Why a micro business works for teens

Recently the Ozark Ramblings blog reviewed the Micro Business for Teens books. The post gives a nice summary what a micro business is and why it’s such a great way for a teenager to make money.

Some of the characteristics of a micro business and why they work for teens.

  • Simple and fast to start up—Immediate gratification, not months and months of planning.
  • Usually only one worker—no complications of payroll tax, Social Security Administration or unemployment to worry about.
  • Sole proprietorship—no contracts, partnership negotiations, or lawyers to file incorporation documents.  Also makes closing a business much simpler.
  • Little start up money needed—starting a micro business shouldn’t mean taking on debt
  • Usually home-based—no need to rent space, easy to move (when the teen goes to college)
  • Low risk—you don’t have to be the next Bill Gates or create something entirely new, it can be a time-proven option like mowing lawns or babysitting
  • Manageable—teens still need time for school and socializing.  A micro business should be similar to working a part time job.
  • The worker can learn while earning—a teen can earn money and learn time-management, marketing, bookkeeping, customer service, etc.

 

Read other reviews of Micro Business for Teens here.

 

Video: Where’s the Best Place to Find a Literary Agent?

Where's The Best Place to Find a Literary Agent?

In today’s video, Rachel Coker, teenage author and micro business owner, and I discuss how to find an good literary agent. Watch the video, filmed live at a workshop held at the Cincinnati Home School Convention, below:

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Interested in starting a micro business as an author? With the amazing advancements in the digital publishing industry, it’s now possible for you to self-publish your own book of poems, short stories, or even a novel! The cost for Self-publishing is relatively low!

Curriculum setIf you’re thinking about starting a micro business as an author, you should check out my series of books, Micro Business for Teens. In the first book, Starting a Micro Business, I discuss how you can setup your own successful business. I walk you through writing out a business plan and the potential problems that can arise from a business.

In my second book, Running a Micro Business, you learn more about the sales and marketing side of running a micro business. This is very important for authors if they want to sell more books.

Finally in my third book, Money and Taxes in a Micro Business, I discuss filing for federal and state income tax. Also mentioned is sales taxes and whether or not you need to collect it. This is very important when selling books! You’ll also learn about setting up your tax id, something many self-publishing print-on-demand companies require! Check out my books today and start your micro business for success!

7 Reasons Not To Choose A Product-based Business

7 Reasons Not to Choose a Product-based Business

When starting a micro business, the first idea that pops into most people’s minds are to start a product-based business. But the problem is product-based businesses are one of the hardest businesses to run successfully. Here’s why:

  1. Inventory: There are many decisions to consider such as how much to buy and how to pay for inventory.
  2. Storage: You will need a place to store the inventory and space to wrap, label, and ship the packages.
  3. Shipping: It is not cheap to mail products and going to the post office to ship items is time-consuming.
  4. Packaging: You will need boxes, envelopes, labels, packaging, etc., all which costs money and takes up space.
  5. Unsold inventory: What happens if you bought inventory but cannot sell it?
  6. Back Orders: When you run out of inventory, your customers will have to wait until you receive more inventory to ship. Some customers will cancel their orders if they have to wait.
  7. Returns: It is impossible to make everyone happy and you will have to deal with returned products. If there is be nothing wrong with the product, you may be able to resell it, but you may be returned a damaged item. Returns can get expensive because you paid for the shipping initially and may have to pay shipping again to mail a replacement.

Starting_small-259x300This is why I recommend starting a service-based business in my book, Starting a Micro Business. A service-based business is low-risk, easy to start and easy to close down if need be. It also doesn’t have any inventory to worry about and most often requires no or very little start-up costs. A service-based buy is usually selling what you hold between your ears; your knowledge. Learn more about starting a micro business by grabbing a copy of, Starting a Micro Business, today!

Video: Does It Cost Money To Get Published?

