Starting a business so young may seem a little way ahead of your time. You may also think that you need to finish your education first before starting your own business. But when someone like you starts a business, you open yourselves up to new opportunities financially and academically. Therefore, we at founderactivity.com would love to share this guide with you on how to start a business at 14, 15 and 16 years old.

Things you do obsessively from age 13 to 18 years old, that’s the thing you have the most chance of being a world-class act.

2016, Charlie Rose interview with Bill Gates

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft along with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Gates wrote his first software program at the age of 13 as a student of Seattle’s Private Lakeside School. By his 20s he had the ability to become a millionaire. And he is now the fifth wealthiest person with a net worth of $103 billion.

Now that we’re in the 21st century, the world has developments even by teens. Launched by their own innovations. Educating about the market for the teenagers of today is our responsibility. To keep innovating and moving forward. Hence, for your reference we have made a step by step guide to starting your business.

Things to do before starting a business

Before starting your business from scratch, there are some things that you should put some consideration into. This is important because the base of your business will be these factors.

  1. Decide what business you want to start
  2. Speak to your parents or guardian
  3. Conduct your market research
  4. Make a business plan
  5. Initial capital investment

1. Decide what kind of business you want to start

Selecting what type of business that you want to start is the most common problem among teenage entrepreneurs. The easiest mode of starting a business has been turning a hobby into a business. Your hobby can be anything that you enjoy doing or something you are very skilled at. Using it, you can turn your business that reaches customers on a larger scope.

If you are having trouble with brainstorming ideas for your business idea. You can check out the job lists that we have prepared for teenagers using the links below.

<<< Jobs List for Teenagers >>>
<<< Freelancing Job List >>>

Calling out to the parents and guardian:
As the parent, you too have a duty to fulfill. Any teenager that is under 18 years of age is considered as a minor. So, they need your help for the legalities that need to be fulfilled. Especially if your teenager wants to start a business, you should guide them. With your help, they are able to make smarter decisions for their business. Such as, how to eliminate large startup costs or help them with the legalities needed for their business. Also, where and how to utilize their skills and talents for their business.

2. Speak to your parents or guardian

As a teenager, your conversation with your parents or guardian about starting your business is very important. It can seem intimidating to speak to your parents about starting a business at 14, 15 and 16 years old. But with their guidance, you will be able to help you with the main parts of your startup such as the legal documents that should be finalized for your business. For example, taxes, bank accounts and the maintenance of finances.

As a parent or guardian, you should fulfill the legalities that are set in place in your state for businesses run by teenagers. There is no difference between adult owned businesses and teenage run businesses. The competition in the market remains the same. But there are different rules and regulations. That is why, it is your responsibility to see that these requirements are met in the business documentation.

3. Conduct your market research

Conducting market research on your target market is another important factor. You should clearly identify the market you will be catering to before you start your business. Market research is the procedure for collecting the relevant information about the business that you will be operating on. Hence, conducting a complete market research will help your business be successful.

Things you can learn with your market research;

  • Target audience
    • Your target audience is who you want to attract to your product or service with your marketing strategies and advertising.
  • Competitors
    • Your competitors are who offer similar products or services to yours in the same market. You and your competitor/s are businesses in the same market
  • New trends
    • From new trends you can learn what your market needs such as new features or new ways to use the product or service. Trends tend to come and go therefore, you need to stay updated.
  • Challenges
    • Challenges are hurdles that stand in the way of you and your business trying to reach success. You should overcome such challenges to run your business.
  • Opportunities
    • Opportunities are the chances that are available to you to run your business successfully.

With market research, you can identify the competition for your business idea. In addition, enter a market where you will find a significant demand for your product or service. And who you should promote your business to.

To be able to understand the overall idea of market research, you can use infographic prepared for you.

market research on how to start a business at 14, 15 and 16 years old

4. Making a Business Plan

After your market research, you should create a business plan. If you want to know the importance of a business plan click here.

There are so many different types and templates of business plans available on the internet. Since you are a teenager, you can select any kind to your wish. However, your business plan should include the following facts;

  1. Your business location
  2. Your customers and competitors
  3. Your suppliers and equipment
  4. Financial Projection
  5. Marketing Strategies

5. Capital Funding

Another important factor is gathering your capital funding. This is what you need in order to invest in your business. You can gather funds from working part time or your savings. Using the business plan you have prepared, you can calculate how much funds you will need to start your business.

If you are not able to gather the funds required for your business, you can always find investors. Your investors can be your parents or family members. Or you could find alternative ways to find the required funds.

Tip for parents:
You can apply for a bank loan. Since minors are not able to. This will teach your teenager how loans work and how it should be paid responsibly.

Step by step process of starting a business at 14, 15 and 16

Furthermore, this step by step process of starting your business. This is the continuation of the  complete process with reference to the above factors.

1. Market Research

As mentioned above, your market research is the first step you need to do when you are going to start operations of a business. However, most teens do not start with one concept. They have varied opinions. And since, they do not also acquire relevant experiences with the industries, doing market research may seem most suitable.

Marketing research is basically the collection of customer data, information, demands and its proper use. On the other hand, it is the process of assembling, evaluating and clarifying the relevant items in the business. These gatherings include the market, your products or service, your customers, the location of your business, your competitors, etc.

