Best Business Ideas for Teens
Forget the clichés: Turns out a sizable number of young people would rather start their own business than simply lounge around watching TV and or check status updates on Facebook. Four in 10 people between the ages of 8 and 21 dream of starting their own businesses one day, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In fact, 26 percent of all young people agree that starting a business is much more desirable than other career opportunities they might have down the road. "Kids have a mental edge because they don't know what they can't do, " says Steve Mariotti, founder of the New York-based Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which provides entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. "While young entrepreneurs might lack the experience and net worth of adults, the younger they start, the more wisdom and experience they'll accumulate over time."
According to Michael Simmons, co-founder of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, a New York-based entrepreneurship advocacy and education group focused on inspiring students, the best business ideas for teens typically involve:
Low cost businesses that require very little startup capital. Fortunately, many service-based businesses or Internet ventures require little investment. For example, a lawn care business could be started using a parent's existing tools, while an Internet business could be started up for less than $50, after adding up line items like the $10 domain registration fee and the $5 monthly hosting charge.
Businesses that leverage teens' strengths. There are many businesses that teens are more suited to pursue than adults. For example, today's teens have grown up with computers, tech gadgets, and the Internet. This is valuable knowledge that can be used to create innovative products and services. Teens are also skilled at creating products and services that target other young people, since they have unique insight into the evolving opportunities and needs in that space.
An ability to compete on price. Teens are at a unique point in their lives when, since they live at home with their parents, they have very little costs to account for. This allows them to charge very low prices and still make enough money to take home some profit.