Micro Business for Teens #Review
Don’t be misled; though the name is Micro Business for Teens, this company provides the most easy-to-understand-and-implement guide to starting a small business that I’ve seen for anyone of any age. And yes, I say this as someone who 1) has no experience with running a business, 2) has actively been seeking such a resource, and 3) wants to make this *happen* – not just think about it!
There are three primary parts of the Micro Business for Teens curriculum:
- Starting a Micro Business – 60 pages – ($9.95 paperback /$4.95 ebook)
- Running a Micro Business – 80 pages – ($9.95 paperback /$4.95 ebook)
- Micro Business for Teens Workbook – 102 pages – ($14.95 paperback /$9.95 ebook)
Starting A Micro Business
The first title in the Micro Business for Teens series first starts by describing what a micro business is, and what are the beneficial characteristics of a micro business. Finding ideas – sometimes the most difficult part of starting a business – is addressed in the second chapter. It’s followed by a discussion of common difficulties that one might encounter when creating a business. Next, the student is led through creating a business plan, and then the all-important issue of financial matters.
The second to last chapter revisits business ideas, with many links to recommended resources for various types of business. (Even if the business you’re starting isn’t mentioned here, these would make good examples of the types of resources to be hunting for in your niche.) The book closes with a chapter on encouragement, moving students toward putting their plan into action.
Running a Micro Business
Running a Micro Business picks up where Starting a Micro Business leaves off, covering practical topics like sales, marketing, customer service, record keeping and bookkeeping. Using software for recordkeeping is also touched on, and may or may not be necessary. A discussion of business names and legal information to consider follows. The final chapter deals with the all-important discussion of time-management – this can make or break a business, so don’t skip it.
Many examples are given of situations and circumstances that teens may encounter. In reality, so many teens start their first jobs without an understanding of what is appropriate basic customer service skills that I think that chapter is essential for pretty much every teen.
Micro Business for Teens Workbook
The Micro Business for Teens Workbook is a companion title to both of the other two books – it’s recommended that after reading a chapter, the corresponding workbook pages be completed. The workbook has a dual focus in that it uses questions to confirm an understanding of the information that has been presented, plus provides space and forms for the teen to create their own business.
What we think of Micro Business for Teens
I have to admit, I’m impressed. By writing them for teens, the author has created an approachable, USABLE resource for anyone to start a business, even if they aren’t steeped in business and marketing classes. (The business ideas themselves might not fit an adult’s requirements – but then again, even if they don’t, they’re well able to spark other ideas!) I’m working through them myself, and finally, I have a plan for action. (Though I admit, I’m taking a bit longer than the one-chapter-per-week that’s recommended.)
The kids have had a variety of reactions. My oldest (18) is a creator – while he’s been making and selling products of his own for a few years now, he hasn’t approached it in a methodical manner, despite my encouragement. He’s read the material, but he’s still somewhat resisting the idea of planning things out and tracking whether or not he’s actually making any money.
Chey (11) and Chris (14), on the other hand are encouraged and excited. At this point, they’re not making as much forward progress as they could, primarily because they can’t decide *which* business idea(s) to use.
My daughter’s best friend has been pushing for the two of them to start a babysitting business, and they’ve repeatedly designed flyers, but the details at this time – their age, transportation because they both live in rural areas far from each other and potential clients – don’t suggest viability.
For quite a while now, I’ve been making alternative suggestions, and the Micro Business for Teens books are helping them narrow down both 1) what they want to do, along with 2) what may work out for them. Chey is skilled at card-making, and with the recent addition of handmade paper to their repertoire, Chey and Chris are considering working together to make “seeded” paper products to sell at the kids’ table at the local farmer’s market. They’ve also been talking about doing yard work for people here in our neighborhood, which admittedly, has limited potential clients, but would also serve as a limit against potential over-scheduling.
Is there anything else available?
Though the Micro Business for Teens books are intended to be self-teaching, there is a free teacher’s guide available by submitting your name and email.
Also, the Micro Business for Teens blog is an excellent resource, full of video links and articles with everything from business ideas to how to finance a business without debt. If you’re not yet certain about purchasing, explore the video links – this is a great way to dip your toes in and “test the water” before jumping in!
There is a fourth book available in the series, Money and Taxes in a Micro Business ($9.95 paperback /$4.95 ebook). While it’s not essential to creating the business, it would certainly be helpful once the business is operational. (Some might prefer to know what they’re getting into regarding taxes before they ever start the business, which I can certainly understand, as I’m one of them. At this affordable price point, I’d just choose to include it in my purchase.)
Do I need multiple copies of Micro Business for Teens?
Families are granted permission to share the Starting and Running ebooks among family members, but each student will need their own copy of the workbook. (See the bottom of the page.) If the workbook is purchased as an ebook, multiple copies of the workbook pages may be printed for family members only. (If it’s going to be used in a class or co-op, check out the group discounts.)