Are you a student looking to earn extra income on the side? If YES, here are 50 small business ideas for high school students to start with no money.
While some believe that entrepreneurship is a learned skill, others believe that it is inborn because history is replete with youngsters who were already running successful businesses even before they were old enough to drive, vote or even buy alcohol.
This goes to show that it is never too early to become an entrepreneur, and thanks to the internet, there are now a lot of easy ways high school students can start their entrepreneurial journey. One only needs to identify these avenues in order to take advantage of them
That said, here are 50 business ideas that would be very suitable for high school students who would want to start a business that would not interfere with their studies.
Best Business ideas for High School Students
The more people are pressed for time, the more they hate running errands. As a high school student, you can start a business to run errands for people who have no time for it. You can pick up groceries, take the dog to the vet, pick up kids from daycare, and chauffeur older kids to the mall or to a friend’s house.
You need to be a jack-of-all-trades, but it is actually an easy work, and it pays well. Seniors, upper-middle class families, and busy parents are all part of your target market. The student may or may not need a reliable car depending on the neighborhood, since it is a small business, but a car would come in very handy.
Become a moving assistant
Moving is stressful, especially when you have a lot of possessions or a large house to organize. A high school student can comfortably offer up services as a moving assistant to give people a hand when changing homes. This is a popular service, especially for seniors who find packing and moving to be physically and emotionally difficult.
One of the most popular part time jobs for students is babysitting, and this business can comfortably be taken up by a high school student.
All you need is a great reputation or great references, and the ability to find local parents. You need to also post fliers in your neighborhood advertising your services. Keep in mind that if you have special skills such as CPR training you will stand out from the pack.
Become a Scrapbooker
Scrapbooking is a method of preserving, presenting, arranging personal and family history in the form of a book, box or card. This is another exciting business idea for high school students. The student can offer custom scrapbooking services to people who want to preserve their memories in a special way without doing the work themselves.
Offer Home check services
As a high school student, you can request to make or perform home checks for people for a small fee. While people are out of town, you can stop by their house and check to make sure their house is in good condition, give it a lived-in look, check light bulbs, flush toilets, and more. It is quite easy and can be done weekly for a flat fee such as $20.
For those who enjoy shopping, you can build a business as a personal shopper and help others pick out the best items for them.
Students can also start this business while still in high school. To get started, you need to figure out your demographics which may likely be seniors or people who are fashion handicapped and offer this service to them at your convenience and for a fee.
If you want to earn some extra cash during the winter months, you can offer to shovel snow for local homeowners for a small fee. This business can be comfortably be started alongside your schooling as it won’t take up much time of the student, and more importantly, they would get paid for it.
Become a holiday decorator
If you enjoy decorating for the holidays, and are creative and handy with tools, a holiday decorating home business can be a profitable business for you. Holiday decorating businesses make the inside and/or outside of homes and businesses festive. Because of its seasonal nature, high school students can effectively combine this business with schooling.
Become a garage sales organizer
Garage sale is a sale of unwanted household goods typically held in the garage or front garden of someone’s house, hence the name garage sales. Garage sales can be a great way to earn some extra cash, and it is quite suitable for high school students as you can fit your time to suit you.
You can approach homes and ask if they have stuff to get rid of so you can help them with it. You can cart the stuffs to your own home or organize your sales right in front of your client’s yards, it all depends on existing agreement.
Become a party entertainer
If you want to start a business where you work mainly at special events, you can start a business as an entertainer such as a juggler, balloon artist, mime or even magician that entertains people at events. This is a good home based business that allows for flexible hours, good income potential and loads of fun. You can even involve other students who can play other parts in entertainment so you can form a full group.
House-sitting is the practice whereby a person leaving their house for a period of time entrusts it to one or more people, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live or stay there temporarily for a fee. During the holidays, you can offer house sitting services to homeowners who need someone to look after their homes while they travel. This business can also be done on school days since it would not interfere with your school work.
