How a Kid Can Successfully Start a Business

Updated on February 23, 2018
A young entrepreneur selling lemonade at a very affordable price; finding the right price is the key to success.
A young entrepreneur selling lemonade at a very affordable price; finding the right price is the key to success. | Source

Earning Money As an 11-, 12-, 13- or 14-Year-Old

Under the age of 15, it is hard to find ways to earn money. You can't drive, are too young to be hired by a restaurant or business, and it's still risky to sell to strangers without a trusted adult around (and without new customers, a business cannot grow). However, a little bit of help from a parent or another trusted adult can make a world of difference!

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Have a knack for cooking? Begin your own sweets bakery, making cakes for everything from birthdays and anniversaries to graduations!
Have a knack for cooking? Begin your own sweets bakery, making cakes for everything from birthdays and anniversaries to graduations! | Source

What Do You Like to Do?

The very first thing is figuring out what you like to do that other people might pay you for. For example, you could:

  • Make and sell jewelry
  • Babysit or pet-sit
  • Edit photos or videos
  • Bake
  • Wash cars
  • Clean
  • Do yard work

That idea is the beginning of your own businesses!

The most important part of all of this is that you enjoy the activity. If you try one job out and don't like it after the first few gigs, think about it some more and choose something that might work better. Ask an adult to help you brainstorm activities that use your passions passions, talents, and strengths for your business!

Discuss the Basics With Parents

Once the type of business is decided, it is time for the big talk with the parents. Parents will have to take care of everything from taxes and paperwork to legal matters and bank accounts, so they must be involved and have some influence in the business. This is not to scare anyone off, as an unofficial business could still be operated. However, should it become highly successful and profitable, it will be necessary to make it official so that taxes can be paid as required. This is highly unlikely as most kids do not earn a livable income from the small odd jobs that they find, so it is not a huge concern for the most part.

Customers, Promotion, Scheduling, and Working

Once you've got your idea, these are the most important parts of beginning your own business!

When you knows what you will be doing, you have to let people know what service or good you are offering! This is called promotion. From telling people (either in person or through email or social media) to posting signs, get the word out that you are the person to go to for what you are selling. This will begin to pull in customers.

Once customers begin to flow in, you will have to learn how to properly schedule your customers so that you can work for them during their free time, after school, or on weekends. Ask your parents for help coming up with a system so you do not miss appointments. Home-schooled kids tend to have a bit more flexibility, so this is a wonderful opportunity for those students.

Once the customers are scheduled, you can begin to work! All kids should discuss this with their parents, as you may need assistance with promotion, communicating with customers, determining prices and rates, and transportation.

How to Determine Prices and Rates

It is important to remember that supply and demand is what determines how high of a price is on a service or product.

Supply means how much of your product or service is out there. For example, if you're mowing lawns, the supply for your service is how many other people are also offering to mow lawns where you are.

Demand means how many people want your product or service. Live in a neighborhood with a lot of rock gardens, or with very few yards? Not as many people need their lawns mowed, so the demand for your service would be lower than if you lived in a place where everyone has a lawn.

If there is a low supply and a high demand, you can charge more money. If there is a high supply and very little demand, you can't charge as much money—you might even need to sell something else. Your business choice should reflect this. A low rate helps beat out competition, but it could mean that you are working for too little as well. A price that is too high will deter customers. Compare your ideal rates to those of businesses and other service providers in your area. It should be slightly lower than the competition. This way, customers will see that they have the opportunity to get the service or product and save money!

Check out this vintage ad for a lemonade stand. These days, kids are a lot less likely to try to earn money from the world around them through different odd jobs. Our kids can change that and become the new age child entrepreneurs!
Check out this vintage ad for a lemonade stand. These days, kids are a lot less likely to try to earn money from the world around them through different odd jobs. Our kids can change that and become the new age child entrepreneurs! | Source

How to Promote a Child's Business

When you decide to start a business, your parent will likely be involved in a lot of the work. Ads must be created in all different forms and sizes, complete with text, photos, and more. A phone number, email address, Facebook page, and website should all be set up. This gives potential customers more methods of communication, making it easier for them to order the service or product.

