How a Kid Can Successfully Start a Business
Earning Money As an 11-, 12-, 13- or 14-Year-Old
Under the age of 15, it is hard to find ways to earn money. You can't drive, are too young to be hired by a restaurant or business, and it's still risky to sell to strangers without a trusted adult around (and without new customers, a business cannot grow). However, a little bit of help from a parent or another trusted adult can make a world of difference!
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What Do You Like to Do?
The very first thing is figuring out what you like to do that other people might pay you for. For example, you could:
- Make and sell jewelry
- Babysit or pet-sit
- Edit photos or videos
- Wash cars
- Do yard work
That idea is the beginning of your own businesses!
The most important part of all of this is that you enjoy the activity. If you try one job out and don't like it after the first few gigs, think about it some more and choose something that might work better. Ask an adult to help you brainstorm activities that use your passions passions, talents, and strengths for your business!
Discuss the Basics With Parents
Once the type of business is decided, it is time for the big talk with the parents. Parents will have to take care of everything from taxes and paperwork to legal matters and bank accounts, so they must be involved and have some influence in the business. This is not to scare anyone off, as an unofficial business could still be operated. However, should it become highly successful and profitable, it will be necessary to make it official so that taxes can be paid as required. This is highly unlikely as most kids do not earn a livable income from the small odd jobs that they find, so it is not a huge concern for the most part.
Customers, Promotion, Scheduling, and Working
Once you've got your idea, these are the most important parts of beginning your own business!
When you knows what you will be doing, you have to let people know what service or good you are offering! This is called promotion. From telling people (either in person or through email or social media) to posting signs, get the word out that you are the person to go to for what you are selling. This will begin to pull in customers.
Once customers begin to flow in, you will have to learn how to properly schedule your customers so that you can work for them during their free time, after school, or on weekends. Ask your parents for help coming up with a system so you do not miss appointments. Home-schooled kids tend to have a bit more flexibility, so this is a wonderful opportunity for those students.
Once the customers are scheduled, you can begin to work! All kids should discuss this with their parents, as you may need assistance with promotion, communicating with customers, determining prices and rates, and transportation.
How to Determine Prices and Rates
It is important to remember that supply and demand is what determines how high of a price is on a service or product.
Supply means how much of your product or service is out there. For example, if you're mowing lawns, the supply for your service is how many other people are also offering to mow lawns where you are.
Demand means how many people want your product or service. Live in a neighborhood with a lot of rock gardens, or with very few yards? Not as many people need their lawns mowed, so the demand for your service would be lower than if you lived in a place where everyone has a lawn.
If there is a low supply and a high demand, you can charge more money. If there is a high supply and very little demand, you can't charge as much money—you might even need to sell something else. Your business choice should reflect this. A low rate helps beat out competition, but it could mean that you are working for too little as well. A price that is too high will deter customers. Compare your ideal rates to those of businesses and other service providers in your area. It should be slightly lower than the competition. This way, customers will see that they have the opportunity to get the service or product and save money!
How to Promote a Child's Business
When you decide to start a business, your parent will likely be involved in a lot of the work. Ads must be created in all different forms and sizes, complete with text, photos, and more. A phone number, email address, Facebook page, and website should all be set up. This gives potential customers more methods of communication, making it easier for them to order the service or product.
Ads should be placed on online classifieds, in newspapers, at popular pedestrian corners, on store billboards, and more. Door-to-door advertising, and calling up friends and family are both options. Word-of-mouth is a very important form of advertising when it comes to the business of a kid, as it is more likely that the potential customers are safe.
And once you get someone to buy from you, keep in touch! They're more likely to buy again than someone who never has. Keep phone number lists, email sign-up programs, regularly updated Facebook pages, and more. By keeping in contact with past customers, they will not forget the business and will be much more likely to return for more in the future.
Scheduling Customers for Services and Products
Once potential customers begin responding to ads, you or your parents can begin responding to the interested consumers and building schedules. Keeping a schedule of your clients and their needs allows you to keep your tasks neat and tidy, complete all projects on time, and keep all customers happy. You wouldn't want to forget about someone who wants to buy something from you—he or she likely won't come back!
A schedule is very important, because it is very bad if a customer is forgotten or enough time is not allocated for a particular job. You also do not want to be late for a job or appointment. Keeping everything organized, punctual, and satisfactory is very professional and keeps customers happy.
Working and Keeping Customers Happy!
After everything else, it's time to work! You can set up your business so that you are paid before or after services are performed or products are sent to the customer. Different business models require different payment structures. After the transaction is complete and the work is finished, you will be very happy to see that the customer is enthralled with your work; this is very rewarding!
In order to keep the customer happy, you need to offer fair prices and helpful services or products, stay true to your word, do all of the work as you have advertised, be on time with your job and delivery, be kind and appreciative to the customer, and thank them. This builds a worker's and a business's reputation through testimonial sites and word of mouth. Keep your customers happy and word will spread—bringing more business for you!
Never Give up
Once a business has been started, it will be easy for the business to flop over and fail. I cannot stress enough how important it is to continuously care for and believe in your business. If the owner is not wholeheartedly involved in the operation, it will not stand a chance. By keeping up with your businesses needs and nurturing it, the company will stand to see many more positive, profitable, and promising days. Never ever give up on your business; remember, the going will become rough at times, and it is up to you to triumph over the challenges!