Start a gift wrapping service
Some people simply have no gift wrapping talent, then there are those who can wrap gifts so beautifully you hesitate to even tear the paper. These days, gift wrapping is a marketable skill which is nearly indispensable during the holiday season.
During the holidays or other popular gift giving occasions, you can offer gift wrapping services to gift givers who don’t want to wrap their own items. You can hire out your services to supermarkets and gift stores.
For less than $100 in wax and equipment, anyone can be in business for themselves making candles. If you are creative and willing to do the necessary legwork, you can do well as a candle maker, and you’ll have fun too. First, you will need to decide which kind of candles you want to make.
There are beeswax candles, colored candles, scented candles, or aromatherapy candles, to name a few. Then you have got to decide where you will sell your finished candles. If you have problems meeting people to make a sale, you could sell your candles online.
Start a logo creation business online
If you are a creative genius, then you should start your own logo designing company either offline or online. A lot of individuals and companies spend large amounts of money on creating a perfect logo. You can tap into this business in order to make a tidy sum of money on the side. Because you can comfortably do this business, it would not affect your school work as you get to choose when to work.
Sell seasonal goods online
As a high school student, selling seasonal goods online is one good business you can run. You can sell seasonal goods like Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, Valentine gifts etc. You can easily start selling these items in their peak seasons. If you are able to write reviews for the goods, then you stand a chance of making greater sales.
Open a lemonade stand
A lemonade stand is a business that is commonly owned and operated by young people to sell lemonade. This business is very viable during the summer.
While starting this business, you have to note that if you place your stand in front of your house, only a few of your neighbors will see you. You should instead choose a location that gets a lot of foot traffic so more people will know you are in business. Local parks and beaches are good options, especially on a nice day.
Become a paper boy or girl
A paperboy is someone—often an adolescent—who distributes printed newspapers to homes or offices of subscribers on a regular route, usually by bicycle or automobile. If you are an early riser, you can comfortable run your route before going to school everyday. This is a good business you can juggle with schooling without much stress as a lot of other students are into it.
If you are in high school, there are chances that you are very good when it comes to using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social networks. But do you know this stuff is big business? Well it absolutely is.
There are entire consulting firms dedicated to helping their clients maximize their social media efforts, and some of them probably don’t have as much experience at it. You can set up an online social media consulting business and help people grow their social media image any time you get.
Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization.
This is one business where you really should have some training and a lot of practice to get started. If you are quite knowledgeable with web designing, you could start a web design service and design websites for people at your convenience.
Become a blogger
Are you an expert in a particular area, like social media or high school algebra? Are you an entertaining writer, or simply have a great sense of humor? If you can get people to read what you have to say, you can make money through it by starting a blog.
There are thousands of affiliate programs that will pay you when people click through from your blog to their sites and make a purchase. You can also earn money through ads, product sales or other methods.
Make How-To videos
How-To videos are fun to watch and usually pretty engaging. When a child has a particular talent, hobby or passion, it’s actually fun for them to show others how to do it.
Build a website that focuses on a particular activity and provide the how-to video for free to subscribers who opt-in to mailing lists. By promoting similar quality products (affiliate products), you can earn extra income by talking about and doing what you love.
A number of high school students might not want to bake and sell chocolate chip cookies, but they would love to bake treats for dogs. If you are one of such, then you should consider a doggie treat business.
There are plenty of recipes available right online for dog bones, doggie cookies and other treats, along with the supplies needed to make a doggie treat business profitable and professional. You can bake and sell these treats at your convenience. You can even start by supplying your neighbours a regular batch.
Families with pets will often have poop in their yards. A smart kid with a Pooper Scooper can help turn messy yards into hard-earned cash by servicing pet owners with yard cleaning services. This business can be done right on the side and it would not take much of your time.
You can create your own personal compost heap where you get to compost the waste and sell it afterwards to people who have gardens.
