Rachel Coker, published author at 16. How did she do it?

RachelCoker Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Rachel Coker started writing a book when she was 14 and she became the youngest author to be published by Zondervan, a major Christian publisher.

Watch the video below as Rachel discusses to a group of parents and teens at the Cincinnati Home School convention, how she became published.

Did you know that publishing a book is really a micro business?

Cover250pix-189x300It is!

If you do publish (or self-publish) a book, then you’ll benefit from reading my book Business Tips and Taxes for Writers, because writing is a business!

 

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start-up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check omicro-mid-1ut my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

 

Carol Topp CPA

Video: Should You Sell Services or Products – Starting a Micro Business

Should You Sell Products or Services?Are you wanting to start a micro business, but aren’t sure whether to start a product based business or a service based one? In the video below, I explain the differences between the two.

The biggest reason you might want to consider a service based business over a product based one is because they are easier to support and much more manageable.

As I explain below, product based businesses can be very successful, sometimes too successful. This can lead to a major problem, keeping a stock of inventory.

Watch the video below as I discuss to a group of parents and teens at the Cincinnati Home School convention, the differences between service based businesses and product based businesses:

micro-mid-1Have you ever had a great idea and thought about starting a micro business? If so, you should check out my book series, Micro Business for Teens. In my books, you’ll gain valuable insight for starting a micro business.

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start-up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check out my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

Carol Topp CPA

Video: Getting an Idea for Your Micro Business

Getting an Idea for Your Micro Business - Read More at: microbusinessforteens.comGetting an idea for a micro business is as simple as finding a need and creating a solution. This is exactly what Rachel Coker’s sister, Hannah, did!

A year and a half ago, Rachel and Hannah signed up for ball room dancing. The only problem was there was a dress code for the ball room dance class. The dress code required that all the girl dancers must wear a skirt that comes down to their knees. This was difficult because neither of them were able to find skirts that matched the dress code.

But one day Hannah came down from her room for church and was wearing a beautiful blue skirt. Rachel took notice and asked her where she bought it. Hannah told her that she made it on her sewing machine. Of course Rachel asked Hannah if she could make one her one in a different fabric and she did!

Watch the video of Rachel Coker below as she explains how this blossomed into a micro business for Hannah:

micro-mid-1Have you ever had a great idea and thought about starting a micro business? If so, you should check out my book series, Micro Business for Teens. In my books, you’ll gain valuable insight for starting a micro business.

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check out my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

Carol Topp CPA

How to Start a Micro Business with Little Money

How to Start a Micro Business with Little MoneyStarting a micro business doesn’t mean you should take on debt! In fact, you can start a micro business with the things that you already own such as: your computer, you lawn mower, your camera, your oven, and even the knowledge inside your brain.

Here’s an example: Lucas wanted to start a micro business mowing lawns. He want a riding lawnmower for the business, but didn’t have enough money. So instead Lucas worked delivering papers and eventually bought a lawnmower at a garage sale. His lawn mowing business is now quite successful and was started debt free!

Watch an excerpt from a workshop I did at the Midwest Home School Convention called, “The Best Micro Business for a Teenager to Start”. Here I explain why it’s best to start a micro business with little money:

micro-mid-1Have you ever had a great idea and thought about starting a micro business? If so, you should check out my book series, Micro Business for Teens. In my books, you’ll gain valuable insight for starting a micro business.

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check out my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

Carol Topp CPA

Teenage Micro Business Idea: Web Design

Phil and his best friend, John, verbally agreed to start website as a partnership and split everything 50/50. The business really took off and was generating over $1,000 a month in income from Google ads.

John’s father saw how successful the business had become and claimed the business was solely John’s business and not a partnership. Phil ended up discussing the matter with an attorney and eventually walked away from the business, but he gained a lot of wisdom and caution. He and John are no longer best friends, as you can imagine.

Later, Phil started his own micro business as a sole proprietorship, wiser and phenomenally successful

Learn more by watching his story as I presented it at a recent convention:

micro-mid-1Have you ever had a great idea and thought about starting a micro business? If so, you should check out my book series, Micro Business for Teens. In my books, you’ll gain valuable insight for starting a micro business.

A micro business is a small, simple and fast to start up, sole-proprietor business that usually consists of one worker, the owner. Micro Businesses are usually low-risk and easy enough for a teenager to manage along with schoolwork and other extracurricular activities.

Check out my books today and start your own micro business for success! Available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Createspace, and as a PDF eBook on my website.

Carol Topp CPA

Micro Business for Teens e-books

MBFT Ebooks on DropCard

I will be selling Micro Business for Teens electronic books using this card when I speak at homeschool conferences this spring.

(I’ll be in Greenville, SC, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Ontario, CA this spring. Hope to meet some of you!)

The purchaser buys a card and on the back is a website and access code.

They can then download the ebook in their choice of formats (pdf, mobi or epub). In my case I’m selling all 4 Micro Business for Teens ebooks and then adding 3 audio (mp3) files as a bonus.

