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20 small business ideas for teens

Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor for teens. It not only provides a great way to earn money, but also helps in developing valuable skills and gaining practical experience. Whether you’re interested in technology, arts, or services, there’s a plethora of business ideas that can suit your interests and skills. Here are 20 small business ideas for teens that are feasible and can be started with minimal investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Teens can start a variety of businesses based on their interests and skills.
  • Starting a business can help teens earn money and gain valuable experience.
  • Low investment is required for most of the business ideas listed.
  • These business ideas cover a wide range of interests from technology to arts.
  • Practical experience gained from these businesses can be beneficial for future career paths.

1. Lawn Care Services

Starting a lawn care service can be a lucrative and rewarding business for teens who enjoy outdoor work and have a knack for gardening. This business requires minimal startup costs but can yield significant returns with regular clients and proper marketing.

Key Steps to Start:

  1. Research the local market and potential client base.
  2. Acquire the necessary equipment, such as lawn mowers, trimmers, and gardening tools.
  3. Market your services through flyers, local online forums, and word of mouth.
  4. Offer competitive pricing and exceptional customer service to retain clients.

Remember, consistency and reliability are key to building a successful lawn care business.

Additionally, exploring various grants for lawn care businesses can provide financial support to boost your startup. These may include environmental, recycling, and green grants, which are particularly relevant given the nature of the business.

2. Pet Sitting

Pet sitting is a fantastic small business idea for teens who love animals and want to earn extra money. Starting your own pet sitting business is relatively inexpensive and allows for flexible scheduling, making it ideal for students. To get started, you should:

  1. Understand the needs of various pets, including feeding, walking, and medication schedules.
  2. Market your services through social media, flyers, and word of mouth.
  3. Set clear rates and services to avoid confusion with clients.

Pet sitting not only provides a service to pet owners but also enriches your experience with animals, potentially sparking a lifelong passion or career in animal care.

3. Tutoring

Tutoring is a fantastic way for teens to earn money while also helping others excel academically. Starting a tutoring business can be as simple as identifying a subject you excel in and offering your services to peers or younger students. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Identify your strengths in specific academic subjects.
  2. Create a plan for how you will conduct sessions, including materials and teaching methods.
  3. Set competitive rates based on your expertise and local market.
  4. Promote your services through school, social media, and word of mouth.

Tutoring not only provides a steady income but also strengthens your own knowledge and teaching skills.

4. Handmade Jewelry

Starting a handmade jewelry business can be a rewarding and creative way for teens to earn money. This venture allows for the expression of personal style and artistry, making each piece unique. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Identify your niche: Determine what type of jewelry you are passionate about and what might appeal to your target market.
  2. Source materials: Look for suppliers of beads, stones, and other materials needed for your creations.
  3. Learn the craft: Enhance your skills through online tutorials or local workshops.
  4. Set up an online store: Utilize platforms like Etsy or Shopify to reach a wider audience.
  5. Market your products: Use social media to showcase your work and engage with potential customers.

Remember, the key to success in the handmade jewelry business is creativity and consistency in quality.

5. Car Wash

Starting a car washing business can be a great way for teens to enter the entrepreneurial world with minimal startup costs. It’s not only about having a bucket and a sponge; it’s about understanding the nuances of car care and customer service.

To ensure success, focus on quality service and effective marketing strategies.

Here are the basic supplies you’ll need to get started:

  • Bucket
  • Soft sponge
  • Window cleaner
  • Microfiber towels
  • Car shampoo

Additionally, consider offering various packages to cater to different customer needs, such as exterior wash, full-service wash, and detailing services.

6. Babysitting

Babysitting is a popular and responsible business idea for teens who enjoy caring for children. It not only provides a valuable service to parents in need of a break but also helps develop skills in childcare and early education. Starting a babysitting service can be as simple as spreading the word among family and friends or joining a community group.

To ensure safety and trust, it’s crucial to obtain basic first aid training and possibly a babysitting certification. These credentials can make you more appealing to parents and can often be acquired through local community centers or health organizations.

Marketing Your Services

To effectively promote your babysitting business, consider the following strategies:

  1. Create flyers and distribute them in your neighborhood.
  2. Use social media platforms to reach a broader audience.
  3. Offer an introductory discount to new clients.
  4. Ask for referrals from every satisfied customer to build a positive reputation quickly.

7. Blogging

Blogging is a fantastic way for teens to express themselves and share their passions while also learning valuable digital marketing and writing skills. Starting a blog can be as simple as choosing a niche that interests you, such as fashion, technology, or personal experiences, and consistently creating content that engages your audience. Monetization opportunities such as affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertisements can turn a hobby into a profitable business. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Select a niche that you are passionate about.
  2. Set up a blog using platforms like WordPress or Blogger.
  3. Create high-quality content that adds value to your readers.
  4. Promote your blog through social media and SEO techniques.
  5. Monetize your blog through various channels.

