High school students are often in need of extra money but don’t have much experience or formal qualifications. The one thing young people usually do have is free time. Though unable to meet the formal requirements for large ventures, there are some lucrative business opportunities uniquely suited to young entrepreneurs.

Here are 100 of the best business ideas from around the web that don’t require much time or much money, perfectly suited to teen entrepreneurs.

Services for Pet Owners

1. Dog Walking
Get paid to exercise man’s best friend.

Where to Start:

  • Work out your availability and schedule.
  • Plan your service, such as how many dogs at a time, how long each walk is, etc.
  • Advertise. Facebook marketplace, online classifieds, and local noticeboards are great for this.

2. Pet Training
If you have experience training dogs or other animals, this can earn good money without much work.

Where to Start:

  • Write down your service so you know what you are offering. Think about if you teach basic or advanced pet behavior, etc.
  • You will need a space where you can offer your service.
  • Write clear ads that positively explain your services.
  • Advertise.
  • Promote, e.g., video social media like TikTok, Instagram reels, or YouTube shorts.

3. Pet Grooming
This business does have more responsibility than the first two, and can also be easier to operate as clients come to your location.

Where to Start:

  • You will need a suitable space to operate from.
  • You will need pet grooming tools, e.g., pet brushes, a pet bath, good detergent, scissors, fur clippers, and pet claw clippers to start.
  • Get your name out there. Grooming pets for friends or family members can get you on people’s radar.
  • Use visual social media like Instagram, which is great for brand building and promotion.

4. Pet Sitting
This is a great opportunity if you can take responsibility and be reliable. Visit people’s homes and look after their pets while they are away. This may include training, grooming, or walking services if you want.

Where to Start:

  • The key to pet sitting is to demonstrate responsibility. Consider creating an online profile such as on Facebook, Google (a business profile) or LinkedIn.
  • Get feedback and ratings for your business. Volunteering for neighbors or friends is a great way to start.
  • Advertise.

5. Horse Exercise Rider
A little-known opportunity for horseback riders of at least intermediate experience is riding other people’s horses for exercise. This can be available from some stables as a part-time job, but can also be operated as a small business.

Where to Start:
You can start simply by finding somewhere you are allowed to ride and then customers. Some states and counties may require insurance. See #2 and #3 for tips on advertising and promoting your services.

Beauty and Personal Services

6. Personal Style Consultant
A personal stylist is simple to run as a sole proprietorship. This type of business helps others to design their wardrobe and accessories, so they always look their best.

Where to Start:
You will need an eye for style and knowledge of current trends. You will also need to develop a consistent approach to consultations and pricing. Consider showing your skill and knowledge on social media platforms. Make sure to get referrals and build feedback with promotional offers or by helping friends or acquaintances.

7. Nail Technician
This is a great business idea for teens or students who do not have their own car, as it is easy to operate from their homes.

Where to Start:

  • Invest in some high-quality nail polishes and equipment.
  • If you have a technical college certificate, make sure to let people know because it can add validity and confidence to your service.
  • Find potential clients through social media and word of mouth.

8. Makeup Artist
Makeup artistry is a simple yet effective business model. It is one of the best teen business ideas because there are a lot of potential customers, from photographers and modeling agencies to private clientele.

Where to Start:

  • Create a portfolio showing your best work.
  • Figure out your availability, services, and pricing.
  • Advertise privately through word of mouth or social media, or contact local small businesses such as photographers and offer your services.

9. Hair Stylist
It is best to leave cutting the hair to professionals, but styling hair is something that anyone with a little talent and dedicated practice can learn. And the best part is that it is a simple way to start your own business.

Where to Start:

  • You will need the ability to style hair to a high standard and achieve certain looks based on photos.
  • Create a portfolio of your best work.
  • Advertise locally. Building up a word-of-mouth business with happy clients is an excellent way to create high demand over time.

Cooking and Hospitality Services

10. Home baking
Most people love good home-baked goods, but baking can be hard work and time-consuming. This is a great home business that doesn’t require leaving your house. Do note that there are laws regulating making food from your home, so depending on your area, you might need to rent a commercial kitchen.

