What Business Can I Start in High School?
From transshipping to printing T-shirts, here are five answers to the question, “What business do you start in high school?”
- SEO Freelancer
- Selling Candy
- T-Shirt Printing
This wasn’t me, but someone I know well. They started a transshipping business via sites like eBay and a few others. The entire premise was quite simple: they knew a great deal about video games and comic books, more so than most sellers of those products on the site.
They’d hoover up great deals on more valuable merchandise, ask the seller to hold on to them, and list them for sale on their own page but for a certain markup.
Very simple, given that you have a great deal of subject expertise in what you’re selling, and it can be quite lucrative for younger people with a lot of time to spend searching for deals and interested buyers.
When I was in high school, I started a business providing search engine optimization services. As an SEO consultant, I found it was a great way to gain experience in the field and make some money. I quickly realized that the knowledge I had gained about SEO, combined with the networking opportunities I had, could open up a lot of doors for me.
I started my business by offering basic services like keyword research and on-page optimization. This allowed me to target a wide range of clients, from small businesses to larger companies. I also took advantage of the connections I had made in the industry to create partnerships with other professionals who had more expertise in the field.
My business boomed, and I found myself increasingly in demand. I could increase my rates as I gained more knowledge and experience. I invested my profits back into the business, allowing me to build an impressive portfolio of clients.
In my senior year, I started a pet-sitting business where I would look after people’s animals while they were away. I started small by offering services like dog walking and handling pet waste owners wanted to avoid dealing with themselves.
Going door-to-door helped spread the word about the service I provided, and within a few months, I had enough consistent customers that other pet sitters noticed me as well. From there, I expanded my offerings by providing overnight stays for pets whose owners were out of town for extended periods or attending events away from home overnight, such as weddings or conferences where their furry friends couldn’t come along.
When I was in high school, I made $80-120 per day (in 1993 dollars, so double those amounts for inflation) selling candy to my classmates. My profit margin was 50%.
I could compete against the vending machines because:
1. I froze my candy bars, and people enjoyed getting partially frozen chocolate bars from me.
2. I had more selection than the vending machines.
3. Students couldn’t access the vending machines while in class.
Each day, I showed up with my arms full of bags of candy I had bought at Costco with my reseller’s permit (which allowed me to get wholesale prices). During class, I would pass the bag around, and it would come back empty of candy but full of money.
Eventually, I got so busy I hired my friends to sell candy for me, so I had employees and they got cut and I got cut, and I could make even more money, all during school hours!
Starting a business in high school can be incredibly rewarding, but it comes with its own unique set of challenges. I know because I did it myself! When I was in high school, I started my T-shirt printing company. It took some hustle to find customers who will purchase my custom shirts and to pitch them why they should trust me over existing brands, but eventually, I pulled it off!
My business taught me many valuable lessons, such as how to manage my time effectively between launching a business and completing all the requirements for graduation.
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