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.