What Does It Cost To Get Published? Micro Business for Teens

Have you ever wondered what it costs to get your book published traditionally? Rachel Coker, a teenage author and micro business owner explains what she pays for marketing, book editing, cover design, etc? Spoiler: IT’S ZERO! Watch as she explains below:

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Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can create a Mini Market Survey of your very own, check out my series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at: MicroBusinessForTeens.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers listed here.

Video: How Long Does It Take To Write a Novel?

Social Image - How Long Write Novel

Watch as Rachel Coker, a teenage author and micro business owner, explains the length of time it takes her write her novels. She discusses her process and the difference in time that it took to write her first novel, vs writing her second and third.

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Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can create a Mini Market Survey of your very own, check out my series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at: MicroBusinessForTeens.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers listed here.

Carol Topp, CPA

Teen knows more than a lot of adults about running a business

micro-business-for-teens-review

If you are thinking about starting a micro business, the Micro Business for Teens books will help you be successful.

Readers from across the USA and even some abroad, share their opinions on the books.

 

 A Class on One writes, “After reading these books, they have learned so much about how to take their business to an organized new level. I think it has really changed their outlook on their money making efforts. No longer are they just doing ‘odd jobs’. They have really seen the potential of allowing these jobs turn into a means of some serious wage earning just by being organized and having a plan.

Laura enjoyed the fact that the really complicated subject matter was explained in a very easily understood way. She did not feel that the books were condescending in any way, like books written for young people often are. She felt that the writing was written in a mature way, which made her take it seriously. She really liked how the author explained legal and business terms. She understood everything, and did not have to ask what it meant. She felt the books instilled confidence by completely equipping her to actually start and carry out a small business plan.

I love how the emphasis is on allowing a business to enhance the student’s life, not on pursuing money for the sake of being rich. I don’t want them to be so hard on chasing money that they neglect their schoolwork, church ministries, youth group, family, or even their own health. I think these books really emphasize that balance well.”

Because I’m Me blog said, “first things he pointed out was that he now knew more than a lot of adults about running a small business. He’s right. He found the information interesting and very empowering – and motivating. The books are easy to read and follow, they’re written for teens so while they’re chock full of information, it’s presented in a down to earth manner.”

I Chose Joy loved the books. “I can’t say enough how much I loved these books.  They are short and to the point but packed with invaluable information.  I will be using these with all my kids in their teen years.  They will learn skills going through the process of starting a micro business that they won’t learn anywhere else.”

One Big Healthy Family wrote, “this program is perfect for independent study.”

Thou Shall Not Whine blog was pretty excited and shared, “Carol Topp writes in a very conversational and real tone. She doesn’t write down to the students but in an encouraging and upbeat educational manner. I am super happy to say that by the time he read the first couple of chapters, he was hooked. He came to me constantly with new ideas for making money.

Before Micro Business for Teens I had never thought of Oscar running his own business. I just figured that like most American teens, he would work for some fast food restaurant while saving money for a car before he went off to college. Pardon my excitement but THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! He has new found motivation that I couldn’t give him.”

Ozark Ramblings.com writes, “I’m sure my son’s college admission or first job offer won’t depend on whether or not he can list all the presidents in order, but for him to be able to state he started and managed his own business… well, that may open a few doors.

If they’ve been groomed for one thing and that thing isn’t available, what are they to do?  Thank goodness for home schooling and curriculum like Micro Business for Teens to help prepare our kids for productive and fulfilling futures.”

CFamilyof6.com said, “I like that Carol recommends that a teen totally start their own business instead of selling someone else’s products and how to avoid scams. Both of these books are very easy to understand with no big words. The longest and probably most important chapter is about bookkeeping, which makes sense because this is something you need to know if you’re going to run a business.

The nice thing about this micro business curriculum is that it can be used in either an individual or group setting, and it is self-paced. I really liked that there are quite a few micro business ideas in the book, so if you can’t think of anything else on your own, there are already some great ones to go by.”

Shut the Fridge read the books and decided “that even though I am not a teenager and not in the recommended age range, I was going to use these books to start my own micro business. The books make micro businesses seem very doable.  After you are done reading, your mind will probably just be spinning with ideas and possibilities.  Mine was.

