20 Business Ideas for Young Adults and Teens
Fit Small Business says over 5.9 million entrepreneurs and business owners are under 35. They additionally report that most small businesses take approximately 2-7 years to become profitable.
That means if you start now as a young adult, you can be a successful entrepreneur by age 35, which can be your goal.
So, what are you waiting for?
We have curated some of the best suggestions (including online business ideas and home-based businesses) for starting your own business. While some of them may need specific education or experience, most of them don’t require you to have any experience.
Let’s get started.
Why Should Young Adults Start a Business Today?
There are many advantages to starting a business as a young adult.
- Firstly, starting a business can provide the perfect opportunity to earn college funds and showcase creativity and innovativeness.
- Second, in the past 2 years, we have all realized that 9-5 jobs are unpredictable, and we cannot rely on one source of income. Starting a business provides a perfect opportunity for young and enterprising minds to create their own prospects and carve out a career path of their liking.
- Finally, starting a business will help you learn entrepreneurship, gain financial literacy and explore real-world aspects of venture creation, such as forming partnerships or learning to manage resources.
All in all, starting a business is an exciting venture that offers multiple benefits for aspiring entrepreneurs.
3 Steps to Finding the Best Option for Yourself
Before starting a new business, follow these three steps:
Step 1: Assess Your Skills and Interests: It is always essential to start by assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you have the necessary skills for the business and business model you are considering.
You should also focus on your interests and assess the kind of business that would benefit from those interests.
Step 2: Research Potential Business Ideas: You should research the business idea’s marketability and profitability. It will help you determine which options are the most likely to generate a positive return on investment.
Step 3: Seek Advice From Google And Free Courses: Once you have narrowed down your potential business ideas, learning is essential. Suppose you cannot invest in a mentor, coach, and course. In that case, you can find valuable information from Google and free online courses.
Doing this will allow you to learn about setting up a business and different methods of starting and running businesses and pick up valuable tips on getting the most out of your venture. Not only this, but it will also help with business planning.
It is also a great way to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs who can provide invaluable insight and advice.
12 Online Businesses for Young Adults:
#1 Freelance Writing:
If you ask me for one recommendation for the best business for young adults, freelance writing will be at the top of my list. Not only is it simple to start with, but it also requires zero investment.
Depending on the niche you select, your job would include creating and writing articles, blogs, web copies, case studies, white papers, etc. Some of the basic requirements are
- Basic knowledge of English
- A laptop or a computer
- Internet connection
Besides this, you will need to build your portfolio and client-related processes.
If you start a freelancing business, you can find your first few writing gigs on job boards like BloggingPro and Freelance Writing Gigs. However, you can only rely on them for clients in the short run. You will have to explore and learn how to use cold emailing, networking, and inbound marketing tactics to have a consistent flow of clients.
The amount you can earn as a freelance writer will vary depending on the project and your skills. However, you can charge an average of $100 for a 1000-word article. The sky is your limit.
Note: You can also look into copywriting, a profitable home-based business idea.
Proofreading is a lucrative online business idea for young adults. Your job would include reading through content, identifying grammatical errors, typos, punctuations, and spelling, and correcting them.
As a proofreader, you must learn proofreading marks and different writing styles like AP, Chicago, etc. You can find proofreading jobs with companies like Scribie, ProofreadingPal, and Proofreading Services or find your own clients via cold emailing, networking, and social media.
You can earn as much as $25 to $50 per hour.
#3 Social Media Manager :
Nearly 60% of the world’s population uses social media. That means all businesses want to create a solid online presence for their target customers.
You should consider becoming a social media marketer and starting a consulting business if you are a young adult. Your job includes creating a strategy and managing your client’s social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
The best way to find clients is to create a strong presence on these platforms, find your target clients and reach out to them via emails, calls, or referrals.
You can earn as much as $30+ per hour managing social media accounts and over $1000 per project.
#4 Virtual Assistant:
Did you know that companies save up to 78% of costs by hiring virtual assistants? More and more businesses realize it and want to hire a VA instead of an employee.
