How to make money as a kid

How To Make Money As A Kid: 7 Kid-Friendly Business Ideas

Being a kid does not mean you cannot make money. While it is true that many traditional markets for sellers have age limits, there are multiple ways to reveal your true business-like spirit.

Get inspired by young entrepreneurial minds around the world who managed to build their own businesses at a young age. See what you can not only read but re-make.

Here are 21 business ideas that will help you bring a beacon home no matter whether you are 7, 11, or 15 and older.

1. Lemonade Stand and Beyond

Mikaila Ulmer, the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade selling lemonade

Know the super-duper recipe for a fresh drink? Either people really like lemonade, or they like independence and wit in kids selling it. Otherwise, why would Mikaila Ulmer, the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade, who received $60 000 on SharkTank to grow her brand, be successful?

Why a lemonade business?

Selling a lemonade drink is a low-cost and low-effort commitment, which still has a feasible profit margin. 

Where to sell lemonade?

Set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood, strike a bargain with your local stores, or sell online creating your own website. You may need a bit of help from your folks, or siblings to put your lemonade idea into practice. 

How much money can you make?

Charging just a dollar or two for a cup of cool lemonade on a sultry day will help you gain anywhere between $1000 a month to $3000 USD if you sell 1000 cups a month. Of course, there are also lemonade expenses which  depend on the ingredients you put into, but the general formula is:

cost per cup of lemonade = total cost of supplies ÷ number of cups

To make a profit, you need to exceed the spendings.

Pro tip: Make a lemonade brand unique donating part of your profits to a charity or foundation. After all, it is a big heart behind the big brand that makes it stand out. 

Who to look up to?

Mikaila Ulmer, now aged 14, has recently launched her Facebook page. Michaela is a typical social entrepreneur and bee advocate, whose Me & the Bees Lemonade business operates under a motto: Buy a Bottle, Save a Bee.

2. Homemade Hair Care

Long and slick hair after homemade hair mask

If you are like Leanna Archer, have a year-old family beauty recipe, turning it into a lucrative hair care business may be a good idea to follow. Even with hundreds of new products flooding the beauty and personal hygiene market, organic products has never lost its appeal. 

Why a hair care business?

Turning a simple but original and effective skin and hair care recipe into a booming beauty business in several years while surely is not as easy as sounds, is still a real-life business idea realized by Leana Archer, the founder of Leanna’s Essentials.

Where to sell?

Door-to-door in your neighborhood, through so-called product affiliates, or through a website. Affiliates are people who would present your goods to their friends and family members. Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to grow a brand in the age of cautious consumers who mistrust open commercials, and readily embrace friend’s recommendations. 

How much money can you make?

Depending on the mask or any other care product ingredients, supplies may cost you anywhere between $0.50-10.00 per ounce. Yet the profit margins are extensive as your customer count grows.

Pro Tip: Beauty business loves samples. Offer the first 10 (or more), buyers, free samples of your product. If they really like it, you will expand quickly. Lucky consumers are eager to share where they get “best shampoo ever”, or other goods.

Who to look up to?

Leana Archer, one of the most successful teenpreneurs in the beauty industry who has built a six-figure business selling original hair pomade to her neighbors and friends at the start. Aged just 13, Leanna Archer was already making $180,000 a year from selling her homemade beauty and skin products online.

3. Handmade Jewelry

Kids wearing handmade friendship bracelets

If you are an artsy type, who likes DIY and crafts, have a fine taste, and are serious enough about turning your life around no matter your age, a handmade jewelry business may be for you. 

Why sell handmade jewelry?

Sometimes all you need to create a unique piece of jewelry is a pair of old jeans and a handful of beads. There are hundreds of possible designs and kinds of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces you could make. For many people, handmade jewelry is self-expression worth spending money for.

Where to sell?

There are multiple websites that allow you to set up an online store and legally sell handmade goods. Among the popular marketplaces is Etsy. You, your friends, siblings, or folks surely bought something handmade from them at least once.

With a good reputation, low commission rates, and millions of potential customers, Etsy is a place to be for young and crafty entrepreneurs. However, to set up a store, you will need to have one of your parents as a store manager, who would control the transactions, add products to your store, and run the store on a daily basis before you reach a legal age of 18.

Other platforms to sell online include eBay, Amazon Handmade, and Craiglist. Friends and local fairs are among the ways to sell your jewelry offline.

How much money can you make?

It depends on how you price your crafts and what suppliers and packaging cost you. However, on average Etsy shop owners brought in over $500 (after Etsy’s fees), and close to $300 in monthly profits. But these are just stats.

To make sure you are always in profit there’s a simple equation.

Base price = (cost of materials + packaging) x 4 + your pro-rated hourly labor rate + 10% of that total for overhead costs.

More on setting the price for a handmade product is here.

Pro tip: Handmade business is big enough to find what you are really good at. If colored bangles and chockers does not speak to you, perhaps natural beauty products, or pottery crafts would?

