Summer Plans--Start a BusinessJun 03, 2022
Still thinking of ways to make your high school summers count? Some young adults score an internship, some are lucky enough to undertake travel that incorporates fun and community service, and others take a summer job in order to squirrel money away. One exciting idea is to start your own business. The right business can accomplish a lot – real-world experience, money in the bank, and a roadmap towards your future. How you may ask? Consider a few businesses that were started by high school students: Maddie Rae’s Slime Glue, Wise Pocket, Are you kidding, Me and the Bees Lemonade, Maya’s Ideas, and Mo’s Bows. These are a few that illustrate the wildly successful young entrepreneurs who continue to thrive and grow, despite their youth. A few multimillionaires today got their start as very young men: Mark Cuban sold garbage bags out of his garage, Elon Musk built and sold a video game, and Richard Branson bred and sold parakeets. A few extremely successful young women who are changing the world include Riya Karumanchi, Hannah Grace, Riya Sinha, Avye Coulote, and Miracle Olatunji.
The takeaway from all these names and ideas is found in the word “variety.” There are so many interesting ways of starting your own business during high school! Here are a few ideas: Candle making, skincare/ make-up/ beauty products, fashion accessories, toy/ teen product reviews, baking cookies/decorating cakes, party/special event/ holiday set up and takedown, rickshaw rides, social media marketing, dog walker, house/pet sitter, babysitting, music/academic tutor, cleaning houses/cars, house/apartment mover, window cleaner, tour guide to local fishing holes/natural areas, dog treat baker or even dog poop picker-upper. All these ideas are well within the grasp of an active and ambitious high school student, matching individual skills, interests, and abilities. Some students choose to spend time first exploring and learning more about setting up a business. Check out Camp BizSmart, Treps, Moonshot Junior, and Junior Achievement. These are wonderful opportunities for high school students to explore entrepreneurship with the goal of supporting their ideas.
For those who have decided to forge ahead with their business idea, there are some important steps to take in order to ensure a smooth beginning:
- Explore the market and come up with a solid pricing structure for your product or service.
- Pick a good name for your business, check that it hasn’t already been ‘taken’, and select a URL. Again, make sure that it hasn’t been adopted by another business.
- Market early and often. Vary your marketing media – online, flyers, canvassing friends and family.
- Start saving your money as soon as you can. If you know you have an entrepreneurial spirit, start saving in elementary/middle school and ask family for extra chores to build upon your savings.
- Seek advice from those in the know but don’t limit that advice to just family. Explore local resources already in the field. If you can, get a part-time job during the school year in that field to learn from the inside. This serves two purposes – makes money and provides you with first-hand information and experience. Work towards building contacts and connections in your field.
- Consider seeking out additional financial support. Some young people have been able to fund their new business through Kickstarter; others have been lucky enough to have family support.
- Find out about your need to register your business. Do you have to apply for permits or licenses? Your local County Clerk’s office will be a great place to start.
- Open a bank account for your business. It’s important to separate your personal funds from your business funds, and you may need an adult as a co-signer on that account.
Finally, as you embark upon your new venture, be sure to pick your passion. Come up with an idea that resonates with your specific interests and talents. It’s more important to start your business doing what you both love and what you know. Don’t do lawn care if you don’t like the heat; don’t work as a Mathematics tutor if you’re pulling Ds in Algebra 2; don’t decorate cakes if you hate baking...and the list goes on. Instead, target your passions and interests, abilities, and talents. Be dedicated, determined, and consistent. Don’t start what you can’t finish, and stay with what you begin. But, be prepared to fail, and don’t ever be afraid of failure. If at first...you know how that sentence ends!
Photo by Dominika Roseclay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-framed-eyeglasses-905163/
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