Teen Business Ideas:
Brainstorm Your Own

Teen business ideas are all around you everyday...you just have to notice them. Not seeing any of these when you look? Here are some hints on how to have your own great ideas as a teen entrepreneur.

Where do great ideas come from?

Great business ideas can come from anywhere. They combine your interests and skills with filling a need or want of your customer. The best way to get a great teen business idea is to have lots of them. Your first one may be perfect...or it may be your tenth. Whatever the case, it helps to have more than one idea to test. Here are some tips on coming up with your teen business idea list.
  • Personal experiences -- hobbies, interests. Think about what you like to do with your time. One of the keys to having work that you enjoy is for it to be doing something that you already enjoy. If you really like animals, petsitting or in-home grooming could be a great option.
  • Work-related experiences. If you have had any past paying (or volunteer) jobs, think about what you liked about them. Was it working with people? Was it problem-solving or designing cool graphics? You can also apply this in the reverse. Think of the things that you didn't like in these jobs, and try to focus your list away from these. (Of course, you will need customers in any business so keep it realistic.)
  • Ask friends, family, teachers, coaches. The people who know you best can pick up on skills and traits that you don't even think about. Ask them for ideas. Have them make a list of five things that you do well or skills that you have. Then think about how you can use these as a teen entrepreneur.
  • Surf the Internet. You might be surprised at how many options there are to make money - online or off. Surfing might just trigger a great idea.
  • Go to the library. There are whole sections of the library devoted to business and to all kinds of interests and hobbies. Then there are ideas on how to start your own business. Interested in starting a gift basket business? They have it. What about a resume service? Yep, they have that too. You can check out these books for free (which will work well for your teen business budget) and look through them at your convenience.

Testing your idea

After you've come up with your list of teen business ideas, the next step is to figure out which ones of them will work in the real world. Here are the questions to ask yourself as a teen entrepreneur.
  • Is my idea practical, and will it fill a need? This is the realistic business question. You may have the best idea in the world, but if no one wants it, then you are sunk at the beginning.
  • What is my competition? Competition is not a bad thing. If someone else is selling a similar product or service, it likely means that there is a customer demand for it. But be sure you know what and who your competition is so you don't get stuck competing on price or hours
  • What is my business advantage over existing businesses? This could be service or quality. Try not to make it price since they can change their rates at any time
  • Can I create a demand for my business? You don't want to build it and have no one come. That's wasted time and effort. Make sure the demand will be there before you get too far. That can be as simple as asking your friends and neighbors if they would buy your product or service.

Once you've tested your ideas and found the one that will work best for you, it's time to move on to getting your teen business plan together. That will get your business off to the best possible start - and it takes less than 30 minutes!

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