Your job will include providing services like writing, admin tasks, email marketing, e-commerce management, website development, social media, etc. You can work with companies like Belay Solutions or Fancy Hands; or find clients on social media, especially Facebook groups where many online entrepreneurs are present.
On average, you can earn $15 to $100+ per hour providing virtual assistant services.
#5 Video Editing:
Another popular option includes a video editing business. Your job would be creating and editing videos for clients.
Starting a video editing business may require some amount of investment. For example, you will need a good computer and premium software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. If this is your first time working on these, you will also need to spend some time learning.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 77% of marketers say their company uses YouTube to host marketing videos, which means a lot of work is available for you.
To start with, niche down and decide your target clients. For example, list potential clients and gather their details if you want to work with YouTubers. Then, reach out to each one with a personalized pitch and highlight how you can help them up their game.
Depending on the project and the skills, you can charge anywhere from $50 to $500+ per hour for editing videos.
Before you question this option, know that, on average, bloggers make around $45,000, with most bloggers earning somewhere between $38,440 to $51,906.
It is one of my favorite and the best business for young adults owing to its flexibility. You can work on the blog whenever you want and be your own boss. That means it is the best online business from home, and you can take it up as a side business with your regular day job.
Your job includes writing and publishing content on your blog to build an audience. There are many ways to generate revenue with a blog. Some of the most popular ones include advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and digital products.
We recommend you start by obtaining a credible domain name, hosting, and using WordPress. Once you have created a blog, you can start writing content and promoting it to build an audience. Remember to spend more time learning the proper search engine optimization techniques.
#7 YouTube Channel:
YouTube is another excellent business option for young adults to be self-employed. Your job includes:
- Finding a niche. You can pick up anything related to your hobby.
- Creating videos to share information.
- Building an audience.
- Generating revenue through brand collaborations and advertising.
You can start a YouTube channel by signing up for an account and creating videos to upload to the platform. Once you have made your channel, maintain consistency, learn search engine optimization and promote your videos on social media.
Depending on the success of your channel, you can make thousands of dollars per month.
Podcasting is an excellent business opportunity for young adults today. As of June 2022, there are over 2.4 million podcasts with over 66 million episodes between them. It is only going to increase from here.
Your job involves creating audio content to share on platforms such as iTunes or Spotify to build an audience and generate revenue through advertising and sponsorships.
Depending on the success of your show, you can make thousands of dollars per month. You can check out The Joe Rogan Experience, which makes about $800,000 per episode.
#9 Print on Demand:
Print-on-demand is another excellent business option for young adults today. It involves creating custom designs, licensing them, and uploading them onto POD platforms. Eventually, these designs are used on their products, such as t-shirts, mugs, and posters, to be sold online to make a profit.
You can start a print-on-demand business by signing up for an account on websites such as Amazon Merch, Printify, and Printful. Depending on your design’s success, you can make hundreds of dollars monthly (as a licensing fee).
#10 Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing involves promoting products from other companies in exchange for a commission when the product is sold.
You can start an affiliate marketing business by signing up to become an affiliate on websites such as Clickbank or Amazon Associates. Once you become an affiliate, you can begin promoting products through your website and social media channels.
Remember, to make any revenue from this, you will need an audience to leverage.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an Affiliate Marketing Manager is $63681 per year in the United States. So, yes, there is enough opportunity out there.
#11 Digital Products And Courses:
According to the Global E-learning Market, digital products and courses will reach USD 457.8 billion by 2026. That means you can build a business around it.
People have become comfortable investing in digital education, so we recommend selling relevant digital products, courses, tutorials, etc. You can sell your digital products on Amazon, Skillshare, Udemy, and Coursera or create your own store on Shopify and Gumroad.
#12 Sell Stock Photos:
The demand for stock photos has been rising, making it another popular business option for young adults today. Your job includes taking high-quality photographs for businesses to download and use.
You can start by signing up for an account on websites such as Shutterstock or Getty Images. Once you have uploaded your photos, you can begin promoting them through social media and other channels. For each image sold and downloaded, you will earn royalty.
