If you love to challenge yourself, start your own business! Create a product or service that you’re passionate about and gather the materials and money you need. Come up with achievable business goals. With practice, you’ll gain valuable experience and confidence.
Developing a Business Plan
1) Write down a list of things you’re passionate about. If you don’t already have a business idea, brainstorm ideas. Make a list of the things you’re really interested in. These don’t need to be businesses, but just things you really enjoy. You might enjoy music, building, athletics, or games. If you happen to think of business ideas too, that’s great!
- For example, you might already know that you want to make bracelets and sell them at a neighborhood market. Or you may just write down that you enjoy dogs, playing the piano, or drawing.
2) Come up with a product or service to sell. Look at the list of things you enjoy and think of things you could make or do. This will be your business idea. For example, if you love kids, start a babysitting service. If you enjoy drawing, make paintings or sketches to sell at local craft fairs. You could turn a knack for computers into a job designing apps.
- Once you’ve decided on a product or service, consider if the business will be profitable or whether you’d be happier treating it like a hobby.
3) Gather the materials and training you’ll need. Make a list of all the equipment you’ll need and ask an adult to help you get them. It’s also important to get training that’s necessary for the job you want to do. For example, if you want to start a babysitting business, you should probably take first aid and childcare classes.
- For example, if you need larger equipment such as a lawn mower, talk with an adult about borrowing or renting the machine.
4) Run your business in person. If you choose to sell your product or market your services in person, find a location such as a booth or stall. Find out if there are any fees you need to pay in order to sell your items. To market services, consider going door-to-door and leaving flyers.
- For example, sell homemade candles at your town’s weekly market. To advertise your landscaping business, you might leave door-hanging flyers in your neighborhood.
5) Create an online presence. Even if you’re selling a service, it’s a good idea to have a website so people can contact you, read reviews, and see what services you offer. Set up other social media accounts so you can show pictures of your work.
- For example, if you baked a cake for someone’s birthday party, ask the customer if you can share a photo of the cake at the party.
- Think about incentives you can offer customers. For example, offer a slight discount if they sign up for a regular service instead of a one-time service.
6) Create a budget and look for investors. Make a list of all the supplies you’ll have to buy, as well as things that will cost money once the business is going advertising. Examine how much money you have available to start your business and how you’re going to spend it. If you need money to start the business, ask your parents or family if they’d like to be investors.
- For example, take an itemized list of your business costs to your parents and tell them exactly how much money you need to start up. Offer to use some of your own money or give them control over certain business aspects such as marketing.
- For example, if you’re running a craft booth, list the fee for renting the space, the cost of tables or a tent, and the costs for your materials.
7) Set realistic goals for your business. While it’s a good idea to have a few financial goals such as making money after a month or two, keep in mind that there are other ways to succeed in business. Give yourself manageable goals such as:
- Building a customer base
- Selling your product or service in a new venue or area
- Getting new investors
- Getting good reviews from customers
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