There are many benefits to starting a business while still in your teens. However, there is a lot that you need to keep in mind if you are thinking about starting your own business. Particularly considering today’s markets which are highly competitive and not to mention that sometimes it isn’t as easy as you think to be sustainable let alone start a business.
Regardless, if you have the passion to start a business in 2023 and are willing to invest time and effort into it, then here are 25 small business ideas for teens which you start in 2023.
1) Pool Cleaning Services
Pool cleaning can genuinely be a potential business idea for teens because if you look at this example of Jones from New Orleans, who makes $89k just by being a pool cleaner and that too, it was his side hustle.
From his story, you can learn a thing (or) two on how to start a pool cleaning business and make money. If you live in a neighbourhood where you see homeowners with pools but find it difficult to keep them clean. Then probably, it’s your best chance to reach out to them and test your pool cleaning business idea.
To expand your clientele in your neighbourhood, you can start advertising your services with flyers and maybe get some clients through word-of-mouth.
2) Launching NFTs
This is definitely a GenZ way to earn money, but being a teenager, I guess you have a lot of time in your hand to learn the concepts behind NFTs, and if the NFT market seems to grow at the same pace. I don’t think it would be too long before you make millions out of NFTs.
Don’t take my word for it; read this article on TIME about how teens are making money with their NFTs.
To start selling NFTs and make money through them, you must first get an NFT (non-fungible token) from a reputable exchange. You can do this by looking for an exchange with the most NFTs available in the market (or). You can create an NFT project of your own and list them on OpenSea.
There are multiple ways to earn money in the NFT world, like:-
- You can launch your own NFTs projects on OpenSea
- You can flip the existing NFTs in the market for money
- You can help brands drop their new NFTs
But unless and until you’re well equipped with the Cryptocurrencies and Web3.0 space, it’s next to impossible to understand and make profitable money with NFTs. Therefore what I would recommend you is to learn online about NFTs and initially make sure to only invest your own time not money in this.
Many parents want their children to learn at a young age, so they can use that knowledge and skills later in life. Hence this is where tutoring such kids is a great business idea in itself. To tutor someone, you don’t have to excel academically; there’s a realm of other skills outside academics which you can tutor as a teen and make money.
To give some examples of what you can become:-
- Piano teacher
- Science teacher
- Painting teacher
- Sports teacher
- Language teacher etc
There are dozens of skills and knowledge you can teach to kids if they are willing to learn and if their parents are willing to pay. Therefore I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t start tutoring if you possess any valuable skills and love teaching.
If you’re good at academics, you can probably leverage platforms like Chegg and Tutor.com to start teaching. However, to teach skills outside of academics, it’s better to start finding kids within your city (or) neighbourhood and help them learn what you know.
Babysitting as a service is a multi-billion dollar market. Also, it seems that the national average hourly wage for babysitting is $13.97, which if you ask me is a decent chunk of money for a teenager even if he/she does it part-time.
However, we all know that babysitting is a common and obvious way to make money as a teen. As you don’t need any special skills to learn and just like that you can start babysitting, and earn money as of this week.
Starting a babysitting business might not sound exciting initially, but you would be thrilled to see how many businesses on the internet provide this same service and make profits. Also, who knows, if you scale this business correctly, you might need to hire proper employees and facilities to run babysitting services professionally.
5) Gardening & Lawn mowing
Gardening is another popular hobby where you can earn a lot of money from it. Moreover, if you love gardening then helping someone clean up their garden can give you that sense of pride while earning you some serious cash.
To start this small business, you’ve to be good at mowing, trimming, and pruning than the average person. Also, you need to invest some time in learning gardening basics and techniques. Not to say that you need to invest in your tools, as this is not a small business idea for someone with no money to start.
But being said that, gardening and lawn care is a service that you can start from your own neighbourhood and expand your client list as you do more of the work. Since lawn care is in demand during summers, this is the season where teenagers with a lot of time in their hands can utilize this opportunity.
6) Pet Grooming
Pet care is a multi-billion dollar industry, and to start a pet grooming business, all it takes is how good you’re with pets. If you’ve owned pets before and know how to take care of them, then you can start offering grooming services right away in your neighbourhood without having to worry about set-up costs and advertising, as most of your business will be coming from word of out.
