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Here’s How to Get a Company Started When You’re a Teenager
This guest post was written and provided by Jason Kenner of On-Par Parent.
You don’t have to be in your twenties to launch a company. If the entrepreneurial fire is raging and you want to start making a profit from your skills and talents, it’s never really too early to begin the process, as long as you have the necessary perseverance and are willing to navigate the startup process diligently.
Becoming a teen entrepreneur can teach you valuable problem-solving, financial management, and decision-making skills. Not to mention, it can significantly boost your college and career prospects. Here is a quick-start guide to get you going!
Settle on an Idea
Your first step will be to identify a business idea that aligns with your talents, interests, and skills and that can bring you a profit. As a teen entrepreneur, you have plenty of options.
You could start an affiliate marketing blog where you write about topics you’re passionate about. You could open an online store selling products you believe in. You could even craft and sell your own products through an online store or major marketplaces like Etsy and Facebook Marketplace.
Some teenagers make money from tutoring or coaching younger kids, which you could do house-to-house or from your own home. If you’re good with children, you could succeed as a babysitter. If you want to add manual labor to the mix, consider starting a lawn maintenance company. Take time to explore potential ideas and research the market to gauge demand.
Identify Your USP and Market
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what distinguishesyour brand from others. It essentially describes why customers choose or should choose your company’s products or services. Whether it’s the specific product or service, the speed at which you work, or any other characteristic, determine what is unique about your business so you can strategize around it.
You’ll also need to identify precisely what customers you will target. Where do they hang out locally and online? What messages and channels will you use to reach them?
Form an Entity
Every company needs a legal structure. As a teen entrepreneur, you might benefit from establishing a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. A sole proprietorship is the easiest to set up and manage. But forming an LLC will protect you from personal liability, yield pass-through taxation, and provide other perks.
If you ever hope to scale your business, it could be worthwhile to set up a corporation. Investors are drawn to corporations because it’s typically easier to transfer a corporation’s shares than the membership interests of an LLC. Corporations are also more predictable and provide all the benefits of an LLC. Consider using an online formation service to ensure your corporation complies with all state regulations.
Develop Your Marketing Strategies
Once you start to lay a foundation for your new business, begin thinking of how you can promote it to the masses. These days, it’s critical to utilize social media, email, paid ads, and other digital marketing channels for building an online presence. But traditional marketing methods can also help you build brand recognition.
Consider using a DIY business card maker to create professional-grade business cards that will leave a lasting impression on your target customers. You can choose one of many pre-made templates and customize it with any typography, colors, text, and images you want. Many customers like business cards because it gives them something to hold and remember companies by.
Starting a business as a teen can teach you invaluable life skills that benefit your career and personal life for many years to come. Follow the tips above as you explore business ideas and lay the groundwork for your new company. And never stop learning how to be a better, more adaptable entrepreneur!
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