The world is changing at an exponential rate and it is becoming more and more difficult for traditional businesses to compete. New technology, changing customer behavior, and a system just not set up properly for the internet age have led to a decrease in profits as well as an increase in competition. Teenage entrepreneurs are bucking this trend by creating their own businesses and learning about different ways that they can eventually grow their start-ups into lucrative successes.
Often teenagers have a desire to make money and create businesses, but in the past, there have been too many barriers to entry. With the advent of the internet, it’s now possible and in many cases easy for teens to explore their entrepreneurial pursuits from the comfort of their own homes.
In order to become a successful teenage entrepreneur, it is important to understand the field, the experiences one will face, and how to overcome these challenges.
The rest of this article will focus on each of these areas in order to gain a better understanding of what it takes to become a teenage entrepreneur.
What Is A Teenage Entrepreneur
A lot of people use the terms “entrepreneur” and “business owner” interchangeably but they are not the same thing. An entrepreneur is the one who designs a product or service, creates the business plan for it, and can run it. A business owner is a person who actually owns and maybe operates that business.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes from the freshman at their local community college to millionaires who have retired at forty. The number of successful entrepreneurs has ranged from people starting ventures selling homemade baked goods from some far-away sidewalk to Bill Gates creating an empire that has taken billions of dollars in market share.
Teenage entrepreneurs are simply teenagers that have cracked the code on working for themselves, often through the use of the internet. Most teenagers are expected to get normal jobs, but these can be very difficult to find.
With social media and the internet taking off in recent years, teenagers are now exposed to new markets and marketing methods that can allow them to tap into their creative business interests and build something from the ground up.
How To Become A Teenage Entrepreneur
1. Find a Market
The first thing every teenage entrepreneur needs to do is find a market that they would like to work in. This could be with a product or service that already exists, or it can be something completely new.
If you are an aspiring teenager entrepreneur, the most important thing to do is to consider some of the skills you have and see if there’s any overlap with something you would want to sell.
Many teenage entrepreneurs have learned first hand that every business has something it does not like, whether it be lack of customer satisfaction or poor customer service. Sometimes this can be remedied through experience or working hard to find a new way of doing things.
The important thing is to think outside of the box and try to come up with different ways of doing things that the competition has not figured out yet.
The internet and social media have made finding and testing different ideas extremely easy. In the past, it was much harder to get started and create something that could be sold to others.
Now every teenager has access to their own personal eCommerce site with no upfront cost thanks to programs like Shopify and other similar platforms.
This is of course one of the most important aspects for teenage entrepreneurs, because they are most likely the most strapped for start up cash compared to adult entrepreneurs.
2. Find Your Strengths And Weaknesses
The next thing for a teenage entrepreneur to do is to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses in order to find a niche where they can contribute the most. It’s important to understand that some businesses require more skills than others, so it’s not just a case of “create your business and do what you love”.
Teenage entrepreneurs must be able to sift through the thousands of ideas they may have and distinguish the ones that are marketable and usable from the ones that don’t make sense. This can include things like finding a niche that is completely unignorable or targeting a product or service that only high-end customers really want.
Sometimes it’s easier to create a business around something you know nothing about. It may be difficult to come up with an original idea, but if you can find a product or service that already exists that fits your needs, then all you need to do is learn how to sell it. This is especially true of products that have been in the market for some time and may need some rebranding.
3. Figure Out Your Pricing
The third step for a teenage entrepreneur to take is figuring out how much they are willing to sell their product or service for. This needs to be done realistically and not based on unrealistic expectations. If you can’t get enough of something that you have created to cover your expenses, then you probably shouldn’t do it.
Anyone who wants to create a business in the current economy has to be careful about pricing their products and services. One huge problem that teenagers face is the rising cost of living, especially in the United States and Canada.
In the current economy, many of the older models are getting a rework in order to create something new and interesting. This is true for products and services as well, especially in areas like software development or social media marketing.
The good news for teenage entrepreneurs is that a lot of these service oriented jobs don’t carry much overhead so profit margin isn’t as important here.
4. Network With Other Entrepreneurs
The fourth item for a teenage entrepreneur to do is to network and get as much advice on how to start a successful business as possible. There are hundreds of different tools and services that are available today that can help any business grow.
For example, you could create a free website and set up an email autoresponder with all your contact information tied into it. This will allow you to direct people who visit your website to social media profiles where they can leave comments or even buy products. It can be as simple as that.
