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Kid Business: Making Money at a Young Age

I have a confession to make: I spent the day yesterday on Yahoo! Answers. I was having a bit of writer’s block for the blog here, so I headed over the the Business & Finance section to see if any of the questions there would spark an idea for me. And boy, did it ever.

I see one question asked over and over again in that section. In fact, from what I’ve seen, it’s the most asked question. It goes something like this:

I’m a kid/teenager (somewhere between 11-17) and I want to make money, but I’m too young to be hired, or I can’t find a job for whatever reason. What can I do besides baby-sitting/lemonade stand/mowing lawns?

I love this question. I see myself in it, except I never asked this question as a kid. I already had the answer. I’d started my own business when I was 6 years old, writing and selling my own newspaper in my town. And I continued that business up until I was 13 years old.

So here’s my answer to everyone one of those young business-persons-in-the-making: You can start your own business. And you can do just about anything you want for your business.

But where to start? The library or bookstore. Head out and get your hands on one or both of these books:

Fast Cash for Kids by Bonnie and Noel Drew
and
Better Than A Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas For Kids by Daryl Bernstein.

I read these two books when I was a kid, and they helped so much with developing my idea into a real business. And they both come with tons and tons of ideas for businesses to start, if you haven’t thought of one already. I’m talking hundreds of businesses that you could start!

And teenagers, do not be put off by the fact that these books are targeted toward kids. Think of it this way – if a kid can do it, so can you, and you can probably do it bigger and better!

I would love to hear some stories of kids who’ve started their own businesses – please let me know if you’ve ever known or been a kid entrepreneur!

78 responses to “Kid Business: Making Money at a Young Age”

  1. Anitra

    Raking leaves and/or shoveling snow. Unlike mowing lawns, these are chores that NO homeowner really wants to do. My best friend and I started a leaf-raking business when we were about 12 and 10, respectively. We kept expanding it until I was about 14, at which point I started hiring some other neighboorhood kids to help. I branched out to snow shoveling when I realized I needed more winter exercise in highschool. I tried a lot of other things, too, but I never really made money doing anything else. Besides, what other job lets you jump into big piles of leaves you’ve made? :)

    I know college groups who do raking and/or shoveling as fundraisers, and make a lot of money doing it every year. The best part is that it doesn’t require any motorized equipment like mowing a lawn does, and the more people you have working, the faster it goes!

  2. Anonymous

    I have strated my own business in NC and so far i have made 25000 dollars every year. I am very pleased thanks for the advice

  3. jennie

    I about to start my own business with a couple of my friends and this site will really help.

  4. anonamous

    ok so im 14, im not very smart, im about a level 5 if you knw what that means. i live whith my brother and my mum, my mum is a single perant, and we are living on benefit so the money aint to good lol.
    i meet my gf alot, and i always need t save up for stuff but cant cause i need to spend it with my girlfriend and special occasions.
    SSSSSSooo i relli need to find some way to make money online seems how im online in my spare time. but its sounds relli complicated :( can someone please explain it in a simpler form? thankyou :D:D it would be much apretiated

    1. shivang

      start making lemonade and sell :)

  5. zloj

    I know a sad story. One kid was doing a website. Then he decided to sell it. He sold it for $5,000(it was bringing some revenue).

    The buyer made it to $2,500/month adsense website.

    Then parents of that kid sues the buyer, that he had no right(the kid) to sell website, because he was underaged.

    They won the case and got website back.

    So this is a very thin and really sharp line. You should be really careful doing business with teens.

  6. Cater to Me Please

    There is are a number of dated expression that “there is no such thing as a free lunch” ,
    “nothing is for nothing” and that of “easy money” as well as “everyone wants something for nothing”
    These terms also apply to what might be considered easy money on the internet
    It takes time , proper preparation , and as well proper funding , for the mistakes along the way , and I guess a measure of good luck and timing
    For the most part everything worthwhile takes effort and consistency. If you are the type who likes flash in the pan and you find it in internet sales and ./ or marketing you may well ( almost always ) lose it at your next trip to the gambline table. Proper results require proper effort and preparations.

  7. George

    How do u start to sell a newspaper, or like a comic strip?

