Are you a teen in need of a summer job? Does the idea of being your own boss appeal to you? Do you want to spend your summer doing something you love, but need to earn some cash at the same time? Then starting your own teen business may be for you. Need an idea to get you started? Here are three great teen business ideas that require little start up cost and have the potential to be very profitable.
Teen Business Idea: Run an eBay Business
It seems like everybody and their brother is selling on eBay these days, so why not you? An eBay teen business is one of the easiest to start, run, and make profitable. Can a teen make big money selling on eBay? They sure can! In order to have a successful teen business on eBay, you need to make some decisions. The first thing you need to decide is what you are going to sell. Will you sell new items, handmade items, used products or a combination? You can sell any of these on eBay with great success. The possibilities are endless: clothing, crafts, electronics, books, antiques, sporting goods and toys. But really that’s just a short list because where selling on eBay is concerned, the sky is the limit.
Once you have decided on what you will sell, you need to find an inexpensive and reliable source for that product. The goal with selling on eBay is to buy cheap and sell for as big a profit as possible. New items can be purchased reasonably from wholesalers, distributors, liquidators or directly from the manufacturers. If you are selling used items you will need to put in a bit more work to acquire your inventory. Garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, auctions, estate sales and your own family and friends are good sources for used items. Another often overlooked source is Craigslist. You could buy items inexpensively on Craigslist and then resell them at a marked up cost on eBay. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Craigslist. Remember, the less you pay for an item the more potential profit you can make. People on Craigslist are usually receptive to haggling.
Keep in mind that eBay as well as PayPal will charge a nominal fee for listing and selling your items on eBay. There is a lot more you need to understand before you begin selling on eBay. I suggest you visit the eBay site and read through the eBay Learning Center and eBay Seller’s Guide.
Teen Business Idea: Sports Camp/Private Lessons
Are you skilled in a sport? Then why not turn that skill into money. You could offer private lessons in sports such as tennis or golf. Private lessons from adult or professionals are often pricey. Find out the going rate for sports lessons and then offer your lessons at a cheaper rate. Post advertisements at schools, YMCA’s, gyms or contact sports coaches in your area. There are often many kids who could benefit from extra training. Many parents would jump at the chance of cheap lessons for their kids. You could also offer a sports camp. Reserve tennis courts or golf tee times for one day a week. Make sure you figure the reservation costs into the cost of your lessons. Then recruit like minded and skilled friends to teach a small group of kids. The camp could be one day a week throughout the summer or you could offer a more intensive one week camp. The great part of this is that you could have several groups of kids going at once and also several groups throughout the week. If you offered the one week camp, you could teach a new group of sutdents each week during the summer. This could be much more profitable than any part time job. There is also the possibility for repeat students the next summer. Make sure you get parents to sign a contract/permission form for each child who participates. Can’t find the right words for your contract/permission form? Just Google “private lessons agreement” to find some examples.
Teen Business Idea: Mother’s Helper
I’m not talking about the perennial teen job of babysitting here, although babysitting certainly can be a great way for a teen to make money. A Mother’s Helper has similar responsibilities to a nanny. They care for children, do some light housekeeping, run some errands and the like. A Mother’s Helper does not work from their own home, but rather works in the client’s home. The main difference is that the parent is physically present in the home while the Mother’s Helper assists with caring for the children and household. The pay earned as a Mother’s Helper is usually close to babysitter rates or minimum wage. The rates you negotiate will depend on the job responsibilities, your experience and the number of children to be cared for. Mother’s Helpers usually do not work full time for one client, so it is possible to be a Mother’s Helper to several families at the same time, though usually on different days of the week. The schedule can vary. The great part about being a Mother’s Helper is that the parents are there to handle any emergencies or other difficulties that might arise. There are no supplies or inventory needed, just a genuine love of children and transportation to the client home. This would be a great business for a teen planning on going into teaching or another child related field. As with babysitting, there is no official legal documentation or licensing required. Since a Mother’s Helper does not care for children in their own home, there is no licensing required or limit to the number of children that can be cared for at one time.
Teen Business Resources
Business.gov has a comprehensive list of business licenses and permits required in each state.
IRS.gov has information about tax issues for teen businesses.
Vistaprint is a cheap source for business cards. Vistaprint offers 250 free business cards (you pay shipping).
Teen Business Legal Issues
The U.S. Small Business Administration website is a great resource for investigating the legal issues of any teen business you may be thinking of starting. Generally the three teen businesses in this article are pretty safe as far as legal problems go, but it is always a good idea to be informed.
U.S. Small Business Administration