70 Business Ideas for Young Adults: Avoid the Get-Rich-Quick Schemes and Turn a Profit

Good business ideas for young adults may seem difficult to come by, with many businesses being expensive to start or highly time-consuming. To help, here are more than 70 business ideas perfect for the busy schedules of young adults. 

These ideas have been selected based on their viability and chances of success to help you avoid the many pitfalls new business owners face.

Table of Contents

The Ultimate List of Business Ideas For Young Adults To Get You Started

These small business ideas for young adults have been selected based on the probability of success and ease of getting started.

Some may require more skill than others, and some ideas may have more potential for profit. However, given enough time and consistency, every business idea on this list is viable given enough hard work and persistence.

1. Niche and Authority Websites

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Niche websites cover sub-segments of a market, such as golf club reviews. Authority websites attempt to establish themselves as experts on a topic.

Check out our guide on how to build a niche website for more information.

You can monetize these websites in various ways, such as ad displays, affiliate links, creating courses, and selling products.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $80,000 (top site owners can make high six and seven figures)

Want to get started building authority sites?

Check out the Authority Site System


2. Blogging

While the heyday of personal blogs has faded, many bloggers still make good money talking about specialized topics. 

One of the best things about blogging is the low barrier to entry, with only a computer and internet connection required to get started.

We have a complete guide about how to start a blog.

It can take months to years of consistency to get any traction, so make sure you have realistic expectations going in.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $40,000 (top blogger can earn high six and seven figures)

Already have a blog?

Learn How To Earn More Blogging


3. Affiliate Marketing

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Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where affiliates get paid for referring traffic to a business. You will usually be paid for each sale via the cost per metric model.

You can become an affiliate marketer in multiple ways, such as:

  • Blogging
  • YouTube
  • Authority/Niche Sites
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

Average Salary: $42,000 – $83,000 (top affiliate marketers can earn high six and seven figures)

Want to get started in affiliate marketing?

Check out The Affiliate Lab


4. Grant Writing

Grant writers help organizations obtain funding by researching, creating, and submitting proposals. When it comes to business ideas for young adults, it can be a good option.

It’s essential to understand the process of submitting for grants. You will need to learn proper formatting, when to submit, who to submit to, and what information is required.

Average Salary: $51,000 – $81,000

Interested in learning more about grant writing?

Take a Grant Writing Course


5. Content Writing

Content writers create long-form content to help readers better understand a topic. This article is an example of content writing.

You can work for SEO agencies, blogs, niche and authority website owners, or create your own content-fueled websites.

Find out more about how to earn extra money as a website content writer.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $75,000 (topic experts in medical, legal, or financial writing can earn more than average)


6. Copywriting

Copywriters focus on creating sales pages, advertisements, and other sales-focused copy to persuade people to take action.

Generally speaking, copywriters can earn more than content writers due to the sales-focused nature of the business.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $70,000 (top copywriters can earn mid- to high-six figures)


7. Photography

Photographers can range from wedding photography to food photography and are in demand worldwide. One thing to note is that it can be quite an expensive upfront investment.

While it can take time to develop the skills needed to be a photographer, the benefits can be rewarding. You are free to set your hours and increase your rate as you advance.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $80,000 (specialty photographers and those with a reputation can command a much higher salary)


8. Handmade Jewelry

Creating handmade jewelry can be an excellent way to make money through Etsy or by creating an eCommerce website.

Top jewelry makers can even get into big-box retailers and jewelry stores, significantly increasing their earning potential.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $65,000 (recognized jewelry makers can command high-six and seven figures)

Check Out Etsy


9. Podcaster

While the podcasting market has certainly become saturated over the past decade, new podcasters can still make a stable living for themselves.

The key is to be consistent, persistent, and patient. Your earnings potential will depend significantly on the topic of your podcast and how large your audience is, so choose wisely.

Average Salary: $55,000 – $80,000


10. Tutoring

A woman tutoring another younger woman, one of many business ideas for young adults.

Tutoring is easier than ever before with the proliferation of tutoring websites connecting potential pupils with tutors. You can easily connect with students around the world through Zoom.