Or you could look into programs like Facebook Ad Manager which will allow you to create your own custom ads for a small fee.
Increasingly, the number of tools and resources dedicated to helping teenage entrepreneurs grow their businesses has grown over the years. This includes things like YouTube channels where you can watch video tutorials from experienced business owners.
There are also online programs and courses that help beginners learn all they need to in order to start an online business successfully.
5. Find A Mentor
While many teenage entrepreneurs try to make successful businesses all on their own, the truth is that most of them rely on help from others. This may be in the form of a mentor, or it may be a team of people who work together in order to grow their business even faster.
For example, you could find someone who is looking for someone to do freelance coding work and create a good relationship with them.
Or maybe you could do the same with a graphic designer or digital marketer. It is important to reveal your business idea in the best possible light so people will want to work with you.
When starting a new business, teenagers should really put all their focus on finding a mentor or startup team rather than investing in their own ideas. It will preserve capital and save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
This is the best way to get advice, learn skills and experience, and allow other people to work together with you and help grow your business faster.
Also, read, Why Do Most Tech Startups Fail?
6. Be Patient With Yourself
Teenage entrepreneurs often fail miserably at first because they have a lot of enthusiasm and passion for their idea but aren’t quite ready to take it full scale. This is a good thing because it means they are trying to build their dream and make changes to the way they’ve been doing things up until this point.
However, there is nothing wrong with this feeling as long as you are learning from your mistakes. Failure can be a very valuable lesson, especially at a young age.
While it’s fine to give up sometimes, you shouldn’t stop trying altogether. It is essential that young entrepreneurs take a step back every now and then, reassess the situation and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Only after going through this exercise should, they move forward again with their business idea.
7. Incubate Your Idea
One of the best ways to launch a business is to partner up with someone else who already has experience. A simple business partnership can be a mutually beneficial relationship and if done right, will save you a lot of time and energy.
Even if you don’t have someone to work with you on your business idea, it is still worth your while to work on developing your business plan. This will help you further refine your idea, as well as identify potential problems that may arise.
8. Time To Raise Venture Capital?
Venture capitalists look for businesses with excellent growth potential. But rather than looking for growth, they look for growth opportunities. By that I mean they want companies to grow at the rates possible when investing in them.
They don’t want to pay a lot of money and see the company’s value decrease over time. They don’t need much growth history from those investments, only opportunity.
Check out, How Tech Start-Ups Make Their Money?
9. Never Stop Learning
While it is important to keep your business ideas fresh, it’s also important not to lose track of other areas that you may be interested in or are good at. Overall, this is a very good thing to do because you never know when your idea will spark something new and exciting for you.
Many teenagers turn to entrepreneurship as an alternative to college, but in reality, you’ll never want to stop learning. If you can get in the habit of always staying curious and adaptive, you’ll be lifelong success.
Creating a good business plan is a large first step in starting a successful business, but unfortunately it’s not the only step. The most important thing for a teenage entrepreneur to do is to share their progress with people.
This can be as simple as sharing your progress with your friends on social media or as complex as presenting at the local high school or community college in front of students, faculty, and staff members.
Regardless of the stage of your business, it is important to share your progress so that you can get feedback and advice from others. This will help you further refine your business plan and find out what works and what doesn’t before you start spending any significant amount of money.
11. Stay Organized
There are many ways to do this, and it really depends on your business. It is important to figure out what works for you and how to stay as organized as possible. This can be as easy as scheduling everything into a planner or using an online program like Notion.
You may like the following entrepreneurship articles:
- 18 Signs it is Time to Quit Your Job
- 10 Difference Between an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur
- How to Overcome Entrepreneurship Failure
- How to Become an Entrepreneur with No Money
- Entrepreneurship activities for every step of your entrepreneurial journey
Starting a business is the best way for teenagers to make money and really be able to call their own. While it can be hard work, it can be very rewarding and help you in many ways throughout your life. There are so many different kinds of businesses that you can start, but whatever you decide, remember that planning and organization are key when it comes to turning your business idea into a success.
Bijay is an entrepreneur and start-up founder having more than 14 years of IT industry experience. He is the co-founder of TSInfo Technologies, a SharePoint development company.
A dedicated professional and very passionate about public speaking and also wrote thousands of technical blogs in various technologies. He also wrote a lots of blogs on entrepreneurship, investment, startup, business, manage money tips, etc.