Small businesses provide the opportunity for kids and teens to obtain hands-on experience.
For many dyslexic kids and teens, entrepreneurship is a natural calling as research continues to demonstrate a strong correlation between business ownership and dyslexia.
When I was 12, I had a successful babysitting business. The business helped increase my confidence, gave me independence, and a way to earn spending money.
Listed below are business ideas for kids and teens, plus tips on how to help your child start their own business. Use these ideas as a starting point with your kids; I’m sure they will have lots of ideas too.
Kids Ages 9 – 12
The classic Lemonade Stand was one of the best ways to experience business ownership on a small scale. Skills and experienced gained included determining the date, getting supplies, making the lemonade, keeping the lemonade safe, offer the product to customers, managing the money, and making sure they do not run out of lemonade.
However, the old school Lemonade Stand is gone as families are now required to have multiple permits to sell Lemonade. In most cities, Lemonade Stands are permitted when the kids ask for donations.
Very Important, If your kids are considering a Lemonade Stand review your city’s website for permit requirements before your kids set up shop.
If your daughter loves making jewelry or iPhone covers, she can turn her creativity into a business. Teen girls are making and selling their products on Etsy, eBay, and Facebook. Many teens are using the Internet and social media to earn money for college.
To get started, determine which jewelry products she will sell and the price. She can review Esty and ebay for price comparison. For pricing, make sure she is covering her cost plus enough to earn a profit. Your daughter can test the market and her prices by creating a flyer to pass out to family, friends, and neighbors.
For in-person credit card payments, Square or PayPal are good options. Both provide a mobile app with swipe reader. Fees range between 2% – 5% depending if you swipe the card or manually enter the information into the phone app.
Not to leave the boys out, I know several families where their sons create sports related items and sell their products on eBay. Remember no idea is too small and encouraging your kids to pursue their ideas is important.
Mowing yards in the summer provides consistent income, a great experience working with customers, and the opportunity to strengthen their time management skills managing different mowing schedules. Teens learn how to handle their work and to make sure their customers are pleased with the service.
To promote the business, create flyers and business cards. Vista Print offers fast printing at a reasonable price, plus the company is always offering discounts. I recommended that your teen draft a simple contract stating the moving schedule, how rain days will be made up, and associated fees. Maintaining a clear line of communication is crucial.
Dog and House Sitting
Similar to a moving service, your teen can offer to dog sit or watch your neighbor’s house while they are on vacation. With family vacations in full swing, many families need an individual to pick up their mail and keep an eye on their house.
My son dog sits for our neighbor about once a month providing him a small income. Dog and House sitting are services that can be offered during the year depending on your teen’s school schedule.
Before your teen launches their babysitting business, I recommend taking classes at the Red Cross babysitting classes and obtain their CPR certification. Back in the spring, I spoke with a junior high student who had built a successful babysitting business working for multiple families.
She was certificated and trained. The families who had hired her felt more comfortable knowing she was qualified.
To avoid any surprises or misunderstandings have the parents write down their rules and expectations.
For teens interested in creating apps to sell on iTunes, there are software applications available online that allow your teen to build an app for free. iTunes has a development program that provides support for distributing and selling the app.
Teens have embraced YouTube. They have created channels that provide advice from how to shop at H&M to navigating Minecraft. Discuss with your teen their goals for their YouTube channel – fun or business. If they would like to earn an income, a bank account is required. I recommend opening a basic checking account for your teen’s YouTube business.
In my book, You Posted What!?, I talked about how teens and high school students are earning five-figure incomes from YouTube. As always, remind your teen that the Internet has a long memory. Colleges and employers will see the information they posted on their YouTube channel.