If you want to take your earnings to the next level, begin finding your own students and cutting out the middleman. 

Average Salary: $20,000 – $50,000 (you can make more with your own clients and by hiring other tutors to scale your business up)


11. Babysitting

It may not seem like a real money maker, but babysitting in the U.S. alone is a $54 billion industry. 

There are apps such as Urbansitter that can help you connect with families who need help. However, creating a reputable babysitting agency and bringing in clients is the real moneymaker.

Average Salary: $22,000 – $50,000 (agency owners can pull in six and even seven figures yearly)


12. Social Media Influencer

You can get into the influencer game if you have something interesting to say and the patience and persistence to gather a large following on social media platforms like Instagram.

We have a comprehensive guide on how to become an influencer.

Social media influencers typically make their money promoting products to their following. Many also make money through funding sources like Patreon.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $50,000 (top influencers can make high-six and mid-seven figures or more)


13. Pet Sitting

As with babysitting, people are willing to pay a lot of money to care for their furry friends. There are apps such as Rover that connect you with people needing a pet sitter.

However, as with babysitting, the real money is creating an agency or attracting multiple steady clients outside of an app.

Average Salary: $17,000 – $35,000 (even more can be made in larger metro areas with steady clients or as an agency owner)


14. Pet Grooming

The pet grooming industry pulls in over $10 billion annually in the U.S. and is expected to increase every year as pet ownership grows.

You can get started with just a few clients and scale your business up with persistence and a good reputation.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $35,000 (you can make more as a grooming business owner with enough client volume)


15. Dog Walking

Another area of the pet industry that has experienced significant growth over the past few years is dog walking. Apps like Rover make it easier than ever to connect with clients.

If you can get clients outside of the apps, you can cut out the middleman and increase profit margins.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $50,000 (dog walkers in larger cities like Los Angeles and New York can earn more)


16. Errand Running Service/Assistant

Errand runners provide various services to busy people ranging from getting groceries to taking packages to the post office.

In major metro areas, where many business people work with very little time but lots of money, errand running services can be pretty profitable.

Average Salary: $24,000 – $35,000 plus tips (you can make more as an agency owner with enough clients)


17. Delivery Service

Logistics is an almost $1 trillion industry in the U.S. and over $8 trillion globally. Everything from mail to food to consumer goods needs to be transported.

One common problem is what’s known as the last mile, how products get to the end-user. You can create a stable business with long-term growth potential by bridging that gap.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $35,000 (significantly more if you can create a high-volume business)


18. Landscaping

The landscaping industry in America is estimated to be over $100 billion. It can be quite easy for the hardworking and aspiring young adult to get a piece of that enormous pie.

The key is to be consistent and stay on top of things for your clients. With a bit of persistence and hard work, you can begin to generate a high-income business.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $60,000 (although company owners can earn in the mid-to high-six figures in larger markets such as Los Angeles)


19. Holiday Decorating Business

Though a seasonal business, holiday decorating can be quite profitable and is an excellent go-to for landscaping business owners to fill in the winter months.

If you don’t mind getting on roofs and installing Christmas lights, holiday decorating could be a good business. Even better if you can get corporate clients with large buildings.

Average Salary: $5,000 – $15,000 per season (business owners in high-volume areas can clear as much as six figures)


20. Washing Cars

White sports car being washed.

It may not seem like it, but mobile car washing can be an extremely lucrative hustle. There is an upfront investment, but this can be quickly recouped with enough persistence.

In the beginning, you will need to stay on top of things and find places to set up where you can drum up business. However, once you have a steady clientele, you can clear quite a bit of profit.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $70,000 (you can make even more with multiple setups and employees)


21. Recycling Business

Recycling is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. The majority of this income comes via one of two ways, collection fees and selling recycled materials for reuse.

If you can land a sorting contract from a municipality, this can also lead to a more lucrative business.

Average Salary: Varies significantly by size and locality


22. Music Lessons

Turn your passion for playing music into a profitable business. If you can play an instrument and have the temperament for teaching others, you could be making money from giving lessons.

For the entrepreneurial-minded young person, if you can get enough clients, you may hire other instructors. This can help to clear higher revenues and create a full-time business.