  8. Find a JOb

    The thing I like about this post (and site) is that there seems to be a lot of ambition here. I firmly believe in that you make your own luck. Sounds like these kids are going after it and I like to see that. ~Larry

  9. ALEX

    i FOUND sOMTHING REALLY INTERESTING ON THIS SITE… im GOING TO DO IT!

    http://mailbusiness.aimoo.com/General-Discussion/Make-money-quick-while-still-y-1-1032669.html

  10. Synyster

    I am 14 yrs old and I’ve earned US$2700 myself throughout my life. My mom always gave me money since elementary schoool whenever I get good scores in tests and exams. It is a business, isn’t it??

  11. sayayed

    whant to know some succesful names of children who are in the busniess or businessman who started when they where children

  12. Katie-Lynn Kamalatisit

    Hi my name is Katie.
    I am 14, i am planning on starting my own business. The thing is i have no idea on where to start. I made my first bar of soap today and that`s what i want to do. I love playing around with smells and finding things that are gentle but good quality to work on sensative skin or children`s skin. I have sensative skin myself and lots of nieces who love the smell of soap i made today. I have no idea how to go about getting started. Do I just sell them? Is that illegal? How do i get a store? Is there a way to get a loan so i can own and start my business? will i have to get a lawyer?

    please let me know what i need to do.

    I want a store up town and i want it to be nice. I would need it to have a kitchen so i can make my bathbombs soaps , masks etc.

    thanks ! xxxxoooo

  13. Angel

    Im 12 and i want to start a cookie making buisness with my friend. Is this legal or….

  14. sayayed

    Thanks Stephanie for your info on Warren who started business as Kid, can you help me further i want to collect the stories of children who are in business and businessmen and businesswomen who started as kids from any part of the world, need guid line how could i have maximum stories…

  15. Annie @ Credit Dispute

    Investing money while in college is an intelligent decision, but can be hard to do based on financial constraints. Most young people have heard there elders tell them to invest money at a young age, but this seems to be a double edged sword.

  16. Ann

    I am a mother and teaching my kids how to handle money is very important to me for this is something they’re not likely to learn in school. If you teach your children smart ways to manage money, it will help to ensure they get the right start and don’t wind up with bad habits.

  17. Dan Want

    Hi, every one. My name is Dan and I am 14, nearly 15. Just recently, I bought a small welder, for some metal working projects at home. I then decided to start selling these peices of work. The materials are very cheap to buy(£3-5, per piece), and after some research on the web, similar pieces sell for around £30. Can anyone suggest how or where I can really start selling these pieces. They do take a while to make (1-3 hours) but I don’t mind that as they are fun to make. Any advice on starting a small business would be great.
    Many Thanks Dan,- danjwant@hotmail.co.uk

  18. Kate

    thanks u inspried me im doing a raking thing. check out my website sometime. bi
    kate

  19. Dan Want

    Whats your website. I’ll cheak it out. Need some tips on getting the business really up and running

  20. Cody

    Entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger, eh?

    I think the biggest road block for teenage entrepreneurs are their own parents. I think most of the time parents just don’t understand, they want their kids to be kids and have fun instead of “working” all the time.

    Nice post, keep it up.

    Cheers,
    Cody

  21. Mark

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for the advice. But what should I do with the popcorn?

  22. Zeke

    I’m 12 and want to sell codes and logic puzzles(made by me).
    I’ve already made some codes.
    How do I go about this?

  23. vanessa

    i am saving up for a fish tank for my fish and it cost $164.99 and im only 11 what business could i do