  • About the market
  • Products or Service 
  • Customers and Competitors
  • Location

About the market

The market analysis allows you to identify the background and the features of your market. Also helps you understand the background and the history of the business you are going to start. Therefore, using SWOT analysis is the most suitable method for you. The SWOT analysis can help you figure out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business.

SWOT Analysis on how to start a business at 14, 15 and 16 years old

Products and Services

With your market research, it will help you understand what product or service is related to your business. As a teenager, you have a great mind built for figuring out things easily. Therefore, this gives you the ability to seek and offer a product or service where a demand exists on the market. This will help you have a profitable business.

Further, you can find out what type of products customers prefer more. Or you could check platforms like eBay, Esty or Amazon to see what products are on trend.

Customers and Competitors

You are able to have a vast knowledge on who your target customers and competitors are. While you seek the target customers for your business it is better to compare the demographic and psychographic features of them. Through your research, you will be able to identify what kind of products and services you want to offer according to each customer.

demographics and psychographics when starting a business at 14, 15 and 16 years old

On the other hand, you have your competitors. You have to identify clearly who your competition is in the industry. And what do they sell? Similarly, how do you win against them and launch a successful business? In order to succeed, doing a complete market research will help you recognize your competitors.

  • Team of Marketing
    • Your team of marketing is responsible for promoting awareness of your brand and increasing sales with set marketing strategies.
  • Leader
    • Your leader will help encourage and motivate your business team to achieve set goals.
  • Marketing Strategies
    • Your set marketing strategies will help your business achieve set goals for the promotion of your product or service.
  • Sales Strategies
    • Your sales strategies will help your business attain sales objectives in order to sell more of your product or service.
  • Financials
    • Your financials are the most vital part since your marketing and sales strategies and also running your business will depend on the funds that the business holds.
  • Business Growth
    • Business growth is a point where your business has reached its level for expansion with the help of other factors that affect your business.
  • User Persona
    • Create a user persona to help your business recognize what your ideal customer or client prefers.

Location

Using your market research, you have to select the most suitable location to establish your business. Therefore, while you are selecting a place to open your business, make sure to select a location where you can get high traffic. Also, consider the following facts;

  • Demographics
    • Using the demographic results from your market research, you can find the amount of people out of the population using your product or service.
  • Foot traffic
    • Your business can also benefit with a lot of in-store sales or walk-ins. This basically means you need to set up your business in an ideal location to attract foot traffic.
  • Competition
    • Your business will benefit from being able to establish in an area with competition. To compete with products and prices that would bring customer awareness towards your business.
  • Accessibility and parking facilities
    • Bringing ease to your customers such as a parking facility and making it easily accessible to your store.
  • Impact of ordinances
    • The impact your customers have on your business will have a huge effect on the sales. Therefore, keeping up your business appearances would be a major benefit.
  • Site’s image and history
    • Your business must look attractive from the point of view of the customer and give insight of the business history to keep your customer interested.
  • Style of operation
    • Depending on whether your business is a production, outsourcing or services types of operation, your location is an important factor to attract customers or clients.

2. Decide a name for your business

Select a business name that will make a sense and easily memorable in your customers’ minds. And also make sure that it is a unique name that there are no other businesses using it. So that you can also exclusive ownership to your business name and brand.

3. Register Your business

Next, you need to register your business as required in your state and local area. So that you have to decide the legal entity of the business. Though it is the most affordable and least complex way to get into the business. Most of the businesses owned by teens operate as a sole proprietorship.

Your parents have to sign the legal documents for you. The legal entities differ from region to region. So you will need to fulfill the necessary legal documents according to your region or state. You can get help from an attorney or an accountant for the preparation of these documents.

4. Get the relevant licenses and permits

The licenses and the permits needed to your business depends on the business structure. When starting your business you need to have all the relevant licenses and permits on you, at all times. Your customers are willing to trust you if you have these documents. You can promote safety and transparency. Further, you can get your legal documents from local authorities. People or your customers tend to trust local authorities more than private authorities.

5. Advertise your business

Likewise, you also have to prepare promotional strategies for your business. This way, the marketing section in your business plan can be put into use. In aid of crafting an effective marketing strategy, we have provided a reference tutorial which will also offer marketing plan templates.

Advertising is completely about attracting customers for your business. You can use the following ideas:

  • Social Media
    • All teens expertise in using social media platforms. Therefore, it would benefit you and your business if it had a social media presence. You can upload photos, videos, reels or stories to showcase your products and services. This can be done on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other social networks. 
  • Website
    • You can create a web presence in order to let customers know about products, new inventories, promotion, etc.
  • Flyers
    • You can use the printed marketing materials like flyers, brochures, posters, etc. to be able to reach customers outside the digitized world if you cater to them as well. 

Running a Successful Business

Finally, with guidance from your parents or guardian and using the marketing plan you made; you can run a successful business. This is because you have already made a road map for your business, so you know where to set your goals and where your priorities lie.

Do not let anyone stop you from wanting to achieve your goals just because they regard you as a teenager. By starting your own enterprise you will be able to recognize your capabilities and put them to good use. 

We hope that using this guide, you will not hesitate to start operating your own business. Therefore, stick with us cause we will bring you more articles related to business careers.

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