclusive openings.
Another online business idea for teens is blogging. Blogging requires an initial time investment but can make you a lot of money. Once you have considerable traffic, use affiliate links or ads to monetize your blog. Do some research on SEO practices and find high-paying keywords to focus on.
Social Media Manager
Business owners usually hire outside help to manage social media. As a young person familiar with the latest trends, you could have exactly what they’re looking for in a social media manager.
Start with industries you’re familiar with that have demographics you understand and work your way up from there. This is a great way to make money for teens because of your long-term exposure to these platforms.
Tools You Need
Canva is a free and user-friendly website where you can make infographics and collages for posts or stories. Their templates are designed for professional-looking content.
Video editors like Veed.io make it easy to create polished, clean videos. You may not use these tools for your account, but they’ll come in handy for business-related posts.
Social Platforms to Focus On
- Use Facebook for age groups 30+ and local businesses.
- Instagram is essential for any social media marketing strategy.
- TikTok is a fun way to engage audiences or provide informational content.
- Link YouTube videos to the company website or posts on other platforms.
- Twitter can be used to interact with customers and spread info or promotions.
Running a YouTube Channel
YouTube has served as a small-business venture for teens for over a decade. If you can make entertaining videos on topics people are interested in, you can make money from YouTube.
Eventually, you can use advertisements to monetize each video and start making some money.
Graphic designers are in high demand for their ability to design apps, social media posts, websites, logos, etc. It’s a great teen business idea because it’s self-paced and done online.
Learn the basics with a course through SkillShare, Udemy, or NYIAD for an affordable price.
Top Graphic Design Tools
These are the best graphic design tools you should get familiar with:
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
Website design is another accessible online business idea for teens.
You’d be surprised at how many businesses need help building their websites for an affordable rate. Familiarize yourself with a few website-creation platforms and see how many opportunities present themselves to you because of your expertise.
Start by offering a low rate to build a portfolio and charge more after you’ve proven your skills.
Shopify is a user-friendly way for entrepreneurs to create eye-catching eCommerce websites. Business owners pay monthly fees and per-transaction fees. As a designer, you’d use their account to set the website up and make it fully functional.
Wix uses drag-and-drop design techniques, making it painless to create a professional-looking website. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the platform because it’s widespread, and you’ll undoubtedly run into it as a website designer. It costs business owners $16 monthly, but as a designer, you’d use their account to edit their site.
Squarespace is another popular website design and hosting tool. It’s known for being easy to use and reasonably priced. Squarespace charges customers 3% transaction fees and tiered monthly charges with different offerings.
WordPress is by far the most popular website creation platform. It has plug-ins that allow you to easily add site functionalities without coding. These extensive features are why WordPress makes up nearly half of all websites. They offer different pricing plans from $48 to $300 per year for website owners.
People hire video editors for social media posts, promotional recordings, personal videos, and more. You can teach yourself video editing or take a course online or in person. There are plenty of apps that teach the skill and offer timesaving, advanced features. Video editing is a valid small business idea for teens with a ton of potential.
Top Video Editing Software
These are the best video editing tools you should get familiar with:
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Pinnacle Studio
- Final Cut Pro
- CyberLink PowerDirector
Live Streaming Gamer
Becoming a professional streamer is every gamer’s dream. It might have even crossed your mind when browsing online business ideas for teens.
Being a successful, money-making streamer requires a high-speed PC, streaming tools (webcam, mic, etc.), and, most importantly, a likable gaming personality.
Twitch is the top dog for streaming because of its high-speed live-streaming capabilities. Live streams are interactive and community-based, with a considerable number of streamers all on one platform. It also hosts many e-sports competitions, so it’s the place to be if you plan on competing.
YouTube Gaming is up and coming with a huge audience base and the technology to back it up. It’s free to use (though there are ads), and it’s part of YouTube, meaning most people already know how to navigate the platform.
Beam is Xbox and Windows’s streaming baby. It’s built-in to Windows 10 devices, so you don’t need to download anything and run it on the side. Live streaming has less than a one-second lag, and gamers can interact with viewers in real-time.
Podcasting is a good business idea for teens because it can be done from home, and the start-up costs are low. Though there are a few podcast giants, there’s still room to break through in the podcast world. Once you do, you can find advertisers and start making money with ad breaks in each episode.