  24. Rusty

    One thing to note about the raking leaves business, it is sooo easy to under price. MY friend and I did it in gr.6 once. It took us 4 hours (in like -5 Celsius) to rake this persons yard. We got paid 20 dollars, but originally we were going for $5 a yard, which is insanely under priced. I am now starting a lawn care/ landscaping company (I am now in gr.9). Last summer I had aspirations to do it but I never got going with it. Since grass isn’t growing quite yet (I live in Alberta, Canada), I am raking up the dead grass for people and I’m going to charge around $12 a bag, which pays me about $12 an hour. Less money than I make with my dad, but more money than I’d make working for say McDonalds. Pricing for raking leaves is insanely hard, especially if your just starting out. Here is a good site for all you landscaping hopefuls out there:http://www.startalawncarebusiness.com/ . I plan on buying this product as I think it will help a lot with my pricing.
    Concerning advertising offer people something that nobody else is offering. I am offering my customers free cookies. So it will take up a few hours of my Sunday, but I will get more work and be able to expand faster. Do not spend alot of money on advertising, especially when your first starting out.
    I find the only problem with the landscaping business is that I wont have a car to drive me places until I’m 16. So I will be restricted to doing things close to home.
    Another good thing to do is not limit yourself to raking leaves. Do gardening, mow lawns, shovel walks, fertilize grass, water grass. These things can all get you money, and some you can make more money faster than others, but the more broad you are the more potential for customers you have. once you are successful enough you can hire people which will make your business thrive :)

    Two books I reccomend on success are 1.) The Success Principles For Teens By: Jack Canfield and someone else (I can’t remember his name).
    And 2.) you Call the Shots By: Cameron Johnson. Hope this helps :)

    Remember, you need to convince people that they need your services, and that you are better than whoever else is offering them. But don’t be pushy.

  25. horsey wonderland

    i am going to start up a website that is a primark just for horses but betters qualaty stuff thanx so much this is a great website

  26. miss lys

    ok so me and my sis (we r both 11). want to sell cupcakes how can we??

  27. Abi-Fan-101

    I have to raise $1,000 for a school sponser trip I live in a small town were I know about every person, so selling stuff would be awkward I can kind of draw but not the best Any ideas I need it by next may…?

  28. benjamin

    i need like $25 like fast and my dad will not let have a lemonade stand but i need the money really really badley can i get some ideas please thanks

  29. bailey

    im 12 and i want to make some money from people but i dont no what to do but i dont want to make a comics, nespapers, lemonad or mo lorns whats a good idea please help!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. reena

    some one please help…im 12 and need to make money..
    my family is in a hard time with money and i dont always wann na ask for money i wanna make my own

    1. Katydid1726

      Well Reena u could join up with your friends and rake leaves or shovel snow; help local neighbors; sell clothes that are too small or sell toys that you dont play with anymore; host a bake sale; have a yard sale; donate to the goodwill or salvation army that will make a few bucks; and/or be creative with stuff for ex. if you have a old bookbak that has stains on it you can get cloth patch it up and design it and resell it and get maybe $10 or more with how creative u are.
      Hope my advice helped u and you on the road 2 success.

      Katie

  31. trevor

    This is just a way to make a few extra bucks during school hours which you shouldn’t let your teachers see. There’s always kids that will buy drinks and food etc. And your local stores have deals where you buy it cheap and sell for actual price. Ex. I would buy monster energy drinks because they are my favorite and teens love them so when they were 2 drinks for 3 dollars I would buy two and sell one and always have enough money to do it again.

    1. Katydid1726

      I think that isnt such a good idea because if u get busted ur in big trouble!! just my opinion!

  32. scarlett

    im scarlett and im 11 ilove drawing and painting . i wanna start my own business . i havent got a clue where to start can u help me stephanie

  33. Katydid1726

    Hi,
    Stephanie I wanted to know I live out in the country and I have an old barn that I could fix up and use as like a store type thing would that be legal to do and I was thinking about selling duct tape purses, rose pens, wallets etc (all out of duct tape) 1st would people buy it becasue duct tape is really expensive and I dont want to spend a lot of money on something that nobody would but and also asking again would fixing up the little old barn and using it as a store be legal?? PLEASE LET ME KNOW AS SOON AS YOU CAN

    Thanks
    Katie

  34. Dixit

    Hey I want a business idea to earn money from now I m good at project work means like finding in formation etc