Ads should be placed on online classifieds, in newspapers, at popular pedestrian corners, on store billboards, and more. Door-to-door advertising, and calling up friends and family are both options. Word-of-mouth is a very important form of advertising when it comes to the business of a kid, as it is more likely that the potential customers are safe.

And once you get someone to buy from you, keep in touch! They're more likely to buy again than someone who never has. Keep phone number lists, email sign-up programs, regularly updated Facebook pages, and more. By keeping in contact with past customers, they will not forget the business and will be much more likely to return for more in the future.

Keeping a very detailed schedule will help you learn not only responsibility and organization skills, but also time management and customer management. Vital skills as a young entrepreneur!
Keeping a very detailed schedule will help you learn not only responsibility and organization skills, but also time management and customer management. Vital skills as a young entrepreneur! | Source

Scheduling Customers for Services and Products

Once potential customers begin responding to ads, you or your parents can begin responding to the interested consumers and building schedules. Keeping a schedule of your clients and their needs allows you to keep your tasks neat and tidy, complete all projects on time, and keep all customers happy. You wouldn't want to forget about someone who wants to buy something from you—he or she likely won't come back!

A schedule is very important, because it is very bad if a customer is forgotten or enough time is not allocated for a particular job. You also do not want to be late for a job or appointment. Keeping everything organized, punctual, and satisfactory is very professional and keeps customers happy.

Working and Keeping Customers Happy!

After everything else, it's time to work! You can set up your business so that you are paid before or after services are performed or products are sent to the customer. Different business models require different payment structures. After the transaction is complete and the work is finished, you will be very happy to see that the customer is enthralled with your work; this is very rewarding!

In order to keep the customer happy, you need to offer fair prices and helpful services or products, stay true to your word, do all of the work as you have advertised, be on time with your job and delivery, be kind and appreciative to the customer, and thank them. This builds a worker's and a business's reputation through testimonial sites and word of mouth. Keep your customers happy and word will spread—bringing more business for you!

Never Give up

Once a business has been started, it will be easy for the business to flop over and fail. I cannot stress enough how important it is to continuously care for and believe in your business. If the owner is not wholeheartedly involved in the operation, it will not stand a chance. By keeping up with your businesses needs and nurturing it, the company will stand to see many more positive, profitable, and promising days. Never ever give up on your business; remember, the going will become rough at times, and it is up to you to triumph over the challenges!

Learn how a kid can successfully start their own business, and write their own financial future.
Learn how a kid can successfully start their own business, and write their own financial future. | Source

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        16 year old boy 6 days ago

        Well am 16 .... and these days am just roaming across the world through internet searching opinions and feedbacks from others about marketing....investing...market stocks.....etc. and after looking the comments down below..i can tell u guys thats its long way run and for many it will end up with nothing ...so just dont loose hope i can go up and up... just keep on trying and trying and one day the day will be only yours..... keep up

      • profile image

        Ka'mauryHudson 12 days ago

        I want to be successful at things and earn money to pay for the things I want also importantly the things I need

      • profile image

        Crystal 2 weeks ago

        Am 12 and I have always wanted to start my own business but I ccan,t but today am going to start GOD bless the Author who ever he is

      • profile image

        Priscillag 2 weeks ago

        Am 12 I like music and I also love artworks so am confused on what business to start

      • profile image

        juwels khoza 2 weeks ago

        i also wanted to be come a business women at my age i want to back but i cant do that without a partner wel dn who have achieved your goals and dream

      • profile image

        bodie holderman 3 weeks ago

        wish i had time to make money

      • profile image

        Someone 4 weeks ago

        I want to start a slime business but I have so much to do and I will never give up

      • profile image

        jasmine 4 weeks ago

        I'm 12 and I want to start making a baking business where I sell cookies and brownies and cakes etc but I don't know how too start it

