Do you want to be independent, enterprising and successful at age 15, 16 or 17? If Yes, here are 20 sure tips to help you become an entrepreneur at a young age. It is never too early for you to start a business and become an entrepreneur. Gone are the days when parents had to make their kids go through high school, and then college, before they give them the liberty to pursue their private dreams.
The days when almost everyone was focused on how to get a job after school are far behind us. Inspirational stories of young and successful entrepreneurs like Nick D’Alosio who became a millionaire at 17, and Cameron Johnson who launched his first business when he was only 9 years old, have inspired parents, and teenagers all over the world to see that they don’t have to wait till they are 30 to become successful.
You can easily become the D’Alosio or Johnson of your generation. We have put together 20 powerful and effective tips to help you achieve this dream easily.
How to Become an Entrepreneur at 15, 16 or 17
Table of Content
- 1. Build a Strong Savings Habit
- 2. Look for Problems You Can Help Your Friends Solve
- 3. Use Your Holidays Wisely
- 4. Sell Items Online
- 5. Become a Freelancer
- 6. Don’t Expect Everything to Go Smoothly
- 7. Make Friends With The Right People
- 8. Write Your Business Plan
- 9. Get Some Experience
- 10. Find a Mentor
- 11. Don’t Procrastinate
- 12. Start Building Credit
- 13. Become a Broker
- 14. Read Business Books
- 15. Learn How to Network
- 16. Get Organized
- 17. Hone Your Marketing Skills
- 18. Package Your Business
- 19. Promote Your Business
- 20. Don’t Be Scared to Hire Help
For you to be able to start a business at such an early age, you would need some funds. Sometimes, your parents may be unable to provide the funds you need to start a business, or may not even understand why you are looking to start a business when you should be focused on your studies.
This means that you would need to find ways to raise funds on your own. You can do this by starting your own piggy bank savings scheme. Start dropping any extra cash you get from your parents or from gifts from family and friends in your piggy bank until you have something tangible to start a business of your own.
You may have to pass on some luxuries or fun activities that kids your age would usually be engaged in. If you really want to become an entrepreneur at a young age, you would have to make a lot of financial sacrifices to be able to raise seed money because it is unlikely that any financial institution would be willing to offer loans to an inexperienced teenager.
A young teenager once started, and made a lot of money from offering wristwatch repair services to his friends and colleagues at school. He started with helping his friends fix their wristwatches each anytime it malfunctioned, and gradually, he became known as the go-to guy for wristwatch repairs all around school.
There are lots of things that your friends and colleagues may not know how to do on their own, and you can capitalize on these and start a business that helps to solve their problems.
3. Use Your Holidays Wisely
Look for things you can sell during your holidays. Holidays are a very great time for you to develop and hone your business skills. For instance, you can buy some nice looking beach hats, swim suits or refreshments, and sell them around places where tourists and holiday makers often visit.
It is unlikely that you would make millions from this but you would learn a whole lot about entrepreneurship, and get yourself ready for any challenges that may come in future.
Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, Etsy; all these are very good platforms to set up businesses online. You can sell almost anything on these platforms and you don’t necessarily need start-up capital to start selling on these platforms.
You can use the dropshipping model whereby you get a wholesaler or manufacturer who you can be buying items from at rates that are cheaper than market rates, and then each time you get an order from your online store on Amazon or Ebay, you simply get the address of the customer, make the order from the wholesaler, input the address of the customer, and have it shipped to the customer directly.
With this Business model, you don’t have to lift a finger, and you can concentrate on your studies whilst still making some cool cash on the side.
5. Become a Freelancer
If there are any special skills that you have, you can sell them online for cool cash on the internet. For instance, if you are a talented writer, graphic designer, or you know how to design a website, you can earn money from offering these services part-time on freelancing websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, or Upwork.
There are dozens of services that you don’t have to spend too much time doing, and you can easily make cool cash on these platforms.
6. Don’t Expect Everything to Go Smoothly
One important lesson you need to learn as a young entrepreneur is that failure is also part of the process, you may not necessarily achieve success at your first try, and many things may not work out according to your plan. The key to overcoming your failures is to never stay down; always grab vital lessons from your failures and keep it moving.
Consistency and a relentless attitude are two important traits that would help you succeed.
