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12 Summer Business Ideas for Ambitious Young Entrepreneurs

by Alexa Albanese
money & life

12 Summer Business Ideas for Ambitious Young Entrepreneurs

Summer is a great time for young entrepreneurs to start getting their feet wet.

The weather is beautiful, people are busy and services are needed. There are a ton of unique (and seasonal) business opportunities for young entrepreneurs who have the summers off and want to start making money in their free time.

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Check out this list of twelve top business ideas for young entrepreneurs to start building a foundation of how to make money this summer.

1. Lawn & Garden Care

Everybody loves to have a beautifully manicured lawn and well taken care of garden, but it takes a lot more work in the summer months than the rest of the year and not everyone has the extra time. Simply mowing lawns can keep you pretty busy over the summer, but you can further your business by offering weed pulling, bulb planting and hedge sheering.

Print flyers, tell your friends and family and gather tools to start the business. To avoid buying supplies like a lawn mower, ask a family member or friend to borrow theirs for the season in exchange for free lawn care. You can read more here about how to start a lawn care business.

2. Car Wash & Detailing

Cars take a beating in the summer, with all the camping and beach trips and time in the sun. Offer a car wash and detailing session for a flat fee. Make a small investment and buy all the supplies you’ll need, including car soap, wax, dash polisher, upholstery cleaner, window spray and a small hand held vacuum. Watch a few tutorials on YouTube to really blow your customers away.

To start the business, visit some local small business offices and offer your services. You can take care of their car while they’re working and they’ll come out to a sparkling new ride. You might also be able to score a whole office worth of car washes – cha ching!

3. Child Care

Kids are out of school for the summer and if they’re not going to camp, they’re likely driving their parents crazy. Offer to watch a family’s children for one day a week while the parents are at work. If you can drive, take the kids to activities they wouldn’t get to do otherwise, like to a waterpark or on a cool local hike.

You can charge per day per child, depending on ages, and if you can find five families of children to watch once per week, you’ll have a full time job. Get CPR certified before the summer and you’ll be able to charge more.

4. Cold Food & Beverage Sale

Summer Business Idea Lemonade Stand

It’s hot in the summer, and a lemonade stand is the epitome of a summer business.

You can take it one step further by offering other beverages (cold smoothies, perhaps?), ice cream, cold bottles of water and even snow cones. You can set up at local events where there’s heavy foot traffic or in your local business district, where business men and women will be out and about all day in heavy suits and dresses. Offer them a cold refreshment.

While you probably won’t be raking in millions, you should be making enough for spending money or to supplement another business idea listed here.

5. House Sitter & Pet Sitter

Summer is the time of vacation and people are often faced with the question, “But what do we do with the dog?” Offer a house and/ or pet sitting service, where you live in their house and take care of their pets while they’re gone for a small fee. People often prefer to have someone they know taking care of their pet rather than putting them in a kennel.

Be respectful and do some light housekeeping while the homeowners are away to really do a great job. Collect references when you’re finished and show them to your next potential clients.

6. Face Painting

Outdoor parties are always happening in the summer and wherever there’s a party, there’s bound to be little kids. Offer a face painting service to keep the kids occupied for a while and to show off your handiwork. If you’re artistically inclined, you can get really detailed with the designs, or if not you can keep them simple. Draw out a few designs beforehand and have the kids pick from there.

Invest in some good face paint (not the tempera body paint) and brushes, some gemstones and glitter. Ask your friends and family when the next big gathering is and if you can set up a stand. Bonus: party food and punch.

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7. Pool Maintenance

Nobody likes a dirty swimming pool and they can get mucked up surprisingly fast in the summer, with rustling leaves and thunderstorms. Offer a pool cleaning service and swing by once a week to sweep the bottoms, clean the filters and check the chlorine.

Most pool owners will already have the supplies, so there’s not much of an investment required other than your time. Seek out the swimming pools in your neighborhood and knock on the door or slip a flyer under their door. Most people will be happy to have the task taken off their hands and to be supporting a young entrepreneur in the mean time.

8. Teaching Music Lessons

For this one, you’ll obviously need to be able to play an instrument. But even if you’re not that good at it, you can still teach little kids just starting out. Music lessons also double as time for parents to run errands, so they’ll be happy to pay a small fee to keep their child occupied for a few hours.

You can offer the lessons at your own house, in the back yard or you can go to the student’s house. Sketch out a rough curriculum to cover over the course of a summer and give the parents a supply list, including music books and any other instrument accessories and you should be good to go. Have a small recital at the end of the summer so the students can show their friends and family what they’ve learned.

9. Flower Delivery

Fresh flowers are a beautiful addition to any space but people often forget about them in their busy lives. Offer small local businesses a service, where you come in once a week with fresh flowers for a small fee on top of the flower cost. Spend some time clipping and arranging to make some gorgeous arrangements.

To start, take an inventory of businesses that might be interested and visit a second hand store to purchase a few nice vases for each office. Then fill them with flowers from your local grocery store (it’ll be more affordable than going through a florist) each week and take care of last week’s flowers. Tres belle!

10. Yard Sale Organizer

Summer Business Idea Yard Sale

Yard sales pop up all over the place during the summer, but often people have so much stuff to organize they don’t know where to start.

Offer to do it for them. Organize the old junk, price it out and turn the yard sale into a well-oiled machine.

Create signs and hang them all over town to attract buyers. You can also offer to supervise the sales of the yard sale and promise to keep the sale going until everything is gone, so long as the homeowners are trusting.

11. Home Rentals

People love to travel during the summer and tourists are often looking for a more local experience than just staying in hotels. If you live in a town that tourists frequent, you can offer up houses for them to stay in. Check in with your neighbors, family and friends and see if they’re interested in earning some extra money by renting out their homes for the summer. This can be while they’re on vacation or if they have another property, like a summer home.

Offer a service that takes pictures of the home and sets up accounts on various vacation rental websites like Booking.com and AirBnb and take a small commission from the fees.

12. Swimming Lessons

Summer is really the only time for little kids to learn how to swim, and while it’s a fun experience for the parents, not everyone has time. If you have a pool, you can offer to teach children how to swim in your pool and if you don’t, you can offer to meet them at the community pool or at a nearby lake.

To start the business, take a lifeguarding and CPR course and make sure you have all the swimming supplies relevant to the age of child you’re teaching, like arm floaties and noodles.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean starting out at the top, you’ve got to work your way there and sometimes that means doing the (literal) dirty work. If you need more inspiration, check out this list of over one hundred profitable business ideas.

Try your hand at a service here, or a few of them, and learn how to manage your time, nourish client relationships, create revenue and deliver good work. You’ll be on your way to owning your own business in no time.

Join us for How to Make Money with Ramit Sethi and accelerate your learning.

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Alexa Albanese

Alexa is a slow traveling New Yorker who loves to write, drinks a lot of coffee, and probably swears too much. Hustling hard in pursuit of location independence, entrepreneurial bad assery, and endless epic sunsets. Follow her mischief at She Tells Travel Tales or on Instagram.