Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood

Micro businesses are an excellent way for teenagers to make money. Their small size makes them easy to manage. They can be started quickly and provide a way for teenagers to earn money while learning a lot. A great place to start a business is in your neighborhood. Your neighborhood could be the physical location around your home or it could be the network of people you and your family know.

Ideas for Neighborhood-Based Businesses

There are dozens of business opportunities offering products and services that can easily be done from your home or at a neighbor’s home:

Babysitting and Child Care: Offer a short time frame of child care, such as two to three hours on a regular basis. One student advertised to neighbors that she was hosting a regular babysitting service every Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in her home. Her customers could plan ahead knowing they had babysitting that evening.

Lawn Care: Mowing grass, shoveling snow, raking leaves and gardening. Offer to put garbage cans out on the curb and then return the empty cans to their proper place for your neighbors.

Photography: Take pictures of parties and special events for neighbors. This frees up the hostess to enjoy herself and get in some of the pictures.

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Pet Care: Walking dogs, cleaning the yard of their messes, and pet sitting for neighbors on vacation.

Car Washing: Arrange a set time each week to arrive at a neighbor’s house and clean their car. Your neighbor will love it!

Tutor: Teach school subjects, such as math and Spanish, or offer lessons in music or art. Consider teaching a small group of children at the same time to maximize your income.

Baking or Cooking: Offer to cook full meals and have them ready for a busy working mom when she arrives home. Homemade cookies, cakes and pies are always popular. Be careful to follow local ordinances on food preparation. Your local county extension or 4-H office will have information on food safety in a business.

Party Planner: Plan a birthday or holiday party for your neighbors’ children.

Interior Decorator: Redecorate a room if you have an interest in interior design. Or offer to decorate a home at Christmas or other holiday times. Elderly neighbors might appreciate your willingness to set up their tree and string lights.

Computer Fix-It: Neighbors would love to have you help them when their computer acts up. Offer phone service for a fee or in-person service for an additional fee.

De-Clutter: Organize your neighbor’s house, playroom or garage.

Garage Sale Assistant: Advertise, organize and run a garage sale for your neighbors. Get several neighbors together and really earn the bucks!

E-bay Assistant: Offer to sell your neighbors’ stuff on eBay and take a cut for yourself. Combine the de-cluttering, garage sale, and eBay tasks into a full package to help your neighbors profit from their excess stuff.

Web Design: A family might want help creating a blog or a website for personal or even business use.

Bookkeeper: If you have had a basic accounting class, you could do the data entry for a small business.

more business ideas:

Here are some tips for running a successful neighborhood micro business:

1.Keep good records.

Record all sources of income and every expense. Total them by categories such as gas, supplies, and books.

Talk to a tax expert if you find yourself making more than $400 in profit in a year. You may need to pay taxes.

2. Do a few jobs for free to get started.

This will build your experience and confidence. Get a good referral from a neighbor and use it in your advertising to other neighbors.

3. Make a business plan

List what you plan to sell, how you will advertise, what you will charge, and what expenses you will incur. Get your parents’ opinion on your idea and ask a business owner for feedback. Listen to their advice and follow it.

4. Be unique.

Many teenagers babysit, but maybe you also wash the dishes or bring a craft for the kids to make. Think of ways that you can offer something special.

5. Charge a competitive rate.

Many times, a teenage micro business owner can undercut the competition by offering a lower rate. My daughter was 14 when she offered piano lessons at $8 an hour – less than half of what adults were charging. She had so many interested customers that she had to turn away students.

6. See your age as an advantage instead of a deterrent.

You have more energy to wash cars, mow grass, and babysit children than many adults. You also have up-to-date skills on computers and technology. Offer your knowledge or energy for a price and you will have a micro business up and running in no time!

Learn all you can about your field and about running a business. There are several books available that provide helpful tips for your micro business!



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