Starting a business as a teenager is an exciting and challenging endeavor. It's not just about making money; it's about learning valuable skills, gaining experience, and building a foundation for your future. Here's the ultimate guide to help you navigate the world of teen entrepreneurship.
Crucial Steps to Starting a Business as a Teenager:
Coming up with the Teen Business Idea
Starting a teen business? Cool! From helping neighbors to selling stuff on Etsy, there's a world of opportunities. But hey, don't just jump in. Here's what you gotta know:
Find Your Passion: Pick something you love, so you won't get bored while juggling school and other stuff.
Discover Your Unique Thing: What makes you different? Speed, style, or something else? Find it and rock it!
Know Your Peeps: Who are your customers? Whether it's your neighbors or online peeps, figure out where they chill and what they want.
Talk to Potential Clients: Ask them what they want and if they'd spend real money on it.
Still can't discover a business idea? Check out our Top 16 Business Ideas for Teens in 2023
Remember, it's cool to say "no" to your first few ideas. Most teen entrepreneurs don't nail it the first time. But don't waste too much time or cash on the wrong stuff. Ask yourself these questions, be honest, and you'll find the right path. Starting a business is tough, but with the right vibe and dedication, you'll be the boss of your own thriving teen business in no time! 🎉
Creating a Teen Business Plan
Want your teen business to be more than just pocket money? Dreaming of college fund levels of success? You might need a business plan. It's like a game plan for your business, helping you figure out how to win at marketing, sales, and growth.
Here's what a rad business plan should cover:
Executive Summary: The TL;DR of your business plan.
Goals: What you wanna achieve.
Business Deets: What's your business about? Give some background.
Market Analysis: Who wants what you've got?
Structure: How's your business set up?
Business Model: How you'll make money.
Marketing & Sales: How you'll spread the word and make sales.
Money Talk: Your financial goals and how you'll reach 'em.
Extras: Any other cool stuff you want to include?
Not sure how to start? No worries! Check out our guide to writing your business plan. It's like a cheat sheet for success! 🎮🏆
Download Jetson - #1 app teenagers are using to start their business and learn about entrepreneurship
Choose a Structure and Register Your Business
Starting a business? You gotta pick the right structure. Here's the lowdown:
LLC (Limited Liability Company): Fast, simple, and protects your personal stuff. If you're serious about your teen business, this is the way to go. Under 18? You'll need your parents to help you set it up.
S Corporation: More complex, and not really the vibe for a small teen business.
C Corporation: These are big and complicated. Way more than most teen bosses need.
Thinking about an LLC for your teen business? Cool! But maybe find a mentor in your field to guide you. LLC rules can be different in each state, but don't stress. Learn about LLCs in our other article :)
Set up Your Business Operations
Got your teen business legally sorted? Awesome! Now, let's get everything else in place:
Location: Where's your HQ? Home, online, or somewhere else? It depends on your biz.
Tech & Tools: Grab the right apps and software to make life easier. Check our list at the end of this guide for the best ones.
Marketing: Who's your crowd, and how will you reach them? Figure out your marketing game, and create some eye-catching stuff to draw them in.
Money Matters: Making more than $400 a year? Time for a business bank account and some serious record-keeping. Taxes are no joke, but we can help you handle them.
Equipment: What gear do you need? Tech, tools, or something else? Get what you need to wow your customers.
Setting up your teen business is like building a cool gaming rig. Get the right parts, put them together, and you're ready to rock! 🎮🎸
Understand Your Rules, Regulations, and Taxes
Starting a teen business? There's some serious stuff you gotta know:
Parent or Guardian Help: Under 18? You'll need a parent or guardian to help you start your business. It's the law, and it's there for a good reason.
Legal Stuff: You can't be the boss of your own corporation or LLC if you're a minor, but you can still be a member or partner. Some states are more teen-friendly, like Montana, South Dakota, Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming. 🗺️
State Rules: Different states have different rules. Your parents might need to chat with a lawyer to figure out the local laws, like child labor rules and liability risks.
Taxes: Yep, even teen businesses pay taxes. Self-employment tax, state income tax, federal income tax, and maybe even sales tax. Save about a third of your earnings for tax time, or let us handle the tax prep for you.
Starting a teen business is like leveling up in a game. There are challenges, but with the right knowledge and help, you can totally win! 🎮🏅
Don't Stop Learning from Others: Online Tools for Your Teen Business
You might be a pro at TikTok and Twitch, but what about tools for your business? Check out these platforms to level up your game in project management, marketing, and more:
Project Management: Asana, Basecamp, Trello
Productivity: Todoist, Evernote
Collaboration: Google Docs, Dropbox, Box
Social Media Management: Hootsuite, Buffer, BuzzSumo, Sprout Social
Communication: Grasshopper, Slack, Yammer
Email Marketing: MailChimp, CampaignMonitor
Advertising: Google AdWords, Microsoft Advertising
Marketing Automation: Hubspot, BenchmarkONE
CRM: SalesForce, Insightly, Zoho CRM
Customer Support: ZenDesk, Help Scout, SurveyMonkey
Human Resources: Gusto, Hire Athena
Legal: DocuSign, RightSignature
Ecommerce: Wix, Recurly, Vendio, Square
Website Development: Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress
Analytics: Google Analytics, Matomo
SEO: SemRush, KWFinder, Moz, AHREFS