How and Why Your Teen Should Start a Business This Summer

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Summer vacation is in full swing, and you have probably heard the dreaded “I’m bored” complaint at least a few times from your teenager. Chances are good you have also been asked for money so she can go to the mall, see a movie, grab Starbucks with friends or get lunch.

To help you both survive the rest of the summer and encourage your precious teenager to learn some valuable skills he can use the rest of his life, it might be time to suggest that your kiddo start his own business.

Your Teen Will Learn Great Life Lessons

Working hard and running a business will teach your teen a number of valuable life lessons like perseverance, honesty, hard work, communication and more. Running your own business — be it babysitting, pet walking, mowing lawns or whatever your budding entrepreneur decides to do — is not always easy or fun. But by gritting his teeth at 6 a.m. and getting up to babysit when he would rather sleep in, or biting her tongue when a neighbor is unnecessarily crabby with the price she sets for her home-grown strawberries will teach your teens firsthand how to overcome adversity and succeed.

Your Teen Will Earn Money — and Maybe Learn to Manage It

Once your teenager starts earning a regular paycheck from his or her summer business, you will probably notice a blissful lack of requests for money. As a side bonus, you might notice that your child will suddenly be reluctant to spend it. It’s funny how easily your kiddo can spend your money, but when it’s something she worked 40 hard hours to earn, she might not be inclined to splurge on that latte and new outfit. If you give your teen an allowance, you can probably stop doing so, at least during the summer, giving him added pride in earning his own money.

Your Teen Will Be Networking

As your teen navigates the world of summer entrepreneurship, he will undoubtedly meet a number of adults, some of whom may be able to help him later on with job opportunities and references. The nice lady down the street with the toddler your daughter babysits may be a CEO at a local company, and when the time is right she may approach your teen about full-time work. The neighbor guy who hires your son to trim his bushes and walk his dogs while he is on vacation will not only write him a letter of recommendation when it comes time to apply to college, he may also offer him an internship at his company.

Ideas for Teen-run Businesses

In addition to the aforementioned teenage-owned businesses like babysitting and pet care, there are a number of other ways that entrepreneurial-minded teens can get started this summer. For example, you might encourage your teen to try freelance work that offers not only career development opportunities, but also the chance to have a flexible schedule and the chance to try out different jobs. For example, Amway offers a variety of freelance jobs that can give your teen the experience and income she is looking for, but based around her own schedule. Your teen might also wish to check out other contractual freelance work sites like Fiverr and TaskRabbit. Also visit the Small Biz Trends website with your teen and read through their comprehensive list of business ideas for teens. The list includes suggestions like being an academic tutor, craft fair vendor — either in person or at an online site like Etsy — cake decorator and blogger.

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