In every group with teens, that I facilitate or teach, I ask the BIG question! Do you have a job? Inevitably, I get lots of blank stares and few raised hands. During the awkward silence, parents often chime in telling me that their teenager can’t work because they aren’t 16 or 18 yet. While it has gotten harder to find typical jobs for your teens and tweens with the age increasing on almost every job requirement, in other ways, helping your teenager find a job is easier than ever! Let’s think outside of the box today, as I share 12 smart small business ideas for teenagers and tweens!
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Benefits of a Part-time Job for Teenagers
A part-time job for a teenager is more than “it’s time you got a job.”
A part-time job teaches your teenager to work hard, to think on their feet, and to take instructions from others.
Side jobs also give your teenager the opportunity to learn how to manage money, to acquire new skills, and to understand what they love to do (or hate to do).
With all the amazing benefits to working, we definitely want to help our teenagers. But as parents we also have to consider how we are going to get them to work, conflicts with other activities and sports, and the age limitations. Ugh, now the teenage job doesn’t seem possible.
But before you give up let’s consider all the job possibilities other than flipping hamburgers at the local fast-food place.
Why Your Teenager or Tween Should Start a Small Business
A small business has so many added benefits to the regular part-time job. When your tween or teenager starts a small business they can:
- Start working while they are still a tween.
- Create a flexible schedule that works with their other activities.
- Learn business practices like investing, capital gains and net worth.
- Focus on doing work they love.
- Make more income than the typical minimum wage job.
- Gain confidence as they make business decisions and work with customers.
- And develop a love for entrepreneurship!
A Micro Business is the Best Business for Teenagers
I first learned about something called a “micro business” at a homeschool convention I attended years ago. As I was eager to learn ways to encourage my teen to be more entrepreneurial, my interest was peaked! What was a micro business?
A micro business is a small business for teenagers that they can start from home during their tween or teenager years. With a little investment to get started, teens have created some amazing businesses.
Small Business Ideas for Teenagers
Here are 15 small business ideas for teenagers to get your wheels turning!
House Cleaning Micro Business for Tweens
As a teenager, I hated babysitting! Unless I really knew the kids well I did NOT want to babysit. Fortunately, there was a lady in my church that worked full-time and wanted some help with cleaning.
At the time, I was only a tween, but I would be dropped off and would work with this church friend cleaning. I usually did the weekly tidying like kitchen and bathrooms. But I would also be given different tasks each week, dependent on what she wanted us to focus on cleaning.
Later, I was able to branch out and pick up other cleaning jobs. Household cleaning was much more rewarding than babysitting, for me, and it paid better!
Pet Sitting Small Business for Teenagers
People love their pets and are willing to pay a responsible teenager to look after the beloved family pet. If your teenager just loves being around animals consider a pet sitting business.
Your teenager can start small by watching a neighbor’s pet while they are away on vacation. And if they do a good job, the neighbor can be a great reference to get the next job.
Often couples, who work full-time, hire someone to walk their dog during the day. Or if you live near an airport, you may have pilots or flight attendants that need their animals cared for when they are gone on overnight trips!
Audio Visual Tech for Live Events
Laura from Almost Empty Nest shared this fabulous small business experience.
My son, Ethan, filmed his first wedding when he was only 11 years old. He volunteered to do it and we thought the bride was a bit crazy for agreeing, but he did a great job with mom and dad acting as production assistants. My husband refused to allow him to charge this family friend, but it helped launch many paying gigs.
As a tween and teen he filmed weddings and gymnastics meets for his sister’s teammates, created promotional videos for several businesses, and transferred old VHS tapes and other media to digital files for customers. As his skills grew through production and editing training from a program at his high school, he was able to showcase his work and charge more. He even set up a booth at a wedding show his freshman year of college and received several jobs.
As he looks toward a career in the film industry (he is now a busy film student at the University of Texas) the experience he received as a tween and teen was invaluable for practicing his skills, learning to deal with clients, and learning what to charge.
Photography Business for Teens
When it came time to get College Boy’s senior pictures, we went with a fellow teen. College Boy picked two teens that had small photography businesses on the side. We were given price quotes from both of them, along with what services they offered.
We were all very pleased with his senior pictures. The senior package price was great for us, but the quality and pictures were still amazing! And for a few hours work, the student photography was making almost $20 an hour!
An added bonus…our teenager was so comfortable with the photographer that we all loved the genuine smiles from our senior!
Car Flipping as a Small Business Idea for Students
Once, I had a young man in my class tell me that he wasn’t working anywhere. As he was 15 or 16, I was disappointed, and so I asked him a few questions as to why. Come to find out he was too busy flipping cars!
This creative young man was buying cars on Craigslist, fixing them up and then selling them back on Craigslist. He loved working on cars, so buying older cars with some problems and fixing them was great fun to him. What a great idea to use the skills he had already learned!
