Many high school and college students have decided that having their own business during the after school hours is a better idea than working the traditional after school job. Opportunities for after school businesses abound, and many young people are finding their niche. While running your own business can be lucrative and rewarding, mistakes can be costly and frustrating. Here are some common business mistakes to avoid.
First, make sure that your business is not competing directly with any big businesses. For example, a cleaning service may not be a good business for you if you are in a city with five professional cleaning services. It is important to find a need in your community that is not currently being filled, or a need that does not have enough people to fill it. This being said, competing with big business is possible if you offer something unique. If you are going to be able to clean at odd hours or offer substantially discounted services, you may be able to compete with the professionals. Make sure your business offers the customer something they cannot find elsewhere at a better price.
Second, do not allow a slow start to discourage you. Getting your name and service out in the community will take some time. Put up fliers everywhere you can think of. Consider advertising in the local paper, if you can afford to. Start working with people you already know and have them tell their friends about your service. Any business, large or small, takes time to grow. Keep working and the profits will come!
Another common mistake new businesses make is allowing customers to take advantage of them. New businesses often need customers, but it is not profitable to have customers that do not pay for the services. Do not give your service away, or allow people to get away with not paying. Especially if you are a young person, adults may be tempted to not pay you your full price for your service. Do not let this happen! Develop a plan to deal with problem customers. Enlist the help of an older adult if needed.
A final mistake young people make is not running their business. This sounds crazy, but if your reason for wanting to have your own business is to get out of having to work hard, then you are making a big mistake. Running your own business is a lot of work! You will need to give up time with friends in order to keep customer appointments. You may need to give up other extra-curricular pursuits in order to have a successful business. Your business needs to come first!
If you avoid these few common mistakes, you summer business can be fun and rewarding. You will be able to take great pride in having built a successful, lucrative business. The skills you will gain while building your business will help you in your future life. Not only that, but running your own business is also a great work experience to put on your resume for future jobs. Work hard, and you will find success!