The thing that got to him was doing the numbers.  The author of the book, Carol Topp, is a CPA, and is big on number crunching.  The numbers have to make sense.  So, I made him figure out what he would make working 20 hours a week at a minimum wage job.  Then we figured out how many lawns he would need to mow to make that same amount of money.  We talked about the difference in hours to achieve the same money.  We talked about his ability to come with us on family trips without worrying about whether he could get the time off or not. Before reading this book, I could not have imagined myself happy about the fact that my son wasn’t going to try to get a job right away this summer.  It just really opened my eyes to the possibilities out there.

Remember, micro businesses are to be started with little to no money, so the financial risk to them…or their parents…is minimal, but the opportunity to learn new things is gargantuan.”

Kym at Homeschool Coffee Break said, “His ultimate goal is to own his own trash company. Well, that’s probably not going to be a workable micro business idea at this time, but learning the principles of starting and running a business is a great step towards that goal! Some of their “silly” ideas were very creative and a couple of them were actually fantastic ideas – just not for young teens with limited start-up capital. Who knows – those ideas might become a real business for them somewhere down the road! They are thinking like entrepreneurs (that is a hard word to spell! LOL) and investors rather than just as consumers, which I think is very important.

Upstate Rampblings found, “The workbook was good for brainstorming ideas.  My son hasn’t really come up with a business he wants to run yet, although he has a few ideas he is tossing around.  He takes pictures for me for the blog sometimes, and he has told me he wants to be paid for his photography now!

SarahElisabeth from the UK wrote this in her Delivering Grace blog, “The chapter on writing a business plan is something that should really be part of everyone’s education. The book was practical particularly around how to make a sale and market the business. Time management is, of course, always relevant especially for teenagers who are balancing other responsibilities with a business. I  highly recommend this set of books for anyone who has little or no business experience and has either just opened a business or hopes to open one.”

Circling Through This Life has “some pretty excited teens right now. I’m not a teen but the books have inspired me to think about what I could do for a micro business. In Starting a Micro Business, Ms. Topp explains the difference between a micro business and entrepreneurship. The primary difference is risk. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. That distinction is important for me.

This workbook is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to fully implement the suggestions in the books. My micro business is still in the planning stage, but I wouldn’t have been able to get that far without the help I got from the books. So, thank you Ms. Topp!”

 

Curriculum setThe reviewers read three books:

Starting a Micro Business,

Running a Micro Business

and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook.

Interested in your own copy of the Micro Business for Teens books? Purchase them here or at these online retailers.

 

 

Video: Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

 

In the video below author Rachel Coker shares with you her experience as the first teenager to be published by Zondervan. Hear her story and the pros and cons that come with traditional publishing.

Mentioned in the video are some of the advantages to having a traditional publisher including:

  • The reputation of being published with a major publisher
  • The resources available to you and your book to make it shine. Including: a book editor, a book designer, interior formatting, etc.

Also mentioned are some tips when publishing traditionally:

  • Use an agent
  • Network and go to writers conferences
  • Be patient
  • Good choice if you have a wide audience

Finally, there are the cons of publishing with a traditional publisher mentioned in the video:

  • Having to write a book proposal query
  • Finding an agent
  • Waiting for the publisher to get back to you
  • Marketing your book on your own
  • Working around the publisher’s schedule

Watch the video:

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Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business check out the books, Micro Business For Teens, available at: MicroBusinessForTeens.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers listed here.

Carol Topp, CPA

Video: Micro Business Idea – Services

 

Are you looking to start a micro business quickly (maybe even over the summer)? Your best bet is to start a service-based business. A service-based business has many benefits over a product-based business.

A Product-based Business Requires Inventory

It’s true! In order to sell a product, you have to have the inventory (the product) in stock and available to sell. This means that no only do you have to spend your time creating the product, you also have to spend money on buying the stock to make the product.