Where to Start:

  • You will need the genuine ability to bake very well.
  • You will also need a knack for presenting your baked goods in a way that makes them look attractive.
  • Brainstorm your selection of recipes for customers to choose from.
  • Decide on your means of sale. Word-of-mouth or the local farmers’ market is the best way to get started.

11. Cake Decorating
Being a cake decorator requires patience, creativity, and skill which makes it a lucrative side hustle.

Where to Start:

  • You will need a good-quality piping kit and cake decorating tools.
  • You can practice with simple prop cakes and decorate them repeatedly. Most people will happily let you practice for their birthday or other special events. Ask for permission to take pictures of the decorated cake to use in your portfolio.
  • Make your availability known, and the work will usually find you. Also, consider putting up a simple Facebook page with pictures of your finished cakes.

12. Personal Chef
This is an easy way to get a head start on cooking for yourself. Eating healthy home-cooked meals takes a lot of effort, and many people are willing to pay for this service.

Where to Start:

  • Have a list of delicious yet reliable recipes that you can cook well.
  • List services with community groups, churches, or at a local market.

13. Meal Prepper
Unlike being a personal chef, being a meal prepper is about bulk. Most people will accept less variety and slightly lower quality when buying bulk freezer meals.

Where to Start:

  • Have a list of common and easily scalable meals (e.g., soups).
  • You will need a big enough kitchen and cookware to cook in bulk.
  • Offer your services where potential clients are, e.g., online fitness groups, notice boards at gyms, daycare centers, etc.

14. Event Planner
Planning special events is often tedious and takes a high level of organization and planning. From birthday parties to Christmas and thanksgiving, many people prefer to hire someone else so that they can maintain their social life.

Where to Start:

  • If you need to develop experience, start by hosting smaller parties and events. Websites such as Udemy or local tech colleges offer certificates in project management.
  • You will need good presentation, clear communication, and great time management skills.
  • Advertise through social media presence or by leaving details with party supply stores.

15. Catering
While large-scale catering can be a difficult business venture, small-scale catering for family events and small parties is within reach of most teenagers and college students. For small events, you can often have clients pick up their food from your location rather than delivering.

Where to Start:

  • You will need access to a suitably-size kitchen and cookware. It may be possible to rent the use of a commercial kitchen from a local business, community group, or church.
  • Decide on a select list of several courses and different food dishes that you can prepare simultaneously.
  • Buy a supply of single-use baking and serving trays to reduce cleanup and eliminate the need for customers to return bakeware.

Creative Work

16. Gift Wrapping
Professional gift wrapping is very easy to learn through online tutorials, plus startup costs are very low. Seasonal rushes such as Christmas can be very profitable times of the year. With some practice, this business is well-suited even to younger kids.

Where to Start:

  • This is an easy skill to practice with some props such as a vase, a tennis ball tube, and a shoebox.
  • You will need good-quality wrapping paper, scissors, ribbons, high-quality bows, and tape. These will make the task much easier and result in better-looking wrapped gifts.
  • Scale your prices based on your skill, the quality of the ribbon and bows used, and the size of the gift to be wrapped. You might also consider offering boxes for purchase.
  • Leave your card or information with stores and advertise in online community groups, especially during the holiday season.

17. Cartooning and Caricatures
For those who have a penchant for drawing, caricatures and portraits provide good income potential.

Where to Start:
This is difficult to learn, and you will need to be a talented cartoonist or artist before starting. Local markets or online markets places like Etsy are great places to offer your services.

18. Gift Basket Service
A custom gift basket service is a good way to earn some extra income. Gift baskets are quite popular, but no one wants to give the same generic store-bought basket.

Where to Start:

  • You will need to find affordable, decent-quality baskets and a way to pack or present baskets.
  • Generate or find a list of somewhat uncommon goods suitable for gift baskets.
  • Starting small by advertising through community groups is a good idea.
  • If clients can tell you about the recipient, offering tailored baskets can be very profitable.

19. Handmade Greeting Cards
While greeting cards are less popular than they once were, the good news is so is the skill of making them.

