Creative Teen Job Ideas: Starting Your Own Business

So, you don't feel like running a paper route, and you don't want to babysit your neighbor's kid. What else can you do, then? Well, if you let your imagination run, and you want to run your own business, there's really no limit to the kind of work you can do.

Perhaps the first step in deciding how to start your own summer business is thinking about what really interests you. Write down a list of things that you really enjoy doing. Why? Well, why bother doing something you don't like doing, right?

Getting Started

Once you've written down a list of ideas that you're interested in, now you've got to figure out how to create a business out of your ideas. And the first thing you've go to figure out if your going to run a business is who you're going to sell to. I mean, if you don't have anyone to sell your services or products to, then you're not going to make much money, are you?

Just like if you were going to get your first part time job, you'll want to get your parent's buy-in and support. If you're lucky, perhaps you can work out a deal with your folks to lend you some "startup cash", that you might need for your business, if you promise to pay them back the loan with the proceeds you make from your venture. Even if you're not that lucky, having your parent's support is worth it; they can offer you real world advice on how to go about starting everything up. Plus, they can help you solve problems (if you approach them nicely, of course), should any problems arise.

So, say you've decided that you're really interested in animals, and you're really good with them. You sit down and think, "Man, everyone on my street has either a dog or a cat. I wonder if they'd pay me to take care of them when they're on vacation?"

Well, you've found your market. There's tons of families around you that would love to have you care for their pet; it will save them loads of money from not having to keep their pet at the kennel while they are away!

I've Found My Audience, Now What?

Now you've got to make an action plan. I know it sounds cheesy, but making a plan and get organized before you start off in your business will save you lots of time and energy in the long run, especially if you run into problems. Write down a preliminary plan for how you are going to handle the following common business tasks:

  • Marketing:

    How will you let the families know you have pet-care services?

  • Pricing:

    How much will families pay for your services?

    (Probably the best way to find this out is to get the pricing of a local kennel and determine a sensible discount.)

  • Policy:

    Will the pets stay at the families' home?
    How often will you walk the pets?
    How often will they be fed?
    How will you notify the family of a problem?
    How far will you travel to tend to the pets?
    Which vet will you use for emergencies?

    (The more questions you answer ahead of time, the better...)

  • Know Your Costs:

    What supplies will you have to purchase for the business?
    Will your prices cover your costs to allow you a decent profit?

Work, Work, Work!

Now that your master plan is complete, you've actually got to go out and do the work: hang the advertisements in the neighborhood, send an ad to the newspaper (and pay for it!), and start making a schedule of when clients are going to be on vacation. While you're getting new clients, you may think of alternate ways to make some extra money. Maybe you'll sell grooming services (think you're up for it?!), or training courses for a pet? Make sure that as you come up with ideas you write them down and answer the same kind of questions you did above to prepare yourself for any obstacles.

It is not going to be easy! We'll just warn you right now: it's going to take lots of hard work and lots of time. Nothing in life comes easy, and running your own business is no exception (it's going to be a lot harder than a normal job!). But if you play your cards right, put together an action plan, stick to it, and BE CREATIVE, you'll probably find the rewards of starting your own business is more rewarding than anything else you might do this summer...

As always, we here at wish every job seeker the best of luck in your job search!!!

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