Average Salary: $43,000 – $90,000 (even more if you can create a business managing instructors)


23. House Cleaning Services

While house cleaning isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, it can be pretty lucrative given enough persistence in acquiring clients.

If you’re interested in cleaning houses you may also want to look into how to start a carpet cleaning business.

The money isn’t in cleaning but acquiring enough clients to hire others to do the work. Remember, this can take a bit of time and a lot of hustle.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $70,000 for personal cleaners and over $100,000 for commercial


24. Gift Wrapping

Another seasonal business, gift wrapping alone likely won’t provide a full-time income but can add a profitable side income stream during the winter months. 

If you want to make it a full-time business, you can sell other products and services such as party supplies, gift cards, and related items.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $90,000 (more profitable in larger metro areas)


25. Transcribing

While the transcription industry has taken a significant hit with SaaS software that can automate the process, there is still money to be made.

If you can type quickly and keep secrets, you can get into the transcription business. Once you’ve learned the ropes, start getting your own clients and hiring out the work.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $60,000 (more if you can create your own business)


26. Laundry Service

With the world becoming busier every year, people increasingly have less time to do everyday tasks like cleaning their home and laundry.

If you aren’t too squeamish and don’t mind going through other people’s laundry, you can turn a tidy profit. Scrape enough money together, and you can turn that into a dry cleaning business or even look into how to start a laundromat.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $100,000 (you can earn more in high-income metropolitan areas)


27. Cake Maker

If you enjoy baking and have an artistic flair, a cake-making business could be an excellent choice to get started. 

You will need a bit of upfront investment for all of the equipment but should recoup costs quickly. With enough persistence and a large enough network of customers, you can turn a decent profit.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $70,000 (full scale bakeries can make low- to mid-six figures)


28. Leaf Removal

Another business that can pair well with landscaping and holiday lighting, leaf removal, can be lucrative in certain parts of the United States. 

This is a seasonal business, so don’t expect a full-time income, but you can do well during the season if you can get enough clients and workers.

Average Salary: Varies greatly depending on the location and conditions


29. Sell Art

If you have a flair for art, you could make a good living selling it online or through traditional galleries. 

The internet has paved the way for artists to sell their work. If you are a savvy enough marketer and can build a strong network of people with the money for art, you can make a great career.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $65,000 (top artists with good marketing skills can earn high-six to seven figures)


30. Data Entry

Data entry specialist typing on a computer.

Data entry is a big business in the United States and other countries. The industry is growing at an average of $300 million each year as companies seek to digitize records.

In the beginning, you will need to hustle to get clients. Be aware that you are competing with foreign companies in the Philippines and India.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $60,000 (company owners can earn in the low- to mid-six figures)


31. Pressure Washing Company

The pressure washing industry is valued at $1.88 billion worldwide. It involves everything from cleaning parking lots and driveways to fences and buildings.

One downside to pressure washing is the upfront cost of equipment. However, with hard work and hustle, you should see a return on investment.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $50,000 (potential for six-figure income after a few years of hard work) 


32. Window Washing

Window washing can be a lucrative business in larger metropolitan areas with many potential clients. 

You will need to hit the ground running to drum up the business initially. However, you can start seeing a decent income with a bit of persistence.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $60,000 (potentially more in metro areas and with corporate clients)


33. Editor/Proofreader

Do you have a keen eye for proper grammar? Editing could be one of the great business ideas for young adults to get into and, as luck would have it, it’s in higher demand than ever before.

Millions of new articles are published online every day, and that number is growing. That means there are tons of opportunities for editors to make money.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $100,000


34. Investing/Day Trading

Investing is a great way to make money or lose a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully, resources such as courses and forums can help you.

A good rule of thumb is never to invest money you can’t afford to lose. Whether you are trading forex, stocks, or investing in ETFs, make sure you are comfortable with what you are doing.

Average Salary: $70,000 – $150,000 (top traders can make high-six figures and seven figures while inexperienced traders can go broke or, worse, into steep debt)


35. Freelance Writing

Freelance writers vary from ghostwriters for websites to journalists who write for various publications.