Who to look up to?

Zandra Cunningham, successful Zandra Beauty kidpreneur, who started her homemade lip balm line when her dad refused to buy her the one in the store.

Or Donovan Smith, the owner of Toil and Trouble Bath, whose homemade soap is in high demand. He first sold his goods to local farmer’s markets, before setting up a store with Etsy.

More on 5 Etsy shops run by kids

4. YouTube Channel

Ryan's world, popular kid channel  on YouTube

If you are quite social and don’t mind speaking on camera, then YouTube could be your best bet. Having some filming and editing skills yourself or anyone from your family would help you produce high-quality videos to quickly grow your subscribers count.

Apparently among the YouTube creators earning 6-figure paychecks not just good-looking adults, but kids. And they are “killing it” according to Forbes.

Just make sure your parents or guardians are ready to manage your channel.

Why a YouTube channel?

Filming is fun. Creating a YouTube channel won’t cost you a cent. Uploading videos is free. Maintaining a channel teaches you discipline and consistency; developing a video idea into a full scenario feeds your creativity. 

Last but not list, with at least 1k subscribers and 4k hours of watch time over the past 12 months, a creator could run ads on a video and so make some pocket change through channel monetization. 

Where to sell?

YouTube, of course, you say. Think of cross-channel promotion. In a nutshell, you could ask folks, antie, a sister, or a brother to post the links to your videos on Instagram.

If you love gaming, and already have a Twitch account in your name, uploading Twitch broadcasts to YouTube is one of the ways to connect your channels. Then, there is also TikTok. Why not upload short clips from your video to TikTok? 

How much money can you make? 

An estimated yearly income for A-list YouTubers ranges from $100k up to a whopping $20+ million dollars. More than just a pocket change, right? But there’s quite a bit of effort before you get the desired paycheck. As for the cost, all you need is a good camera (the one of your iPhone is okay to start with).

Pro tip: Whether it’s toy reviews, gaming, or kid shows pick your niche. Don’t try to jumble all in.

A person who loves to play Minecraft is unlikely to subscribe to “playing with toys” kind of videos, and vice versa.

Who to look up to?

Anastasiya Radzinskaya, a cute Russian-born 6-year-old who earned $18 million in 2019. Fair enough to appear on the Forbes list of highest-paid YouTube stars of 2019. Reportedly, brands like Dannon and Legoland are signing up six-figure checks for partnerships.

Together with parents, she runs multiple Like Nastya channels, vlogging her playing with Dad. Then again, there is  8-year-old Ryan Kaji with his science experiments, music videos, skits, challenges, DIY on Ryan’s World channel, who beats decades-older YouTubers like Jeffree Star and PewDiePie. Ryan has nearly 25 million channel subscribers and consistently scores high on YouTube income scale. His 2019 revenue accounts for $26 million dollars

5. Lollipop Business

Healthy lollipop business owner, Alina Morse

Think no candy is good for kid’s health?  Vegan sugar-free Zollipops prove you are wrong. Apparently lemonade is not the only thing that kids and their parents like.

Since it’s headstart in 2014, when the first Zollipops hit the shelves, they’ve become America’s #1 lollypops that actually are good for your teeth. In 2019 Zolly Candy was named one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc.

Why a candy business?

Candy does not discriminate between old and young. Especially if it is teeth-friendly. Low-sugar, or sugar-free, and vegan candies would always find its loyal consumers.

Note: To get your candy idea up and running you may need a bit of parental support. 

Where to sell?

Selling a new flavor of candy to neighbors would never help your brand grow nationwide. Unless you test various ways and places to sell. How about serving at local events, or offering online delivery orders through a website?

How much money can you make?

Though expenditures of such big companies as Zolly Candy are rarely disclosed, unique lollipops seem to be a lucrative business. Then again, traditional candies have their places on supermarkets shelves.

Taking organic ingredients at its core, and homemade production, it won’t take more than $5 per pack while you may charge twice the cost, leaving you a 100% net profit

Pro Tip: Offering the cheapest candies not always drives sales. Focus on various flavors and tastes and healthy components more than on how much you could profit, or how fast you could sell.

Who to look up to?

Alina Morse, better known as “Lollipop Girl” and her dad, who have together realized every next-door kid’s dream of a delicious lollipop that isn’t terrible for teeth. Alina is now a 13-year-old CEO whose sweet candy empire is worth an estimated $6 million.

6. Signature Bow Tie

Handmade bow ties sold online

Who wouldn’t want one-of-a-kind bow tie? One of the most likable Shark Tank entrepreneurs, Moziah Bridges was just 9 when he started his Mo’s Bows business.

Coupling his Mom’s sewing skills and Granny’s vintage fabrics from the closet, Mo, now aged 18, operates a huge international bow ties business. “

I’m living proof that you can be anything you want – at any age.

Moziah Bridges, CEO of Mo’s Bows

Why bow ties business?

