As your teen prepares to leave the nest, it may be a good idea to encourage entrepreneurial endeavors. As you may know, business entrepreneurship for teens is on the rise. Homeschooling gives the perfect opportunity for your teens to explore their interests, gifts, and passions and then turn those into a business. And while entrepreneurship may not be for every teen or family, there are viable reasons one should consider exploring the possibility.
Why Business Entrepreneurship for Teens?
As I mentioned above, with all things considered, homeschoolers have great advantages to working as entrepreneurs. So, let’s cover why entrepreneurship for teens may be such a great option for your teen.
His Individuality is Being Nurtured
Needless to say that regardless of curriculum or homeschooling method choice, most homeschool parents nurture their child’s individuality. And if you do, bravo! Ultimately, this is gifting your teen with the ability to grow in his strengths and develop his interests. Sooner or later, he may think of ways to use what he’s learning about himself to start a business.
Certainly, the homeschooling life allows for a flexible schedule. Often times, customers or clients need to have work done during morning or afternoon weekday hours. And since your teen homeschools, there can be some flexibility in his schedule to accommodate clients or customers.
With this in mind, be sure to know your state’s requirements for how many hours students may work during the week. While it’s exciting for teens to earn an income, their high school education needs to continue to be a top priority, and their business needs to operate within legal boundaries.
Small Business Education
If you’re anything like us, creating an exciting homeschool transcript beyond the confines of the 3Rs is a strong desire. Starting a business can easily become part of your teen’s high school course of study. To be sure, he can earn credits for Small Business Development. Other possibilities include Marketing, Graphic Design, and Research and Development. If you go this route, be certain to lay out the course for the school year and keep good records. For instance, decide what books he’ll read on entrepreneurship, online business courses he can take, people he can interview, research papers he can write, and how you’ll credit launching his own small business. Your student may even be able to enroll in a dual credit class at your local community college or university.
What Kinds of Businesses Might Interest Teens?
To use an old cliche, the world is your teen’s oyster. Opportunities for business entrepreneurship for teens has never been more apparent or available. Long gone are the days of babysitting, newspaper delivery, and mowing lawns as the only viable option. Technology and homeschooling have revolutionized the ways that teens can earn money both in the private sector and with their own businesses.
Taking Advantage of Traditional Endeavors
That’s not to say that bygone are the days of babysitting, lawn mowing, and paper delivery (well, maybe paper delivery). If your teen isn’t very tech savvy, isn’t on top of current trends, or doesn’t desire a more complicated business model, there are still plenty of traditional entrepreneurial roles.
Generally speaking, if your teen lives in rural areas he can hire himself out to farms or nurseries. Plus, there are a growing number food co-ops ran by small organic farms. In either case, farmers may need help with planting, maintaining, and harvesting their crops. Furthermore, many of them have booths at summer farmer’s markets and they may need help operating them.
For both city and rural-living teens, there are necessary yard maintenance jobs. In particular — lawn mowing, leaf-raking, or laying down fresh mulch. And if your teen develops the skills of pruning hedges and trimming trees, he may have an advantage over his peers.
Also, average house maintenance jobs can be something he can market. Cleaning gutters, washing windows, and small painting jobs are all possibilities. And for teens who enjoy children, babysitters in my neck of the woods are making about $10/hour. A simple babysitting and first aid course taught through the Red Cross will prepare your teen for providing this service.
You may be wondering how your teen will find jobs such as these. In the beginning, if you feel comfortable with the idea, your teen can advertise his business or simply look for opportunities on the Nextdoor App. My son made enough money last summer to upgrade his laptop just by looking for odd jobs in our neighborhood using this app. Among other things, he mowed lawns, raked leaves, helped a family load their moving truck, and assisted a contractor with landscaping and building a deck.
Be sure to do your research first. Ultimately, it’s up to you to learn about the app and safeguard your teen. We live in a neighborhood where folks watch out for each other and most know each other. Our Next Door App online community is very active on a daily basis. If this is not the case for you, you may want to skip this option and look for other ways for your teen to advertise his services (such as printed flyers).