There is plenty of work for freelance writers on online writing sites, and quite a bit of it is high-paying. If you don’t want to get stuck in a race to the bottom, you will need to be persistent in finding quality clients that pay well and offer steady work.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $100,000


36. Buying and Selling On eBay

If you enjoy scouring garage sales or antique shops for products, selling on eBay could be a great way to turn your hobby into an income-generating endeavor.

While most sellers conduct their business as a side hustle or hobby, quite a few sellers are making full-time incomes on the platform.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $45,000 (dedicated sellers can earn in the low to mid-six figures)


37. SEO Expert

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website so search engines can more easily index information to serve searchers. The end goal is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic from search engines.

If you are already running a website such as a blog or a niche or authority site, moving into SEO can be a natural next step.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $80,000 (successful agency owners can pull in six to mid-seven figures)


38. Language Translation

Translators do everything from translating forms for businesses to website translation and document translation for individuals. For the right person, it’s one of many low-cost business ideas for young adults.

This can be highly profitable, especially if you can complete highly technical translation work in tech, business, healthcare, etc.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $65,000 (translation companies that can clear high volumes and specialized work can earn six to seven figures)


39. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a business model that allows you to sell items that you don’t physically have in your possession by taking orders and working with manufacturers or wholesalers for order fulfillment.

Interested in learning more about it? Check out our post on “what is dropshipping.”

This can be a great way to dip your toes into eCommerce without needing to spend a lot of money on inventory, warehousing, and related expenses.

Average Salary: $12,000 – $60,000 (motivated dropshippers can make mid-six and even seven figures)


40. Security Services

Security guard going down an escalator in a building.

For the right person, security services can end up being a lucrative business. Security service providers work with individuals, businesses, bars, and event promoters to offer manpower where necessary.

You will need to check on the local laws in your area as often licenses and permits are necessary to provide such services. Insurance will also be a significant expense to look into.

Average Salary: $20,000 – $40,000 (company owners can pull in mid-six figures and even mid-seven figures for executive protection services)


41. Editing and Proofreading

Editors can work with a wide range of companies and websites such as blogs, publishers, news agencies, and more to ensure their content flows well and is grammatically correct.

Proofreaders and editors that provide consistent and high-quality service are in high demand and can benefit from job security.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $80,000 (content agency owners can add this as a service to increase income)


42. Graphic Design

Graphic designers are responsible for creating everything from logos to complete brand identity packages. This can be an excellent job for individuals who want to be location-independent and are artistically inclined.

You will need to spend time learning brand psychology, design theory, and more, but you can start taking small jobs while you learn.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $55,000 (agency owners can pull in mid- to high-six figures with enough volume)


43. Sell eBooks

While it may seem like the eBook market is oversaturated, there is still a massive market for inspiring and helpful eBooks. The trick is, you need strong marketing skills and a solid understanding of your target market.

The best way to get into eBooks is to start somewhere else, like blogging or with a niche or authority site. Once you build an audience, you can more easily sell your book.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $70,000 (top earners can pull in six figures or more)


44. SaaS Business Owner

SaaS stands for software as a service and refers to licensing software on a subscription basis instead of more traditional methods. 

New SaaS companies are created every year with billions of potential customers. The one downside to the SaaS model is the enormous capital requirements when first getting started.

Average Salary: Varies greatly but can be anywhere between six and eight figures


45. Decluttering Services

Ever watched the show Hoarders? While not always that bad, decluttering services can help people to clean out their homes and get organized in their lives.

You will need some strong marketing skills in the beginning to find customers. However, it can be a solid low overhead business, making it one of many great business ideas for young adults.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $60,000 (more can be made in larger metro areas with higher volume)


46. Mobile App Developer

App development is one of the most in-demand skills in the tech industry. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources that can help you learn, from courses to videos and articles.

In the beginning, it may not be easy to find your first client, but as long as you are persistent and continually working on your craft, you will eventually start getting clients to work with.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $80,000 (this can reach into the six- and seven-figure range if you create your own apps)


47. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants handle a wide range of tasks for business and agency owners. Daily tasks range from everyday administrative work to more complex tasks like managing link-building campaigns.

