By Fiona Adler
Have you ever thought that you could actually be an entrepreneur? Not some time in the future… but right now. In fact, starting a business is one of the smartest and most rewarding things you can do as a young woman.
But I’m not ready!
What!? You say… You’re too young, not experienced, not qualified, and still at school/university! No problem. There are still lots of business ventures you can start on a part-time basis. The main things you’ll need are a lot of drive, creative thinking, and a good work ethic.
Sometimes we think of entrepreneurs as the types of people that start Facebook, SnapChat or Twitter, but there are all kinds out there… and almost everybody starts out small.
Your business doesn’t need to be a brand new idea – most businesses aren’t! So don’t be daunted by terms like “entrepreneur” or “start-up” or “business owner”. If these labels inspire you that’s great, but all they really mean is someone that figured out how to do something that customers will pay for. It can be that simple.
Reasons to Start Something Now
Personally I think there’s never been a better time to start a business. By getting started when you’re young, you’ll get a head-start on everyone else.
Most importantly, you’ll get the most amazing work experience you can get for future employers. Seriously, as someone that has recruited a lot of young people over the years, I think everyone should have a part-time job of some kind. But, whenever I’ve come across someone who’s had the initiative and drive to start something themselves, I’ve looked very favorably on those applicants. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be that amazing, having the determination to give something a try is a very good trait!
You’ll also get some of the best personal development possible. Skills that will help you negotiate (with parents, teachers, friends, employers), manage your time, and think creatively.
And of course, the idea of a business is to make some money too! That means you could buy more of the things you want, save up for something big, and maybe become less reliant on your family.
So, what type of business should you start?
Before deciding on what type of business to start, it’s time to take stock of your strengths and advantages.
Are you someone that’s great at maths? Loves kids? Very organized? A whiz on social media? Crafty? Good with animals? Loves cooking?
Think about what you enjoy and also what you’re good at. Then think about how you could turn that into a business. Are there people you know that would pay for that type of service?
To get you started, here are some ideas…
15 Business Ideas You Can Start Now
- Neighborhood dog walking – you could probably do a few at once and schedule regular times
- Lawn mowing – also on a regular schedule
- Baby-sitting – best thing is you can sometimes do your homework once the kids are in bed
- Selling used goods online (eBay, Amazon etc) – for people that are too busy or don’t know how to do it themselves
- Computer training – you might be surprised to find that there are people near you that would like to learn how to use the internet and basic computer applications
- Tutoring – use your strengths to teach others. You might even be able to develop some small groups of similar students together
- Teach music – or dance or whatever you love
- Make jewelry, clothes, cushions, cards, or something else and set up an Etsy store to sell online
- Social media – help other businesses get their message out and respond to queries on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- In home waiting service – do your parents’ friends hold lots of parties? Offer to serve food and clean up so that they can enjoy the night too
- Kids parties – many parents find organizing and running kids birthdays to be quite stressful. Help them out by preparing goodie bags and running the games.
- Meal preparation service – love cooking? Lots of families are too busy and would love someone to cook them a few meals a week.
- Vintage curator – got an eye for great second-hand goods? Buy them up and then sell them (with a margin) online
- Graphic design – if you’re great with design, you could design business cards, websites, brochures and more
- Home visiting service – many people have elderly or disabled people in their lives that they’re not able to visit regularly. Offer to do this and report back on how they’re fairing.
Once you start thinking about what people need, there’s lots of ideas out there.
You might even want to go into business with a friend. It can be more fun that way but of course, you’ll be splitting the profits so make sure you choose someone you can trust and that has a similar work ethic to you.
So let’s get started planning your small business this week! (And stay tuned for the next article with some practical tips on how to actually get started.)
Have you already got a small business? We’d love to hear about your experiences! And if you’ve got questions about starting or running your business, please send them my way 🙂