Summer is here. Some teens are out there actively looking for jobs that suit them. Or are they?  When I look at typical jobs for teens today, such as working at a fastfood restaurant, I think there must be a better way for kids to make money.

Other teens are thinking about relaxing and just having fun. As a parent you may be wondering, “Who is going to pay for that summer fun?”  Maybe there is a happy medium. A part-time summer job is a good solution because it allows teens to have fun and earn the money to pay for that fun.

In addition to working with teens and being an author, I have owned a few businesses. I love being my own boss because I get to do things my way. It’s also a great learning experience and—best of all—all the pay for my hard work goes to me minus some small start-up costs and costs of doing business.

Here are some great business ideas for teens who want to work for themselves:

  • Lawn maintenance: Mowing, weed pulling, raking leaves, and with some research, planting. Initial cost could be very low with a used lawn mower, hedge trimmers and clippers.
  • Computer Admin: Most teens I know have a way with computers, and most adults I know struggle with them. Teens can help adults set up and manage social networking sites, such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook.
  • Nanny: Teens who like kids can baby sit during the summer while the parents of young children are at work.
  • Dog walker or pet sitter: Animal-loving teens can walk dogs or pet sit while their owners are on vacation. I’m always looking for someone to help me with my animals, and I pay $35 to $50 a night.
  • Car detailer: With a few supplies and a little coaching, teens can wash and wax cars, clean vents and vacuum car interiors right in their own driveway.
  • Errand runner: Elderly people and small business owners often need help running errands.
  • Guy or gal Friday: There are always odd jobs around the house or office that are left undone. Teens can even cook meals for families where both parents work.
  • Cleaning service: For teens who have a sense of what is clean and what is not, this is a great business. Most of the time people who want their homes or offices cleaned buy the cleaning products so teens just have to show up and clean.
  • Tutoring: Teens who excel at school can offer to help younger children who are going to summer school or who need help with subjects they are having difficulty with during the school year. Parents love this one.
  • Small business assistant: I have enjoyed hiring teens to help me with different jobs for my business. They came in for two hours a day to shred papers, organize inventory, help with mailings, make phone calls, clean and do other jobs as needed.

Once teens choose a business, the next step is to make a business plan.
Things to consider include what supplies they will need, how many hours they want to work, how much money they are going to charge, and how they are going to market themselves.  Getting the word out can include making and posting a flyer, telling all of their parents’ friends and asking for referrals, or dropping in on businesses or service groups.

I think working is a lot more fun when you are your own boss. My advice to teens is: go have some fun and make some money!

Parents Make With Their Teen Tip Sheet

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