As a teenager, you’re in an excellent position to start a business, perhaps a business based on your love of video games, perhaps streaming your game play and getting sponsors. You’re not bound by any of the reasons that many seasoned adults have for never taking the leap, such as being in a well-established job or having too many life commitments to manage a company.
You can start your career off strong by launching and running a business, and you can learn countless valuable life skills along the way. Below, we provide some simple tips for the teens out there thinking of getting a company off the ground!
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Knowing Your “Why”
If you choose to start a business, know that it might be the most essential and meaningful learning experience of your adolescent years. Many adults would love to work for themselves but never take the plunge because they feel secure in their current jobs, too old to enter a new field, or too tired to launch a new venture.
As a teenager, you have time and energy on your side. Since you have not established a career, you don’t have much to lose. And thanks to technology, chances are you can turn whatever your interests or ambitions might be into a thriving business. Moreover, as SkillsYouNeed notes, you will learn and develop invaluable life skills along the way.
Building a Business Model
One of your first steps will be to determine a business model that will work for your vision and needs. Your model will depend on whether you plan to manufacture products or sell services or merchandise. Depending on your specific offering, your model may include a combination of these.
Maybe you want to provide tech support, music lessons, or babysitting services in your community. Perhaps you hope to sell craft jewelry, used clothes, or sports tickets. You might even wish to make your own jewelry or build birdhouses to sell from your home or online store.
You could benefit from the dropshipping model. Essentially this would mean working with a company that would fulfill orders to your customers without requiring you to keep a physical inventory. Customers would order from your store, and they would complete the order, ship it directly to your customers, and provide a custom shipping label that promotes only your business.
Choosing a Structure
You will also need to select a legal structure in the early stages of your business. This structure will influence how you pay taxes, your personal liability, and other factors. By working with an online service, you can set up an LLC that limits your liability and provides pass-through taxation, flexibility, and many other benefits. The online service will handle all the legwork so your LLC complies with state regulations.
Finding Customers and Marketing
All successful companies have a healthy customer base. It doesn’t matter how groundbreaking or high-quality your product or service is; your business will not last long if people are not buying from you.
The ultimate goal is to reach customers without paying too much for it. Learn how to build a unique website and promote your brand on social media, through email marketing and paid ads, and at local hotspots. There are plenty of online resources and tools to help you get off to a strong start in building brand awareness.
When it comes to marketing your business on social media, memes are a popular form of online content, and they can be a great way to get your business noticed. If you create a funny or clever meme related to your business, it could quickly go viral, resulting in free publicity for your company. Use an online meme creator: This creates your own meme which you can personalize by customizing the alignment, colors, text, and images.
In order to get paid for the products or services you provide, you’ll need to set up an invoicing process for your business. This will involve creating invoices and sending them to your customers. You can do this manually or using accounting software. If you decide to do it manually, you can create invoices using an online invoice generator and include all of the relevant information, such as your contact information, the customer’s contact information, a description of the product or service, the cost, and the payment terms.
Finally, as business starts to pick up, Startup Grind points out the importance of being mindful of how you manage the growth. Only take a step forward once you have sustained consistent operations for at least three months. Otherwise, you might make aggressive commitments that leave you overwhelmed, lowering your product or service quality, or failing to meet demand. Focus on maintaining quality and honing your craft, and build a firm foundation before taking it up a notch.
Looking Ahead to College
It’s never too early to start thinking about college and your career path. If you’re interested in business, one of the advantages of having a degree is that it provides a framework for thinking about business problems. The curriculum covers topics like accounting, finance, marketing, and strategic management, which can give you a leg up when it comes to starting your own businesses. In addition, the degree can help you to develop important skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. It’s now possible to complete your degree online. Online programs are typically more affordable and flexible than traditional learning.
There are many reasons to start a business as a teenager. But for your company to be successful, it’s essential to prepare and handle all the necessary legwork. Create a business plan, choose a business structure, and develop a process for invoicing and marketing to get off to a strong start, and constantly learn how you can improve as an entrepreneur. Whether you’re learning through experience or plan to get a business degree, the knowledge and skills you acquire at this stage could benefit your life for many years to come!