Are you a teenager needing some money and looking for a job? These days, teenagers find it very difficult to get hired for entry-level jobs, but there is an alternative way to earn money – start a micro business!
A micro business is a small and manageable business. It fits into your life. You can work as much as or little as you want, usually from home, and when it’s convenient for you. You can also make good money – sometimes better than working fast food or at the mall.
Here are six easy steps to take to get started:
1.Come up with an idea based on your interests, skills and experiences.
List everything you already know and mark those areas with potential money-making ability and a market for what you will offer. The most successful businesses see a need and then fill it.
Emily saw a need for beginning ballet lessons that used uplifting, inspirational music instead of popular music for children. She was already an accomplished dancer at 15 and so she started a micro business giving beginning ballet lessons to six young girls with an emphasis on age-appropriate, wholesome music.Conduct a mini market survey. Find at least five potential customers and seek their opinions on your micro business idea. Ask them:
Would you buy this product or service from me?
How much would you pay?
2. Plan your expenses including how much money you will need to start
Think through these questions:
What do you need to start your business? List both equipment and cash needed for initial expenses such as advertising.
Where will your start-up funds come from?
What will you charge? (You may get your first customers by under-charging the competition. One teenager charged half what other house cleaners were paid and quickly had several customers.)
Can you make a profit?
How long will it take for you to be profitable?
Edgar is bilingual in Spanish and English and earned money tutoring younger students in Spanish. He made money the first minute he started working!
4. Launch your first advertising campaign.
Try to use free advertising such as emails, on-line forums, Facebook posts, and handing out fliers to friends and neighbors. Be sure to include several ways to contact you, including email and phone numbers.
5. Build a Reputation
Some teenagers find it is helpful to volunteer to do a few jobs for free to practice their skills and to build a reputation. Bethany volunteered to be a mother’s helper before she tried babysitting on her own. She used recommendations from volunteering to advertise her babysitting business.Treat your customers well. Arrive on time, cleanly dressed and ready to work. Smile, shake hands with the adults, and look them in the eye (grown ups love that!).
6. Keep learning
Learn about customer service, marketing, and record keeping. Read up on taxes, too. Teenage business owners will need to file their own tax return, may owe federal or state income tax, and may be subject to self-employment tax also. Become a student of business and seek to be continually learning more.