Generally, pet grooming services can include dog walking (or) pet sitting. For 40 – 60 minutes of dog walking, you could charge between $22 and $27. The pricing will vary, but pet grooming is definitely worth a try in this list of small business ideas for teens because it’s flexible and doesn’t require hefty investments.
Also, you can scale up this small business idea once you start additionally selling pet products to your customers/pet owners, and also, if you can build a presence online, that can work in your favour.
7) Car Washing
When I say car washing business, it doesn’t mean that I want you to find a location, open a unit, acquire equipment, and hire staff to start the business. Since you’re in your teens, it’s plausible only if you do car washing using your bucket, soft sponge, and window cleaner. To earn money doing this, you might have to do some initial car washes for free later; you can spread your service throughout your neighbourhood.
Most probably, your target customers are those who own cars and don’t have enough time to wash them. The best part is that no matter how little time people have, they don’t like to see their cars look dirty, and these kinds of people are more open to your help with car washes.
Like most other small business ideas for teens in this list, car washing is a flexible way for teenagers to make extra money. Later on, if you’re more inclined towards this business, renting out a facility with investments is a probable way to scale up this business.
8) Live Stream Gaming
The live Streaming Market is expected to reach $4.26 billion, at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2021 to 2028, and we all know that gaming is one significant segment of live streams which have stormed and captured the internet audience big time.
Teenagers who indulge in gaming can earn money through their gaming skills. Indeed, this idea of starting live streams and monetizing them is the right way to earn big money. Not to say that there are streams on the internet that make millions.
But unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it looks to monetize your streams and make big bucks because, as a streamer, you need to establish an audience base who are inclined towards your content and are curious to watch your streams regularly.
That being said, Live stream gaming is still a very lucrative business idea for teens as it needs less investment in case if you already have a gaming set-up. This means all you need to focus on is your content and invest enough time to attract your audience.
YouTube and Twitch are the two major platforms used for live stream gaming. There are multiple ways in which you can make money through the stream, and most of those will include:-
- Donation/tips from your views (Like YouTube SuperChat)
- Paid subscription/membership to your streams
- Revenue through ads
- Brand deals and sponsorships
- Selling your merch (or) products
- Referring people to your affiliate programs
If I am not wrong, this business idea is something that excites most teenagers because gaming is something that most teenagers are already into. Hence if you’re too, then invest your time in producing engaging streams to build an audience and later make money.
9) Social Media Influencer
Forget about teen social media influencers; there are even pre-teen influencers who make money as social media influencers. I guess, here I don’t have to fill in to explain the scope of social media for teenagers and how gaining popularity on these platforms can make you money.
Just like live stream gaming, being an influencer on social media is one of the lucrative business ideas for teens, and you need to have an established audience on any platform to make money. However, the best part is that, from doing paid shout-outs to selling your product, there are dozens of ways you can make money as a social media influencer.
Right now, to become an influencer as a teen on social media. Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube are the most preferred platforms by many, but the catch is that you can’t focus and grow on multiple platforms at once.
Therefore the best way is to build your influence and following by focusing only on one social media platform and excelling at it.
One of the best things about blogging is that anyone can start blogging and make money. You can simply start a blog using the basic templates, Good keyword research, and a solid content marketing strategy is good enough for you to make a decent living out of blogging.
People have taken blogging seriously and chosen it as a business/career. For teenagers, blogging is a viable option because you don’t need to be an adult to start a blog, and also you can buy the domain name and website for less than $4 per month on BlueHost.
Hence starting a blog is affordable which is one of the pros of blogging, and not to mention that, as you start working on your blog, your expenses will increase, and it varies. But no matter how much easy it sounds to you to start a blog, but it’s definitely not that easy to compete against existing bloggers in your space and earn money.
That being said, if you’re a teenager who loves writing and isn’t excited about social media influencing, then probably starting a blog and writing what you love about is something worth trying. Also, the reason why I am considering blogging as a business for teens is that blogging can open a wide of monetization opportunities like:-
- Revenue from ads
- Selling your services and products
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored posts
11) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing, as mentioned above, is one of the preferred monetization channels for most bloggers and other social media influencers. In case you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it is a model where you earn commissions (as an affiliate) for each referral that converts into a sale for a particular product or service.