7. Make Friends With The Right People
Your friends must be people with similar goals in mind. Most teenagers are not thinking of how to start a business hence, their actions, habits and decisions might not align with yours.
If you are looking to save more money to start a business, and your friends are people who always love to buy the latest designer wears and hang out at fun places all weekend, you might never achieve your savings goals because you would most likely be influenced by their lifestyle and characters. You have to look for friends who have similar goals as yours, and can help motivate you to achieve your goals.
You are not too young to have a business plan. You would find it very helpful if you can have all your business ideas and goals written down. You can easily break down your plan into smaller goals, and figure out the actions you need to continue to take to help you achieve your goals.
9. Get Some Experience
Most times, it helps to have a basic understanding of the sector and industry you are looking to do business in. This would help you reduce chances of failure to a large extent. You can start by taking up holiday jobs that are related to the business you want to set up.
For instance, if you are looking to start a car washing service, you can take up part-time or holiday jobs at a car washing center around your home so that you can gain some basic knowledge and experience on how to successfully run a car wash business, and you can use this knowledge to set up, and run your own business successfully.
10. Find a Mentor
Alongside acquiring some experience, you also need someone who is knowledgeable and experienced with running businesses successfully, to act as your mentor. Having a much older and experienced person on your side can help you build confidence and alleviate any fears and doubts you may have concerning setting up, and running your business.
The whole idea of starting a business as such a young age is to avoid being a late bloomer like most people. Well, procrastination would definitely defeat this purpose hence; you have to avoid procrastination like a rotten meal.
You need to learn how to put in all the work required for you to achieve your goals without unnecessary procrastination.
You must learn how to make judicious use of your time, avoid wasteful activities, and cut back on social media activities. You must learn how to multitask and put in more work than most of your colleagues who are not looking to start their own businesses.
You don’t have to wait until you are 18 to start building credit. You can start at a younger age by asking your parents to co-sign a credit card for you, and learn to use it wisely. If you are able to build a very good credit score, you would find it easier to apply for, and obtain loans for your business when you are old enough to apply for one.
13. Become a Broker
Business is not necessarily about buying and selling; sometimes you can make good money by helping people find things that they cannot easily find themselves. If you don’t have too much time to put into running a business, you can consider becoming a business broker.
You can help your neighbor find someone to tend their garden or clean their pool and earn commission from the service provider. There are a lot of opportunities like this online. You can even start from craigslist or other classified ads website- try to match people who are looking for services to people who can offer them, and make money without having to lift a finger.
As a young entrepreneur, your greatest asset is your mind and you must learn how to develop it. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of succeeding. The best way to acquire more knowledge is to read business related books. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a very great book for teenagers looking to become wealthy at a young age. You would learn a lot of tips and tricks that would better position you for success when you read wide.
Money is not the greatest asset you need for your business to succeed. It would surprise you to know that most times, you need the right connections more than you need cash. You must learn how to meet, and keep the right people in your circle; people who have something to offer towards the success of your business.
This means you need to be bold, learn how to walk up to people and make friends with them. You also need to make good first impressions, and show people that you have something to offer because most business-minded individuals would not make friends with you unless they can see that you really have something to offer.
16. Get Organized
If you are still that boy or girl whose parents have to keep telling what to do at every turn, then you might just not be ready for the entrepreneurship world. You need to be responsible, organized, and show some maturity to be able to succeed as a young entrepreneur, otherwise people would see you as immature, and may refuse to do business with you.
You need to build your marketing skills and learn how to convince people to patronize your business. Marketing skills don’t always come naturally; you may need to take time to read books, and take online courses that would help you develop these skills.
18. Package Your Business
You don’t have to make it obvious that your business is owned by a teenager. Package your business like every regular business- get a website, a business logo, business telephones, and every other tool or equipment that would convince people that you are a legitimate business that they can trust.
Don’t just rely on your friends and family to patronize your business. You can expand your reach and build a wider customer base, using the social media for promotion. You can get a lot of free promotion from social media, then as soon as your business makes enough money, you can start considering paid advert options.
As long as you can afford it, don’t ever feel too young to hire people to help out with different aspects of your business. Mark Zuckerberg became an entrepreneur at a young age and till date; he still has a lot of older people working for him. It is never too early to start hiring paid help as long as you can afford it. If you are able to delegate some tasks to other people, it would save you time to focus on other aspects of your life.
