What Does It Take to Be a High School Entrepreneur?

high-school-entrepreneurIt’s no secret that most students experience a wake-up call when they go from the predetermined high-school schedule to the more free-form college schedule. While there’s certainly more flexibility on the college side, one’s time is filled with more responsibilities that require organizing. But what if there were another way to get ahead, feel more prepared, and ultimately become successful—all before you step foot onto campus?

“In today’s economy, students face an ultracompetitive job market, where many college graduates are unemployed, underemployed, or have simply given up,” writes Dan Schawbel of Bloomberg Business. “So it’s no surprise that students are starting to build careers in high school in order to better compete for college admissions, college internships, and eventually full-time jobs.”

Have you always dreamed of becoming a high school entrepreneur? 

While internships and part-time employment certainly provide value, why not consider launching a business of your own? It’s not as impossible or far off as it may sound.

Have you always dreamed of selling your handmade jewelry on Etsy? Do you excel in English or math? What about turning that success into a tutoring business? The truth is, coming up with a business plan doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is to do is find a void or niche. And if your school is lacking a tutoring program, what better way to fill the void? Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be about coming up with a multibillion-dollar idea. What you need is a product or service that’s good enough to attract business or—better yet—attract repeat business. Starting a small business may even help you save for larger expenses, such as your college education.

Getting started with your business

Before you can start saving for college or another expense, you’ll need to make your business known. Fortunately, in today’s age of technology, marketing your business doesn’t demand big bucks. In fact, you can expand your reach by simply focusing on your social-media presence. Take advantage of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to promote your products or services and start building a following.

Once you start gaining followers, you may see a domino effect. Create posts, generate a buzz, continue to build your following, and repeat. Just remember that your posts should always be about your potential customers, otherwise they’re just wasted effort. For example, if you’re looking to make a part-time living from tutoring, think about ways you can make study sessions fun and stress-free. And if you’re selling jewelry, think about what colors and styles are popular and how you can put your own personal spin on them.

When it comes to the customer-service aspect of your business, don’t let it just come naturally. Payments should be easy, your products and services should be straight-forward, and you should be accessible for questions or feedback that your customers may have. Keep in mind, though, that while a business is a great way to develop entrepreneurial skills, your schoolwork still comes first.