While many virtual assistants are from non-Western countries, there are still plenty of opportunities as many business owners require assistants in the same time zone or with localized knowledge.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $50,000 (salaries can go as high as low six-figures for highly specialized virtual assistants)


48. Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainers

Fitness instructors are in demand more than ever post-2020, with people worldwide taking their health more seriously. Better yet, many fitness instructors can now work remotely.

The key to bringing in a solid income stream is finding steady clients, which means you will be doing more marketing initially.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $55,000 (you can increase income by creating courses and scaling)


49. Become a Voiceover Artist

With more companies than ever running video ads on platforms like YouTube, voiceover artists are more in demand.

Another upside is modern software, and more affordable audio equipment make this easier to do from home. You can find clients on freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $40,000 (top voiceover artists can make low-six figures and more)


50. Event Planner

Glasses on the table prepared by an event planner.

Event planners work with individuals to plan weddings, parties, public events, and more. This could be a good opportunity if you have a flair for organizing the right people and an extensive network.

One thing to note is this is a better opportunity for individuals that live in larger metropolitan areas. For the right person, it’s one of many potentially great business ideas for young adults.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $100,000 (even more for company owners with a good reputation and high volume)


51. Curriculum Vitae/Resume Creator

CVs and resumes can be a pain to write at best and anxiety-inducing at worst. Curriculum vitae writers can help with this by creating top-quality CVs for individuals.

If you have the talent for writing resumes and CVs and a strong understanding of many industries, you can make a decent bit of profit.

Average Salary: $50,000 – $60,000 (top writers working with executives can earn more)


52. Relocation Specialists

Relocation specialists help arrange the entire moving process, from selling a home and purchasing a new one to handling the moving process. It’s not a common job but still one of many great business ideas for young adults.

This can be a good moneymaker, especially in larger metro areas with specialists who handle high-level corporate clients.

Average Salary: $60,000 – $72,000


53. Ghost Blogger/Writer

Ghostwriters create content to be published under other people’s names. This means freelance writing for blogs and niche or authority site owners at the lower levels.

However, top ghostwriters can earn a living penning celebrity memoirs and writing books for top-level executives.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $63,000 (top earners can make low-six figures and potentially more with royalty deals)


54. Social Media Consultant

Social media consultants work with brands and businesses to create strong social media campaigns that resonate with their audience.

Top social media consultants who can drive traffic to companies and help shape their image are invaluable and can earn high-level compensation.

Average Salary: $55,000 – $75,000 (top earners can clear low- to mid-six figures or more)


55. English Language Tutor

Children and adults worldwide regularly pay top dollar to have experienced and dedicated native English speakers tutor them. This is one of the lower-cost business ideas for young adults.

If you have teaching experience, you can work with students worldwide and create a full-time business. Tutors with corporate or other specialized expertise can command top dollar.

Average Salary: $44,000 – $50,000 (more can be made with enough clients hiring tutors)


56. Pre-owned Clothing Shop Owner

If you have a knack for fashion and know where to find used and vintage clothing, you could be selling on sites like Pinterest and Instagram or even your own eCommerce website.

Vintage and used clothing can be extremely profitable for someone who understands the market and target audience. For the right person, this is one of many good business ideas for young adults.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $55,000 (top websites can earn much more)


57. Solar Installers

Solar installers work with businesses and individuals to install solar panel systems on homes and buildings. It’s one of many great business ideas for young adults that like to work outdoors.

The solar industry is growing each year, presenting many opportunities for installers. If you have the technical ability, this could be a good chance at creating a stable business.

Average Salary: $46,000 – $55,000 (top earners in high volume metro areas can earn low-six figures)


58. Wedding Planner or Bridal Consultant

Wedding planners can help make people’s special days go off without a hitch. Planners are responsible for everything from finding the right venue to organizing dining and floral arrangements.

For a young adult, working in a wedding planning company can help you quickly learn the ropes. Top-level wedding planners with industry connections and a solid network can carve out a profitable living.

Average Salary: $45,000 – $50,000 (top wedding planners in go-to destinations can earn low- to mid-six figures)


59. DJ

DJs do more than just play at clubs and earn good money providing entertainment for weddings, parties, and other events.