Sell What’s Between Your Head Instead

The solution to this problem is simple, start a service-based business instead! Sell the knowledge you have whether it’s as simple as mowing the lawn or as complex as developing mobile apps for small businesses. Watch below as I further explain the benefits of a service-based business:

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Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you my report, New Biz on the Block: Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood.

Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can create a Mini Market Survey of your very own, check out my series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at: MicroBusinessForTeens.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers listed here.

Carol Topp, CPA

Video: Follow Your Interests & Skills

Micro Business Idea: Follow Your Interests & Skills

In today’s video,  I discuss how you can take an interest that you have and turn it into a money generating micro business.

Learn how you can take a skill like: playing the piano and turn it into a micro business like teaching children to play the piano. Or an interest in photography and turn it into a micro business taking senior photos. Whatever your passion, interest, or skill is, there is a micro business possibility.

Watch below:

Get a free report!
Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you my report, New Biz on the Block: Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood.

Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business and how you can create a Mini Market Survey of your very own, check out my series of books, Micro Business For Teens, available at: MicroBusinessForTeens.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers listed here.

Carol Topp, CPA

Parents give Micro Business for Teens books a 6 week test.

 

70 parents and their teens (or pre-teens) gave the Micro Business for Teens books a 6 week test. Here’s what some of them said.
micro-business-for-teens-review
Family Faith  and Fridays blog says, “Carol’s books gave him the motivation and confidence to get started and with a little training from his father is ready to go out and conquer the grass. Especially for those that are visual or auditory learners, (the Micro Business for Teens website) is a gem of a resource.”

 

Stair Steps Homeschool Academy wrote, “Even after having my own business for 10 years now I still do not claim to know it all. In fact, after reading Carol’s books I really wished I’d had this course for myself before I got started! I read both of the books in two days before giving them over to my boys to read. We have all learned a lot!

“He is glad to know how to keep better records this year, and he can now see that some of the ideas he had tried in the past didn’t make him much money. He said he feels like he can make better choices now, and he is brainstorming a couple of new ideas.

 

The McClanahan7 discovered, “After working through Micro Business for Teens she has realized that she can be making more at home with her micro business than she would be able to make working for minimum wage downtown when she turns 16.

“Even if your teen isn’t seriously thinking about starting a micro business this course would still be good for them to complete. It can help them to realize the talents they have and what their potential with those are. Carol teaches young people things that can even carry over into any work place regardless of the teen’s position. The success stories she shares are also very encouraging. She gives us examples of teens who have taken their business far beyond anything I could have imagined.”

 

Mother and son both start micro businesses in the Indoor Garden Musings blog. I have looked at a variety of business books in the past, but none of them are as good as these.  I think they would work well for adults as well as teens.  Everyone needs to have good business books and a plan that will help them become successful. He decided what he would like to do for his micro business, an author.  He is working hard to put all of his business plans into action.  I have decided upon a business as well.  I really like the idea of no start-up costs, so I am going to work on selling e-books.  I have lots of ideas coming to my mind. 

From Dad: “Gone are the days of someone entering the workforce and remaining with that one employer for 40 or 50 years. Having to work for a year to get 5 days of paid vacation, watching health care costs soar while wages remain stagnant, (etc…) are all things that can be solved by starting and running a micro business.  Kudos to Carol for taking the time to create a business learning program for kids!”

 

Home-sweet-life blog, made me smile when she wrote, “Think of each book as the cheapest way to hire a Certified Public Accountant to help you start your business. I know a handful of CPA’s, and none of them will give you all this information for only $10, try more like $300-$500.

“These books keep your teen simply focused, and teach them how to step-by-step move their business forward. I appreciate that the books recommend keeping all micro musinesses as sole proprietorships. I have seen adults struggle with the demands of having a partnership in business, and that is NOT something you want your teen to have to deal with.”

 

Through the Calm and Through the Storm wrote, “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.

“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.”

 

Lighthouse Classical Academy had this to say, “It provides practical and relevant advice without dumbing down the information. Throughout the book many business ideas real teens have implemented as micro business owners are highlighted. Easy to read and understand, Starting a Micro Business uses plain language that leaves the reader understanding business terminology without being dry or overly technical.