Where to Start:

  • Marketing is the biggest challenge due to limited demand. Etsy is a great place to sell handmade creations.
  • Good quality materials and the right technique will make a high-quality, keepsake-worthy card that will create a strong reputation and repeat business.
  • Learning each technique carefully and creating a great finish quality will be more popular than applying several techniques poorly.
  • Consider offering coupons off of future purchases (to happy customers) for online reviews of your work.

20. Artisan Woodwork
Woodcraft is beginning to go the way of greeting cards as synthetics dominate almost every consumer product. A high-quality, handmade wood product is very valuable in the right market.

Where to Start:
Artisan woodworking should be approached similarly to #19 (Handmade Greeting Cards). Both woodwork and greeting cards can be offered online or through services such as Etsy and local markets.

21. Jewelry Maker
Jewelry making can range from simple costume pieces to customer silversmithing. Many community centers and technical colleges offer courses in jewelry making, ranging from simple through to ornate.

Where to Start:

  • Decide on the type of jewelry that you want to make.
  • Research what similar designs are popular and their current prices.
  • Find a point of difference that allows you to corner a small niche in the larger market.

Domestic Services

22. Laundry Service
A laundry service is a great idea for a new business, and because it’s a recurring chore, you can pick up reliable work on a regular basis.

Where to Start:
You will need access to a washer, dryer, and a clothesline or drying cupboard. Think about if your business includes pickup and delivery or requires being dropped off. Decide if the clothing needs to be pre-sorted or if you will offer sorting. You will need to be careful because incorrect sorting can damage the clothing, so you may want to require the customer to sort their own clothes.

Then, decide if your service includes an ironing option. Your speed, efficiency, and convenience are your main selling points.

23. Ironing Service
An ironing service can be an add-on to a laundry service or operated as a standalone business. Ironing can be very quick for some and much slower for others, so this is only viable for fast ironers.

Where to Start:

  • You will need a good quality, variable heat iron, ironing board, and ironing starch.
  • Offering a business shirt package (e.g., 5 shirts per week) or a blouse and skirt package can help land more clients faster.
  • Make sure your rate reflects the labor required and a pickup and delivery fee if you offer it.

24. Holiday Decoration
This unconventional job can be difficult to make consistent income from due to its seasonal nature.

Where to Start:
There is little needed for this job other than a good attitude and putting yourself out there.

25. Silver Polisher
Silverware takes quite a lot of work to keep in good condition. Many owners of large collections are willing to pay to have their silverware maintained on a regular basis.

Where to Start:

  • You will only need some silver polish compounds and polishing cloths.
  • Make sure to have at least one light-duty polishing compound for use on silver-plated items. These chemicals are usually diluted with water.
  • Also, have one medium-duty polishing compound (these are usually pasted).
  • Look for this work through community groups, particularly those with elderly or wealthy members.

26. Clothing Repairs and Alterations
If you have a sewing machine and intermediate sewing skills, there is often work to be had performing basic clothing alterations and repairs.

Where to Start:

  • You will need a reliable sewing machine that creates a decent quality finish.
  • Gain clients by leaving your details with local businesses such as dry cleaners, dress shops and menswear retailers.

27. Dress Maker 
In the modern fast-fashion economy, having a one-of-a-kind dress is all the rage. If you have the skills to sew custom dresses, this can be a very lucrative business. Sewing dresses is usually less technical and precise than making custom mens’ dress shirts, for example, so it is a good clothing item to start with.

Where to Start:

  • You will need the ability to make clothing from patterns.
  • A good sewing table, fabric scissors, a seam ripper, a measuring tape, some pins, and sewing machine is a minimum.
  • Begin selling your services within your social circle, build your portfolio and then expand using a social media presence once you have a variety of pictures of your work that you can post.

28. Housesitting
Many people do not like to leave their houses unattended, especially if going on extended holidays. This business can provide a way to earn money and have free accommodation, making it ideal for older teenagers and young adults.

Where to Start:

  • Build a high-quality and professional website.
  • You must be exceptionally trustworthy and reliable.
  • Gain experience with friends, family, and acquaintances, and get references from them that you can give to potential customers.
  • Be creative to get customers to take the time to write online reviews. Getting good online reviews is critical to a trust-based business.

29. House Cleaning (and Organizational Services)
Cleaning is a simple business to get started in. It can be as simple as offering to sweep and vacuum for neighbors using their own vacuum and broom and, with time, built into a full-fledged, professional cleaning service with multiple staff. You can even offer organizational services to tidy up pantries, closets, etc.

Where to Start:

  • For a simple business, especially for middle school-aged students, ask friends, family, and neighbors for opportunities.
  • For a more serious business, you will need a vehicle, your own cleaning equipment, and at least basic insurance.
  • Advertise with local community groups and/or social media groups.

30. Babysitting
Babysitting is the quintessential teenage small business. It is important to be completely reliable and trustworthy. This business is generally much easier for young women to operate than young men due to common social stereotypes.

Where to Start:

  • The easiest way to start is to offer your services to family friends, and friends of parents.
  • Once your reputation is established, advertising online and in community groups is easier. However, word-of-mouth is often enough.
  • With time a well-structured business with a good business plan can be scaled into a babysitting agency with employees.

Gardening and Odd Jobs

31. Gardner
Gardens are something that almost every resident loves having, but not many have the knowledge and/or time to maintain one. If you have a green thumb, becoming a gardener is a viable option.

Where to Start:

  • Make sure you have the correct equipment, including gardening shears, a gardening spade, gloves, a sunhat, etc.
  • Assess where you can deliver this service. For example, if your only transportation is a bike, your service area is only as large as the distance you can ride.
  • Set a pricing structure that covers your expenses and labor.
  • Advertise to your target audience with letterbox drops and posts on social media.
  • Consider making a personal appeal in your advertising, such as conveying that you are saving for college or something similar in your advertising.

32. Landscaper / Landscape Architect
Landscaping is a bit more involved than gardening. As a landscaper, you will likely be asked to build paths, cut down trees, replant shrubs, and plant a variety of plants. As a landscape architect, you will be asked to design yards. For both, you should have a working knowledge of trees and plants that do well in your local area and be ready with suggestions for your clients.

Where to Start:

  • Assess what equipment you may need, including shovels, gloves, steel-toed boots, fertilizer, etc.
  • Make sure you have a suitable vehicle to transport your equipment.
  • Check insurance requirements with your local county.
  • Set an hourly rate that covers all of your costs. Make sure it is not so high that people cannot afford your service.
  • If you have done landscaping in the past for yourself or friends, take photos and create a portfolio to show your potential clients.
  • Advertise by word of mouth, social media, and letterbox drops.

33. Lawn Care
There is ample opportunity to create a business in lawn care. This service does not require as much skill as landscaping. And, whether someone rents or owns their house, they probably have a lawn (especially when they live outside of a city).

Where to Start:

  • Make sure you have access to a lawnmower that doesn’t take too much energy to push (or a riding lawnmower).
  • Arrange suitable transportation for you and your lawnmower, such as a truck pulling a trailer.
  • Set a pricing structure that covers all costs, including gas for your car and mower. Then set your labor rate based on either lawn size or time spent.
  • Make sure to be clear about precisely what your package rate includes, and if you have multiple packages (like one that includes weeding and one only with mowing and edging).
  • Advertise to your potential clients.

34. Go’fer/Errand runner
If you have access to a car, running errands for the elderly or busy executives can be a lucrative business. This business can be started with just a car and is perfect for people with low capital.

Where to Start:

  • Set guidelines on the jobs you will and will not accept. For example, you may be happy to pick up groceries and offer that service, but you are not comfortable picking up medicine. Knowing your limits for this job is just as important as knowing the service you offer.
  • Set a pricing structure that is affordable to your target clientele. If you set a rate that is too high, pensioners and people on a fixed income may not be able to afford your service regardless of how much they would like to use it.
  • Consider insurance options, especially if you are going to be driving your client from place to place. You do not want to be liable for damages in case of an accident.
  • Advertise at your local Veterans of Foreign Wars, lawn bowling club, and other places where the senior citizens (the elderly) socialize.