The startup can be expensive as you will need the right equipment. However, with a big enough network and solid marketing skills, you can quickly see an ROI.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $53,000 (skilled DJs in larger metro areas with good marketing skills can earn significantly more)


60. Mystery Shopper

Mystery shopper walking down shopping center.

Mystery shoppers audit a business’s services and provide valuable insights into the experience customers have when shopping.

While there are many lower-paid mystery shopper jobs, many companies are willing to pay top dollar for experienced mystery shopping firms that can provide actionable insights.

Average Salary: Varies greatly


61. Deliver-To-Your-Door Chef

While many people want to eat healthily, not everyone has the time. Deliver-to-your-door chefs solve this problem by creating meal plans and delivering to customers regularly.

This can pose a good opportunity if you have good culinary skills and a network willing to pay for regular services.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $62,000 (more in top metro positions) 


62. Chimney Sweep

Chimney sweeps inspect and clean chimneys for homes and buildings, helping to prevent potential hazards.

A chimney sweep company can turn a reasonable profit in the right location, especially if they are trustworthy and good with marketing.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $55,000 (companies in large metro areas with high volume can earn much more)


63. Food Truck

Food trucks have become a hot commodity in cities around the world. Owners can benefit from mobility, allowing them to change locations as needed to maximize revenue.

Startup costs for food trucks can be pretty steep. However, these costs can be easier to recoup in larger metro areas and college towns, and profits relatively high.

Average Salary: $40,000 – $55,000 (popular food trucks can earn low- to mid-six figures and even more by franchising)


64. Sales Agency

Sales are still one of the best ways to make money if you have the right temperament for the job. Many businesses that can’t afford a full-time sales team will outsource to sales agencies.

One benefit of a sales agency is the lower overhead. Your two primary expenses are labor and office space, so if you can hire the right people and work with reputable clients, you can do well.

Average Salary: Varies greatly based on clients (top sales agencies can clear mid-six figures to seven figures)


65. Catering Business

If you have a passion for food and enjoy cooking for large numbers of people, catering can be one of many good business ideas for young adults.

There are some upfront expenses for equipment, and you will need to be good with marketing and networking. However, with a solid business plan, these should be recouped quickly.

Average Salary: $48,000 – $70,000 (higher with a good reputation and in larger metro areas with more clients)


66. Coworking Service

Post-2020, coworking spaces have become a hot commodity. With many office buildings closed down for extended periods, many employees moved to coworking spaces.

The great thing about coworking spaces is the lower overhead. Once you have a space paid off, your primary expenses are coffee and utilities. Depending on how many offices and desks you have, you can turn a decent profit.

Average Salary: Varies greatly (coworking spaces benefit from economies of scale, so more desks mean more profits)


67. Tech Support

More than ever, companies need talented people with the right attitude to handle their support lines and take care of their customers. Most companies choose to hire out for this, which is where you come in.

You can start as a home-based tech support rep to learn the ropes. If you enjoy the business, there is quite a bit of money in setting up a thriving call center.

Average Salary: $35,000 – $50,000 (call center owners can pull in low- to mid-six figures and more with dividends)


68. House Sitting

House sitters are responsible for taking care of a property owner’s home while they are away. This can be short-term for a few weeks when people are on vacation or longer with seasonal vacation homes.

Typical responsibilities include keeping the house clean, taking care of the lawn, sometimes taking care of pets, and similar tasks. Get enough regular clients, and you can generate a decent income.

Average Salary: Varies significantly by property type and region (upscale vacation homes usually pay better)


69. T-shirt Designer

Though the market may seem saturated, T-shirts are still a hot way to make money and one of many great business ideas for young adults. The good part is that breaking into the business has gotten cheaper over the years, especially if you create your designs.

You can test out different designs with dropshipping to see what works before purchasing in bulk. Sites like Printful make this quick and straightforward to set up.

Check Out Printful

Average Salary: Varies greatly (successful T-shirt companies can clear low- to mid-six figures)


70. Craft Beer Brewing

Man brewing craft beer.