The world of internet marketing is about knowing what’s hot and telling people about it. Who is better suited to do both than a young entrepreneur?
Kids are social media gurus. They engage one another and even older people. If you are a high school student that is social media savvy, you can start marketing people’s products on social media. Know that you would get a cut out of every product you sell.
If you are a tech genius, then a small computer repair service would be within your radar. Way back in 2010, 81% of American households already had either a laptop, desktop or handheld computer, and this figure has grown way higher now. As a high school student, you can consider repairing computers for extra income.
There’s flexibility in providing computer repair services these days. You can equally work remotely to help people troubleshoot computer problems. Make sure you have your numbers online in case people would want you to make house calls. You should be very careful when doing this though.
As a high school student, if they are particular subjects you excel in, you can offer assistance to other students that need help in that area by starting a business as an academic tutor. You may have to start with your classmates or juniors before you get to progress to students from other schools. You have to ensure that you work with timings that would not affect your school work.
Become a babysitter
Babysitting has been an age long business for high school students who are seeking extra income. You should ensure you accept jobs that don’t conflict with your school schedule or other activities.
Cake decorating is one of the sugar arts that use icing or frosting and other edible decorative elements to make plain cakes more visually interesting.
If as a high school student and you want to start a creative business or work with food, you can offer your services as a cake decorator for events, bakeries or other customers. You can equally start making and decorating cakes for people. Since events typically hold on weekend, then you can efficiently juggle the business with school activities.
A car wash or auto wash is a facility used to clean the exterior and, in some cases, the interior of motor vehicles. You can equally start a car wash on a mobile level. As a high school student, you can start a mobile car washing service where you visit clients to wash and detail their vehicles in their homes or offices. You can consider offering this service in the weekends, or late evenings.
Dog walking is the act of a person walking with a dog, typically from the dog’s residence and then returning. This constitutes part of the daily exercise regime needed to keep a dog healthy. To run this business effectively as a high school student, you need to focus on your neighbourhood so that you can easily take and return the dogs. You can do this on a daily or weekly basis.
Online Graphics Seller
If you have some design skills, you can create your own printable or online graphics and sell them to customers as downloadable files online. You can sell your fonts, graphics, website themes, print templates and other designs online.
Make and sell greeting cards
A greeting card is an illustrated piece of card or high quality paper featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. If your creativity is suited more toward creating your own paper goods, you can also design your own line of greeting cards to sell.
Pick up dry cleaning for people
You can decide to run to the cleaners for those who are too busy to handle this chore. This is a business idea that is well suited for a high school student.
You can approach your clients, who should for now mostly be your neighbours, tell them about your business idea and request them to let you send their laundry to the cleaners and pick them up. They can call you up whenever they have dirty clothes to take to the laundry.
Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials destined for manufacturing.
For those who want to start an environmentally friendly business, you can start a service where you pick up recyclables and take them to the proper facilities.
Become a custom portrait artist
For those who are more visually focused artists, you can offer your services to people who want custom portraits of their families, pets or other subjects. You can also create custom portraits of captivating images and sell them off on ebay.
Create and sell board games
There are lots of board games in the market and online, but that notwithstanding, you can create a board game, and if it is interesting, people would be willing to pay a token to play it.
Putting the game online can save you overhead costs. This project demands a lot of creativity before you can come up with something passable. You can market it among fellow students so as to know defective areas before putting it up for sale online.
Photography business is a highly thriving and profitable business that a teenager who is interested in making money should consider starting.
The basic thing that you would need to launch this type of business is a good camera, laptop, good editing software and good photography skill set. So if you are looking towards starting a business as a teenager, then one of your options is to go into photography business.
Some very talented students have the ability to create very funny and interesting skits. In the real world, people have been known to make a living out of creating skits. High school students who have very funny personalities can create and upload their skits on the internet where people can see and download them. This is a good way to create a great online following.
