It is never too early to start a business. Some of the world’s biggest brands were created by teenagers, including Subway, Facebook, and Dell. Many entrepreneurs around the world have found success by starting young.
The experience you can get by starting a business while in high school is irreplaceable. You can achieve so much from taking this first leap of faith, and it could provide you with lessons that last you a lifetime.
Whether your business succeeds or fails, the value of launching a business while still in high school can’t be overstated. Experience is the greatest teacher, and developing and launching your own business will put you in a position to learn well before most of your peers.
Launching a business can provide you with a great source of income and looks incredible on a university application or a resume. But if you have never given it a shot, there’s a lot to know. Well, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ll be providing you with ten critical tips for high school students looking to launch their first business and hit the ground running. Ready? Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Find Your Niche
One of the keys to finding business success is standing out in a specific area. Too many businesses don’t end up specializing in a specific area, leading to a lack of success. If you want to stand out, you’re going to need to find your niche.
Whether your business is looking to sell a product or service, try and find a way to make it specialized. Consider what value you are providing people. How is your business helping, and who is it supposed to help? You can find the right audience to sell to if you find your niche.
The more you narrow your focus, the more success you will likely find. Most businesses start small, limit their ambition to a specific area, and branch off from there.
Finding your niche will take considerable thought and planning, but it can be done. Put lots of thought into who you want to reach and what makes you stand out.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Failure is something that is par for the course in business. According to Forbes, only half of all US businesses survive their first five years.
This isn’t meant to scare you or deter you. It is only meant to show that not all businesses make it, and that’s okay. All entrepreneurs will likely have to deal with failure, and there is much value to that experience.
There are countless stories of entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Soichiro Honda, and more who have faced failure. It is a crucial way to learn valuable lessons.
Failure can teach you what works and what doesn’t. It can help you grow from your mistakes and become a better businessperson. Taking risks, swinging for the fences, and learning from your mistakes are all part of the journey.
Expand Your Network
Your network is your net worth, as the famous saying goes. Making connections and building a network can be a substantial future asset for young entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurship community is a big one, and there is so much you can learn from other members within it. Having your own business is a great way to meet new connections that can set you up down the road.
Using platforms like LinkedIn, attending conferences, and meeting others will help you build a network of fellow entrepreneurs.
The more entrepreneurs you know, the more people you have to learn from, and the more you can have a base of like-minded individuals that will inspire you along the way.
Mentors are Invaluable
One thing that will be extremely important to help you on your entrepreneurship journey is finding a mentor. Friendly and experienced mentors can make a major difference.
A mentor has significant experience or knowledge to share with you, someone who wants to take you under their wing and offer guidance.
When you start a business for the first time, there is so much you will need to learn. A mentor is like a teacher and can help educate you on how to find success.
To find a mentor, use LinkedIn, or consider your own personal network. Do you know someone that can be of assistance to you? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Learn Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Nobody is perfect. Everyone has areas they thrive in and areas that may not be their strong suits.
Figuring out your strengths and weaknesses, and building your leadership abilities, is how you can create a long-lasting business. This will take experience, as it isn’t easy to see your strengths and weaknesses right away.
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, it will be a significant boost to your long-term success. You can start improving your weaknesses and leveraging your strengths to your advantage.
This might take some introspection, but it is part of the benefit of starting a business. You’ll find out the exact areas that define your skillset.
All Experience is Valuable
All experience is good experience. Succeed or fail; you’re off to a great start no matter what.
Consider your first attempt at starting a business as a way to get experience. Most of your peers won’t start businesses for a long time, so this first attempt is an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the curve.
Experience has value. You can see what works and doesn’t and learn what might set you apart as an entrepreneur.
Do as much as possible to gain the experience you need. Try different things, make yourself uncomfortable. You’ll be better for it in the long run.
Dive Deep into Research
The more you know, the better your business will perform. This is why research is critical.
Research is the bedrock all business is built on. There are so many different things you must know before launching your business.
Some of the most important things to research include your target audience, potential competitors, and the actual logistics of your product or service. For this, the internet is your best friend.
The internet has countless resources, from academic journals to online newspapers, that provide essential information for entrepreneurs. These can help you start your business as informed as you can be.
Perfect Your Pitch
Your elevator pitch will be something you need to perfect to become the best business person you can be.
An elevator pitch is a quick and punchy breakdown of your business. It is meant to be persuasive, effective, and brief.
An elevator pitch helps you quickly introduce your business to others. It is an important component of branding and selling your idea.
Take time to perfect this pitch. Put thoughts into it, write it out if you need to. Northeastern University has an excellent resource for learning more about elevator pitches.
Set Aside Time to Fully Commit
High school is a busy time in your life. You’ve got school, a social life, and extracurricular activities. However, make sure you set aside time to give your business the attention it deserves.
Time management is vital to business success, and for your business to succeed, it must be high on your list of priorities.
Even if you don’t have the time to focus on your business every day, you should still set aside time on specific days of the week when you key in on what needs to be done.
Most businesses require consistent oversight, so you must make sure you have the time to take on a large-scale project before you even start.
And, don’t forget to speak some positive affirmations to yourself – use any chance you get to remind yourself you can do this.
Utilize Social Media
Many high school students are very active on social media, which can be a big benefit to your business.
Social media is one of the places where you can build a brand, reach new clients, and attract sales without having to invest. Familiarizing yourself with social media marketing will have long-term benefits.
If you can learn the ins and outs of selling on social media, you can grow your business from your bedroom. This is a skill that is highly appealing on a resume.
Social media sales are set to account for $80 billion in the US by 2025. Getting started now will help you be a better entrepreneur long-term.
Starting a business while in high school is one of the best decisions you could make. It is an opportunity to learn, grow, and potentially begin the next big thing.
There is so much to learn for high schoolers looking to take this step, but that is why starting a business is such a valuable experience. The opportunity to learn, to fail, to find out more about yourself is something that will provide you excellent value throughout your life, regardless of how your business turns out.
If you or someone you know are in high school and are looking to start a business, we want to hear from you. Comment below what your goals are, or connect with us on social media. And good luck with your entrepreneurial journey.