Tools You Need
You can start podcasting with the bare bones of equipment, but if you want to advance, you’ll need a few tools to help you out:
- High-quality microphone
- Online editing software
- Quiet recording space
This isn’t to say that you can’t succeed while using your phone as a mic, but it will be harder to retain listeners.
Top Podcast Platforms
Surprisingly, there are many podcast platforms with a large number of users. Podcast listeners seem to care more about the podcast itself than platform loyalty.
- Spotify: Having 188 million subscribers in 2022, Spotify is an excellent choice if you want visibility.
- Google: Google Podcasts is free to use and gaining popularity rapidly.
- YouTube: Some people like to watch podcasters record their content – YouTube is the best platform for video podcasts.
Data entry is a common skill requirement for entry-level jobs. Teens can learn how to use spreadsheets and manipulate data by starting a career in data entry. Learn the basics using SkillShare or YouTube, and apply for your first positions on Upwork and Freelancer. For teenagers, this business idea can prove useful further on in your career.
How to Make Money as a Teen in the Real World
Some of us would rather work with our hands around other people. In-person jobs are a great outlet for socialization and learning people skills. They also teach customer service, which is a different experience in person than online.
Create your own schedule and enter the world as a grocery delivery person. It’s one of the easiest jobs for teenagers. You don’t even need a car – get a bike with a large basket, and you’re good to go. If you’re under 18, you can work for a local grocery store or start your own business. Ages 18 and up can drive for DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart, or Shipt.
Instacart is popular all over North America. Shoppers earn $5 to $10 per order on average. Here are a few requirements:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have access to a vehicle
- Smartphone accessibility
- Ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
Uber Eats is another popular food-delivery service.
Car drivers must be 19 years or older and have at least one year of driving experience. You can use a bike in most cities. Scooters are also allowed, but remember, you must have a license and registration to qualify.
Become a Reseller
Have extra belongings lying around? You can make money by selling them – don’t just throw them away! Clean out your closet and gather items your family doesn’t want anymore. Sell them online, at a garage sale, or to local reselling stores. This teen business idea requires no financial investment, only time.
Facebook Marketplace lets users sell items locally or ship them – the buyer or seller can pay for shipping. There are also community forums, often called “Buy, Sell, Trade” pages, where local people can arrange to meet up to sell or trade items. Be clear about the state of the items you sell – people will be upset if their merchandise isn’t as described.
Craigslist and Kijiji are alternative platforms for reselling goods. Being less formal, you may have to put your negotiation skills to the test. Never meet up with buyers at your home. Always meet in a public space with many people around and bring an adult with you to avoid any unwanted confrontations.
Reselling is a great small business idea for teenagers if you stick with it!
Reselling on Amazon takes a lot of preliminary learning and work, so you may have to start during summer break when you have the most time on your hands.
You’ll start by researching profitable reselling opportunities and finding a supplier to source from. Once you find a valuable niche, you can create an Amazon Seller Central account and post your products!
Car Wash Service
Car washing is always in demand. By learning the best car washing practices and buying the right products, you’ll give customers a reason to choose you. Start by washing cars for free and posting pictures and videos on social media or your website. Spread the word by using ads, word-of-mouth recommendations, or reference bonuses. It’s a great way to make money for teens, and it’s pretty fun!
Consider Car Wash on Wheels
Mobile services are gaining popularity because they offer flexibility to both customers and business owners. Offer to come to customers where they are, and you won’t be tied down to one location. You can charge more for the service and even serve customers while they’re at work!
Another option is working in a plaza parking lot. Contact the shopping center owner and offer a percentage of every wash. You can also ask shop owners to advertise your services and recommend theirs in return. This option allows you to be visible to cars passing by and capitalize on spur-of-the-moment car washes.
Your small business doesn’t have to stop there. You can hire employees for an hourly wage to offer the same plaza service as you. You’ll make some money from each wash and even make enough to offer more services like detailing or shining. Scale your business whenever you see the opportunity!
As a library assistant, you’ll help visitors during their visits. The job also involves organizing inventory, maintaining online stock, and shelving books. Most library assistant positions pay wages on the low end, but it’s a fulfilling and relaxing business idea for teenagers.