And yes, I told him that he was actually working:)
Etsy Seller for Teens
The internet has opened up so many doors for both moms and teens to be able to work from home. Starting an Etsy shop selling a craft or homemade item is definitely among the best business ideas for students!
If you have a creative teenager, look into selling their items online through Etsy. Etsy does take a commission, but Etsy offers a safe, easy way to get up and running quickly.
Baking as a Small Business for Teens
Do you have a baker at home? We have known several young ladies that have either created a small cupcake business or sold their baked goods at a local farmer’s market.
Check out the options in your area and what the regulations are for selling.
Sewing Micro Business for Tweens and Teens
Currently, Teen Red is in the beginning stages of creating a sewing business. She is making welding caps for her dad and his work buddies. We had to find a pattern that worked. And then, since I don’t sew, we have worked with a friend in our homeschool group to learn how to sew welding caps that are well made and comfortable.
Teen Red likes to sew, so we felt like this was a unique way to use her talents. There is a need for the welding caps, as the women who previously supplied most of them, stopped making them. And with each cap she makes, Teen Red is becoming more proficient!
My niece, who is a senior in high school, started making costumes several years ago. She does some of the work herself and other pieces of the costumes, she hires others to make. She has gained a reputation for quality work so she only opens her sales page every so often , otherwise she would have too much work! Instagram has been a helpful place to advertise her business.
I heard of a teen offering a dance camp in her backyard in between her college years, while another teen offered a craft camp. Has your teen been having lessons (music, dance, art, etc…) for years and loves working with kids? Consider offering a summer camp for several weeks in the summer.
Parents are often looking for fun, affordable activities for their kids to do during the summer. What would seem like a bargain for the parents, will still add up to lots of earned income in several weeks for your teenager.
Animal Breeding Small Business
Does your tween or teen love animals? Consider animal breeding as a way to learn about animals and earn income from home. We purchased a full blooded female German Shepherd as a household pet when our daughter was 10. When Daisy dog was old enough to breed, she had 9 puppies.
I knew nothing about puppies, as this was a plan Tween Red and her dad had hatched. So I had a crash course on puppy raising! Tween Red and I learned to change puppy papers and clean their cage. We took the puppies on walks, talked with them and fed them. And we had them trained to pee outside on command by time they were 6 weeks old (cutest site ever seeing 9 puppies peeing on command:)
Now there are people that feel VERY strongly against breeding animals, as there are some breeders that don’t care about the animals. But all the people and other breeders we interacted with were very caring and helpful, so it was a very positive, if exhausting experience;) Daisy dog has retired as a momma and since furthered her career as a farm dog!
Currently, Teen Red has a cow, named Jenny that she is helping to raise. Jenny has had two offspring so far, so Teen Red has tripled her profits.
Landscaping Small Business for Teens
Sarah from Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting shared this exciting small business success she witnessed in a family friend’s son.
At age 15, Matthew started mowing lawns. While that’s not uncommon for a boy his age, he’d spent most of his life “not quite” able to do what the other kids his age could. Diagnosed with severe learning disabilities and dyslexia as a young child, he was always in classes for kids far younger than him, and disappointingly, treated as if he didn’t quite fit in anywhere.
By mowing lawns, though, he found a skill that put him on par with other boys his age. He was strong and fast and good; he quickly had neighbors lining up to pay him. People respected him and he found a way to “fit in” among his peers. Moreover, he learned budgeting and managed to save up for a very special trip with his best friend’s family.
Music Lesson Micro Business for Teenagers
As a parent, I know that it can be hard to get your kids to music lessons. And sometimes the cost of music lessons can be prohibitive! If you have a teenager that loves music and has had lessons for years, consider a micro music business.
Your teenager can either offer lessons at your home or could travel to others homes, offering several children in one home lessons! By working with beginner students, your teenager will be able to offer a wonderful, needed service.
How do You Start a Small Business for Teenagers
Super excited for your teenager to start their own small business, but not sure what to consider? Grab a copy of the book and workbook, Starting a Micro Business for Teens by Carol Topp. Starting a Micro Business will walk you and your teen through brainstorming business options, creating a business plan, getting started and finances.
Starting a Micro Business is super helpful in walking you and your teen through the process. I appreciated how the book encouraged my teen to think of best strategies and raise awareness about pitfalls, without overwhelming them! Ms. Topp does a fabulous job of writing to teens, helping your teenager get up and running on their small business idea. PLUS, you will learn even more micro business ideas to get you and your teen thinking:)
You can also purchase the workbook along with the book. The workbook is not absolutely necessary, but it does prompt a better follow through on the assignments. Your teen will have a place to complete the brainstorming, budget and business plan sections.
12 Smart Small Business Ideas for Teenagers
Has your tween or teen ever started a small business? Share below what they did! We would all love to hear more ideas!
Have you heard of a micro business? What business idea seems fun and doable for your teen?
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