Raking in the Dough: Helping Your Teenager Become an Entrepreneur

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There are two common phrases all teens utter on a seemingly daily basis: “I’m bored!” and “Can I have some money?” And these phrases are repeated even more frequently during the summer months, when students have many long weeks to revel in their freedom. However, there’s a solution that will not only eliminate these two phrases from your teen’s vocabulary, but will also teach valuable lessons in responsibility and money management:

Help your teen start a business

As well all know, starting a business is hard work. It takes dedication and patience to get a business going, and sometimes these are traits teens seem to lack. But in many cases, teens already possess these traits and are just waiting to surprise their parents with them. Here are some examples of businesses your teen can start.

Pet Services

If your teen has a soft spot for animals, a business taking care of them could be an option. From walking Fido and Fluffy every day to feeding and taking care of them while their owners are on vacation, this could be an ideal business for a teen who loves pets. Startup costs are minimal, since business cards, flyers for advertising and perhaps a few leashes are really all a teen needs to get started. Your teen should expect to earn minimum wage; however, if your family lives in a high demand area, charging a steeper fee may be appropriate.

Lawn Services

Everyone wants a nice lawn, but finding the time to take care of it can be difficult for the average working homeowner. If your teen loves the outdoors and has a knack for cutting grass without leaving those annoying lines in the yard, a lawn care service can be a lucrative summer business. Photos of finished work, reliable eye protection and some advertising materials are good enough to start. If your teen builds a decent clientele, he may need to consider investing in his own equipment. Many paying customers would be grateful for a well-kept lawn without having to buy a mower of their own.

Packing Services

Does your teen have a knack for packing things and a good eye for detail? Since summer is the most popular time to move, many people could be interested in hiring someone to help with the packing and moving of boxes. Hiring a professional moving service can be a risky and expensive proposition, so neighbors might be more willing to hire a familiar face—especially if that familiar face is charging a fraction of the going rate. Your teen should have a solid understanding of how to wrap and pack delicate items so they aren’t jostled around during the move.

Home Services

Lawn services are great for the summer, but if your teen wants to expand to a year-long venture, adding additional services such as house cleaning or snow removal in the winter could be ideal.Busy homeowners don’t always have the time to maintain their homes they way they would like, so hiring someone to do these tasks for them could be welcome and worth the money your teen charges.

Helping your teen launch a business has other benefits besides curing boredom and saving you money. Teens also learn the value of hard work. Once they’re faced with buying at least some of their school clothes and supplies, suddenly $50 for a pair of jeans doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

These are just a few examples of businesses a teen can start. If none of these ideas interests your teen, sit down together and think of skills and interests your child possesses. Come up with ideas about how to build a business based on those. If the business involves something your teen enjoys, he’s more apt to stick with it and has a better chance of becoming a young entrepreneur.

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