  35. Ethen

    I want to start a business but have no idea whatsoever on how to acquire enough funds to pursue my goal . I’m eighteen years of age . My aim is to make money and boosting the economical structure of my community simultaneously . I had some ideas of starting a school news paper but our principal carries an aura of negativity on his shoulders . This is very typical for a government school or a poor school if you prefer . I’m selling Avon but exceedingly failing to manage the money that I make from it, by failing to manage it, I mean, not being able to save it cause I use that money to purchase lunch at school since I’m dependent on myself . Anyone have ideas on how I could kick start the multimillion business I want to start without touching my finances ? Us teenagers are under-privilaged when it comes to finances because we have so many needs and wants ofcourse, even with our determinations and goals our expenditure still surpasses what we acquire . I’m a black South-African, my parents are ignorant towards my academical capabilities thus starting a business that’ll “wow” my account would be much helpful . I’ve tried getting my friends into this idea but they’re all depending on me, I have this passion for writing but writing a business plan is another complex level of mathemetical uncertainties, I never thought it was hard ’til I got stuck on the financial plan . Gosh numbers and I are great enemies, the idea is starting a radio station . . . But as I said, the funds aren’t looking that good cause the registration of the business and other long-going processes require money to see them through . You’re probably wondering why I’m aiming for such a length, it’s because you can never aim small when you’re in S.A it usually gets you no-where . So, I need help on how to start and expand a business such as that one without digging in my own pocket . I know that I have to get sponsors but are there any alternative methodical tectics ? It would be great to get your responses, it also would be awesome if you give me other business ideas if this one is considered too unrealistic . But hey, no business idea is ever unrealistic, so long as you have the drive to pursue it right ? =) XoXo

  36. Li

    The website shows that a 8 years old girl started a business. It is an interesting business

  37. parth sood

    hey,its a nice post.. :)
    my name is parth sood and i live in india..
    Am pretty ispired by these teenagers..
    Am too 17 years old n i want to start my buisness..
    Am quite talented. I can do-mimicry,rapping and am a quite good and famous dancer too.. (lockin-popping) i do basically..
    Yet i want to start my own buisness with my friend who is also an awesome rapper and dancer..
    But in rapping or dancing line we can’t get enough money..
    Can anyone suggest us some kind of things we can to to make good money i.e. Approx-400-500 US$ per month..?
    Thanxx for suggestion :)

  38. Cora

    Hi!

    Okay, this morning I was looking at this and I then wanted to start a business. Im only 11, and my mom said I could paint furniture(My mom does it for her friends.) And I was thinking if I did that, I could make money and get higher into the level of art. And it could somehoe invovle my artskills. My friends say Im awesome, and I could get better.

    So does that sound good?

  39. jazmin

    hi im 9 years old.i am trying to earn at least $300.but i dont now what to do. so i can earn the money.what do you think i should do.

  40. Rebecca

    My friend and I are starting up a babsysitting business and have many up a company sorted out prces and are going to make leaflets and advertise in the local paper but her and I are both thirteen and are scared people won’t trust us? What do you think??
    P.s where else could we advertise??

  41. ObsidianSparrow

    Hello. I am 11 and I want to start a game design company with friends. We all have expierience in programming (simple text adventures and viruses) and we have a genre. Any advice???

  42. Tayler

    Hi i am 11 almost 12. Me and my friend are great writers and we want to do something with our talent but we have no idea so can you help? We also want to make money.

  43. Emma

    Hi, I’m 11 and I need $288 dollars! I don’t know where to start and I’m afraid the business will be unsuccessful. WHAT DO I DO!!!

  44. Toni Lovergood

    I would like to show appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this particular problem. As a result of browsing through the world wide web and seeing ideas which are not powerful, I thought my life was over. Being alive without the solutions to the difficulties you’ve sorted out as a result of the report is a critical case, as well as those which might have adversely damaged my career if I hadn’t come across your site. Your own personal skills and kindness in maneuvering a lot of stuff was excellent. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a stuff like this. I can at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this high quality and amazing guide. I won’t hesitate to propose your blog to anybody who ought to have guidelines on this issue.

  45. You whish you knew

    Hi I’m 12 and i want to start a craft makeing busness but where the heck do i start?!?! PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!

