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Entrepreneurship for Teenagers - The Ultimate Why? and How-to-Guide

In a fast-changing world of financial instability, learning about entrepreneurship is more important than ever.

By teaching our kids how to start their own businesses, we are providing them with the skills they need to be successful in any field. By embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, teenagers learn problem-solving skills, and risk management strategies to gain a better understanding of how to manage finances.

For many teens, starting their own business can be an exciting opportunity to explore their passions and make a positive impact in the world. But why should teenagers consider becoming entrepreneurs?

What actually is an entrepreneur?

It's someone who starts their own business and takes on the risk of developing, organizing, and managing their venture. They dream big and work hard to make their ideas come to life.

At its core, entrepreneurship is about taking initiative and being creative, but it also involves having a plan for your idea or project, creating a budget for it, and understanding the legal aspects of launching a business.

The rewards of entrepreneurship can be immense - not just in terms of money but also in terms of growth, satisfaction, and connection. It's a great way for teens to learn important skills such as problem-solving, networking, and marketing while gaining experience and confidence.

Examples of successful entrepreneurs

Start-up culture is rampant in today's society, and there are many successful entrepreneurs who have launched their businesses while still in high school.

Some of these entrepreneurs include Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook at the age of 19; Evan Spiegel, who created Snapchat at the age of 22; and Steve Jobs, who started Apple Computers when he was only 21.

These examples demonstrate that anyone, regardless of their age, can achieve success in business. With the right tools and resources, teens can learn how to become entrepreneurs and make a positive impact on their communities.

How to become a successful teenager entrepreneur?

First, it’s important to recognize that success comes in many forms. Successful entrepreneurs come from different backgrounds and use their own experiences to build a successful business venture.

They have a vision for their future and the courage to go out and make it happen. They are persistent, organized, and take risks. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they have the drive to keep going, even when the road is bumpy.

Someone that is successful will have a multitude of unsuccessful attempts behind them. Perhaps success really is the willingness to keep trying.

For teens interested in starting a business, it’s important to do your research first. Understand what type of business you want to start, create a plan for marketing and operations, and develop a budget for startup costs.

There are also resources available to help get you started, such as online business plan templates, online courses, and mentorship programs.

Create an Impact

At the end of the day, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t guarantee success but it does offer invaluable learning experiences that can shape your future. It gives teenagers a chance to explore their passions, develop important skills, and gain a better understanding of the business world.

It also provides an opportunity to make a difference in the world and create something meaningful.

So, if you're ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, don't let fear or doubts hold you back. Start small and build your way up - it's never too early to start learning about business.

How to overcome challenges as a teen entrepreneur?

Before we dive in, let's get our mindset right. How do we overcome challenges? Well, we need to be confident in our abilities and remain positive. We also need to accept failure as part of the process, learn from it, and move forward.

One of the most encouraging things we learned early on was that we can fail forward. Any time that we tried something and it didn't work, we realized we were still leaps ahead from where we started - and with some new valuable info! We knew what to do and what not to do.

Mentors and support

The secret weapon for any teen entrepreneur's success is often having a mentor, coach, or a supportive experienced adult behind them. Someone you can sound out your business ideas to, someone that can keep you focused and your ideas based in reality!

Learning from people in the same field as you wish to build your business in is just plain good sense.

Don't be afraid to email or dm people either - you never know what you can access just by asking!

Structuring your own business

The business plan - steps to start your business

Here are the 8 steps your teen will learn how to start their own business and become an entrepreneur!

Setting your goal

It is good to get a clear idea of exactly what you want to achieve. Having one good business idea doesn't make a business successful.

It has to be well thought out and packed full of details.

For example, you want to make and sell postcards.

Work out who you want to sell them to and why:

  • Are they encouraging, brightly colored, reflective of a joke, or the area you live in?
  • Will you be selling to a local audience or a national/international one?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • How much money would you like to make?
  • How will you create your product?
  • Sometimes it is easier to work backward. Start with your biggest goal and break it down into steps: "I want to make $500 a month selling my art"
  • How much is that a week?
  • How many products would you need to sell to make that?
  • How much time will that take? What resources do you need?
  • If you would like to work from home, this post is packed full of 22 legit ways to work from home as a teen.

It is by asking these questions and setting goals that we can find the solutions and answers to how we are going to build out our business ideas.

Finding your idea

If you are stuck and only know that you want to make your own money and be a teen entrepreneur, but are not sure how... read through this article to generate some ideas.

Another way is to write down what you are good at and what you enjoy. Ask people close to you if you get stuck. What are you known for? Look for a business idea in these areas.

It's amazing what ideas pop up when you take time to focus. If you still feel stuck, check out this amazing resource 27 Business Ideas for Teens.

Research, research, research

Young entrepreneurs know that the secret sauce to any new biz is research, research, research!

Whether you are defining who your audience is, how much profit margin you can make or how you can take something that exists and make it better - the answer can always be found in the research.

A top tip is to check out the comments and review sections on popular sites like Amazon, Etsy and Google.

  • What are fixable problems?
  • What are people looking for?
  • How can you make it better?
  • Take notes and pay attention to them as you develop your idea - these people are your target market and priceless!