Blogging not only allows teens to earn money but also builds essential skills like writing, SEO, and social media marketing, making it one of the best business ideas for teens.

8. Graphic Design

Graphic design is a fantastic avenue for teens who have a knack for art and technology. It involves creating visual content to communicate messages through typography, imagery, color, and form. Teens can start by offering services like logo design, flyers, and social media graphics to local businesses or peers. This field not only nurtures creativity but also teaches valuable marketing and communication skills.

  • Learn the basics: Understand the principles of design and familiarize yourself with design software.
  • Build a portfolio: Start creating designs to showcase your skills and attract clients.
  • Market your services: Use social media and digital platforms to promote your work and reach potential customers.

9. Social Media Management

Social media management is a vibrant opportunity for teens to leverage their innate understanding of social platforms to help businesses and individuals grow their online presence. This role involves creating content, scheduling posts, and engaging with followers. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Learn the basics of different social platforms.
  2. Understand the principles of digital marketing.
  3. Offer your services to local businesses or start with family-owned businesses.
  4. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage multiple accounts efficiently.

Social media management can be a great way to earn money while enhancing your digital skills and understanding of online marketing dynamics.

10. Photography

Photography is a versatile and creative business idea for teens who have a passion for capturing moments. Starting a photography business can range from simple portrait sessions to more complex event photography. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Learn the basics of photography through online courses or workshops.
  2. Invest in a good quality camera and editing software.
  3. Build a portfolio by taking photos of friends and family.
  4. Market your services through social media and a personal website.

Starting a photography business requires minimal initial investment but can grow significantly with creativity and skill.

Photography not only allows teens to express their artistic side but also offers the potential to earn a substantial income through various gigs such as weddings, corporate events, and portrait sessions.

11. Baking

Baking is a delightful and creative business idea for teens who have a passion for making delicious treats. Starting a home-based bakery allows you to explore a variety of recipes from cupcakes to custom cakes. It’s not only about the joy of baking but also about understanding the business aspects such as cost management, marketing, and customer service.

Baking can be a therapeutic activity, offering a perfect blend of creativity and precision.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Learn and perfect your baking skills.
  2. Obtain necessary permits and equipment.
  3. Market your products through social media and local events.
  4. Maintain high standards of hygiene and quality.

By focusing on unique recipes and quality, you can create a niche market for your products.

12. T-shirt Printing

Starting a T-shirt printing business can be a lucrative venture for teens with a creative flair. This business idea allows for flexibility in design and can cater to various customer preferences. Here’s a basic guide to get started:

  1. Research the market to understand current trends and customer demands.
  2. Choose the right printing equipment and materials. Options include screen printing, heat transfer, or direct-to-garment technologies.
  3. Develop unique and appealing designs, possibly using software like Adobe Illustrator or free online tools.
  4. Set up an online store or partner with local businesses to sell your products.
  5. Market your brand through social media and local events to attract a wider audience.

Starting small and scaling up as you gain more experience and customer feedback is a practical approach to growing your T-shirt printing business.

13. Tech Support

In today’s digital age, tech support is a vital service, and teens with a knack for technology can capitalize on this demand. Starting a tech support business involves assisting individuals and small businesses with software installation, troubleshooting, and general technology advice. Teens can leverage their tech-savviness to help others navigate the complexities of modern gadgets and software.

  • Identify your expertise: Focus on specific devices or software to offer specialized support.
  • Market your services: Use social media and online forums to reach potential clients.
  • Offer remote and on-site support: Adapt to the needs of your clients, providing flexibility in your service delivery.

Tech support not only helps solve immediate problems but also educates clients on the effective use of technology, potentially reducing future issues.

14. Music Lessons

Offering music lessons can be a profitable and fulfilling business for teens who are skilled in a musical instrument or vocals. This venture not only allows them to earn money but also to enhance their own skills and share their passion for music with others.

Starting Your Music Lessons Business

  1. Identify your musical expertise and the instruments you can teach.
  2. Set up a suitable space for conducting lessons, whether at home or in a rented space.
  3. Determine your pricing structure based on lesson duration and frequency.
  4. Promote your services through social media, school bulletins, and community boards.

Music lessons can be tailored to students of all ages, making it a versatile business option.

By following these steps, teens can establish a structured approach to launching their music lessons business, ensuring a steady flow of students and income.

15. Event Planning

Event planning is a dynamic business idea that allows teens to showcase their organizational skills and creativity. Starting an event planning business can be both rewarding and challenging, providing an opportunity to work on a variety of events such as parties, meetings, and weddings.

  • Identify your niche: Specialize in specific types of events, like children’s parties or corporate functions.
  • Build a network: Connect with vendors such as caterers, venue owners, and entertainers.
  • Market your services: Use social media and local advertising to reach potential clients.

