What Are Some Potential Low-cost Businesses That Can Be Started And Operated By A Teenager?

Teenagers make great entrepreneurs. What they’re short on in experience they more than compensate for in enthusiasm, energy, creativity and the willingness to take risks. These attributes form a rich seedbed for business ideas to take root, germinate and grow. Here we take a look at a few start-up ideas that would perfectly suit the ambitious teenage entrepreneur hungry for business success.


Most retailers keep a supply of goods in stock to sell off, but with drop-shipping they instead transfer shipment and customer order details to a wholesaler or to the manufacturer who then ships the products to the customer.

The profit made by a retailer who uses this type of supply chain management method will come from the differences between the price they pay for the goods (wholesale) and the price they sell them on for (retail). Some drop-shipping retailers, however, also earn a percentage in commission, depending on the goods they ship, paid by the wholesaler to the retailer.

A technology savvy, enterprising teenager could easily, for example, visit the Apple store and make a list of which companies manufacture the various iPhone accessories. The manufacturers could then be contacted to ask how their items could be re-sold. Many manufacturers do direct drop-shipments, but often you’ll get re-directed to a distributor that does this for them. Before very long you could find yourself selling major brands like Speck, Belkin and OtterBox at a healthy margin.

Private tutoring

This may sound pretty unglamorous, but there is in fact an enormous gap in the market for programming tutors that has to be filled one way or another. The colleges can’t handle the demand so it’s often down to young men and women with a natural bent for the likes of Python, Perl, C++ and Java to fill the hole and make pretty good money doing what comes natural to them and is often a hobby anyway. A rate of £30 an hour is usually just the start, and with more tricky languages this could at least double.

Program remote controls

With all the domestic high tech kit proliferating, many people are getting fed up with having to scramble about to find a remote for one of their numerous devices. They want ideally to have a single handset that will control the lot of them. Programming a remote control doesn’t come naturally to most people, and although the single control will inevitably come as standard there is in the meantime a gap to fill.

Visit the local electronic stores and go on the internet to find out which are the biggest, most popular setters in the market and then turn yourself into an expert at programming these remotes. You can then pop back into the stores that stock them and sell your new services. The store can put you in touch with its customers and you go round to their houses to customise their remote controls, connecting all the various devices up for easy access.

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Jonny Lethernot blogs about freelancing, accounting software by Intuit and financial tasks. In this post he offers advice for teenagers on how to start making money.