      • profile image

        Sophie 4 weeks ago

        I'm only 9 years old and i'm thinking of starting a bracelet business

      • profile image

        Chelsea 4 weeks ago

        I am 14 years old and I want to start my own babysitting business but I'm not sure how... I babysit for my mum's friends sometimes and I know how to cook clean and put them to bed at the right times and if they are really little I know how to change dipers and stop them from crying and easy be able to put them to bed I just need help starting my own business

      • profile image

        Amelia Rose Breese 5 weeks ago

        I am 9 years old and I am trying to have a clothing line. But I can't do the legal stuff. And my mom does not believe in me at all. She says that I can't have a clothing line. But it is my dream. And I can't just give up my dream. I don't know what to do.

      • profile image

        Georgina 5 weeks ago

        Im 13 and theres a fair next week in a town near where i live. Im thinking of selling my cards and framed artwork. Possibly bookmarks!

      • profile image

        Gretchen Napier 5 weeks ago

        I am 12 years old and I am trying to start a little business to save money for the beach this summer with my cousins. I wanted to sell the art supplies I get from the store. Whenenver I think of starting a business, I think of going all out and I want the same thing for all of us. Thanks for reading this if you did.

      • profile image

        nickname kiwii 7 weeks ago

        I am 12. I want to start a lemonade business but I live in a very very small neighborhood. Does anybody have any tips.

      • profile image

        Emma 8 weeks ago

        I am 11 and want to walk dogs and pet sit also I do my weekly chores to get money, but that is just not enough because I only make about $8 a week. I think I am going to start a dog/lemonade stand/car wash business. Thanks WEHAVEKIDS for the advice. Also guys if ya'll are going to do slime do it on www.etsy.com if you parents let you because you can make a ton of money there!

      • profile image

        princess me 8 weeks ago

        I'm 14 and i can babysit, i can clean, and my brother's going to teach me how to make bracelets and i can make slime for friends and sell it to them thank you so much your advice really help, it could really help me start my own business

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        max 2 months ago

        okay i think it will work

      • profile image

        nun yo bisness 2 months ago

        ok so im 12 about to be 13 in july and i love to bake and i want to tart a bakery but im having trouble ok so i know what im doing but how do i start a bisness and be sucessful at it. and what do i need to be abl to start because people say i need a tfn of something

      • profile image

        Natalia 2 months ago

        Thank you

      • profile image

        Mhauc 2 months ago

        Is a lemon juice stand better than a jewelry

      • profile image

        Xyandra 2 months ago

        I'm 13 and i think the info here are really going to help us to start just a little business..like duh? Who lives this century without money..I just wanted to do this to help my parents coz they're working too much..I'll try the lemonade stand.....Thanks for who you are who think of this business.

      • profile image

        Hi 2 months ago

        Lemonade sstand

      • profile image

        not telling you 2 months ago

        i am starting up a business

      • profile image

        Not saying ma name 2 months ago

        Hi good site aye

      • profile image

        Lucy 3 months ago

        I love to dance

      • profile image

        Rylie Hesselman 3 months ago

        I am 13 and in the 8th grade and since this was three years ago, there ARE other options such as making slime or friendship bracelets, but my point in if you want to start a business and you don’t like doing any of the things that are on the list then think OUT of the box that’s the point. To be different than others and do what you want to do.

      • profile image

        Brayden 3 months ago

        AM 12 and i want to do yard work for seniors because i have some in my neighborhood and there home is old and it doesn't look like it has been kept up with. Should I start that business?

      • profile image

        Julian 3 months ago

        I am 12 and i have everything planned out becaus i wanna start my own computer or electronics brand do you need a permit or anything for that

      • profile image

        ISAIAH WYMAN 3 months ago

        HOW DO I MAKE A BUSINESS UNKNOWN KNOWN AND NE REMEMBERED FOR IT ALSO WITH LEGACY

      • profile image

        Unknown 3 months ago

        How do you get legal permits because I really want to start a cake baking business.

      • profile image

        M. W. 3 months ago

        I am 10 and I have had a business with 3 friends we selled lemonade and got $67 in cash but I moved now I want to start selling jewelry because I got a kit for Christmas I want to sell it at school but only have little experience.

      • profile image

        Iris 3 months ago

        Hi,I'm 11 and I'm thinking of starting a nail salon.

      • profile image

        Andriunna 3 months ago

        Hey I'm 11soon to be 12 I love to create stuff and design clothes

      • profile image

        renae 4 months ago

        Hi, I am 12 years old and I have a passion for cooking and baking but it is kinda hard because I have other things 2 focus on e.g. school

      • profile image

        Daniel 4 months ago

        I'm 12 and thinking about starting a dog walking company but I'm scared that it will fail

      • profile image

        michael 4 months ago

        I am 13 and i want to start a company called Hot wheel costums because can have not that many colers on hot wheels so i am willing to do what i love

      • profile image

        Eseosa Edosomwan 4 months ago

        I am 10. I want to start my own jewellery company.

      • profile image

        Horselover 4 months ago

        I am 11 years old and I want to run my own dog company w hen I am 14 can I do that with out a special permits or liscense

      • profile image

        Just starting 4 months ago

        I am 11 can I start a toy company????

      • profile image

        brooke 4 months ago

        i am 14 and i have always wanted to have a bakery since i have been 6 and now i am going to try and succeed at my dream bakery

      • profile image

        keyana 4 months ago

        I am 12 years old and I always want to sell home made bags

      • profile image

        Ruby Nonyas 5 months ago

        Can a 12 year old open a candy business without a permit or liscense??

      • profile image

        megan 5 months ago

        I'm 11 and I've always wanted to open a bakery.

      • profile image

        Eve 5 months ago

        I'm thirteen, could i sell my homemade cosmetics?

      • profile image

        THE PERSON IN YOUR CLOSET 6 months ago

        13 AND WANT TO BUILD A GAME COMPANY BUT I WILL START WITH CLOTHES SUPPORTING IT AND I FORGOT CAPS LOCK IS ON

      • profile image

        shawn 6 months ago

        is it legal for kids to make online business

      • profile image

        PRIVATE UNTIL MY BUSINESS IS CREATED 6 months ago

        I'm 11 and I want to start up a business that assembles furniture such as kitchen chairs, carts to put clothes on, etc. The customer provides the furniture and the money, I assemble it and provide the fully assembled furniture.

      • profile image

        diana 6 months ago

        this is really motivating and i could even do more.

      • profile image

        Luna 6 months ago

        Good but it didn't help much .She still doesn't have €2.She's really annoyed and she's 11 .

      • profile image

        Gregory 6 months ago

        I'm Gregory Mike 12 years old and I was thinking about making money by training dog I have a very lot of experience with dog training can sombody please help??? PLEASE it would be a huge excitement for ME

      • profile image

        Cecilia 7 months ago

        Hi I'm Cecilia I want to set up a way for earning money as I'm a spender not a saver I am also 10 years old does anyone have a suggestion

      • profile image

        (BLANK) 7 months ago

        Hi, I'm 12 and would like to start my own business, but I want it to be successful. I would like it to be something useful, any recommendations?

      • profile image

        Declan 7 months ago

        I'm 11 years old I want to start a yard work business and raise $6,000,000 so I can buy farm animals for our new house in Texas.

      • profile image

        Ethyn 7 months ago

        Hi! I'm Ethyn and I am 13 years, old. I want to start my own tech company like Apple or Samsung, I have the prototype for some products, how do I advertise them?

      • profile image

        Kayciann 7 months ago

        In 11 years old, and i want to be a lawyer went I grow up but as a little kid I want to be a photographer and I will like to do a cooking lesson .I want to raise $4,750,000 to buy a house when I came out out of college and get a master degree .Also I want to make my family proud of me .What should I do?