To make money with affiliate marketing, you need an audience to whom you can pitch/introduce your product to and make commissions from each sale. Hence this is where having a following and establishing some presence on the internet is essential.
The best part of considering affiliate marketing as a business for teens is that you don’t have to worry about creating the product, customer fulfilment, etc. That being said, you do have to make sales in order to make hefty commissions.
Predominantly there are two ways to make money with affiliate marketing:-
- Free Way/Organic:- This is where you start a YouTube Channel or a blog, create content around your affiliate products, build an audience, and generate sales by driving traffic to your affiliate products.
- Paid Way/Inorganic:- Here, you must rely on paid advertisements on Google, Facebook, or any other platform that you know of. To start, you need a landing page built using software like ClickFunnels(where you will be talking about your affiliate product). Once the landing page is built, you need to spend money on ads and make sure to drive enough traffic to make sales and bring in more commissions.
No matter how you promote your affiliate products, you need to consider a few things first like, What niche I am after? What is the commission on each sale? The conversion rate of each product? Should I prefer digital products (or) physical products? Recurring commissions (or) one-time high-ticket affiliate programs?
To help you with a couple of the questions from the above. I have two articles on my blog talking about affiliate programs; please check them out:-
- 13+ Affiliate Programs That Pay You Instantly Through Paypal
- 21 High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs To Join Right Now
12) Dropshipping Business on Shopify
It’s highly unlikely that you wouldn’t have heard about dropshipping. Especially if you’ve searched on YouTube on “how to make money online.” Then drop shipping has to be the most recommended business idea for teens.
Dropshipping in a simple term is nothing but an eCommerce business where you sell products to your buyers without owning the stock (or) having an inventory in place. Whenever you get an order in your store, you will place an order with your re-seller/seller, who will take care of product packing and shipping. Thus with minimal effort and involvement, you fulfil your custom orders and keep the profits.
Right now, on the internet, there’s no better platform to start dropshipping other than Shopify. Not to forget that starting a dropshipping business on Shopify needs a good investment. It would probably be a lie if I told you that you could start this business by investing a couple of hundred dollars.
The cost to design a store on Shopify, run ads, buy products from Alibaba and fulfil your orders will need a good chunk of money if you’re a teenager. That being said, hundreds of teenagers on the internet have claimed to have started dropshipping and turned their stores into 5 to 6-figure businesses.
13) Selling DIY crafts on Etsy
If you want to start selling your handmade products, Etsy is your best bet. Other sites like eBay and Amazon can also be used for the same. But Etsy, as we know, is predominantly popular for selling handmade items for both men and women.
Assuming you’re a teenager with a knack for creating DIY crafts in your home. If so, you can create anything and sell it on Etsy. As long as people are buying from you, you have the potential to turn this hobby venture into a profitable small business.
This business is best for those, who don’t wanna start an online store from scratch, have no audience to generate traffic, also don’t want to spend any money on ads, and more importantly, are willing to get the taste of starting an eCommerce business.
Here all you have to do is create an account on Etsy, try to re-create from best selling items on Etsy, list your products, and optimize your listing for sales.
14) Web Development
If you want to start a web development business and make money, you do need the right set of skills. However, the main thing you need is good programming knowledge and the right design skills. You don’t have to be an expert in any of these fields because that won’t help you focus on the business.
A good amount of knowledge and working on a few projects can make you a web developer to whom people are willing to pay. Right now if you don’t know anything about coding, the best thing you can do is to learn a programming language and then start coding.
You can start creating your projects for free with just basic knowledge of coding. Later you can use your own projects to showcase to clients on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. The reason why web development is one of the best small business ideas for teens is that starting a business like this from your home is easier and also you don’t need a hefty investment apart from your time.
Baking is another small business that you can start making money with. You can either start by baking simple cakes at home or even cupcakes. You can even sell customized designed cakes for weddings and birthday parties if you’re good at it.
Katie, a food blogger, is said to have earned up to $4k per month by selling cakes. The thing with baking is that you can first test your recipes and items with your family and friends. Later on, you can start baking stuff for pre-paid orders.
