Sunday, May 18, 2014

Micro Business for Teens {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Now that Addison is a teenager and has a driver's license, she's been thinking about finding a job to earn some spending money of her own. One of the biggest problems with a job, though, is that most jobs would require her to cut back on or even quit her extra curricular activities. I'm a strong supporter of all her activities, and I don't think that the part time jobs available to a teenager are as beneficial as her participation in them.
We recently found some ideas to solve that dilemma in a set of three books from Micro Business for Teens -- Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business, and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook.

I've certainly heard about teens (and adults) running their own businesses, but I always thought that it would take too much time, be too complicated, or both. When I read through the Micro Business for Teens materials, I realized that many micro businesses can be perfectly tailored to fit a busy lifestyle. In fact, starting and running a micro business is a great way for teens to earn some extra money while still juggling schoolwork and extra curricular activities.

When I asked Addison her opinion of these materials, the first word out of her mouth was "Inspiring!" I have to agree with her. These books are filled with stories of teens who have created their own very successful micro businesses. It made starting a micro business seems like a very real possibility, not just something that happens to a few lucky kids.

Addison found all of these materials to be easy-to-read, but not condescending. One of her biggest pet peeves about books written for a teenage audience is the way that the authors tend to talk down to teens. She felt that the information from Micro Business for Teens was presented in a way that made her feel like an equal, not like a teen without any common sense. The authors believe in teens and believe that they can be successful in starting a micro businesses of their own.

In addition to inspiring teens, these materials set teens up for success by providing all of the basic information any business owner needs. The books walk the teen through the entire process of deciding what kind of micro business to start, how to write a business plan, how to get financing, how to market your business, and much more. It also includes a chapter on "Problems and Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them." The companion workbook gives teens a place to brainstorm ideas, write business plan, and keep records. Basically, it takes all the information in Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business and gives the teen a way to put that knowledge to work.

I was impressed with all of the information packed into the books. A lot of the technical side of running a business was explained -- hiring other workers, why you wouldn't want to form a partnership, managing taxes, etc. The books and workbooks also do a great job of helping a teen keep proper records for their business. Of course, no single book could ever cover all the legal considerations for running a small business. These materials did a good job of covering enough information that a teen would be able to know when they should ask more questions. For instance, the book recommends checking with local authorities if you are selling food items because your community might require special permits or certifications. I am confident that Addison has enough information to start a micro business without running into big trouble (either legally or otherwise), and I'm thankful that the materials weren't so technical that she couldn't ever finish reading them.

I'd love to report that Addison has already started her own thriving micro business and has made thousands of dollars to donate to charity. She's not quite there yet, but she is already using some of the ideas from these books. For instance, she's brainstorming business ideas, including ways to turn her babysitting talents into regular jobs so that she can help pay for her chorus tour to Europe next summer. Obviously, even with these fabulous instructional materials, it still takes time to get any business going.

The Micro Business for Teens books are obviously geared towards teens, but I also think they'd be useful for stay-at-home moms (or dads) that might like to earn a little extra money by starting their own micro business.

Starting a Micro Business for Teens  costs $9.95 ($4.95 as an ebook), Running a Micro Business for Teens also costs $9.95 ($4.95 ebook), and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook is $14.95 ($9.95 ebook).

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1 comment:

  1. Cristi, Thank you so much for the review! I really appreciate it.

    Boy, it's not often a CPA gets called "inspiring" ! LOL!
    I'm also so happy to hear that your daughter did not think the books were condescending or talked down to her. That was very sweet of her to say!

    If you'd like some more inspiration, you might enjoy the public television program Starting a Micro Business, based on the first book. It features 6 students (all homeschooled!) and their parents discussing their micro businesses.



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