  46. U Wish U Knew

    im nine and me and my friend started a buissness called
    “M&K inc.” we sell lemonade,mow lawns,rake leaves,help with spring cleaing,hold bake sells,and really anything. We have been doig this for a year and a half now and together we have made $1000

  47. Erin

    Hi my name is Erin (weird name I know XD)
    Im ten year old,almost eleven and I don’t know
    How to earn about 100 dollars or more in a few months.
    I like making crafts but I’m not sure that they will be good enough to sell.
    They are watercolor paintings. I make other things but the paintings are the best and are pretty easy to make. (for me)
    I DO NOT have a yard or backyard and neither do my neighbors.
    I live in the hometowns places or whatever they are called. Those houses that are not saperate.
    And I barely know my neighbors…and I can’t work in a group cause it’s summer and my friends are at faraway places like Colorado or Florida.
    I can’t have a yard sell or sell lemonade or cookies or other treats.
    Even if I am an awesome cook. My parents only give me a dollar a week cause they think if I get more i’ll ride in a bus and leave them. xD
    My neighbors have big dogs…I want to walk them for a few bucks but!!! My mom thinks they will attack and kill me. HEY! The dog’s owners have small children living in The same house as the dogs!
    Anyways….I need help. I already do EVERYTHING in the house so I can have extra chores. And it’s summer vacation so I have the whole day.
    Please help me

  48. shivang

    Hey I am 12 and i want to start up small business
    and I am not so intelligent I am gud at making
    lemonade plzzzzzzzzzz suggest me a gud business
    i want to make money quickly plzz give me a gud idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:0 :-)

  49. You whish you knew

    Dear Erin,

    if you want to make 100 dollars (or more) ask your parents if you can hang flyiers around town and put your email adress on it. If you dont already have one, and on the flyer put what you wil be selling on it

  50. pizza

    i need to make money how do i????

  51. Tom

    I have a great idea for a business online but i need a loan but im not old enough to sign contracts of any kind

  52. gabby

    Im 11 and a horsebackrider im really goodAnd my instuctor said i need a horse to get better what should i do
    dont have enough money for a horse i need money my mom is willing to give me $1000
    And i have $250 i still need $2000 im willing to do anything for monet

  53. akhil

    hey i am 16 years old … i want to earn money but i dont know how to… and i cant understand which buisness may i do.. and my interest is in engineering….

  54. jia malik

    i am 20 yrs old, and i want to get independent by making my own money, my pocket money isn’t enough for me, and as i am the eldest daughter of my parents with no brother so i want to support my father also .. will anybody please give me any easy idea to earn ??

  55. Freddie Malone

    hi im 12 years old and i have always dreamed of establishing my own business however i have two choices recycle clothes and sell them and a mobile phone recycle unit where i sell unwanted phones plz reply saying the best one in the market is thanks

  56. tatiana ingram

    thank you !

  57. Mark Foffel

    Hello, Me and a bunch of friends are kind of geeky and would like to start up a Video Game creating company, and we have gotten kind of into it, we started off with just a 2D platform creator called Sploder, but are planning to get into Coding. We have found a website and have started learning basic code. We know that it will take years, but we are willing to give years. For now we are mostly doing it for the fun of it, but we plan to get a lot more serious about it and at some point, make xBox or PS3 games. Yes, we know that almost all people have to go to University to learn to code games, but we have already started to find websites and DVDs that will teach us coding games. If you want proof, I’ll show you. This is Javascript.
    if (“CodingIsAwesome”.length > 5
    )
    confirm (“I am right”)
    else
    confirm (“I am wrong”)

    Do you have any advice?

  58. Josh @ Business Kid

    I’m working on starting a website developing some of these ideas for kids starting their own business. It’s got only a few pages and a list of ideas right now, but I hope to show kids how to start every one of the businesses on the list leaving no stone unturned. Wish me luck! – Josh (still a business kid at heart)

  59. Simran

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am a 11 year old girl in India wanting to start a small business besides lemonade stall, dog walking,etc. I want to earn money fast since I want to buy this chemistry kit.I know dance very well i want to start a kind of dance academy here in my house,but there are not enough people.I live in row villas and there is a society nearby so shall i keep the prices low or high or moderate?(Plus I will donate some money to the animal shelter because i love animals)I really want to do this because i need some money as i mentioned above.What shall i name it, any suggestions? Please reply back fast.I will manage about the prices and the dance ,moves. What shall the range of age be?

    Regards,
    Simran