Nothing prepares your teen for the real world better than teaching them how to start their own business. Reality shows that being a teenager is expensive. Clothes, sports, saving for college, and fun nights out with friends aren’t free. And after a while the parents aren’t going to fork over unlimited amounts of money.
There are ways for teens to start their own business, while they are still young. Here are some tips for teaching your teen how to start their own business.
Weigh the Options
Before your teen can start a business, they need to know what options are available. Your teen could start anything from a lawn care business to a cleaning business, it depends on what they feel comfortable doing. Remind them that this isn’t forever, but it is a way to buckle down and earn some cash while they are still in their teens.
Go Through the Motions
Running a business is all about happy customers. Talk to your teen about how a business works. They are providing a service for someone and in exchange they are getting paid. Walk your teen through what it’s like to own a business, get paid, and then deal with the ins-and-outs of the admin part of the business (billing, customer service, responsibility).
Start the Marketing
Making a business as a teenager is a little different than a big cooperation would use. A teenage will most likely use old fashioned marketing tactics like word of mouth and flyers. Social media also opens up a creative way to market to people in their area. Have your teenage decide how many customers they’d like to start out with and then from there they can grow as they see fit.
Be Firm, But Supportive
As a parent, you will experience many emotions watching your teenager work hard for their own cash. It’s important that you, as a parent, remain firm but supportive. Help them when you can, but don’t coddle them. Let them learn from their own mistakes, but don’t throw them under the bus either. It’s best to have a middle man approach. The more you teach them now about owning a business and making money now, the more independent they’ll become later.
Related: Best Summer Activities for Teens
Now Comes the Budgeting
When payday arrives from owning their own business, it’s important that they know a few things.
Expenses need paid (gas for the mower, paying for the cleaning supplies, paying the person that drove them from client to client).
Saving, Spending, and Sharing
Money should be broken up into three categories. Allow your teen to budget as they see fit. However, your opinions are allowed.
Show them that just because they are making money it doesn’t mean it should be spent all in one place.
Who knows, this business that your teenager starts now could help them work their way through college or even provide for their family one day. Do you have any tips to add?
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