Six Summer Startup Ideas

Summer is here and whether you are still looking for that perfect summer job, want to make money on the side, or just want to be your own boss this summer, starting up your own summer business can be an awesome way to build an income and gain some business experience. So for everyone looking to tap into their inner entrepreneur, here is a list of some great summer startups for the summer of 17:

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Daily Dog Walker

 Have a passion for animals? Creating a dog walking service is a great way to earn some extra money while also getting active and spending your summer with some pups. The startup cost is minimal. Just grab yourself a Leash, a Set of Baggies, and some Treats if you’re feeling generous. Advertise however you feel is necessary. You could start by just reaching out to friends and family, then extend your business to your neighbors by invitation or ad posters if you still want a larger clientele. Set your prices and create a steady schedule that works best for you.

Pros: Flexible schedule with short work hours (if desired), working with animals, and a fun way to get outside while making money

Side tip – Walk multiple dogs at once if they get along to maximize efficiency and dollars/hours, but always make sure to ask the owners if it’s alright first – The dogs safety and your client’s happiness should always come first.

Cons: Weather dependent – could be tough if it’s too hot out in your area during the summer or if it’s a rainy day

Backyard Babysitter

 Babysitting is one of the most common and best jobs to start with, especially during the summer. While parents are often out to work, they’ll need someone to watch their kids while they’re enjoying summer vacation.  You could go the traditional babysitting route by finding a family that needs a full time sitter, there’s plenty of websites that help facilitate babysitters find families to work for such as,,, or you could go with a nontraditional route that I like to call a “backyard babysitter.”

During high school and college, I would often babysit for my friends and family in the traditional role. The family would ask if I could watch their kid for the day/night, I’d drive over and watch them for a few hours, and then get paid and be on my way. However, there was also times when I would “backyard babysit,” and what I mean by that is that I would often have several families ask if I could watch all of their kids at once, but none of the families wanted to host kids other than their own at their home, so where did they stay? Well, they stayed at the common place between all of the families, my house. When I would babysit at my own house for multiple families, I was able to watch several kids in the comfort of my own “backyard.”

The pro to this is that I wasn’t paying to travel around, but most importantly; I was able to maximize my payout by babysitting for more than one family at once, letting me make more money in the time I was working. This babysitting strategy usually requires a decent relationship with the families you’re sitting for, so I’d recommend starting with the traditional route until you can build rapport with the family. Then later down the road when the family you babysit for recommends you to someone else, or the family goes on a group date and another family needs a sitter, you’ll be able to pick up another family that you’d be able to watch together with a mutual connection.

Pros: High earning opportunity, flexible schedule, building networking skills/relationships that could help you in the future beyond babysitting

Cons: Can be hectic (kids), not always a steady/set schedule, travel (traditional route)

Lawn Care Service

 If you live in a rural or suburban area, I’m sure you’ve seen the piles of mulch in the summer. Creating your own lawn service is a great way to make some extra money on your own time. You can offer an array of services such as lawn mowing, gardening, weeding, mulching, or weed whacking at their own respective prices. It would most likely help to have your own lawn equipment such as a push mower, weed whacker, and trowel , but at the very least you should make sure you have gardening gloves to get the job started. Make sure you specify in your flyers/advertisements whether the tools need to be provided by the employer or not.

Pros: High earning opportunity – people often pay a large sum for yard work, often a set schedule/weekly, variety of services available

Cons: Weather dependent – unable to do a majority of work in the rain, startup/tools might be needed


 If you’re a firm believer of the pen is mightier than the sword, this could be the perfect summer job for you. If you’re in good academic standing, you could easily use this to your advantage and make it your work as a summer job. Additionally, if you did really well on your SAT/ACT you could work as a private tutor. You could do this by trying to get hired by a test prep company such as Kaplan or Princeton Review, or you could post flyers around local high schools in your area advertising. If you’re coming back from college, you could help people out that are taking summer classes online or at your local colleges if you already took that class.

Heck, if you’re in highschool, you could even help the kid in summer school pass all of his classes easily so they can enjoy the rest of their summer.

Pros: High hourly wages for tutors, indoor work, extremely flexible schedule

Cons: Somewhat of a more limited client base, requires high aptitude for the subjects being taught

Yard Sale Resales

 Every summer neighborhoods are flooded with yard sales in attempt to get rid of unwanted belongings. Most of the time, people just want to get rid of half of the things they have lying around their house and are happy to receive any amount of money in exchange. This provides a large opportunity to find great sales on items that can be sold online for a profit using sites like Amazon, Ebay, or other apps for specific sales like Poshmark or LetGo for clothes. Stopping at a yard sale and finding a great deal takes little to no time, and it can provide a good payout if the item sells well. This startup does require an initial investment and there is always the risk that something you buy won’t sell right away, but sales allow for the greatest profit margin for little to no work when done correctly.

Pros: Little to no time needed, develops investing and sales skills, high profit chance

Side tip: Always inquire if you can purchase the item of interest at the yard sale for a lower price than listed. More often than not, the owner will be more than willing to compromise and sell the item at a discounted price – increasing your profit margin when it eventually is resold

Cons: Required startup capital, risk of an item not reselling

Food Sales

Growing up everyone has probably seen or had a lemonade stand at one point in time. In an ideal environment, food and beverage sales can be a nice way to make a quick buck. Due to licensing and legal obligations, if you want to sell cooked food from a cart, you’ll need to obtain a license. The good news is, if you want to sell prepackaged food, such as chips in the bag, ice cream bars, or water bottles, you can do so without needing to obtain a license at certain places.

The most ideal location for food/beverage sales would be at a local event like a sporting event or a community fair. If you’re close to a professional sports team, selling water in the parking lots is a great way to make money. A case of bottled water is around 6 dollars for 30 bottles. Selling all 30 bottles in the parking lot of a sporting event for a single dollar each would net you a 400% return on your investment. On a hot day where every other stand around you costs $9 a bottle, selling 30 one dollar bottles isn’t that hard to achieve.

Pros: Small initial investment, short hours, development of sales skills

Side Tip: If you or your parents have a membership to a warehouse wholesales store like Costco or Sam’s Club, you can purchase in bulk for a larger profit margin

Cons: Sales job (you get what you put in), customers are limited based on location