business idea for teens

Idea 061: The Perfect Business Idea for Teens

Is your teen sitting around with too much time on his hands? Maybe he’s tried to get a summer job but “nobody’s hiring.” Right. But maybe that’s even true. So what’s next? Babysit? Mow lawns? Lemonade stand?


Here’s a fantastic way you or even your teenager can make extra money for very little startup cost or business acumen. All you need is a computer, a few signs, neighbors and some hard work.

We’re talking about something that happens every weekend in suburbs all across America. Something nearly all of us does at some point. And it’s an industry that is unorganized unregulated and unrefined. I’m talking about yard sales.

Yard sales are typically a last-minute, hap hazard “Hail Mary” attempt to milk a few bucks out of your junk before you donate it to a second-hand store. As such, they do not get the attention they need to be successful. But boiled down to their essence, a yard sale is as easy as one, two three:

First, take everything in your home that does not bring you joy and put it out in the yard. At best, your home looks like it just threw up all over your driveway. Second, execute the genius marketing plan found in the Yard Seller’s Handbook: whip out a few 8.5X11 signs nobody can read and illegally staple them to nearby telephone poles. If you have an MBA in yardsaleology, you tape one sign to the side of a box and place a large rock in it. Finally, you pray for the one thing you need next: people.

And after a couple of hours baking in the sun, hoping for cars to pull up, you learn a valuable lesson about yard sales: they are just like the internet. No traffic, no sales.

By 10:00 you pocket your ten bucks and start loading everything up. And before this idea, that’s where our sad story would end. It’s that second step that’s the doozy. Let’s talk about that one.

First, let’s understand our target audience. Yard sellers are a unique breed. They have high hopes and entrepreneurial sprits. And, bless their hearts, they’re not very good at marketing.

That’s where you come in.

All this crazy industry needs is some legitimate advertising. Something clean, easy to read, bright and catchy and a strong, clear call to action. This industry needs a hero. And the solution is not that difficult.

Start by investing in a handful of nice A-Frame signs. The brighter the better- think neon. Next package up your services into a few simple options. Offer to set up and take down X number of signs (depending on the package). These signs drive traffic- giant letters and an arrow. Armed with Google Maps and some logistical thinking, you strategically place the signs on busy street corners, driving lots of great traffic to your happy customers.

With packages ranging from $50 – $100, a kid could make a few hundred bucks every weekend by simply going around and setting up early Saturday morning and taking down around noon. The rest of the details are the easy part.

Keep it small or grow it. Heck, your teen could be hiring his friends in no time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below- has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Would it work? Am I way off base?


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