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  • Writer's pictureThe Giggling Pig

How to Be a Successful Teenage Entrepreneur

By Janice Russell

Starting your own company as a teenager can help you learn valuable business skills, as well as set you on the road to entrepreneurship. The key to running a successful venture is to plan ahead, prepare, stay organized, and manage your time wisely.

The Giggling Pig Art & Party Studio can give you a professional image by serving as your virtual assistant.

Brainstorm Business Ideas

If you know you want to run a business, but are unsure of what to do, observe your local marketplace and your community and look for “holes'' to fill. For example, if no restaurants offer delivery services, you could start one. No pet sitters around? You could be first in the market. Are tutors limited? An after-school tutoring program could net you some cool cash while helping teachers, parents, and students through tough subject materials. The key is to find an area in which you are interested and/or skilled and determine if there’s a w

ay to monetize a product or service.

Monetize Your Art Skills

If you have an artistic bent, it’s possible to turn your talents into a revenue stream. First consider improving your techniques and learning new ones by attending summer camps and workshops at The Giggling Pig Art & Party Studio. One potential medium for your creative and artistic talents is playing video games. you could start a YouTube channel or blog detailing strategies for playing your favorite game. If Minecraft is your preferred game, create your own banner with an online banner maker to help with your branding. To create an attractive banner, first find Minecraft banner designs, then select a template and customize it with your own images, fonts, backgrounds, and design assets.

Start Your Research

Now you have a business concept. Who is your market? How will you reach them? According to Penn State Extension, you can do a lot of pre-launch analysis by writing a comprehensive bus

iness and marketing plan. This will help you better define your offerings, identify your target demographic, and outline your organizational functions. This will include budgeting, and is an important step, especially if you want to apply for a small business loan or secure any other type of outside financing to help get your business off t

he ground and running.

Allocate Your Time Wisely

If you’re a

teenager, you’re likely still in school and may have homework and extracurricular activities to contend with. Byerly Enterprises notes that you’ll want to factor this into your time management strategy. You’ll need to build in flexibility to your operational structure, whether that means setting specific work hours, hiring others to work with you, or running a virtual or online business that you can operate on your own timetable. If you get too overwhelmed, both your business and your education can suffer. You’ll also need to build in personal downtime to avoid burnout.

Determine What You Need

Once you’re ready to launch, you’ll need to think about equipment and supply needs. You’ll also wan

t to get a business license and even incorporate your business. The type of incorporation status you decide on will determine how you pay taxes, how much protection you have from various types of liability, and whether you can scale and hire employees or take on investors. All states have different rules around incorporation, so learn Ohio’s in advance. A formation company can take the hassle out of the process.

Market Yourself Well

A primary key to success in business is in effectively marketing your company. Create a simple website

, and get business cards made up. And don’t neglect getting your name out there on social media, a must-do in this day and age. Posting ads on social media doesn’t require much time or money; in fact, these online tools create Facebook ads for free, and you’ll know that all the requirements for posting on that platform are met. You can customize your own ads in just minutes.

You can also find your first customers by reaching out to family, friends, and potentially even local business owners. Word-of-mouth advertising is important, so be sure to provide exceptional levels of customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask happy consumers for referrals - it’s another low-cost way to build your business.

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