Starting a small business in your teens is entirely possible with planning, organization and a little pluck. Lawn mowing, dog walking, car washing and housecleaning are examples of small businesses that teens can easily carry out in their neighborhoods. Seasonal small businesses include raking leaves, clearing snow from driveways, holiday baking or gift-wrapping. Web-savvy teens can think larger than their immediate neighborhoods to offer online services. Whatever the small business, taking time to research the market is a smart move.
Name your business. Look in the phone book or other business directories to see what catchy names already exist in your industry before picking your business name. Business names should be easy to remember, help customers determine what kind of products or services you offer and establish a positive first impression.
Purchase a wireless plan. Teens may have a cell phone belonging to the family’s wireless plan, but it’s likely that you’ll need to establish a separate number to field calls from customers and possibly employees. Shop around for a plan that doesn’t require a long-term contract, since the needs of your small business may change over time.
Purchase equipment for marketing. Set up a business email address, keeping your private email address for friends and family. Purchase low-cost business cards with your business phone number and email address. If you’re using a land line, set up a professional-sounding answering machine to take calls when you’re unable to answer.
Establish procedures for running your small business. You’ll want to determine procedures for handling payments, billing your customers and meeting deadlines. If necessary, ask an adult to accompany you to the bank when establishing a business checking account for depositing customer checks and other payments. Customers may take your billing processes more seriously if they’re handled professionally, so purchase a receipt book or consider printing invoices that display your business logo using your family computer. Calendars or day planners will help you keep track of appointments with clients.
Market your business. Small businesses can have small budgets, so brainstorm for marketing ideas that don’t cost much money. Try walking around your neighborhood, knocking on doors to introduce yourself and explain your services. Distribute inexpensive copies of price lists, available hours and contact information. Some software programs help you build simple websites for online marketing and you can also use existing social networking sites to tell friends and family members about promotions, special offers or new additions to your services.
- Answering machine
- Day planner
- Receipt book
- Teens have the benefit of strong connections with peers and friends. Tap into that network when fielding ideas and strategies for starting your small business for feedback and constructive criticism. Use feedback to develop your own perspective.
- Teens starting a small business can benefit from the knowledge and experience of veteran business owners. Reach out to the community to develop a relationship with a mentor for advice and support.
- The best teen small businesses run independently, so if you don’t yet have a driver’s license, limit your business clientele to the neighborhood that you can access by walking, riding a bike or taking the bus.
- Teens may struggle with juggling schoolwork, family responsibilities and the added responsibility of running a small business. Budget time carefully, allotting certain afternoons or mornings to schoolwork or business tasks.
-See more: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/start-small-business-teens-2214.html