To start a business as a teenager is an excellent way to earn some extra cash to use for entertainment and saving for the future. But the most significant benefit of being a business owner in high school has nothing to do with money:
"More than a third of Gen Xers, 36%, currently have a side gig, according to a May 2022 Zapier survey of 2,032 U.S. adults. And nearly two thirds of both Gen Zers and millennials have one with Gen Zers making an average of $9,537 per year on their side hustles".
The real benefit is with the valuable experience and the crucial skills that you learn that will work well in your favor through your whole life.
So, if you have a mind for business, and especially if you are passionate about a specific field, don’t think you’re too young to launch. And the money will be an extra bonus.
Consider these tips for starting your first venture!
Know Why It’s a Good Thing
As discussed, starting a company and being responsible for managing its day-to-day operations can give you valuable experience that you will not get anywhere else.
Besides equipping you with critical life skills (e.g., problem-solving, decision-making, money management, how to sell, etc.), being an entrepreneur can make you a better candidate for some of the nation's top schools. It will also look good on your CV if you ever need to find a job.
Also, it can also help you connect with your community and open doors to opportunities you never thought possible.
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Options for Businesses to Start
The first step to starting a company is to determine precisely what type of business you want to run. These days, teenagers are succeeding in many different industries. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Test prep
- Music lessons
- Sewing or knitting
- Candle making
- Data entry
- Personal assistant
And if you are looking for many more business ideas, you'll find them here.
The key to identifying the right business idea is to think about your interests, talents, and the skills and knowledge you've acquired up to this point. Then, you will have an idea of where you could succeed.
Don’t Count Out College
You have probably heard about all the successful entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, who dropped out of school or college. While college is not a requirement for entrepreneurial success, earning a business degree can provide you with excellent experience in the workforce, and valuable skills and knowledge in your field of choice.
For instance, pursuing an online degree in business management, marketing, or management and leadership could go a long way in developing your business acumen.
And you could study at a pace that allows you to uphold your other commitments as well.
Plan to Make Mistakes
Even the world's most successful entrepreneurs and business owners have made multiple mistakes throughout their careers. Don't begin your entrepreneurial journey with the expectation that you will handle every step and decision perfectly.
With that said, the companies that succeed long-term are typically those that make the fewest mistakes. Starting a business when you're young allows you to learn from failure so that you make fewer mistakes down the road.
It is important to treat these failures as lessons, so they become personal development events. This will involve detailed and honest analysis to prevent making the same mistake again.
Gauge Your Passion
Starting and running a business is going to consume a lot of your time. You don't want to spend all that time doing something you don't love.
You must have passion and drive to run the marathon of entrepreneurship. Constantly evaluate your interests and think of ways that you can inject more of your passion into your company.
Look for a Problem
Every successful business either solves a problem or meets the desire of consumers.
Ideally, your product or service will accomplish both. As you research the market and create your business plan, identify your unique selling proposition (USP), which will be the key to your success.
Learn About Entrepreneurship
Even if you go to business school, you will stand a better chance of succeeding long-term if you adopt a mindset of lifelong learning.
Read every business and leadership book you can get your hands on. Attend online and in-person conferences, seminars, and workshops.
And, very importantly, find mentors who can help you navigate the unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship. Someone who will provide expertise and support especially when the going gets tough.
Reinvest to Grow
As you and the business grow use the money to keep building yourself and the business. Get inspiration from stories like MrBeast who started out at age 13 and is now the most successful individual on YouTube as well as being a generous philanthropist. You should also note that despite his success he reinvests all the money he makes back into the business!
Time to Start
If you think you're too young or inexperienced to launch a company, get that thought out of your head now!
There are countless advantages to becoming a teen entrepreneur, and it can pave the way to a happy and successful future. Remember the tips above as you brainstorm business ideas and plan your launch.
And never stop learning!
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Article by Nicola Reid