      • profile image

        alemaj 7 months ago

        Im 10,and i want to be a photographer.but im a kid,wht can i do i want now?

      • profile image

        Sisi 8 months ago

        I'm 12, and I'm really into Photography. I'm actually really good at it. My mum and dad are helping me turn my Photography skills into a business. I already have one of my friends mum and dad asking me to come to their wedding in Greace so I can be their wedding photographer.

      • profile image

        elietame12354 8 months ago

        im 11 and i want to be a baby sitter but at my age parents dont trust me

      • profile image

        Pola 8 months ago

        I am eleven years old and I want to open a tutoring business for elementary schoolers. But I do not think parents will trust me because of my age.

      • profile image

        graceisme 8 months ago

        i am 14 and have been baking since i was 6 i have the know-how and skills to make and sell cakes and other desserts but i am not sure how to go about starting a "business"or whatever so i can make some money and use my skills or whatever so yeah

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        ANTZ27 8 months ago

        Hey, I want to start a business of cooking, but I'm only 9, and I have a feeling either nobody will take seriously or I won't have enough customers. Plus, the 2 places I could have my business, the first one is near Aldi's and Marks Pizzaria, and tthe second one is near Palidino's Pizza

      • profile image

        mpho 8 months ago

        I want to start my own clothing line . I have a business partner , material ad etc , I just need start up capital .

        I even know a designer

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        Tayeab Hoseny 9 months ago

        I opened up a store at the age of 13 and i sell go carts,racing go carts,pocket bikes,pit bikes, dirt bikes,quads,and atvs. I also have a shop that fixes what i sell its inside my store and my shop can customize.

        Last month i made $200,000 in profit and i bought my self a Rolls Royce Ghost and Phantom

      • profile image

        Rise above cupcakes 9 months ago

        Hi I'm ten and want to start a cupcake business with my friend. Do I have to get a special license to sell the cupcakes?

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        Sophie 9 months ago

        Hey, I'm 12 and I love interior design ( I've designed most of the rooms in my house) but I'm worried that if I make a business people won't take it seriously and I won't get paid. I'm not sure if I should make a portfolio or something to show my customers and how to figure out the money system. Should I go and give them a qoute or ask what there budget is and they give me the money and I give them whatever is left of it.

        Please help I love interior design

      • profile image

        George 9 months ago

        I'm 12 and I wanted to make a t-shirt company and I looked at this website, then I figured it out and now I'm earning £1500 a week from my company!

      • profile image

        Marz 10 months ago

        Angryelf,

        I wanted to sell things online but I can't find a good way to do this!

        I keep trying to find things but I have to pay a fee and I worried if my business doesn't work that I waste money...

        Any Ideas? Thanks!!!!

      • profile image

        James D Cook 10 months ago

        I will wash people's cars

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        bob 11 months ago

        cool

      • profile image

        bree 11 months ago

        I am trying to figure out how to make a schooling business that will be helpful in school but you can work your business while you are at school and making money.

      • profile image

        Charles 11 months ago

        hi my name is Charles I want to start a company named charlie's custom bike logos

        I enjoyed reading this article!thank you

      • profile image

        Melina 11 months ago

        I need help starting a business um.. I am trying the best i can i really need help

      • profile image

        Mellow :I 11 months ago

        I'm a 13 yr old and I'm saving up because in the future I wanna meet up with a very close friend of mine and plane tickets are expensive, so I'm not giving up! :) Thank you sooo much for the tips :)

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        kitty boo 12 months ago

        for me the best thing to do is to make cakes and little girl scounts cookies

      • profile image

        Kids business 12 months ago

        Thank you all tell my kids if the want to start a business

      • profile image

        O.L.A 12 months ago

        Hello. I'm 11. I really want to start my own bookstore business, but I have no idea where to start.

