How to Help Your Teen Start a Business

Help your teen launch a small business after school.
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Many successful business owners get their start in the entrepreneurial world by getting a business off the ground while they’re young. If your teen has an interest in business, there are many opportunities to make money. Many businesses don't cost anything to get started

If your teen has an entrepreneurial spirit, or you're looking for a way for your teen to earn money without a traditional part-time job, a small business could be a great idea.

Here are some steps to help your teen launch a small business:

1. Develop Your Business Idea

Sometimes, the hardest part of starting a business is coming up with an idea. But, often teens have great ideas about how to make money and they just need a little assistance getting their ideas started.

If your teen doesn't have any ideas for a business, brainstorm some potential unmet needs in the community. Are there likely people with dogs who need to be walked? Are there people who may need a babysitter? Are there people who may need lawn services?

Identify something that will interest your teen and ensure that your teen will be able to keep up with the demand. For example, a lawn mowing service isn’t a good idea if your teen is likely to be away for several weeks during the summer months – unless he can find a reliable person to fill in for him while he’s gone.

2. Create a Plan

Since a simple startup for a teen isn’t likely to cost money to get it off the ground, you don’t need to write a formal business plan.

But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest time and energy into creating a clear plan that outlines how the business will operate.

Talk to your teen about how to decide how much to charge for goods and services. Discuss how you’ll deliver those goods or services to customers, and how to collect the payment.

Make sure your teen understands the commitment that will be needed to operate a business. For example, if your teen wants to offer car detailing services, he’ll need to be reliable and dependable.

Talk about how much time a business is likely to take. Also, discuss whether or not the business will be seasonal, such as a summer business, or if your teen will be able to handle operating it during the school year as well.

3. Learn About the Legal Issues

Depending on the type of business, your community may require a business license or some type of permit before the business can begin. Make sure to check with your local and state authorities about what type of paperwork is necessary to get the business started. Also, consider whether or not your teen will need any type of insurance coverage for the business.

4. Establish a Marketing Plan

Customers need to be aware that your teen’s business exists. Develop a plan to advertise the business to the community.

A marketing plan may be as simple as posting an advertisement in a local newspaper or placing fliers up on a community bulletin board.

Teens can also market their business by creating a website, making business cards to hand out, and finding online places to advertise. Word-of-mouth advertising can be key to getting a small business off the ground so have your teen tell friends, neighbors, and extended family as well.

5. Get to Work

Once you have your idea and strategies in place, it’s time to get to work. Provide your teen with guidance and advice along the way to make sure that the business is operating smoothly,but give your teen opportunities to take on the bulk of the responsibility.

Owning a business can help your teen learn lots of skills while earning an excellent income. Working together is also a great way to strengthen your relationship with your teen.

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