Juggling a part-time job with a full-time school schedule isn’t always the most comfortable arrangement. Sometimes your work schedule clashes with your homework and study time, and sometimes it can leave little time for extracurricular activities and a meaningful social life. And when the economy is bad, jobs for teenagers are especially hard to find.
So what’s the alternative?
How about starting your own business? The advantage is that you can create a business that can actually work around your school and social schedules. You may also identify a business that will enable you to earn more money on an hourly basis than you can ever make on the job.
Here are six business ideas for teenagers that you might want to try.
Is there any school subject where you are at least above average? That may present a tutoring opportunity for you. Whatever the subject is – math, writing, history, a foreign language or science – you can probably find plenty of tutoring opportunities, particularly with younger students.
As a student yourself, you may have an advantage over adults when it comes to being a tutor. Many kids just learn better from other students than they do from either teachers or adults.
Money can be really good as a tutor. Many tutors charge $30 an hour or more, particularly when it comes to math and science. If you are not particularly fond of academic subjects, you could also consider being a music tutor. The possibilities here are almost endless.
You can start your business by preparing a flyer advertising your services, and distribute it in local school administrative offices. Parents – especially those who are new in town – will often ask the school for tutor referrals. This could be the start of your business, and once you get a few students, you may start picking up referrals from them that will keep your business going.
Here are some more ways to market your business for free.
Social Media Consultant
As a teenager, it’s likely that you know more about the social media than most adults do. Your ability to connect with people on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites could be valuable to local small businesses.
Everyone today is trying to get on the web, especially on the social media. Many small business owners have very little familiarity with the social media, nor do they have the time to handle it properly if they did.
Offer to handle the social media activity for a small business. This can be as simple as fielding customer inquiries, and then directing them to where they can get the information in the business. You may also join networks on each social media that will be natural gathering places for potential customers of the business. There you can promote the business to bring in new customers.
Soon enough you can become a full-fledged social media manager. Though you may need to consider reading a couple of books on the topic before you actually take the plunge.
A lot of people use lawn services these days, but a lot more would like to and can’t afford it. If you can offer your services cutting lawns at a substantial discount off of what a professional landscaper would charge, you may be able to drum up plenty of business in your neighborhood simply by going door-to-door.
In many instances, you won’t even need your own lawnmower. Most homes already have one, and they may be perfectly comfortable letting you use theirs.
You’ll have to enjoy working outdoors in different kinds of weather, and you’ll also have to have the ability to cut a lawn in a way that will make it look neat.
Bonus idea: You can often extend this business into the fall and winter with leaf and snow removal, putting up Christmas lights and decorations, and other landscaping jobs many busy professionals may want to hire out.
This could range anywhere from walking dogs on a daily basis, to taking care of animals for owners who are away on extended trips. You can make some decent money doing this without ever leaving your neighborhood. One of the big advantages is that once you do it for a few neighbors, word gets around and you’ll have plenty of customers.
Sure, people could drop their pets off at boarding services, but those are expensive and their pets probably don’t like being away from home. It’s a benefit you can provide, and if you present your services right, you should have plenty business.
Babysitters typically make at least $10 an hour, and that’s quite a bit higher than most part-time jobs that only pay minimum wage. You’ll have to like kids, and you have to be available during times when parents will need you. This is typically on Friday and Saturday nights, and your income will largely depend on how many of these you’re willing to give up.
Very similar to pet sitting, in that once you get a few satisfied customers in your neighborhood, word gets around. And if you’re any good at it, you’ll have more than enough business – you may even find yourself turning some away.
Buying and Selling
This is exactly what the name implies, you’re buying – on the cheap – and selling at a higher price. You can do this by going to garage sales and thrift stores close to home. You’ll be looking for items that people typically want to buy, but you want to get at the absolute minimum price.
The possibilities here are endless. You could buy and sell baseball cards, music, school textbooks, toys (that are in good condition), and just about anything you’re interested in. You can sell the items through Craigslist, eBay or Amazon.com, often never even leaving your house.
The idea is to buy an item for say, $2 that you can sell for $10 or even $20. If you can, you’ll not only have found a way to make extra money, but you’ll also be developing business skills that will help you throughout your life.
If your business really takes off you might want to consider opening a business checking account to keep things organized.
So if you’re looking for a part-time job, but haven’t been able to find anything that will fit with your schedule, think about starting a business instead.