The demand for craft beer and opportunities for creating a brewing business has never been greater. If you are interested in beer brewing, this is an excellent opportunity to create a career and business you enjoy.

One thing to note is the upfront costs of opening a micro-brewery are expensive. Initial equipment costs can be tens of thousands before factoring in space and operating costs.

Average Salary: Varies greatly (factors include how and where you sell and taproom size)

What Are Some Tips To Find The Right Business Ideas For Young Adults?

While opening a small business can be an enriching experience, it’s important not to leap without planning. Finding the right business ideas for young adults is only the first step.

Remember, 20% of small businesses fail before the first year finishes. Following the tips below can keep you from being one of them.

Do Your Research

Market research can help you better understand your target audience and verify whether your idea has enough potential buyers to be sustainable.

While you may think an idea is solid, digging deeper will often reveal potential problems that can be avoided but could cripple a new business if not addressed.

Conduct thorough market research and make sure to look at everything from industry trends to your profit margins and competitors.

Create a Business Plan

Business plans are the blueprint to your business and your go-to when questions arise. Your business plan will help you remain consistent and ensure that you have a guide when times get tough.

While creating a business plan may seem tiring and tedious, it is one of the most important steps you will take to ensure your business is successful long term.

If you’ve never created a business plan, you can find a template online or use a service like LivePlan to get started.

Get Organized

From experience, any business can have you swamped with work quite quickly. With most companies, this is what leads to failure as owners become overworked, underpaid, and stressed. The same holds true for even the best business ideas for young adults.

The key is to be organized from the beginning. Don’t wait until the work is flowing in to begin arranging the administrative side of your business. By this time, it’s too late. 

Ensure everything from standard operating procedures (SOP) to forms and accounting are organized when you start your business.

A great book that can change how you think about your business or a business you want to open is The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. 

This book will help you avoid the trap of being disorganized, which can lead to creating a few full-time jobs you have versus a business you love.

Network With Other Entrepreneurs

While most people don’t want to hear it, the key to success is to get out there and create authentic and reliable relationships with potential customers and other entrepreneurs.

Remember that at the end of the day, all businesses are in the business of people. It is people who pay you and people who will recommend your service to others, creating a network of regular customers that can help your business succeed.

The best way to start is with your immediate network of friends and family. However, you may want to look into local networking groups such as BNI or your local Chamber of Commerce, depending on your business type.

Secure Funding

Another of the most common reasons new businesses fail is due to lack of funding or not enough funding. You will need money to manage operations in the beginning until you are turning a profit.

Securing enough funding will be essential to ensure you have the cash flow needed to keep going in the beginning. This funding can come from the following sources:

  • Business Loans
  • Funding From Investors
  • Grants
  • Crowdfunding
  • Savings (Founders’ Capital)

Make sure you work out how much cash flow you will need for the first three months, six months, and the entire first year in your business plan.

Factor in the high end and low end in terms of revenue growth to ensure that you always have enough cash on hand as your business grows.

Continue Your Education

Some of the most successful business owners in the world will tell you continuing education is essential to remain successful over the long term. 

You cannot remain static in your knowledge and continuously expect to succeed in a non-static environment.

Whatever business you decide to open, ensure that you continually update your knowledge base through courses, events, and mentorships. You may also find value in the best Udemy courses in business, marketing, and more.

Don’t be afraid to spend money either. You might be surprised at how much successful business owners spend each year on continuing education. For some, it can be in the tens to hundreds of thousands. However, if you see a return on that investment, then it’s worth it.

Final Thoughts on Business Ideas For Young Adults

Creating a business as a young adult can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Done right, you can start a profitable business that gives you freedom and opportunity in the way a regular 9-5 wouldn’t.

Don’t think that you will see success in the beginning just because you get started. There will be a lot of work involved. Creating a successful business requires hard work, consistency, and patience to see the fruits of your labor.

Also, remember that you are creating a business, not a job. Know when to hire out and when to scale, so you don’t get stuck with a job you hate.

If you can find the right business idea for young adults, and successfully navigate the potential pitfalls of owning a small company, you will find yourself greatly rewarded for your efforts.

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