Use skills and ambition to start your own business this summer.
Teens and college students are hearing that seasonal employment opportunities are hard to find. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in February reported that the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3 percent in January 2012, the teenage unemployment rate was reported at 23.8 percent.
Young people may find themselves discouraged and wondering if they should even spend time and energy looking for summer work. Does the Summer of 2012 hold little possibility of earning money? Not if you’re resourceful.
Get rid of the excuses. Consider these creative and entrepreneurial approaches to summer work:
1. TUTOR Studies have shown that children lose knowledge over the summer, requiring teachers to review the work in the fall. If a child is strong in a subject, he or she could market tutoring services around the neighborhood and to family friends.
2. TEACH MUSIC LESSONS: Is your child a rising rock star? A piano prodigy? Offer music lessons.
3. CREATE CUSTOM ARTWORK OR TEACH ART CLASSES: Maybe your budding Picasso is great with oils or watercolors and has a gift for portraits or still life scenes. Whip up a flyer and offer to paint the neighbor’s children or pets, house or subject of their choice. Consider selling teen artwork at the neighborhood community center, coffee shop, restaurant or local church hall.
4. PET LOVERS: Offer pet sitting, dog walking or even waste clean up.
5. WASH CARS: Everyone likes a clean car. Offer to come to a neighbor’s house to clean his or her vehicle(s). Include pricing for detailing services as well.
6. YARD AND LANDSCAPING SERVICES: Clean up flowerbeds and replace mulch. Trim bushes. Sweep patios. Clean pools. Plant Flowers
7. LANGUAGE LESSONS: There are plenty of adults who would like to learn a second language or brush up on their skills. If you are fluent in a language, offer to tutor someone.
8. SPORTS COACH: Encourage your athletic young adult to offer sports skills sessions. Keep classes small (four to five kids) and offer several classes during the day, early evening or on Saturday morning. Hold one or more classes per week for four consecutive weeks or over four consecutive days. Caveat: Speak to a lawyer about liabilities. Any activity like this includes the risk of injury. Parents should ensure that they and their child will not be responsible should an injury occur to a child participating in the classes.
9. WASH WINDOWS: This is a busy task homeowners rarely have the time or desire to do. Consider only one-story homes or windows on first floor only. Leave the two-story windows to the pros.
10. BAKE: Think lemonade stand concept. Whip up some muffins, banana breads or coffee cake and add some fresh fruit. Set up your stand early each weekday morning in your neighborhood and sell your baked items to folks headed to work or summer school. Or take orders for business meetings. Be sure to secure appropriate health permits.
11. PHOTOGRAPHY: Take pictures at summer parties, birthdays, weddings and special events. Offer digital and print options.
12. DANCE, CHEERLEADING CLASSES: Use your skills to offer dance classes. Create a routine that your friends can perform for the neighborhood. Sell tickets to the performance, too. (Take note of the caveat in #8.)
13. FACEBOOK/TWITTER SUPPORT: Help other students or local businesses create and promote Facebook pages and Tweets.
14. PERSONAL ASSISTANT/SHOPPER: Offer to run errands (dry cleaning, post office, etc) or go grocery shopping.
15. BABYSITTING: The old standby when all else fails!
Hopefully these suggestions will serve as thought-starters to propel young people to realize that they can get motivated and earn some cash. If a parent or adult sponsor fronts “seed money” to set their youngster up in a summer business, make it clear that he or she will need to repay those start-up costs from their earnings.
Now go on out and let people know what you can do for them!
Business Ideas for Teenagers
Here are some basics for creating a teen business:
• Look for demand—Read community newspapers, search community websites and mom blogs and talk to other parents in the neighborhood.
• Brainstorm on skills you can offer—Discuss ideas with your parents and focus on one or two possibilities.
• Research the competition—Understand what the market wants and is willing to pay for.
• Promote your service—Produce flyers and canvass neighborhoods with them. Post on mailboxes, bulletin boards at stores, community centers, etc. Follow neighborhood regulations and city ordinances.