8 Offline Businesses For Young Adults:
#13 Flea Market Flipping:
Flea market flipping is one of the most common but profitable business options for young adults. Your job includes purchasing items from thrift stores and flea markets and selling them online for a higher price. Once you have found the items, you can list them on websites such as eBay or Etsy.
You can start with as little as $50 to $100 and generate a revenue of $300-500.
#14 Dog Walking:
According to the National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of US households, or 90.5 million families, own a pet. That means so many people need help with their pets, walking them, sitting them, or grooming them.
- Dog walking involves taking care of and walking dogs when their owners are away or unable to do so.
- Pet sitting involves walking, feeding, and taking care of the pets when their owners are away or unable to do so.
- Pet grooming involves providing pet grooming services (like brushing, bathing, trimming, dental hygiene, etc.) to owners in your area.
You can start this business by promoting your services in local areas such as pet stores, veterinary clinics, and the neighborhood. Besides this, you can also promote your services on online platforms like Rover.
Dropshipping is one of the most profitable business ideas today. As a business owner, you will not hold any inventory. The products are shipped directly by the manufacturer to the customer. The retailer, you, will be responsible for marketing and making sales.
Once you have found the right supplier, you can start a dropshipping business by signing up for an account on websites such as Shopify or Amazon. You can earn, on average, $5000+ a month or more.
Tutoring is another great business option for young adults today. It involves providing tutoring services to students in your area, including private sessions or in a group.
You can start a tutoring business by promoting your services in local areas such as schools and libraries. Once you have built a base of clients, you can then begin charging a fee for each tutoring session. Besides that, you can also sign up on platforms like VIPkid and Chegg.
As you already know, babysitting involves providing services to families in your area.
But did you know that there is a growing percentage of working moms? That means they either need daycare or babysitters to take care of their children.
You can quickly start a babysitting business by promoting your services in local areas such as schools, churches, and daycare centers. You can generate revenue from babysitting by charging a fee for each session.
#18 Providing Maintenance Services:
Providing maintenance services is another excellent business option for young adults today. It includes gardening services to homeowners, landscaping, plumbing, furniture assembly, and more.
You can start by promoting your services in local areas, neighborhoods, markets, and churches. Besides this, you can also sign up on TaskRabbit to get experience and build on a portfolio. On average, you can earn $20-22 an hour.
#19 Sell Clothing on Poshmark:
I recently read about Janae Smith, a 19-year-old college student who made $38,700 selling clothes on Poshmark. So, we did some more research and found many similar stories. A mom, Mona Mejia, 44, earned $735,000 last year selling clothes.
And that is why we have listed it as an excellent business for young adults. Your job includes:
- Finding the best deals.
- Uploading them onto Poshmark.
- Marketing your store to sell and generate revenue.
#20 Event Planning:
The event management industry will be valued at over $4.1bn+ in 2022. Hence, event planning is another excellent business option for young adults today. It involves providing event planning services and managing an event from start to end.
You can start an event planning business by promoting your services in local areas, especially your neighborhood, network, and family. Besides that, you should focus on networking with potential clients, running ad campaigns, and asking for referrals.
You can generate revenue from event planning by charging a fee for each service.
Which Business Option Did You Like the Most?
There are several lucrative businesses for young adults looking for the best business opportunities.
Whether you offer maintenance services, event planning, babysitting, pet sitting, building a blog, a YouTube channel, or a freelancing business – there are many options.
Make sure to research your industry (especially competitors) and target market to create a business and marketing plan before starting.
You can succeed in any of these businesses with hard work and dedication. Besides this, remember that you can multiply your income with smart investments and financial planning. Good luck, and be successful!
Have any questions or comments? Feel free to contact me.
Josh is a financial expert with 15+ years on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. Josh graduated from Cornell University with a business degree in Applied Economics and has held numerous U.S. and European securities and brokerage licenses including FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, & 55. In addition to running an investment and trading firm, Josh is the founder and CEO of Top Dollar, where he teaches others how to build 6-figure passive income with smart money strategies that he uses himself.