It’s never too early to start on your entrepreneurial path! If you have a business idea that you’d like to turn into a full-fledged company, or if you just want to make money on the side and start saving for college, there are many opportunities out there for go-getting teenagers. And as an added bonus, you’ll develop three great skills that will turn you into a successful, well-rounded adult:
Running a business as a teen will teach you how to manage your time more effectively. Between school, homework, and extracurriculars, you’ll have to make sure you have enough time to run your business and deliver your services or products when your clients expect them. Thankfully, technology can help you keep track of all your activities. Start planning with an online monthly calendar and see how much time you can dedicate to your business. That will help you come up with a schedule that works for you and your family, where you get to be an entrepreneur while still enjoying time with friends and loved ones, all without neglecting your schoolwork. For example, if you want to start a dog-walking business in your neighborhood, you’ll be able to let your potential clients know ahead of time what days and hours you’ll be available to take care of their pooches, and you’ll avoid overbooking yourself or having scheduling conflicts.
Starting a business sometimes means you’ll have to invest some of your own money upfront. For example, if you’re planning on starting a car washing business, you’ll have to buy the cleaning supplies you need first, and maybe invest in some flyers or posters to advertise your services. If you want to start a business selling handmade jewelry, you’ll first need to buy supplies for your creations, plus you’ll potentially need to rent a booth at a local craft fair to showcase your products. If you don’t have the funds necessary, you can ask your family or friends if they want to invest in your new venture, letting them know that they’ll get their money back when your business starts making money. That’s why it’s important to have a good grasp on your finances when you want to be an entrepreneur. Keeping track of how much you spend versus how much you make will help you figure out if your business is a success.
Creative Problem Solving
Even the most successful business will run into problems at some point. Being a young entrepreneur, you will have to identify the issue, come up with possible solutions, weigh the pros and cons and pick the best option to fix the situation. Let’s say you can’t find the supplies you need, or your main client moves out of town; you’ll have to think creatively and maybe even pivot to keep your business going. If you have a business idea in mind but you want to learn the ins and outs before you start investing money in it, a good way to figure it out is by shadowing someone that is already doing it. Spend a day or two watching them at work, ask questions and see if their business model would be a good fit for you. As an example, if you want to perform magic tricks or teach STEM topics for younger audiences, see what others are doing first and how they’re able to engage kids. Learning from other people is a great way to develop your skills and come up with your own “tricks of the trade.”
You can never be too young to learn valuable life skills. Running your own business as a teen will teach you to manage your time and your money effectively. You’ll be able to let your creativity shine, and you’ll also end up with money in your pocket!
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