In conclusion, becoming an entrepreneur at such a young age takes a lot of sacrifice. You may have to pass on some of the activities and luxuries that other teenagers often enjoy in order to focus squarely on working on achieving your goals. You should also inform your parents about your plans so that they would be more supportive towards your efforts, and they can offer some assistance and mentorship.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Qualifies A Person As An Entrepreneur?
A person is qualified as an entrepreneur if the person is someone who develops an enterprise around an innovation and if the person manages the business and assume the risk for its success.
Is Money The Key To Entrepreneurial Success?
Every successful business tends to start from humble beginnings, with the spark of an idea and often very little else, particularly money. But in those early startup days, money is not necessarily the key to success – passion, innovation and determination to create something unique is often far more powerful
What Does It Take To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?
To become a successful entrepreneur;
- You must be passionate about your business
- You must be disciplined and focused
- You must be dodged and resilient
- You must be a good manager of people and resources
- You must be a good marketer and sales person
- You must be patient
- You must be humble and ready to learn (you must be teachable)
- You must be honest
- You must have hindsight and foresight
- You must be a good leader
What To Study To Become An Entrepreneur?
There is no specific course that is designated for those who want to become entrepreneurs, but in addition to whatever course you study in the university, you may want to study business management or any entrepreneurial related course.
Are Entrepreneurs Born Or Made?
It depends on the side of the divide you are looking at it from. Some school of thought believe that entrepreneurs are born while others believe that entrepreneurs are made.
How Do You Know If Being an Entrepreneur Is Right For You?
You should know if being an entrepreneur is right for you when you are no longer comfortable keeping a 9 to 5 job. You would rather prefer to try your hands on different businesses that can fetch you money.
What Skills Does An Entrepreneur Need?
- Business management skills.
- Teamwork and leadership skills.
- Communication and listening.
- Customer service skills.
- Financial skills.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Critical thinking skills.
- Strategic thinking and planning skills.
- Negotiation and bargaining skills
- Interpersonal skills
What Are The Key Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know Before Starting Their Business?
- Stay Lean Financially
- Networking Is Essential
- Marketing Is key
- Never Give Up
What Business Can Make You A Millionaire?
To be honest, there are over a thousand and one business ideas that can make someone a millionaire and some of them are;
- Investing in oil and gas
- Investing in real estate
- Investing in Info Tech and software development
- Investing sports (becoming a football agent)
- Buying and selling diamonds, gold and other precious metals
- Investing in the aviation industry (owning an airline company)
- Investing in shipping (owning shipping line)
- Investing in automobile (owning luxurious automobile garage)
- Investing bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency
- Investing in exportation and importation of good
Do Entrepreneurs Make Good Money?
Well, it will be safe to say some entrepreneurs make good money.
What Are The Common Barriers To Becoming An Entrepreneur?
- Environmental barriers
- Financial constraints
- Personal barrier
- Society barrier
- Political barrier
What Kind Of Job Descriptions Do Entrepreneurs Have?
The kind of job descriptions entrepreneurs have vary and trust me, they are not cast on stone. An entrepreneur that has successfully built a well-structured business is expected to;
- Increase management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives
- Provide direction for the business
- Define job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carry out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Design job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
What Are The Biggest Challenges For Small Businesses?
- Client Dependence.
- Money Management.
- Founder Dependence.
- Balancing Quality and Growth.
Is Entrepreneur A Good Career?
Sure it is, and as a matter of fact, entrepreneurs rank among the happiest careers. Overall, they rank in the 93rd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.
How Do New Entrepreneurs Advertise Their Business?
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households and businesses within your location
- Advertise your services in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
How Much Money Do Entrepreneurs Make?
No one can categorically state the amount entrepreneurs make. The truth is that you can be rest assured that entrepreneurs make a lot of money.
What Kind Of People Make The Best Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and always ready to risk a future of uncertainty. They have to take risks on an everyday basis because it is a part of running a business.
Is It Hard To Be An Entrepreneur?
To be honest with you, it is hard to become an entrepreneur. This is so because as an entrepreneur, you can have sleepless nights, you can lack money and have zero time for social gathering for you are trying to build a new business from the scratch.