This business is another business that is done during the holidays, and as such it would be right within the alleys of a high school student. You can fairly easily put together and sell gift baskets for holidays or other special occasions. You need to be able to put together gifts that suit the occasion if you are to get repeat patronage.
Become a Proofreader
You can offer editing or proofreading services to businesses, authors or individuals who need help perfecting their copy. But you have to note that you can only offer this service if you are good with written English and you have an eye for spotting errors. You can register with online work sites like upwork and freelancer to look for proofreading gigs.
Farmer’s Market Vendor
If you have the space and the ability to grow food in your home or garden, you can start a booth at your local farmer’s market to sell those home grown food items on weekends.
Window cleaning is another good business that would suit a high school student. You only need a few cleaning supplies and rags to start your business. You need to scout around for households and businesses that would need your services.
Open a Video Rental Shop
Video rental shop is another easy to setup business that a teenager who is looking towards starting a business should consider. This type of business will not in any way distract a teenager from studying his or her books; it is a kind of business that can easily be combined with schooling.
So, if you are looking to begin a business as a teenager, a business that you can comfortably operate from your compound, then you should consider opening a video rental shop.
Make and Retail Throw Pillows
Another easy to setup business that a teenager who is interested in making money and exploring his creativity and marketing skills can start is making and retailing of throw pillows. Throw pillows are part of what people use to decorate their houses; they are placed on sofas and beds.
If you are creative with colors and designs, then you should consider making and retailing of throw pillows. It is a cool way of making money and if well managed, it won’t affect a student from concentrating on his or her schooling.
Baking and selling of cookies is yet another thriving and profitable business that a teenager who is interested in making money should consider starting. It is easier to learn how to bake cookies; all you need to do is to ensure that your cookies taste good and are well packaged.
With that you are likely not going to struggle to sell your cookies especially to your friends and other kids in your school and neighborhood. It is a business that a teenager can successfully combine with his or her studies without stress.
Start an Online Gaming Center
Starting an online gaming center is yet another thriving and profitable business that a teenager can successfully launch. Game lovers all over the world visit gaming sites to register and play various games of their choice. So if you are looking towards making money from the internet, one of the ways you can make money is by starting your own online gaming business; a website where various games can be played by game lovers at an affordable fee.
Sell tickets to shows
Selling of tickets for sports events, comedy show, music concerts and other events is another easy and profitable business that a teenager can successfully start with little or no startup capital. People usually purchase tickets in order to watch live sports events.
You can engage in the sale of tickets for football matches, boxing matches, athletics events, rugby events or any event as longs as people are ready to pay to watch the events. This type of business is based on commission; the amount you are expected to make is dependent on the number of tickets you sold. It is a business that a teenager can successfully combine with his or her studies without hitches.
Create and Sell Online Wallpapers
Creating and selling online wall papers is yet another easy means a high school student with good graphic skills can make additional income. Although you are not likely going to make huge money from this type of business, but at the same time it is a business that will not take your time. It is a business you can comfortably combine with your education.
Dog breeding business is yet another profitable business a high school student who loves dogs can start. Dog breeding business is a lucrative business especially in countries where people value dogs. Dogs are used for hunting, for security, as pets, for games etc.
If you are looking towards setting up your kennel, ensure that you source for dog breeds that are marketable in your area. It is important to state that it is easier to sell puppies than to sell adult dogs and you can earn good money from dog mating.
Parents are always stretched for time, so why not start shuttling their kids to ballet, violin, karate, or soccer practice? Parents can stay at work longer or spend more time relaxing and cooking dinner while you drive their kids to after-school activities. There are a few things you’ll need for this business idea.
First, you will need a reliable car and the ability to prove that you’ve never been in an accident or received a driving violation. You’ll also need a good car insurance policy, ideally with high medical coverage amounts for your passengers. You will likely want to invest in two quality baby car seats if you will be transporting children who require them.