The demand for self-expression is part of human nature. With mainstream fashion, it is easy to lose your identity unless a unique piece of clothing or jewelry is worn. Getting started with the bow ties is easy, and proves to be cost-effective bringing in substantial profits into the family’s budget. 

Where to sell?

As with all handmade goods, arts and crafts, online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon Handmade are the places to be as people extensively prefer to shop online. Going forward with some money set aside and parent’s help, setting up your own website and social media accounts is the next step to take your kid hustle to the next level.

How much money can you make?

As with any commerce, your incomes, or net profit, are in direct proportion with your expenditures on supplies. The more you spend on fabric and ribbons the more you charge.

A typical price for a handmade bow tie is between $20 and $50, while supplies may cost less than $1. Clearly, selling well-tailored bow ties that suit dandy’s artistic taste is a lucrative business today. 

Pro tip: Sometimes there’s no need to buy any piece of fabric; you may find it all within your family’s closet. Make sure you know what type of fabric you really need before spending a cent in the local market. Also, consider hiring seamstresses as the number of orders grows.

Who to look up to?

Mo, the founder of Mo’s Bows, who sells his ties all across 50 states and beyond. In a little more than 7 years, he went from $100 USD a month to a fully-functional business selling more than $200 000 bow ties. Despite being profitable right from the start, his baby business got a kick after Mo appeared in Shark Tank.

But even before he was invited to America’s number one entrepreneurial TV series, he’d already sold 2,000 bow ties he made by hand with his grandmother, bringing in $55,000 in revenue.

7. Culinary Empire

Kid chef practicing cooking skills

If cooking is one of your fortes, why not build a culinary career? No, this time it goes far beyond your kitchen and pots. You may teach millions of viewers how to cook delicious meals online with YouTube, thus combining your cooking and teaching skills.

Or you may set up a blog, develop your own recipes, and win TV show appearances like Lizzie Marie, next-generation Rachel Ray, does. A genuine passion for cooking is a must.

Why the cooking business?

Despite multiple eateries just around the corner and busy schedules, people cook. For many of them, fresh and crispy home cookies, easy pumpkin soups, and flavourful summer salads are not just food but delicious art. If you happen to know kitchen secrets better than school math, why not turn it into a new money-making machine?

Where to sell?

You may not only sell homemade food in the farmers markets and farm stands but the recipes on Etsy. Further developing your culinary expertise, you can vlog your cooking process on YouTube, write and sell a cookbook, or a course. 

How much money can you make?

Serving actual meals to customers can be less cost-effective than selling a recipe. It involves expenses on fresh veggies and other ingredients you put into the meal.

Providing door-to-door meal delivery you need to cover transportation costs. Selling a recipe to a food blog, or monetizing your own, on the other hand, could bring you anywhere between $500 to several thousand each month. You could also become a food blogger and sell your services on Fiverr, or land gigs through Facebook Groups.

Pro tip: Quite recently, Facebook is offering its marketplace services. Among the most popular orders is homemade food. Why don’t you try to allow customers to pre-order through Facebook?

Who to look up to?

Lizzie Marie Likness, the founder of Lizzie Marie Cuisine, was 6 when she first sold homemade baked goods at a local farmer’s market to afford horseback riding lessons. Since then, she has grown up and turned into a beautiful lady who has appeared on the WebMD Fit Channel’s series, ”Healthy Cooking with Lizzie”.

Lizzie Marie Cuisine is unique because I teach kids how to have fun cooking healthy meals and how to live healthily. We teach people that it’s not all about eating healthy, it’s also about living healthy.”

Lizzie Marie, well-known food blogger and the founder of Lizzie Marie Cuisine

So, why not take an example from her?

A Quick Recap

There are hundreds of other business ideas that kids around the globe are bringing to life.

There would be more ideas for future kidpreneurs and teenpreneurs that Level&Tap authors publish. Yet whatever commerce you are considering now, it all boils down to 3 pillars of any successful business:

  1. Resources you have: initial budget or savings, skills, and equipment. Sit down future entrepreneurs, and put pen to paper. Do the math, how much is the limit you could spend on supplies or filming equipment. 
  2. Your partners and mentors: parents, elder brothers, and sisters, or friends and neighbors. As you noticed being a kid does not mean you cannot start a business. But being a kid you would need mentors and partners to deal with the legal side of your initiative.  
  3. Unique selling point (USP): why would anyone want to buy lemonade or a cookbook from you? Or watch your kid shows and subscribe to your channel? Is this your generous donation to a local charity, engaging way of serving clients, or unique design of a bow tie? 

What is the business you plan to start off this year?

Do you want to kick off your homemade hair mask, or a cooking vlog? Let us know in the comments below:)

Adam Lopez
The CEO of FeedPixel, Adam is a digital marketer with over a decade of experience in content management, influencer marketing, and SEO. When he is not mapping out the next campaign or assessing the company's goals, Adam is guest blogging about digital marketing, making money online, and entrepreneurship.