19 Small business ideas for teens on a budget

Today I’ll bring you realistic small business ideas that you can do on a budget. When I was starting my small business I had no idea what I wanted to do but knew I wanted to be my own boss. It was important for me to develop myself so when I was surfing the web looking for ideas on what to do I found that a lot of the ideas that came up were outdated and/or complexed. Instead of searching of the next shiny object I just wanted something that worked, that was also interesting.

I’m here to save you many painstaking hours and give you the top 20 list of small business ideas that you can do from home, on a budget.

  1. Crystals

For all of my witchy souls out there, selling healing crystals is a great small business because it only requires two things. Purchase pretty crystals such as rose quartz, amethyst, adventuring and so on from reliable suppliers. The second thing is that correctly promoting your crystals on the right platforms is important. For example, crystals are very trendy on Etsy at the moment. My advice is to get started and do your research. Email different suppliers before starting and ask any members of a forum for advice. If you need ideas on what sort of crystals you should check out Pinterest for further ideas on crystals.

2. Custom phone cases

Phone cases are always needed and let’s be honest, cute and affordable ones are hard to come by. The great thing about starting this is you will always be in business as long as you keep up with trends and have unique designs. If you’re a creative person who’s in touch with style this is the business for you. Be sure not to copy other people’s ideas though, you can take inspiration, but don’t copy because how else are people going to identify you from others.

In that market my advice on starting up is finding a plain case supplier; including Samsung cases which are so slept on in the current market. You’ll need a printer and other basic business necessities such as bubble padded envelopes, a thermal printer etc. Start-up costs do vary so keep that in mind but from what I found the most common prices for starting a phone case business are around £50, assuming that you do have a printer however if you don’t have the current money to invest into a printer I recommend sites such as free prints for your first few phone case designs this will give you the prints for your first few phone cases and allow you to make some profit before you can begin investing into a proper printer permanently at home the

3. Organic snacks and Loose tea

Personally I’m an addict to herbal teas and some of the best few I have ever tasted have come from independent sellers. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t require much time or skill but rather a taste for good food and better tea. This can be branded in such a cute way for younger tea drinkers while also appealing to the slightly older audiences. There is an ever-growing market in the tea business meaning there is a spot for you. The combination of gourmet snacks like the mini cakes and loose leaf tea is sure to be a huge success. My tip would be to test your tea flavours on people around you before making them official.

4. Stationery

Stationery is one my favourite things to buy as a business. It’s super diverse because there is infinite styles to incorporate on a range of items. The joy of this is its effectiveness as people always need stationery. When it comes to that back to school shop all of the products and shops tend to be ugly so providing cute alternatives is a must. Furthermore, all of your product designs can be outsourced to keep costs low and profits high. My tip is to be diverse in what you want to offer and research a range of products rather than singular items.

5. Hair scrunchies

It’s very cost effective and can be very successful. If it’s done right, handmade scrunchies require more skill than a few of the ideas on this list but if you can stitch and sew, this may be the ideal business for you.

6.  Candles

One for the smelt loves; this business can also be sustainable as soy candles are in and will be for a long time to help our planet. They are so niche that you have the ability to make candles in all different shapes and sizes, dependent on the moulds you invest in. My advice for starting a candle business is remember to believe in your products and don’t be stingy with the scent concentration. Remember if you are in the UK, you need CLP compliant labels in order to sell your products.

7. Fake lashes

There are quite a few businesses around this niche but there is still a huge gap left for you. My advice to be successful in this market is have a real passion for makeup and focus on branding as well as staying hygienic. If covid has taught us anything, it’s that small hygiene touches go a long way. Maybe include a small 10ml bottle of hand sanitizer with each kit?

8. Lip gloss

A related idea to the one above is providing lip gloss products. Girls and boys always want to look like their ‘poppin’ and the best way to do this is by accentuating your features like your lips. Lip gloss is permanent and regardless if some people grow out of it, lip gloss will always be there for people getting into it. You could also combine lashes and lip gloss to extend your brand products and increase the number and quality of products that you sell.

9. Custom shoes

One for the shoe lovers out there or ‘sneaker heads’. Custom shoes, especially Nikes, are trending right now so why not get in on the market that is being actively accessed by celebrities?

Now this does require a slight artistic talent and a slightly larger set but it could be a great hobby and side hustle if you decide to invest.

10. Jewellery

A cutesy business idea is jewellery. It also gives you, the owner, the opportunity to look good while promoting your own brand. Dependent on your own budget you could start off with clay pieces on a lower budget or silver and gold plate items if you have more to spend. both variants are gorgeous and have great potential. if this appeals to you be sure to research dependent on your budget and your style.

11. Acrylic nails

An item that I can’t personally live without, acrylic nails. Most of us don’t have access to our salons right now, but that shouldn’t mean that we can’t look good. if you have a talent for designing nails this may be for you. You can purchase quality plane acrylics and style them in a bougie way so you can cash in.

12. Sweets

There is truly nothing better than food so why not start a sweet business?  it’s cheap, tasty and makes a great gift idea. Nothing more to be said here; you can buy 10kg bags of sweets from wholesalers up and down the country. Simply split them up, package them nicely and apply a tidy profit for yours truly.

13. stickers

Stickers are so cute and necessary for decorations. They’re used in various everyday settings including planning so why not make money out of something super cute? It may seem that starting a sticker business is expensive, given the cost of a sticker printer, card machine etc. However I have good news, you can outsource your sticker designs for much cheaper than making them at home and if you buy in bulk the price will only go down. This means that you can keep costs low and increase your profits.

14. Soap

A super relevant business to start now is a soap company. Believe it or not soap can be much prettier and good for your skin compared to a dove bar. So if skin care is important to you this may be a good idea for you to invest in.

15. Cakes

Another business for foodies is a cake business. If you have a knack for making tasty cake that looks good then why not make some money out of it. I recommend starting by selling to friends and family to establish your skill set and pictures for future clients to see.

16. Logo’s

On to my next idea logo making if you have the skill set to make digital content then why not invest into logo making. If you want to start a business but don’t want to have the hassle of having to ship products or be involved in that whole process then create digital content that you can sell online. This could be logos, YouTube banners, icons, intros and outros. As such, prints and illustrations are great because it can be a digital business meaning costs are only the software. This form of business has great opportunity and has a huge upcoming market for people who want to style their homes or screensavers with custom pieces. So if you’re good at drawing why not give it a go and start earning today.

17. Clothing

Thrifted clothing is another good idea, it brings style and sustainability together. If you have an eye for fashion thrifting and restyling clothes, this could be a great little earner.

18. Resin crafts

Resin can be used for a range of things such as key chains jewellery dishes, coasters and more. If you’re very creative and enjoy a piece of creating beautiful items you should consider opening your own online resin store, easily done through Shopify.

19. Badges

My final idea is badges and pins. For the creative folk I suggest making your own clay pins from scratch. However if like me you admire cute things but don’t have the energy or skill to make them then you can outsource and purchase these from suppliers. They are in demand as collectibles and always have a broad audience so if you want to make and sell cute items, I suggest this business idea for you.

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