Pretty neat way to sell an ebook! If you have written an ebook  or recorded music and want to sell it when you meet customers face-to-face, consider using a card like this.

The cards are available at Dropcards.com

 

Carol Topp, CPA

 

Starting a business selling products with multi-level marketing.

sales_funnel_

Ever thought of trying to start a business that uses a multi-level marketing (MLM) plan?

Here’s the story of one guy, Josh Day from Australia, who tried to sell Herbalife.

I asked permission from Josh to share his story.

 

So over the years I’ve tried all sorts of different business ideas and the first one that Ii really lost any money on was when I tried to sell Herbalife. If you don’t know, Herbalife is a weight loss product with an MLM (multi-level marketing) type structure of selling. I was 17 and decided that if it was to make some serious money I’d have to invest so I started talking to a Herbalife distributor and after a couple of weeks I paid him the $550 to get started in the business.

I’m a good sales person and I’ve always know that, so I thought I could sell anything. Well, being a 17 year old who has never even come close to being overweight makes it very difficult to sell weight loss products, especially since most of their marketing ideas are about sharing your own stories and being a success story of the product.

So after a few weeks of trying to sell off this product I only ended up making around $300 in sales (which was only around $100 profit) and I had exhausted all the ways I knew possible to sell this product.

The lesson I learned here is that just because it’s a highly sort after item, doesn’t mean its going to sell easily unless you know how to market it. I’m sure if I tried to get into it again being older and knowing a different crowd I’d probably be more successful, but to make back that $550 would be quite a task.

I met Josh on the Teen Business Forum, a great website for serious teen entrepreneurs. Check it out.

Starting_small-259x300

 

If Josh had created a marketing plan, as I show in Starting a Micro Business, he might have chosen a different product to sell as a 17 year old.

Grab a copy of Starting a Micro Business today and avoid the mistakes Josh made.

Micro Business for Teens in Greenville, SC

GHC_MBFT_SC

I’ll be in Greenville, SC March 20-22, 2014 at the SouthEast Great Homeschool Convention helping teenagers start a micro business.

If you come to the convention stop by booth # 1404 and say hello!

 

Carol Topp, CPA

 

Get a 1099MISC? How the IRS will tax you.

Form 1099-MISC for 2010 with calculator and pencil on it

If you received a Form 1099MISC then you worked as an independent contractor sometime last year.

The IRS considers independent contractors as business owners.

You will need to file your own tax return. If you’re a teenager you need to prepare a separate tax return from your parents.

Tell your parents not to panic, they can probably still claim you as a dependent!

Report the income from the 1099MISC on Schedule C Business Profit or Loss.

You may not owe federal income tax (if your total income is under $6,100 on 2013), but will owe self-employment tax at 15.3% of your net income.Ouch!

teens_and_taxes

I cover this in detail in my ebook Teens and Taxes including an example with the forms filled out.

It’s worth the $3 to do it right. Buy a copy here.

And read this blog post from another parent whose son received a Form 1099MISC.

 

Carol Topp, CPA

P.S. If you think you should have been treated as an employee and not an independent contractor, you can complain to the IRS. I cover all that in the Teens and Taxes ebook. Here’s an excerpt.

Do teenage babysitters owe taxes?

BabyOnBlanket

A lot of teenagers make money by babysitting for neighbors. Babysitting is a terrific micro business for a teenager and there are tax advantages that you may not know about.

Babysitters are Considered Household Employees
Babysitters are considered household employees . They are an employee of the family hiring them. A babysitter usually owes income tax on her income from babysitting.The employer also have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their employees behalf. This tax is nicknamed the “nanny tax.”

But, there is a huge exception to the nanny tax for teenagers!

An employer does not have to pay employer taxes if these three conditions exist:

  • the employee is under age 18 at any time during the year and
  • the work is in or around a private residence as an employee and
  • the employee’s main occupation is not providing house hold services. (For a teenager, their primary occupation is to be a student, not a babysitter.)

All three things must be true to be exempt from employer and self-employment taxes.

Example:Sarah, age 16, goes to a neighbor’s house and babysits their three children several times a month. In one month she makes $75. She is a teenage household employee. Sarah will not owe self- employment tax on her babysitting income. If she earns less than $5,700 (in 2009), she will not owe federal income tax either.

If Sarah decides to run a day care service during the summer from her home, she is not be a household employee, but rather a business owner. She will then owe self-employment tax (and perhaps federal income tax) on her profit.

Read more about household employees and the nanny tax in IRS Publication 926 Household Employer’s Tax Guide at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p926.pdf.

ebookcover In my book, Teens and Taxes, I devote an entire chapter to babysitters and other household employee jobs including examples, forms and instructions on how to fill in the tax forms correctly.For $3.00, you’ll get accurate information that’s easy to understand..

Pdf version (easy to read on your computer) $3.00

Kindle version $2.99

Nook/ other ereader versions $2.99

Read more here.

Carol Topp, CPA