How to Help Your Teen Start a Business

 


A lot of teenagers have an entrepreneurial spirit, especially with the rise of TikTok and all of the small businesses that create and promote accounts on there. Whether your child is interested in selling their art or tutoring others, running a business can be a great way to learn about how businesses work. If you've never been particularly interested in starting a business, you may be at a loss for how to help your teenager, but these tips can help.

Have Them Brainstorm About Their Business

If your teenager is planning on starting a business, they probably have a lot of ideas, expectations, and goals that are floating around their head. Before you can start to create a more solid business plan, you should have them list out all of their ideas and thoughts related to their business. This can make every other step of starting their business easier since they'll already have things partially figured out. It can also help you figure out where your teen is going to be running their business out of -- 69% of entrepreneurs in the U.S. start their businesses at home, but if they need access to other facilities, you can help them find how to do it. For example, if they want to sell pottery, they'll need access to a kiln.

Turn Their Brainstorm Into a Business Plan

Once you've had them write down all of their ideas, it's time to create a more coherent business plan. Although they may not need to show a business plan to investors any time soon, having one can be helpful in organizing all of their thoughts when it comes to their business. Plus any other good business will start with a business plan, and you want to help your teenager with making their business as professional as possible.

In the business plan, you'll need quite a few sections that detail the following:

  • A Business Description. What is the business about, and what is your teenager planning on selling? This can be a basic overview and shouldn't be too detailed.

  • Background Information. If there's any relevant background information, this is when you list it. if your child is trying to become an English tutor, talking about your child's accolades in English would fit well here.

  • What They're Selling. This is where you will do a more detailed description of your teenager's product or service. If they're selling handmade bracelets, have them list out the materials they use and any signification behind them.

  • Who You're Selling To. This is a part of your market research, and it should detail who your teenager's target customer is. If they're offering to do landscaping chores for neighbors, their ideal customer would be someone who has a lawn that doesn't have the time or ability to do the chores themselves.

  • A List of Competitors. Are there other similar businesses out there? What makes your teenager's business different from (and better than) them? Talk about any similar businesses and specific things that set your teen's business apart.

  • A Marketing Plan. How will your teenager get the word out about their business? Even if their plan is just to post on their social media accounts about it, that's still a plan and should be included here.

  • A Financial Plan. Where will the money for starting the business come from? Will your teenager use the profits to invest in the business? When does your teen think they'll start making a real profit? Any plans related to finances can go into this section.

Create a Logo

Every good business needs a recognizable business logo. a good logo can easily be recognized and represents the business well. Try to keep it simple -- a lot of great logos have a plain background and only one to two colors for text or images. Think of a logo like Apple or FedEx, which are both easily recognizable and simple.

This logo can go anywhere that your teenager's business is being represented -- on their social media, on order forms, or on receipts for services. If your teenager participates in any pop-up shops or craft fairs with their products, you can also get them a sign to display at their tables. Signs can help generate an additional 75% to your teen's customer base and can increase referrals, so having a good logo on that sign can really help their business.

Help Them With Their Website

48% of people agree that a website's design is the number one factor when it comes to the credibility of a business, which means that a bad website can mean losing a lot of business. Even if you're not tech-savvy, you can still help out with starting a website. Sites like WordPress or Squarespace are designed specifically for people who are not great with web design, so it makes creating a good website a lot easier.

Start a Kickstarter

If your teenager is interested in creating a unique product, a Kickstarter may be the way to go. With a Kickstarter, your teen will get the funds to fully develop and create a product, and they'll also know that there are people who are interested in their product. You should create a video talking about the product and have a good description of it to help make sure that your teenager's product gets the backing needed to succeed.

Help Them Learn from Failures and Mistakes

Mistakes will inevitably happen -- they happen to everyone, even fully-grown entrepreneurs. It can be easy for your teenager to get down on themselves and want to quit once they make a mistake. That's when it's your turn as the parent to help them learn from their mistakes. Did they create too many of one product that isn't selling well? Well, now they will know not to overproduce in the future. Did they overcommit to too many tutoring sessions and now they can't do their own coursework? You two can work on time management skills together. Failure isn't necessarily permanent for a business, and even if it is, your teenager has the chance to grow from it.

Starting a business can be hard at any age, and that's why it's important to be there for your teenager as they start their own.

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