Quick Start Business Ideas for Teens
The best way to learn is by doing. Whether you’re a teen looking for some business ideas to run with or you’re a parent of a teen looking to encourage your child in entrepreneurial skills, you’ll get what you need here. Build a business for profit and for hands-on skill building—both result in a rewarding experience.
While I’m mainly focusing on startup businesses for teens in this article, you’ll find that the concepts and advice are applicable for people of any age. There are numerous options for the type of business to get into, but how you want to narrow that down will depend on several factors like availability of your time and resources, your current skill set, and what you’re interested in.
Business Ideas & Options
Discovering what business to start takes some thinking and focus. While there are many options, when you understand what type of work your skills are best used in, you will enjoy the adventure and not waver from your goal. Consider the products and services that you can provide that align with your skills and interests. It can be as simple as knowing that you like to draw and be creative so you pursue a business in graphic design.
You may not have a clear vision of what you can do that is marketable so you may need to dig a bit deeper to connect your gifts and talents—maybe that you aren’t even aware of yet—to a business pursuit. You can go through my free course, Uncover Your Vision and Purpose, to identify the themes in your life that will give you some direction on what your business startup could be.
I could share a pretty long list here with all the options that can be a good beginner business venture for teens. So, while this list is not exhaustive, and I’ve heard of some pretty ambitious business goals from some young people, I’ll try to just list some business ideas that are low-cost to no-cost to start and grow and not reliant on having your own transportation. Most businesses require you to be skilled in certain areas so for some that are listed here, you may not have the skills yet but learning those skills may be your first step.
- Graphic design
- Website design
- Social media management
- Video editing
- Growing and selling (plants, animals)
- Making and selling (see sites like Etsy where thousands of people earn money selling their wares)
- Craft fair vendor
- Online Marketing (blogging, podcasting)
- Pet care (walking, grooming, pet sitting)
- Child care
- Errand running (personal shopper, delivery)
- House care (holiday decorating, house cleaning, home organization)
- Tutoring / teaching (academic tutoring, music teacher, art teacher)
- Catering / Baking (eg. catering kids birthday parties, cake baking & decorating)
- House sitting
Starting any business is always an investment of time but not always a big investment of money. That makes it much easier to try something out without feeling like you have to make it work. Running a business doesn’t have to be a sentence for life! You can play around with some ideas and build a bit of a business or just go through some of the planning steps, and even if you didn’t make any money, you should still have had a positive learning experience.
That’s not saying that you should drop it when you’re challenged or things don’t seem to be going smoothly. Stick with it through the inevitable difficulties because that’s the stuff that will mature you as an entrepreneur. However, this is saying that you don’t have to keep with this first business for any definite length of time so don’t get too particular about discovering the perfect business for you. Run a few businesses and that will help you discover what’s a good fit even quicker.
Business Planning in 3 Steps
After you have a business idea to go with, it’s time for business planning. There’s an elaborate method you can go through to make a business plan that gets really deep and can be the best process to use at some point. If you ever need financing or are seeking business venture partners, then that’s definitely the way to go. You can also learn the ins and outs of business management by checking out business plan templates and learn about industry recommendations about writing a business plan.
There is a simpler way to do business planning in the startup stage though, and it’s one I recommend to people of all ages when you need to figure out and determine the basics of what you’re doing to provide value for your customers.
These questions take some thought and a bit of investigating, or at least some deeper thinking, on your business purpose.
- What and why are you selling? Think about alternatives to the obvious. Consider how you are benefiting the people that buy from you. Describe your products and/or services and what you are providing in the way of solving problems, convenience, and happiness.
- Who is buying what you sell? Write down the qualities and personality of one person: age, male, female, marital status, children, work life, values, challenges, interests, income level, hobbies, priorities.
- How will you attract their interest? What free info and products can you create to draw the attention of your ideal client/customer in the form of videos, training guides, ebooks, podcasts, articles, and emails. Write out topics that would be interesting to your audience.
Consistent Action Gets You Moving Forward
The hardest part of starting a business is maintaining motivation as you’re planning and building. Starting anything new has its challenges, especially when you don’t really know what you’re doing! I’ve been building businesses for over 10 years and helping others in different stages of business development, and one of the most common barriers to achieving business goals is staying motivated and consistently working on business activities.
Achieving pretty much anything in life is 80% mindset and 20% action. That action number isn’t so low because you don’t need to take regular action, but rather the way you think about what you’re doing has much more of an impact on that action being effective. In other words, keep positive even when you’re having challenges, and you’ll overcome those challenges quicker to get on to the play in your work.
When I developed my online course Home Business Accelerator, I knew I had to include a few mentions of maintaining motivation in the lessons so I have each module end with a Mindset Motivator tip. These are mainly about building habits that help with planning, organization, and staying motivated to be always moving forward.
Go to my Home Business Courses page to see that full business building course as well as my free courses that give you direction in your business ventures. As a teen, you are at the perfect age to explore different business ideas and run with a few of them to determine what God’s will and purpose is for your life. Building a business will fit right in with your education on entrepreneurship and get you well on your way to earning money regularly as you move into adulthood.
Written by Stephanie Morrison
Steph has been building businesses, mostly from home, for over 10 years, motivated by her strong determination that her two youngest boys would be educated at home. Pursuing her calling to help parents enjoy the responsibility of educating their children, she works in the marketing department of The Old Schoolhouse® and coaches and trains entrepreneurs to start and grow their business from home. She and her family are perfectly placed in the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada. She loves being a homebody and building up her permaculture property.
Read more about Steph at www.creatingworkandplay.com.