Teens Starting a Business
In our last blog, we talked about how important it is for teens to have work experience to prepare them for college. However, getting a job and working for someone else is not the only option teenagers have. Many clever teens have started their own business, and that type of initiative, creativity and problem-solving are exactly the qualities colleges are looking for in a candidate and the type of real-world experience anyone needs to succeed in future endeavors.
Help your teen create flyers for their business. They can hand them out in their neighborhoods and post them in local stores. Your teen can use social media to their advantage to get the word out, as well.
Ideas for Teen Businesses
Pet Care. If your teen likes animals, there are many services a teen could offer the neighbors or local community. Many professionals need reliable dog walkers while they are at work each day. Many families go away for vacation during the summer months and need pet care. They might have dogs, cats, birds or other pets that they prefer to stay in their familiar surroundings or are not suited to be boarded at kennels. Teens can check in on the pets two to three times per day (before and after school, and again at night) to feed them, walk them, and provide companionship. Make sure your teen asks local veterinary clinics if they can post their flyer in their offices.
Yard Work. Summer brings an avalanche of yard work, and many people are too busy to keep up with it. Your teen could mow lawns, weed gardens, water plants, pick up yard debris, plant flowers, or any other outdoor task.
Technology Consulting. As you probably know, many teens are very technologically savvy, and many older adults struggle with their electronic devices. Depending on your teen’s knowledge base, your son or daughter could offer consulting to family, friends, neighbors, small businesses, or nonprofits for a variety of services, such as setting up a new computer, repairing broken computers and/or smartphones, getting rid of viruses, designing websites, setting up profiles and security settings in social media tools (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), teaching software programs, or setting up computer networks.
Helping Senior Citizens. Many senior citizens need help doing household chores. They may not be strong enough or have enough energy to clean their homes, walk their dog, pick up their yard, or clean out their attic. Your teen can be an enormous help to the elderly in your neighborhood.
Errand Service. If your teen has a car and a cell phone, they could launch an errand service. Busy professionals would appreciate a responsible teen picking up their dry cleaning each week, taking the family pet to the veterinarian for a routine checkup, or grocery shopping.
Organizing. A teen with good organization skills and a tidy streak can put those talents to use. Many busy families have basements, attics, and garages loaded with stuff that they would love to have cleaned and organized to remove clutter. Your teen could offer services to declutter and reorganize homes, and then even execute a yard sale, keeping a portion of the profits.
Arts and Crafts. A crafty teen can make and sell jewelry, candles, t-shirts, or other crafts with only a modest investment in supplies. These items can be sold at craft fairs, online, in local shops, in school, or by networking with friends and family.
Run an eBay Business. Thousands of people run online storefronts on eBay to make money, and your teen can, too. Your teen must first decide what they will sell. If they are going to sell new products, they must find a cheap, reliable source, such as a wholesaler or importer. If they are going to sell used products, they can find great deals at flea markets, garage sales, auctions sales, and estate sales. They can even offer to sell unwanted items for your family and friends for a portion of the profit. Collectibles of every sort are always very popular items to sell on eBay.
Running your own business teaches persistence and responsibility, encourages creativity, fosters independence, develops problem-solving, and improves communication. These attributes are vital skills for youth to develop as they reach for adulthood.