IAM Guy Talk: Creative Income Ideas for Teens

Garron(3)Teenagers don’t always have the best job options so it’s a great idea to take matters into their own hands (legally, of course).  Also, because of so many after school program cuts, teens have a lot more free time on their hands.  The best way to kill two birds with one stone is for teens to create jobs.  This way they can earn an income, spend their time doing something positive, and develop real life skills that will help them as adults.

Here are some creative business ideas that teens can start now and the steps needed to make them happen:


  • Research local retail prices for candy (vending machines, corner stores, etc.).  You want to know the prices you’ll be competing against so you can either match it or come in cheaper.
  • Establish a means for distribution (school lunch, after school, local businesses etc.)
  • Find someone with a membership to COSTCO or SAM’S CLUB
  • Use their membership and borrow between $30-$50 worth of assorted candy or chocolate bars.  Use your research to determine which purchase will yield the most revenue.
  • If you sell your candy for retail prices you should get back close to triple what you spent (if not more).
  • Use your profits to pay back what you borrowed and purchase more candy to sell.



  • Create a flyer that has the name of your business, your services, and your contact information.
  • Start with people you know (family member, friends of the family, neighbors, church members, etc.). Take them your flyer or go door-to-door in a moderately upscale neighborhood to schedule appointments for cleaning.  Dress appropriately and make sure you smile.
  • Advice:  You may want to specialize in specific areas (bathroom, kitchen, lawn etc)
  • After you book two-three appointments, don’t schedule anymore until you complete the first group.
  • Make sure you leave your client’s space SPOTLESS.
  • Once they approve, sell them on a bi-weekly service agreement.  Make your collection BEFORE the start of each month.
  • Ask for referrals
  • Hire other teens to clean homes for you.  Make sure you can trust them to do a great job and trust them enough to know they will not steal from your clients homes.
  • Negotiate a deal so that you pay them slightly less than what you bring in.  For example, if your client is paying you $60/month, pay your employee $45.
  • Make sure your clients know you’re outsourcing work but to still pay you directly.
  • Make sure your employees do an AMAZING job.
  • Pay your employees when they complete the job.
  • Personally do as many jobs as you can but try to have enough employees to triple the amount that you can do.  If you do 8 jobs per month at $60 per job, you’ll make $480.  If you can hire enough people to do 24 jobs per month and you make $15 per job, you’ll make an additional $360 per month without lifting a finger.  That’s a total of $840 per month.



  • Research group activities for young children (karaoke, board games, movies, etc)
  • Go to all the adults you know who have kids and organize a “Parents Night Out” on a specific date.  Make it sound like a special event and that you’ll be watching their children.  You can even send them date ideas.
  • Create the event on Ticketleap.com with a limited amount of “tickets” per customer.  Each ticket represents a child.  Make sure you don’t accept more kids than you can handle. (This is why those group activities are important)
  • Charge whatever the going rate is for babysitting and make sure you can cover food and beverages ($50 per child)
  • Set specific drop-off and pickup times
  • When you have the kids, make sure they have the BEST TIME EVER (while making safety your number 1 priority)
  • For one night, you may be able to watch 8 to 10 kids.  At a rate of $50 per kid, you can make up to $500 in one night.  Subtract about $50 for 3 Pizzas and Sodas (look for deals) and get one of your friends to help you for another $50.
  • If you do this twice per month you can make up to $800 for only a few hours of your time.



Now, of course these ideas require a little more work than what I have listed but the concept is still simple.  These are businesses that can be implemented quickly and with little money and resources.  Your ability to sell yourself is all that matters.


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