Taking Advantage of Technology and Trends
Many teens are current with technology and trends. And as such, they’re aware of topics, needs, and wants among their peers. Generally speaking, if your teen pays attention and listens, he may be able to problem solve. And with his solutions, he may be able to capitalize on them. For these teens, becoming a teen entrepreneur can take a huge step up from babysitting.
For instance, your gifted photographer might consider teaching a photography class at a local homeschool co-op or online. Or maybe he’s aware of students in his neighborhood or co-op classes who are struggling in Mathematics, English, or some other subject. If your teen has strengths in any academic area, he could charge a tuition fee for tutoring his peers. I’ve known teen entrepreneurs who made jewelry, soy candles, and other goods to sell online or at local craft fairs, and one who provided a grocery delivery service. The possibilities are limitless.
For teens who need to build tech skills for his desired business, he can learn them (be sure to add this learning to his transcript, too!) and then make his services marketable. As an example, he could learn how to build websites or gain skills in graphic design, study social media marketing (he probably already is a pro at this!), and eventually, offer these services online or locally. I know of a few teen professional bloggers who are quite successful as well. As a way to gain experience and get referrals, your student might consider volunteering to help a business or organization free of charge (let’s call that an internship). A great resource for learning all things tech is Lynda.com. Check your public library to see if this incredible service is available to you free of charge before you pay for any courses. You’ll find a plethora of tutorials on everything from graphic design and web development to photography and software development.
It may very well be that your teen doesn’t know where to start. If you find this to be the case, encourage him in his individuality. With attention to his interests, you could visit college websites and go over degree options to help him flush out what possibilities may be waiting to be discovered. And on the flipside, this may also help him weed out areas that he’s not interested in. Once your teen has some ideas, the next step will be learning the basics of starting and running a business.
Giving Your Teens the Skills They Need to Start a Business
There are a few resources we can highly recommend for your teens interested in learning more about entrepreneurship. A membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the first place to begin. This is one of our favorite homeschool resources for high school electives because so much is available to your family at a nominal cost. There are actually more than 430 courses for all grades included in this membership (one fee covers all courses for your whole family), but for the budding entrepreneur, you’ll want to take a look at the following courses in particular:
Business Plan Creation – This 8-week video-based course Business is a challenging homeschool elective course, but the step-by-step instructions provide effective guidance. Join this self-paced business plan for students course and start the path to entrepreneurial success! Thoroughly completing this homeschool business plan for students elective course is worth 0.5 high school credit.
Starting a Micro-Business for Teens – This 8-week text-based course is perfect for a teen hoping to start a micro business. What is a “micro business”? It is a very small business—smaller than a small business. The Small Business Administration, a branch of the United States federal government, defines a small business as having up to 1,500 employees and annual income of $25 million, or more, in some cases. That’s not actually very small, is it? If creating a business like this sounds exciting, this “How to Become a Teenage Entrepreneur” course can walk the homeschool teen through important steps toward creating a successful micro business. Homeschool students who thoroughly complete the eight-week “How to Become a Teenage Entrepreneur” course may earn 0.25 academic credit.
Internet Entrepreneurship for Teens – This 24-week text-based course is perfect for teaching junior high and high school homeschool students how to start a business, create a brand around that business—whether a real one or a mock one—and how to promote that business through Internet and traditional media, teaching them the foundational skills of marketing. Homeschool students who thoroughly complete all 24 lessons may earn 1.0 academic credit.
Digital Art and Product Designs for Small Business – This 36-week course that includes printable text and activities, is for the teen who has ever thought about being a professional digital artist or just wants to learn how to create products like T-shirts, brochures, books and magazine covers, advertisements, logo designs, and business cards or even abstract art to sell online or in the retail stores downtown. If this digital art course is thoroughly completed, and the homeschool student spends approximately 180 hours completing all reading assignments and projects, it may count for 1.0 academic credit.
Should you decide to join SchoolhouseTeachers.com to gain access to these courses (and all the others!), be sure to check if they are having a special sale. They do quite frequently. If they are not, please feel free to use my special code: BENANDME for a large discount on the monthly membership.