      • profile image

        Edward 12 months ago

        I'm almost 13 and I wanna have a mechanic job I need info on stuff like price for labour

      • profile image

        Caitlyn 12 months ago

        I am 11 and I want to make a business on selling slime but I don't know if I should make the business I already talked to my mom and she is ok with it and said she will help but I am nervous about it and I was looking into if I could make a business and this page really helped me with all of my questions thank you for this and you are really amazing. :)

      • profile image

        fashionistas 13 months ago

        we have a dream of becoming hair dressers but we need money first!and now our dreams can come true!thanks! ^.^

      • profile image

        Roxy 13 months ago

        I love this website

      • profile image

        Andrew 13 months ago

        I'm 13 and am good at sales. I have previously been employed (in another country) and know the art of sale at a slightly "above the average" level. But, I can not sell anything or buy anything on Amazon, since I need to have a functioning bank account (which I don't possess). Anything , I could do?

      • profile image

        Kadra Hassan 13 months ago

        Im 10 and i have a idea!

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        Maddie 13 months ago

        Hi I am 12 almost 13 and I have no clue how to start my own buisness can you HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        Grace117 14 months ago

        Can someone help me! I don't know what kind of business I should start. I am interested in animals...??

      • profile image

        Fool 15 months ago

        What legal stuf has to happen for a kid to start a lawn care business, such as permits, licenses ect.?

      • profile image

        DAsia Jennings 15 months ago

        Hey I'm Dasia and I'm a 9 year old kid who wants to make a business to do and hair. Right now I'm hoping to win money in ways and let many people join my business with me.

      • profile image

        Kiersten 15 months ago

        I know how you feel Julie. I am 12 too and want to start a crochet business. At first my parents said yes then I asked where to sell them and they didnt answer. Finally I told them what I was saving up for and they fliped out. It still might work out because I think they need to talk about it a little.

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        Julie 16 months ago

        Hi im 12!I am CRAZY obsessed with making things and baking! And I'm good at it also! I asked my parents if I could start my own mini-business where I bake Cookies and you could buy cute cookie charms I make with polymer clay. But they said , just like "that sounds hard, no" and I felt like my dreams were CRUSHED! Now I just wanna start it even more!!! But they won't let meeee

      • profile image

        Julie 16 months ago

        I want to make money and sell cupcakes but I think I would get in trouble would I and what should I do

      • profile image

        Ashanti 17 months ago

        Hello I am ASHANTI and I am 13 years old, my step sister and I handed out dog walking palm flips and put them in people's letter boxes and that was about 5 days ago and still no calls what do I do know to make people want us to walk their dogs ?

      • profile image

        baker123 17 months ago

        Hi! I am 111 and I was thinking of doing a bake sale to make some money. Do I need a permit? Also, do you have any ideas on how to get started? Thank you!

      • profile image

        Angelo 18 months ago

        I'm 13 years old. I want to make an online business and my parents are willing to finance/help me starting it up. Can I register my business and company under my name? Can I open a business account? Where do I get information about registering in Texas? Thank you very much.

      • profile image

        lily 18 months ago

        cool

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        Deamon 20 months ago

        Hey, I'm 14 and have started thinking about making an online cupcake buisness? Any advice?

      • profile image

        Gabbie 21 months ago

        Hi, I am 12 years old and want to start a lip gloss business. Is it made of edible products. Can you please tell me how to go about doing this? My mom says I cant just sell online, I need to be licensed. Is this true? do you know how much this will cost so I do not get into trouble? Thank you!

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        Ella 21 months ago

        HI! This article was posted a long time ago but i thought there is no harm in asking. So I was wondering what do i do if i really want to start a business but i am not allowed? i really enjoy baking and baby sitting but i dont know which one to do.!!??

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        S.D (my initials) 22 months ago

        i agree with you LL

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        LL 22 months ago

        Any other ideas on how to make money as an 12 year old this summer!!!

      • profile image

        scarlet 2 years ago

        im 10 and i whant to start a buisness a dance and singing one tgat gave me ideas

      • profile image

        matt 2 years ago

        thanks for the ideas now im making money redesigning shoes THANKS!!!!!! ☺☺☺☺

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