What Are The Primary Reasons People Become Entrepreneurs?
- Achievement, Challenge, & Learning.
- Independence & Autonomy.
- Income Security and Financial Success.
- Recognition and Status.
- Dissatisfaction with Current Work Arrangements.
- Community and Social Motivation.
How Do You Become An Entrepreneur With No Money?
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
What Is The Best Definition Of Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship refers to the process of creating a new enterprise and bearing any of its risks, with the view of making a profit. The person who creates a new enterprise and embraces every challenge for its development and operation is known as an entrepreneur
What Are The 4 Types Of Entrepreneurship?
- Small Business Entrepreneurship.
- Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship.
- Large Company Entrepreneurship.
- Social Entrepreneurship.
Who Is The Richest Entrepreneur?
Jeff Bezos. Born in 1964, Jeff Bezos is the founder & CEO of the e-commerce giant Amazon. With a net worth of $131 Billion, he tops the list of richest entrepreneurs.
What Is The Cheapest Business To Open?
- Online seller.
- Virtual educator/trainer.
- Social media marketer.
- Freelance writer or editor.
- Sales consultant.
- DIY crafts and treats.
- Lawn care
- Consignment sales business.
Which Is Better Job Or Entrepreneurship?
In comparison to entrepreneurs, an employee can have a better work-life balance. Business often requires hours of work to get off the ground and operate successfully. Many entrepreneurs often get tangled in excess work and end up having a negative impact on their personal lives.
What Do Entrepreneurs Do Daily?
It is the norm for entrepreneurs to engage daily in making calls to find investors or clients, creating online marketing campaigns through social media to generate buzz for your product, or negotiating with manufacturers to determine production costs.
What Are Some Of The Disadvantages Of Entrepreneurship?
- You must be involved in every aspect of the business at the initial stage.
- You won’t have flexible hours all the time.
- You won’t earn much in the first year (or more) of your efforts.
- You will experience more stress than you can ever remember.
Do Entrepreneurs Have Free Time?
People usually think that entrepreneurs have enough time to do other stuffs, but that is not true. As a matter of fact, as an entrepreneur, you will have less time to do other things because the success of your business will pre-occupy your mind 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
How Much Will It Cost To Get Your Business Going?
The amount you will need to get your business going will depends on the type of business you are running and of course the size of the business.
What Business You Can Do From Home?
There are load of businesses you can do from home and some of them are;
- Digital Marketing Services
- Dog Training (Grooming) Business
- Buying and Sell On eBay
- Video Editing Services
- Sales of Cakes and Cupcakes
- Yard Sales (Consignment Store)
- Homemade Chocolate and Candy Business
- Dry Cleaning Services (Laundry Business)
- Sale of Customized Greeting Cards and Flowers (Bouquet)
- Editing and Proof Reading Business
What Are The Most Successful Small Businesses?
- Personal Wellness.
- Courses in Other Hobbies.
- Bookkeeping and Accounting.
- Graphic Design.
- Social Media Management.
- Marketing Copywriter.
- Virtual Assistant Services.
What Do The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Do?
The most effective entrepreneurs view themselves as assets. They continually invest in themselves and in their future through continuing education and self-improvement. If you want to become a better entrepreneur and successfully grow your business, dedicate time and energy to improve your daily habits.
What Can You Sell From Home To Make Money?
- Homemade cookies, cake, candies and cupcakes et al
- Consignment (secondhand stuffs from your garage or yard)
- Flowers and bouquet
- Ice creams and sodas
- Customized greeting cards and artworks
- Internet bundles and call credits
- Tickets for events
- Ice block
- Books, eBooks and videos et al
What Do Entrepreneurs Want Most?
An entrepreneur needs to sell the business idea to potential investors, the product or service to customers, and themselves to employees. If an entrepreneur is able to communicate effectively, they are better equipped to sell their ideas and physical products.
What Is The Main Reason That Entrepreneurships Fail?
Entrepreneurs often fail because their companies are invisible to the world because they cannot bear to spend money on marketing and PR. This is a huge mistake that some entrepreneurs make when the money gets tight.
36. What Is The Easiest Business To Start?
The easiest business to start is a service business, especially for a beginner. A service business is any kind of business where you sell services. In other words, you sell your skill, labor or expertise — instead of products or goods.
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