Looking for great teen business ideas? “What is it that people would pay good money for someone else to do?” Successful entrepreneurs think outside the box. At ages 9 and 12, two brothers started a business together — a very creative, smart service. That was close to three years ago, but recently I had the privilege to ask Malachi, the eldest, about their still thriving business!
“I had been looking for ways to earn some money,” Malachi told me. After all his other ideas failed, he brainstormed with his parents. They came up with the service of removing dog waste from people’s yards. “Few people want to pick it up,” he says, “And some are willing to pay good money for it to be gone.”
The brothers live in the middle of the city so they started advertising by going door to door on their block. “That is still our primary advertisement,” Malachi told me. He went on to add that they were also referred by friends and even a stranger. And Doggy Dooty took off!
For tools they started with some old empty buckets and shovels they had on hand so there was almost no cost to setting up their business. “We also try to limit costs by asking friends to save us their plastic grocery bags so we can use the bags to clean up the yards.”
Eventually the business grew enough that it required better tools to do the job more efficiently.
Most jobs take only ten minutes, but they do have some bigger jobs cleaning livestock stalls which can take half an hour.
That is unless you get a client who hasn’t cleaned their yard for a long time.
One person they recently worked for had owned their house for fourteen years and never done a full yard clean up! ”Those jobs can take upwards of an hour, but we generally charge more for a ‘first’ service like that,” Malachi said.
Many teens would wrinkle their noses at dog doodie, but Malachi and Micah did no such thing, in fact they made it their business. So I asked the clincher question…
Me: Do you believe the profit you’ve made has been worth all your time and effort?
Malachi: Definitely, or I wouldn’t still be doing this. We have both made hundreds of dollars along the way. It may not be the most pleasant job, but it is something that people will pay you money to do. I’ve actually come to have fun doing it which may seem a little weird, considering what we do. 🙂
Me: Do you have a word to encourage our readers to greatness?
Malachi: It is crucial that you don’t quit. When all my old entrepreneurial ideas failed, I tried again. My siblings thought it was a crazy scheme, but it paid off. When we were first advertising our business, I can’t even count how many people said ‘no’ before someone finally took us up on our offer.
“Only two people on our whole block were interested after an afternoon of knocking on doors, but we took what we got, stuck with it and slowly our clientele grew. ”
How many of us have ever thought of working with animal waste as a business?! Now THAT is thinking outside the box! Way to go, Malachi and Micah!
Do you have any teen business ideas that might work for other teens? I’d love to hear all about them!