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Playstation2, Xbox or a Job – What is your teen doing this summer? June 19, 2006

Posted by stratbiz in Jobs for Kids - Enterprising Teens.
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Playstation2, Xbox or a Job – What is your teen doing this summer?

QuestionMarkWell it’s that time of the year again, when you look back and wonder where the time has gone…school is out for the majority of kids and I am sure there are plenty of parents like me scrambling to figure out what to do with the kids this summer. (This doesn’t apply to the well organized parent)

If you have teens with spare time on their hands, why not encourage them to start a business? Just a few words of inspiration will get them started on the road to success. As with any endeavor there are always helpful hints in getting started. Here are a few tried and true thoughts to ponder and suggestions for your teens to get them into the entrepreneurial spirit.

Teen Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do get the advice of an adult family member before starting your business.
  • Don’t try to compete directly with any big businesses; the key to finding success with your business is to find a niche – find a problem – create a solution.
  • Do come up with a creative and cool name for your business — it will make you seem more professional.
  • Don’t get too discouraged if your business starts slowly; it takes time to get your business known.
  • Do make detailed plans about how you will run your business, including the types of services you will perform (babysitting, lawn care, errands, tutoring, etc.), prices, cancellation notices, payment options, and the like. And do consider writing a mission statement or philosophy to help guide your actions.
  • Don’t let any of your customers cheat you out of your money. And do consider enlisting an adult family member to help you handle any customer disagreements.
  • Do consider developing agreements for each customer to sign. In fact, do get everything you do or plan to do in writing.
  • Don’t let a competing teen stop you from opening a similar business. If you don’t want to compete, do consider forming a partnership. With multiple partners, you’ll have a bigger network of potential customers and perhaps more time flexibility because you’ll be sharing the load. But do be aware that having partners can also add lots more hassles and aggravations.
  • Do use every available resource to spread the word about your new business, including posting flyers around the neighborhood, in community centers and religious organizations, and local stores. But remember that the best source will be the network of your family, friends, and neighbors — and current customers, once you get your business established. You can consider going door-to-door to announce your service, but don’t do it by yourself — have an adult go with you.
  • Don’t let a dissatisfied customer stay dissatisfied. One of the key rules to business success is satisfying the customer. Ask what you can do to make the customer satisfied — and then do it, if you can.
  • Do get organized, including developing a daily/weekly/monthly planner. Try not to ever accidentally forget a customer appointment, but if it does happen, try to find a way to make amends (such as a discount on the next appointment).
  • Don’t fall in the trap thinking that starting your own business will be extremely lucrative and fun; running your own business is a lot of hard work, but it will be great experience for future jobs and college applications.
  • Do be prepared to leave your friends behind when you go to work; and don’t ever skip an customer appointment to hang out with your friends — your business has to come first.
  • Don’t spend all the money you make from your business; do put some money aside to save for the future.

** Please take a moment and share your favorite teen summer job story with the rest of the Stratbiz readers…just post a comment.

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