Unlike other physical businesses, you can expand your backing business reach online using social media platforms like Instagram. Not to mention, you could even collaborate with existing bakers in your town and sell your stuff to their customers.
16) Children’s Book Reselling
Do you own a self crowded with your past grade books? What if instead of simply stuffing your bookshelf with old books (or) throwing them away, you can resell those books and make some money?
Book reselling is another small business idea for teens where all you don’t need to work on developing skills instead what you need is something to sell from your home. You can sell your old-school books on eCommerce platforms like eBay or Amazon. However, if those platforms don’t seem to work for you, you get instant pricing on your old books on apps such as ‘Declutter‘.
On Declutter, you can simply enter the barcode of the book you want to sell, where you get an instant valuation for the book. If you like the price, they will pick up your books for free, and later, you can get paid through Direct Deposit or PayPal.
To scale this side hustle into a business, you can go around your town/neighbourhood and grab onto the children’s books for pennies from multiple garage sales and sell those bundles of books for profit online.
17) Photography Business
The photography business is a massive landscape of opportunities for teenagers who want to start a business of their passion for clicking pictures. The best part about such business ideas is that to make money, you don’t need to have an official degree, but with excellent photography and editing skills, you can earn a lot.
To name some of the popular ways that you can start a photography business as a teenager would be:-
- Event photography is where you can charge people for clicking pictures of them at the events such as weddings, birthday parties, etc.
- Creat b-rolls for brands. Creating a short and snappy video of a product like food, shoes, or even real estate and selling those clips to the brands who can use them in their marketing campaigns.
- Sell your photos on sites like Shutterstock and iStock.
- Offer editing and re-touching services to your clients online. You can find clients on Upwork and Fiverr who are willing to pay for your editing skills.
To start photography, you need to develop your initial skills through your phone. But if you want to scale the business and make money 5-6 figures from this business. Then you must be willing to invest in quality camera equipment and quality software for editing.
18) Being a DJ
If you want to be a DJ, then you need to have a decent level of DJing skills. You can start with the basics of DJing and learn how to play music. Then, you can go on and learn how to use your equipment and produce quality tracks.
Even though DJing sounds exciting for teenagers, there are a lot of hurdles you have to face on your own, from getting gigs in your town to getting paid on time. To start DJing for a crowd, you must invest in dozens of things like a laptop, mixer, audio cables, speakers, and cases.
Even though being a DJ sounds like one of the dream business ideas that suits a teenager who likes to rock and has a passion for music. But to keep yourself afloat with your music skills and create an audience of your own. You do need to be open to performing and testing different small groups of crowds, create a name for yourself, and, later you can, generate extensive checks for bigger crowds.
19) Lemonade Stand
You need to be versatile and creative if you have a lemonade stand. You need to look at different types of drinks and might need to try to offer food that can additionally benefit your stand.
However, it would be a lie if I said you could build a thriving business out of a lemonade stand but still, considering you’re a teenager, earning even $50-$100 bucks a day can be a lot more and should help you afford a lot of other stuff on your own, unlike other teenagers who don’t start a business and own nothing of their own.
The two significant areas of concern to focus on if you’re starting a lemonade stand are ‘First is Location’ – placing a lemonade in a locality where you get people’s attention, and expect good footfall. ‘Second is Customer Retention’ – offering delicious drinks at nominal pricing and having fewer competitors should help you bring customers back for drinks regularly.
20) Seasonal Errands
There are ‘n’ no.of seasonal errands you can start this season, which later can become your potential business idea for teens. However, if your mind is lurking around, what seasonal errands to choose from?
For starters, if we assume it’s the end of the year and during festival times, then probably helping homeowners set up Christmas lights can be a side hustle worth doing, and also, you will end up making better rates per hour being it a seasonal chore. Watch this video by Biaheza, showing how people earn money for setting up Christmas lights for the houses.
Another best part of doing seasonal errands is that you don’t need hefty investment into tools to get started and if you’re well-equipped with your house chores. Then I am pretty sure there are dozens of errands which you can find and get paid for providing as a service to others.
21) House Repainting
Painting houses can make for a good side hustle if you want some extra income. It requires a good amount of learning to start re-painting houses, and there are always new houses to be painted thus resulting in continual work. In the long run, this could become one of the best small business ideas for you.
