8 Skills Teens can Learn From Starting their Own business

Teen (16-17) girl working in design studio
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While any job teaches the value of hard work, teens learn additional skills from owning their own business. For many teens, starting their own business at an early age sets them up for success as an entrepreneur during adulthood.

1. Financial Skills

 Teens may not need to learn all the ins and outs of tax codes and accounting, but like any business owner, a teen who owns his own business needs to understand the basics of budgeting.

Help your teen learn how to read a profit and loss statement, balance a checkbook and manage the basics about money. Not only will accounting skills be necessary for the business, but it can also be an important life skill that can help your teen manage his own finances in the future.

2.  Leadership Skills

 Any teen who wants to be his own boss, will learn the importance of leadership skills. Even without any employees working under him, a teen won’t be able to run a successful business, unless he’s able to be in charge. Whether your teen runs a lawn mowing business or he’s selling products that he makes from home, there will be tough decisions to be made at times.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

 Any business will have its fair share of problems. A lawn mowing business will face rainy days and a babysitter will have to deal with a child’s behavior problems. Problem-solving skills can be greatly enhanced when your teen has to face tough issues around money – like how to please a customer, how to deal with mistakes, and how to overcome obstacles.

4. Customer Service Skills

 One skill often overlooked in small businesses is customer service. Responding to an angry customer or trying to deal with a customer who is negotiating the pay are often part of operating a small business. Refunding money, working for free or just letting a customer vent may help your teen learn some life lessons.

5. Communication Skills

 Customer service skills and communication skills go hand and hand. Without a boss to complain to, your teen will need to communicate directly with the customer. Whether he needs to cancel the guitar lesson he’s scheduled to give someone or he has to call the post office to talk about shipping costs for a package he needs to send, a business provides teens a variety of opportunities to sharpen communication skills.

 6.  Assertiveness Skills

A teen entrepreneur may find that customers or vendors try to take advantage of his inexperience. A customer who doesn’t pay on time or a vendor who makes unreasonable demands may help your teen learn how to speak up and be assertive so that he doesn’t become victimized.

 7. Emotion Regulation Skills

 Owning a business can be an emotional rollercoaster for anyone. Business owners often feel anxiety about pleasing customers, disappointment over the financial outlook, anger when things go wrong, and happiness when things are going right.

If your teen is going to be successful at owning a business however, he’ll need to learn how to manage those emotions in a healthy way so it doesn’t interfere with his ability to provide products or services.

 8. Time Management Skills

 A part-time job often makes time management easier for teens because they’re more likely to have a set schedule. But owning a business requires more responsibility because the times are often more flexibility. When there’s no one telling your teen what time to do certain things and there’s no one looking over his shoulder to make sure he’s staying on task, he’ll have to figure out how to manage his time on his own.

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