Thinking About a Job?
Thinking About a Job?
What if it’s hard finding a job? There aren’t many jobs in your town or nobody’s hiring people with no experience? Or what if you’re thinking, “Oh, no, I just can’t stand another summer working on the checkout line”? Don’t despair. Think, instead, about starting your own business.
Write Your Own Ticket
This isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re doing babysitting or cutting someone’s lawn, you’ve already joined the ranks of entrepreneurs and started your own business. The fact is, whenever there’s a need, there’s an opportunity. All you need to do is look around your area for needs you can fill. Also, think about what you like doing or do well.
Here are some very successful businesses young people have started:
- Hard Working Young Men Moving Co. Two boys and an old truck.
- Preppy Lawn Care. The owners of this company capitalize on their clean-cut looks, which appeals to older customers. They always have their hair cut neatly and wear Izod shirts and neat, kacky shorts.
- Classic Candles. Started by a 10-year-old who learned to make fancy, decorated candles as an art project. She began selling them door-to-door in her neighborhood and soon built up a regular clientele.
- Good Horsekeeping. The owners of this business cater to people who keep a couple of horses in their backyard or board them somewhere else and don’t have the time to care for them themselves. They feed, groom and clean out stalls.
- Santa’s Helpers. These young entrepreneurs run errands for busy people at Christmas time. After Christmas they specialize in taking down the decorations and recycling that needle-shedding tree.
- Pampered Pets. Three girls who wanted to be veterinarians started this business looking after dogs, cats, birds and other pets in their homes while their owners were away. They also water plants, take in mail and do other things to keep an eye on the house for absent homeowners.
- And don’t forget Apple Computer, started by two men in their twenties who decided that working for IBM was not fun and creative enough.
It pays to do a little planning before you plunge in. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is there any product or service that people in my area need?
Who else offers this product or service? What can I do to make my offering different or special?
What equipment or materials will I need? Can I get it easily? How much money will it take?
How will I advertise?
How will I decide how much to charge? (If there are others offering this product or service in this area, check how much they are charging.)
Are there any other costs associated with the business, such as the cost of gas for a vehicle or equipment, rent of a location, etc.?
Once you have a rough idea of the answers to the questions above, it’s a good idea to prepare a budget. This budget will tell you how many products or how many hours of services you have to sell in order to break even and start making money.
Start by listing all your expenses for a set period of time. For example, your expenses for a lawn care service for a week might be something like this:
|Advertising (Xeroxing for flyers to put in local mailboxes)||$10|
|Gas (for lawn mower)||$30|
|Extra string for Weed-wacker||$24|
Next, list your projected income for the same amount of time:
|Three lawns per day for 5 days @ $25/lawn||$375|
Subtract the expenses from the income to get your projected profit:
Next, calculate your break-even point by dividing the expenses by the amount you charge for one job. For example:
|Divided by the price you’re charging to do one lawn:||$25|
To break even, you need to cut 2.56 lawns. Everything after that during that week is profit.