5 Great and Simple Business Ideas for Kids Under 10 to Start Today

5 Great and Simple Business Ideas for Kids Under 10 to Start Today

Starting a business is not something you have to wait until adulthood to do. There are no laws in place limiting when you are allowed to start helping people with your solutions and then charging for it. In my last post on finding the right business idea for your child, I highlighted different strategies for coming up with business ideas that you are excited about and are easy to start. 

 

I’m going to highlight 5 specific businesses today for kids under 10, but please refer back to that article if you are looking to find something else or if your kids are older. I also have an extensive 102 Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs list with all of my favorite kidpreneur and teenpreneur businesses included!

What makes a kid business different from any other business?

A kid business is going to differ from a teen or adult business, simply by the lack of resources available to them IF they are working on their own. If an adult or older sibling is going to help them out, then some of the additional resources may be available too.

 

Some of these limitations include:

  • Access to transportation - Clearly a child under 10 is not driving themselves around and therefore is going to be much more dependent on adults in their lives for things like obtaining supplies. With the rise of online shopping, it is easier than ever to get materials delivered to your home, but businesses such as providing delivery services, or setting up at a location that is outside of walking distance, may still be a challenge.
  • Ability to accept digital payments and sign up to online marketplaces - Most websites that allow you to accept digital payments, such as PayPal or Square, require you to enter in a legal contract which means you to be at least 18 years old to consent. A child could operate using a parent’s account, but you would need a system of keeping the kid's business income separate from the adult’s. Cash businesses are probably going to be the best option for kids under 10!
  • Social Media Use - Social media is one of the most powerful and free marketing tools out there. I recommend responsible social media use in my Simple StartUp courses to kid business owners over 10, but usually with the assistance and supervision of an adult. For kids under 10, I’m not sure I would encourage them to have their own accounts for digital safety reasons. If a parent wants to manage an account on their behalf, I think that is wonderful and a great way to model responsible digital citizenship, but I wouldn’t encourage unsupervised use for a child under 10. 

This means we are going to need business ideas that don’t rely on the items listed above, and ones a child under 10 can, for the most part, operate independently with some light adult supervision in the background. 

5 business ideas for kids under 10 years old

  • Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
    Working with animals is a wonderful experience for any child and a great way for them to earn some extra income. Animals that require basic care such as cats, fish, and guinea pigs are excellent places for young entrepreneurs to start their pet sitting business. Kids can go door to door in their neighborhood offering their services, make fliers to place around the area and in local pet stores, or have an adult post in a local Facebook Group on their behalf. 
  • Raking Leaves and Shoveling Snow
    These business ideas require only a couple of things (rakes or shovels) to get started, and you could even start the business using the tools that the customer provides! Again, canvas your neighborhood to find business. In the case of snow shoveling, are they prepared to get up early and help working adults to clear their paths, and dig out cars before work?
  • Craft Sale
    Does your child like to make crafts? Do they have a hobby like painting, sewing, knitting, or drawing? Create the items and sell them on the side of the road to your neighbors. I’ve seen kids selling painted rocks before and doing really well with it! Put some signs up around the neighborhood letting people know that the event is happening, and see if they can give an invitation to classmates in school. Adults can help out again with event posts on social media, particularly in local groups.
  • Snack Stand
    This could be a stand that sells things like lemonade, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, cookies, smoothies, water, bags of chips (or other prepackaged snacks). We’ve all heard of lemonade stands, but it can be any snack and/or beverage! Coffee and tea may be a concern due to the high temperature of the drink, so please use caution with those.

    In recent times, people are likely to feel more comfortable with pre-packaged snacks than homemade ones, but as long as sanitation steps are taken and visible, people should feel comfortable enough to buy. Like the previous idea, make sure there are plenty of signs around the place letting people know you are there and what you are selling. 
  • Customize Sneakers
    This is a really fun one for your artistic kids at home. If your child loves drawing on their sneakers to customize them and create unique designs, they can offer their services to their classmates in school. I would probably create some sort of parent permission form to make sure they are cool with your kids drawing on their kid’s shoes!

There you have it! 5 business ideas that a kid under 10 could start very easily. The level of adult support in these businesses is totally up to you.  Try to ask lots of probing questions about what they plan to do, and let them try different things out. You might know it won’t turn out well, like setting up a stand at the end of a dead-end road, but let them try and then figure out the lesson themselves. It will be so much more powerful than you telling them and fixing it beforehand. 

Finally, don’t do it for them! It can be so tempting to step in and “help” but if they don’t get to experience the whole process of setting up the business and selling, you’ll often find they will lose interest and not really learn much from the experience. 

 

Read: Kids Are Earning Money in Innovative Ways, Making $26 Billion in 2021

 

 

About the author:

Rob Phelan, CFEI, is a full time high school personal finance teacher living in Frederick, Maryland with his wife and son. He is the founder of The Simple StartUp, where he guides 10 to 18-year-old entrepreneurs through starting their first businesses, and he most recently published a children’s book, M is for Money, that introduces 3-8 year olds to age-appropriate money words and normalizes conversations about money. You can connect with Rob on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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Written by Rob Phelan Published Mar 11, 2022 ● 2 min. read