Event planning requires attention to detail, strong communication skills, and a knack for problem-solving.

16. Personal Shopping

Personal shopping is a fantastic business idea for teens who have a keen eye for fashion and a knack for understanding client preferences. This service can range from helping clients select everyday clothing to special event attire, or even shopping for home decor.

Getting Started

  1. Identify your niche – fashion, electronics, gifts, etc.
  2. Build a network of potential clients through social media and word of mouth.
  3. Set clear service rates or consider a commission-based pricing model.

Personal shoppers must stay updated with the latest trends and maintain a good rapport with clients to ensure repeat business. This role not only enhances your fashion sense but also sharpens your interpersonal and negotiation skills.

17. Craft Selling

Craft selling offers a creative and profitable avenue for teens to express their artistic talents and earn money. Starting a craft business can be as simple as utilizing skills in areas like knitting, pottery, or digital art to create products that appeal to a niche market. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Identify your craft: Choose a craft you are passionate about and can consistently produce.
  2. Source materials: Look for cost-effective and quality materials from local or online suppliers.
  3. Set up an online store: Platforms like Etsy or Shopify can be ideal for reaching a wider audience.
  4. Market your products: Utilize social media and local fairs to promote your crafts.

Remember, the key to success in craft selling is uniqueness and quality. Strive to offer something that is not readily available in the market.

18. YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel can be an exciting way for teens to express themselves and share their passions with the world. Find your niche and focus on creating content that you are passionate about, which can range from gaming, educational content, to daily vlogs. Consistency is key in building an audience, so set a regular schedule for uploading new videos.

  • Plan your content: Decide what kind of videos you want to make and outline your ideas.
  • Create engaging videos: Use good lighting, clear audio, and keep your videos interesting.
  • Promote your channel: Share your videos on social media and engage with your viewers by responding to comments.

Starting a YouTube channel requires minimal investment but can yield significant returns if managed well.

19. Mobile App Development

Mobile app development offers a dynamic field for teens to explore their creativity and technical skills. With the rise of smartphones, the demand for new and innovative apps is ever-increasing. Teens can start by learning basic coding languages like Java or Swift, and use platforms like Android Studio or Xcode to develop their applications. Developing a mobile app can be a rewarding experience, both intellectually and financially, as it opens up opportunities in various industries.

  • Learn the basics: Start with HTML, CSS, and progress to more complex languages.
  • Choose a platform: Decide whether to develop for Android, iOS, or cross-platform.
  • Design your app: Focus on user interface and experience.
  • Test extensively: Ensure your app works well on all intended devices.
  • Launch and market your app: Use social media and app stores to reach your audience.

20. Gardening Services

Starting a gardening service is a great way for teens to engage with nature while earning money. This business idea not only promotes physical activity but also instills a sense of responsibility and entrepreneurship. Teens can offer various services such as planting, weeding, and general garden maintenance. It’s important to understand the local climate and the types of plants that thrive in it to provide the best service possible.

To get started, teens will need basic gardening tools and perhaps a mode of transportation to reach clients’ homes. Marketing can be done through social media, flyers, or word of mouth.

  • Research local plant species
  • Invest in quality gardening tools
  • Develop a pricing strategy
  • Create promotional materials
  • Build a client base


Embarking on a small business venture as a teen can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The 20 business ideas outlined in this article provide a variety of options that cater to different interests and skills, whether it’s crafting, tech, or service-oriented projects. Starting a business not only helps teens gain valuable entrepreneurial skills but also fosters creativity, responsibility, and financial independence. It’s important to choose an idea that aligns with personal passions and available resources. With determination and the right approach, any of these ideas can blossom into a successful enterprise, paving the way for future career opportunities and personal growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can teens start a small business?

Teens can start a small business by identifying a skill or interest, researching the market, obtaining necessary permits, and marketing their services or products to potential customers.

What are some low-cost small business ideas for teens?

Low-cost ideas include pet sitting, tutoring, lawn care, blogging, and handmade jewelry making. These require minimal upfront investment and can often be started with resources already available to teens.

Teens should consider business registration, obtaining the necessary permits, and understanding tax obligations. It’s also important to check local laws regarding age restrictions for business owners.

How can teens market their small business?

Teens can market their business through social media, word of mouth, flyers, and local community boards. Online platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be particularly effective for reaching a wider audience.

What skills can teens gain from running a small business?

Teens can gain skills such as time management, financial literacy, customer service, marketing, and problem-solving, all of which are valuable in both personal and professional development.

Are there resources available to help teens start a small business?

Yes, many communities offer resources through local business associations, schools, and libraries. Online resources and mentorship programs are also available to help teens plan, start, and grow their businesses.

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