However, to re-paint a house, you first need to be acquainted with the basics of painting, and for that, you need to take up a course (or) maybe learn from someone who knows how it’s done. Learning how to paint is just one step of the process, ahead, ahead you need to invest in your tools, get the legal documents, and market yourself to start working.
As a teenager who wants to start a business, this could be an up-and-coming venture because if we consider the average American household square foot area. You can make anywhere from $4-$10k per house. If you ask me it’s quite some money to make as a teenager.
If you’re a teenager whose hands are capable of creating customized clothing through the use of embroidery and other decorative arts. Then you would probably like this small business idea.
To start a sewing business, you need to at least own these basic things like the sewing machine itself, measuring tools etc. The best part if you start a business from home is that you can be flexible with your work, and not be mention; you can monetize your sewing in multiple ways by:-
- Offering alteration services
- Sewing items for home decor
- Become a sewing tutor in your neighbourhood
- Make your DIY sewing crafts and sell them online
Instead of offering just customized fashion, you can even choose to design and make school uniforms and sport team uniforms for children around your area. Even better, if you can tie up with a school and let them know about your services, in that case, you’re bound to grow your sewing business and make good money as a teenager.
23) Soap-Making Business
In a day and age where people are conscious of their bodies and health, it’s safe to assume that you can focus on producing soaps that are toxic-free and less induced with chemicals. Certainly this way, people will be pulled towards your soaps compared to other chemical soaps available on the market.
However, creating organic soaps is certainly one of those business ideas which starts in your kitchen and expands into a full-scale business. To work on a small business idea like such you need to:-
- Have to know about what materials are needed to create an organic soap
- Find reliable suppliers who can deliver those materials
- Set up a unit in the house (or) find a way to use your kitchen and produce soaps
- Get the initial batch of products tested and stock up your inventory
- Develop a brand and get some professional assistance to get your product on the market
- Market your product both in offline and online markets
24) Party Organizer
Being a party planner sounds fun, and exciting. But definitely, it’s not one of those business ideas that you can take lightly. But as a teenager, if you’re very much into party organizing, you can get a summer job with a catering firm (or) join an event company and learn more about this business by working with them closely.
Also, online courses on platforms like Udemy can teach you about event planning. The best part about being a party organizer is that you don’t need a degree, but it helps if you have any relevant one.
However, my best suggestion for you would be to start hosting small parties within your family, and later you can expand your business opportunities within your neighbourhood.
25) Lead Generation Business
They say, ‘Data is the new oil, and for startups and small businesses, this oil would be the leads for their products and services. Starting a lead generation business doesn’t mean you can blatantly start collecting leads and selling those for money.
Instead, there is a 5-step process according to QuickSprout which makes sense:-
- Choose an Industry:- Instead of trying to collect leads for every type of client under the sky. It would be better if the business is focused on one industry and one type of client. Once you specialize in creating leads for such clients. Then it becomes that much easier to scale up your lead generation processes.
- Develop client relationships:- If you run a digital business, having a website makes sense, and it makes even more sense to have a place where potential clients can find you and interact with you. Once your online presence is established, your content can cater to your clients, and they can interact with you.
- Know your pricing:- How you charge your clients is going to be tricky. Because you can either ask for an upfront fee for leads (or) the client might agree to pay on a commission basis.
- Nurture leads:- As I said earlier, you can’t sell blatant leads to your clients and expect them to grow their business. Leads are needed to be targeted, specific, and, more importantly, warmed up for your clients. So that when they pitch those leads, they can make sales for themselves. Hence, you need to figure out a system where you can nurture leads according to your client’s business.
- Analyze the results:- Focusing on numbers, and metrics is a crucial factor for any online business to understand if its strategies are working. Hence, analyzing your leads and processes needs to be a regular activity for your business.
To scale up your lead gen business idea, you need to build a channel from where you can find qualified leads for your potential clients. Hence to name a few, cold emails, websites, SEO, paid ads, and social media can be the probable list of channels from which you can find leads at will for your clients.
Tell me, which small business idea you would prefer to start from this list of 25 best small business ideas for teens?
If you’ve read my article till here, please share your thoughts in the comment and let me know if you have more exciting business ventures to add to our list of teen small business ideas for teens in 2023.