I have seen many entrepreneurial products on the market geared towards children and teens. I think and this one is not only excellent, but also well priced.

 

Renita at Krazy Kuehner Days blog has a 13 year old son with special needs.  She writes, “The lessons were short, yet they really cause children to think and look at what they want to do.  I really think that these books have helped my special needs son to really look at all the steps in running his own business.  He can refer back to the sections that he needs to, anytime he has questions.  It drew attention to ideas to help him earn extra money.

“You might think to only buy the book, Starting a Micro Business, but I do highly recommend purchasing the Micro Business for Teens Workbook  to go along with it.   I do think that this workbook will only increase a teenagers success when used together.

 

Mom of Many Bentzs blog, said, “I feel like this would be an excellent study course for teens, and anyone wanting to start their own business. It’s practical, and very affordable.  I highly recommend it!”

 

Kingdom Academy Homeschool chimed in with, “The best thing about these products is their low cost. The Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business eBook costs $4.95 while the paperback is only $9.95.  The Micro Business for Teens Workbook  eBook costs $9.95 while the paperback version is $14.95.  If you have teens or preteens who want to get started in their own business, or children who have already started a business and just need some direction to keep it going, I think these are definitely worth it!

 

Little Homeschool Blessings (the parent) was inspired to start her own micro business, “I wouldn’t think of limiting it to teens. Adults that are looking to supplement their family’s income by working just a few hours might find this to be exactly what they need. If you are looking for a balanced alternative to fast food and retail jobs, a Micro Business would be just what you are looking for and this series provides the information you need “in an intelligent and helpful way.”

“After reading these, I feel like starting a Micro Business could be something that I would be able to do and really should be doing.

“In fact, I’ve considered making and selling vintage science kits for kids. I made some for Easter presents for the kids and they absolutely love them! I even had a blogging friend ask about selling them. I’ve thought about self-publishing books, too. The possibilities are really endless.”

 

Tillie at Little Connections Add Up to a Lotta Life wrote, “(Other business) classes confused things when the boys tried to make business plans together. They made things far more complicated than necessary, and ultimately their business ideas, though clever at the outset, failed. Mostly because of age, I suppose, but also because they just were not prepared to do all of the work involved that a major corporation might get into. And, like Ms. Topp, I found that books written for children were not quite enough. So how did things work out with Micro Business for Teens? Much better than ever before!”

 

Lisa, at A Rup Life said, “He (her 13 yo son) flew through the material, devouring it.  He has always been business minded and I knew this would be a hit with him.  This course came at a perfect time for him.  At 13 he has been searching for ways he could earn extra money.  He found several ideas in the book.

“One of the things that he was supposed to do with the course was to give a little pitch about his business and see what people’s reactions/advice would be.  Now my 13 year old is not super comfortable with doing this kind of thing but he BLOSSOMED!!  To see my kid grow and be working on a project to achieve his personal goals was pretty awesome. This course might have been short but it left a big impact on my teen.  I have a strong feeling we will be in business mode for years to come just from this one course!”

 

AdenaF writes, ” Starting a Micro Business is a small book. It only has seven chapters. But don’t let that fool you. It starts off explaining exactly what a micro business is. Then she gives you ideas. Forty-two of them. And these aren’t  just a shot in the dark. They are great ideas.

 

Acorn Hill Academy got it right when she learned, “I was delighted to learn that it is NOT an entrepreneurship – no one has to come up with a brand new idea. You work with what you already know how to do.”
Christine at Our Homeschool Reviews, shared this from her 11 year old:  “Micro Business for Teens is a great step-by-step guide for teens and tweens to learn how to easily start up a micro business. These books really help you start a micro business, keep it going, advertise it, and avoid financial problems, as well as giving examples of other teens’ businesses. I think more teens and tweens will be able to start a micro business after reading Micro Business for Teens!”
Interested in your own copy of the Micro Business for Teens books? Purchase them here or at these online retailers.

The reviewers read three books: Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook.