PHOTO BY Andrew Neel

8 Business Ideas That You Can Start As a Teenager

Lifestyle

According to a study by Millennial Branding and Internships.com, 72% of high school students are interested in creating their own business. That's over 10 million entrepreneurial teens! But we don't need to wait until graduation or produce a revolutionary technological invention – look through these 8 ideas to get inspired and make some money as a teen.

1. Open an Etsy Shop

Do you have a creative talent? I've seen teens open Etsy shops to sell their jewelry, stationery, and macrame products. It's one of the most flexible part-time jobs you can have – make and design when you have the time, and you can always put your shop on vacation mode if you need a break from fulfilling orders. 3 years ago, I started my handmade greeting card shop on Etsy, and it's given me the opportunity to meet some really amazing entrepreneurs, give a TEDx talk, and learn about how to run a business.

Use this referral link to get 40 listings free when you open your shop on Etsy.

2. Become a Social Media Manager

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@collabstr?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Collabstr</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/collabstr-bm2nm41yaea?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

If you have dreams of becoming a graphic designer or writer, creating content for your favorite restaurant's or shop's social media is one way to get experience. And if you work 2 hours a week for 3 clients at $15 per hour, you could make $360 per month (had to pull out the calculator for that one). While being completely remote – unless you need to get product photos.

3. Sell Your Designs on Stickers, Notepads, Apparel...

...phone cases, notebooks, keychains, cups, prints, magnets, and planners. If you want a super-easy way to get started, try Redbubble. It's an online marketplace that ships these products with your designs on them. No inventory for you to handle, they already have customers on the platform, and all you have to do is upload your design. Another huge plus of Redbubble is that you don't have to keep track of customer service. However, one of my friends decided to leave Redbubble because of the fees and percentage of profits that they take. She found that after selling her items, she only got to keep 20% of the revenue.

4. Launch a Podcast

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@vika_strawberrika?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Vika Strawberrika</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Want to have conversations with the people who inspire you? Do you want to get experience with speaking and interviewing? Podcasting might be just the thing for you. While you probably won't be able to get sponsors for the first couple of seasons of your show, there is a potential to make money through partnering with brands to promote their products during your episodes. Some of my favorite podcasts run by teen hosts are The Sunshine Signal with Hailey and It's a Girls Life with Charlotte.

5. Start a Blog

Blogs were popping off more than a few years ago, but they're not dead. Get started on WordPress (good luck with the back end – would definitely recommend getting a theme to make it less complicated.) Where to find a theme? There are plenty of designers who've made gorgeous blog templates, or you could find a more budget-friendly option on Etsy. Choose a topic that you want to focus on, create your about page, commit to publishing consistently, and build your personal brand and writing portfolio. When you're ready to monetize your blog, try partnering with brands, offering services, or putting ads on your site.

6. Write a Book

I asked teen author Ssanyu about her experience as a teen author, and here's what she shared with me: "Writing a children’s book as a teenager has not only been a fulfilling but impactful experience. Throughout the process, I was concerned about whether my audience would receive the story well and if I would actually sell copies, but once the book (Suubi’s Sunny Smile) was officially released, my worries washed away! My book sold out on the day it was released and now I have sold hundreds of copies." How inspiring!

7. Become a Photographer

I've always admired photographers and the moments they're able to capture. Could you start a photography business? Would you want to take family or senior photos? Start with your relatives and friends to build up some samples of your work. Especially in a service-based business, networking is key. So don't be afraid to talk about your photography and ask people you know if they're looking for a photographer!

8. Custom Design Work

Do you have experience with the Adobe suite or Procreate on an iPad? Maybe you want to put your artistic talent to use and help others with their graphic design (because there are people who really need it. And we'll all be thankful if you offer them a little assistance). I've hired a teen to design stickers for me to include when I'm packaging orders for my Etsy shop, so you could reach out to small businesses or local shops to see if they have any projects they're working on. Start building your portfolio today by creating fake brands, your own designs, or redesigning things you've seen.

What seemed most interesting to you? Do you have potential business names turning around in your head, or are you still unsure of what you want to do? Wherever you are, I want to share this advice with you from my friend Julia:

"Know what you're going into. It’s difficult to run a business while in school, especially if you are involved in sports. If you do decide to start a business, I would recommend investing in some planners! Planners are seriously a great way to plan when you will work on your biz, and make sure you have time for homework, any sports/activities, and your business!"

Anna B.
1,000+ pageviews

Anna is a teen entrepreneur and founder of Soaring Together, the only community for teen business owners focused on helping them reach their goals. She's an aspiring speaker, writer, and creative – new ideas flood her notes app daily.