How much do you want to make?

This may seem like a silly one - but being super aware of your numbers makes success more likely. Knowing your final goal financially helps you to make wise decisions along the way.

Most teens don't want to work in the local corner shop but they do want to make enough money to buy the latest trends and do activities with friends.

By knowing how much you want to earn you are creating a mindset shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Read more about that here. It is empowering and a great foundation for your future.

Building your business

Congratulations! You are well on your way to becoming a teen entrepreneur! Once you have your business ideas and have researched and set your financial goals the next step is building your business.

  1. If your customers are within your area, meeting up with local businesses is a great way to build your network and suppliers list.
  2. If you wish to sell to a larger audience, creating a website or store can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right resources in place, it can be done.
  3. There are lots of online tools to help make setting up a shop easier and more affordable. Have a look at Shopify, Etsy or Squarespace and begin creating your storefront.
  4. Make sure to check out local business support services as you could get free advice and help with setting up a small business.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Develop your operations plan - understand how to manage logistics, inventory (stock-flow), and packaging.

If you are using a delivery service, make sure to check for insurance for lost or damaged goods etc.

Ensure that you are prepared for your launch - make sure everything is in place before you open your doors (or virtual ones). Google often gives new sites and stores a 'honeymoon period' as it watches how popular you are to customers etc. Knowing a bit about this will give you a head start on many businesses.

You can learn more about SEO (search engine optimization) here.

Marketing your business

Other important tasks for teen entrepreneurs include learning how to market and promote their products, understanding digital marketing techniques, and finding ways to keep customers coming back.

There are many ways to do this, for starting out - social media marketing makes this free and easy. Spend time scrolling already? Why not use your scrolling moments to create meaningful connections with customers and influencers - after all, it's named 'social media' for a reason!

The algorithms (though always changing) love when we use our accounts socially and keep people on their platforms.

Tips for being effective:

  • Be engaging. Remember what you've learned from your previous research.
  • Be relatable and solve the problems of your ideal customer.
  • Use the right terminology for the right audience. Are they young adults like you? Or is it a different audience?

Beating the competition

It's also important to think about how you want to stack up against the competition and stand out from the crowd. Utilize what you learned when reading reviews and ratings of other products.

Make sure your product is better and easier to use. Have you created a unique selling point that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Don't forget that you are the best advocate for yourself on social media platforms. Leverage your individual identity and make it work to your advantage; after all, you are your own unique selling point (USP)!

Be yourself and share (business-relevant) bits of your personal life on socials - it is a proven marketing technique that people like to buy from real people.

Getting organized

Make sure you are keeping accurate records of all your financials as this will help you understand your profits and losses better.

Keep your business plan, logo and product design, color palette, ideal customer research, and other important info together somewhere accessible. As you grow you may need support and the best way to do that is by having a vision and business ideas that you can share easily.

Make your money work

Finally, when you have a regular income from your business as a teen entrepreneur it’s important to manage your money correctly. Set up an emergency fund and create a budget so that you know what you are spending and saving for the future.

Remember to pay yourself first! Put aside 10-20% of all your profits into savings or investments and make sure you are covering your taxes.

Secure funding sources - identify potential investors and lenders if you are doing well.

For links to finding out about your county rules and regulations check this out

Meet these successful teens

If we have not been able to convince you enough already that being a teen entrepreneur is where it's at - check out some of these amazing other teen entrepreneurs!

  • Cory Nieves started at the tender age of 6 yrs, alongside his mom, creating snacks and sweet treats.
  • Marley Dias launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015, using the power of social media to reach a huge audience. The goal was to collect 1,000 books featuring Black female protagonists by February 2016. She did it - and some!

Conclusion - the benefits of being an entrepreneurial teenager

These tips will help all teen entrepreneurs take the first steps to starting a business and setting themselves up for long-term success.

There's nothing quite like being an entrepreneur - so get out there, start researching and get creative! Who knows, maybe one day you'll even be inspiring the next generation of teen entrepreneurs. Good luck!

Still not sure?

5 business ideas for teens to get help get you started:

  1. Start a pet-sitting service - you can have regular customers and offer one-off services. Pet Sitting is easy to set up and has very few overheads.
  2. Create a digital photography business - if you are good at taking pictures and editing them, create packages to help people capture their special moments.
  3. Tutoring - offer tutoring services in English or Maths. This can be done online or face-to-face depending on your preference.
  4. Social media manager - use your knowledge of social media sites to help businesses with their marketing campaigns.
  5. Sell merchandise - create your own art, t-shirts or other products and sell them online through your website or on platforms like Etsy.

Or click here for even more small business ideas for teens.

Get together with other teen entrepreneurs online for support and idea sharing. Teen Entrepreneurship - it's more fun when you surround yourself with like-minded people. Enjoy!

About the Author

Dan Chadney
Ever felt like your business should be getting more attention online? I felt the same way until I learned how to leverage SEO and digital marketing tactics to scale my e-commerce business to 6 figures per year. My name is Dan Chadney and before starting this blog, I spent 20 years as a web designer, front-end developer and SEO marketing specialist. Check out my online business guides and learn how to make money online!
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