FRIDAY 5: Turning Your Idea Into a Business

10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs 380x2851
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For Hayley Hoverter, it’s all about dissolving sugar packets. For Heidi Allstop, it’s about supporting stressed out students. Whatever your business idea, you’re going to need to get organized to get it off the ground. Here are 5 practical tips to help any teen entrepreneur take their first steps towards success.

ONE: Ask yourself some hard questions. Find a nice quiet space to sit with your journal and really think through your idea: Why do you want to start a business? Who would be interested in buying your product or service? Get more ideas with our list of 10 questions for Teen Entrepreneurs.

TWO: Start a business plan. The first step is The Business Description, which gives the reader an overview of your company or idea, including a more detailed look at exactly what’s at the heart of your concept and how you plan to create a business around it. To get a better idea of what it should look like, see our guidelines.

THREE: Do an industry analysis. This is the next part of the business plan it’s just what it sounds like – an analysis or closer look at the business arena the idea fits into. For example, if you’re making homemade cards, the industry analysis would provide an overview of the greeting card industry, and would explain how and where your concept fits in. Click here to get a break down what you’ll want to include. Then, to help you get started, download our Industry Analysis Worksheet.

FOUR: Focus on finances. Be realistic about how much money you need to get started — and how you’re going to earn it. Check out this advice from Dani Ticktin Koplik, principal of dtkResources: “You may not need a lot but it’s important to 1) know where to get it 2) factor it into profitability and 3) understand that you have to pay back what you borrow. Don’t fall into the lemonade stand trap: even if the lemons come from your refrigerator, they’re not free.” Check out our Five Fundraising Ideas for some creative ways to get started.

FIVE: Find a mentor. In a recent survey of 18 to 34 year olds,  92 percent of respondents said they “support increased access to the education and training needed to run a small business as a way to encourage people to become entrepreneurs.” It makes sense that you’re going to have lots of questions and concerns as you get your project rolling. One of the best ways to get educated is to ask someone who’s been there! At Like a Boss, you can ask specific questions about starting a business and get expert advice.

What ideas are you working on right now? Keep watching our Entrepreneur Tool Box to learn what you need to do to launch a business.

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