35. Car washing
Car washing is an age-old at-home business and has potential regardless of where you live. All you need is car shampoo, a rag and a hose!

Where to Start:

  • Decide what type of car washing you will offer. Will you offer only external cleaning, or will you also offer an interior vacuum service? What about a complete detailing?
  • Decide whether you will wash the cars at the location of your client, or will offer valet pick-up of the car from the client’s workplace and return it when it is clean. Or does it need to be dropped off at your residence? Perhaps you have multiple options with different pricinig.
  • Research what car products are best for cleaning and which should be avoided.
  • Consider taking out insurance to safeguard against damage from the chemicals used.
  • Set a rate that covers the cost of your cleaning products as well your labor. Consider the size of the vehicle, as well as what the client is having done.
  • Advertise on social media as well as dropping off advertisements at corporate offices.

36. Car detailing
Car detailing requires more expertise than car washing. To detail a car, you will need knowledge of the products used as well as the detailing process. While you can charge more money for a detailing service, you will also need to provide a much higher quality of work.

Where to Start:

  • Make sure you are familiar with the car detailing process and have the required skills.
  • Purchase the required products to complete a car detail.
  • Create a portfolio of before and after shots of your detailing skill. If you don’t have any photos consider detailing your friends and family’s cars to create your portfolio.
  • Set your rate. This can be an hourly rate or job rate based on car size and condition.
  • Advertise to your target audience.

64 More Great Business Ideas for Teens and Students

37. Window Washing
38. Pressure Washing
39. Odd Jobber
40. Small Engine Repairer
41. Personal Driver
42. Personal Shopper
43. Courier (transporting packages)
44. Snow Shoveler, Leaf Sweeper
45. Chimney Sweeping
46. Handyman
47. Pool Cleaning
48. Pool Cover Cleaning

Education and Personal Development Businesses

49. Tutoring
50. Tech Tutor (for elderly)
51. Proofreading
52. Accountability Coach
53. TEFL (“Teaching English as a Foreign Language”) Tutor
54. IELTS (“International English Language Testing System”) Consultant
55. Interview Coaching
56. Little League Coaching
57. Music Lessons
58. Voice Coaching/Singing Lessons

Health and Fitness Services

59. Personal Training
60. Fitness/Macro Consultant
61. Quad Bike Rentals
62. Kayak Rentals

Online Business Ideas

63. Online Store
64. Dropshipping and white labeling
65. Online Periodical
66. Start an online consignment company
67. Facebook/eBay Upselling
68. Computer Repair
69. Email Marketer
70. Etsy Store
71. YouTube Content Creation
72. YoutTube Channel (long-term before monetization)
73. YouTube Marketer
74. SEO Marketer
75. Google Ads Expert
76. Upcycle Fashion
77. Upcycle Furniture
78. KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing to sell books on Amazon)

Professional and Technology Services

79. Professional Friend
80. Social Coach
81. Photographer
82. App Development
83. Web Development
84. Graphic Design
85. CAD Drafting
86. 3D Printing Consultant
87. Audio Visual Technician (setting up home entertainment systems and all-in-one remotes)
88. Resume Writing/Cover Letter Writing
89. Social Media and Affiliate Services
90. Affiliate Marketer
91. Social Media Content Creator
92. Social Media Influencer
93. Twitch Streamer
94. Instagram Manager
95. Social Media Manager
96. TikTok
97. Podcaster
98. Blogger/Vlogger

Miscellaneous Services

99. Create and Market Your Own Line of Beauty Products
100. Street Performing
101. Reauthoring (finding copyrighted books and reauthoring)
102. Recycling
103. Grease Collection
104. Airbnb
105. Gun Smithing
106. Wild Animal/Snake Removal
107. Fireworks Setup

Conclusion

With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a good business plan, there are almost limitless profitable business ideas accessible to young adults. While this list of good business ideas is tailored for residents of the United States, the low startup costs of these ideas make them accessible in many countries. Almost any simple business idea with low costs and a decent profit margin is a good place to start earning extra cash as a teenager or student. You can do this!

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