Another good small business idea for teens is pet sitting. If you love animals, pet sitting is a great way to make money that feels more like a hobby than a job.
Start by charging low rates to friends and family to build a resume and earn good reviews. To take it a step further, you can study basic care for each animal and even learn how to train or groom them. The more services you offer, the more you can charge!
You’d be surprised at how many adults bite off more than they can chew when getting a dog.
People hire dog walkers to help during long shifts, days out of town, or even as a simple form of delegation. You can advertise locally or use apps like Rover or Wag to connect with customers.
If you’re reliable, responsible, and good with kids, babysitting might be the job for you. It’s one of the easiest jobs for teenagers because you can network with family, friends, and teachers and work only when your schedule allows.
Does school come easy to you? You can tutor kids or even teens your age in subjects you excel in. Expand your service range by using Zoom to offer video sessions with clients who live farther away.
These platforms make tutoring a great way for teens to make money online:
- Revolution Prep
Business owners, salespeople, and real estate agents are examples of people who may need assistants. If you’re organized, responsible, and detail-oriented, this may be a good fit. It’s a great teen business idea because you can work with your employer to build a schedule that works for you both and a wage to match it.
If you grew up doing chores, you probably have a good grasp of cleaning skills. Clean houses on the weekends or gather a group of friends and tackle one room each in just a few hours.
For those willing to spend a little on ads or promote themselves on social media, cleaning can be a lucrative way to make money for teens.
Retail positions are some of the easiest jobs for teenagers. They pay fair wages and provide a stable environment to learn customer-service skills. If you go this route, try to get the most out of the job. Take notes on sales, marketing, and accounting practices.
How to Start a Business as a Teenager?
When deciding on a business venture, do your best to choose something you enjoy that provides flexibility. As a teenager, your commitments can change quickly, from schoolwork to extracurriculars, to family responsibilities. You want a job that can adjust to the coming changes in your life.
Ask any successful businessperson their business advice for teenagers, and 90% of them will tell you to choose something you’re passionate about. Working for a job you hate will leave you burnt out, no matter how much money it brings in.
Think About Your Passion
As a young person, your interests may change, but your true passions probably won’t stray that far. Think about your intrinsic motivations. Are you moved by helping people? Physical activity? Science? Multi-tasking? These things apply to numerous job options.
That being said, always keep an open mind. You never know how one business idea could sprout into a field of different opportunities.
Find a Gap in the Market
All you have to do is fill a need before another entrepreneur comes and fills it first.
For example, you notice your parents and your friends’ parents always have dirty cars. You ask them about it, and they say they don’t have time during the work week to go to the car wash. Boom – your mobile car wash service is born! This is how entrepreneurship ideas for teenagers come about.
Know Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is the most important piece of marketing. It allows you to predict their needs and market your service in a way they find irresistible.
Take some time to study your target demographic and uncover their interests, motivations, and pain points.
If you have a solid business idea but lack the funding to pull it off, you’ll need to reach out to investors to help fulfill your vision. Keep in mind that adults, including your family members, will need to be convinced before investing in a teen’s business idea.
Prepare a well-thought-out presentation including your plan, the amount you need, and how quickly you plan to pay them back.
Start Your Journey
Sometimes, taking the leap is harder than running the business itself! Maintaining school, friendships, work, and extracurriculars will be difficult. Take the first step and proceed one step at a time at your own pace.
Be prepared to sacrifice some of your free time on weekends and after school for the business.
Tips on How to Make Money as a Teen
Starting a business venture is scary, but remember that everyone started somewhere. It’s okay if you don’t entirely know what you’re doing as long as you take calculated risks and learn from any mistakes.
You’re already one step ahead by considering entrepreneurship as a teenager. Kudos to you!
It Is Not About Money
As a teenager, starting a business is about more than money. You’ll gain invaluable insight into yourself and the business world. The steps you take now can set your future self up for success if you choose wisely.
When browsing ways to make money for teens, consider what you’ll gain from each opportunity outside of the money.
The fact that you’re interested in your career so young is a great sign. Being young isn’t a disadvantage – it means you have the freedom to explore different career paths and the time to learn from mistakes.
Use whatever resources you have to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to ask the adults in your life for help. We hope this list of ideas helps you on your journey of teen entrepreneurship!