Entrepreneurship Contest 2015

IEWContest

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) and College Plus are sponsoring an entrepreneurship contest this summer.

Prizes include CASH (!), consultation on marketing, college class in entrepreneurship and a college scholarship.

To participate, students need to do the following:

  1. Create and implement a business plan. (The contest is for new businesses only. The business cannot have been in existence prior to May 2015.)
  2. Include visual aids: product, website if applicable.
  3. Produce a video, 5 minutes or less in length. (See contest details for more information.)
  4. Upload the completed video to YouTube or Vimeo, and send us the link by August 31, 2015.

Entries must be submitted by August 31, 2015. Winners will be announced at the IEW webinar on September 28th, 2015. Students who started a business shortly before the opening of the contest may still apply, but the staff at IEW will review each entry regarding eligibility.

Click here to download complete details of contest.

Have you started your business? Have questions? Need help? See our FAQ page.

Entrepreneurship: The Great Opportunity for Students webinar.

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Join me on a webinar tomorrow night (Tues June 9 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT) discussing: Entrepreneurship: The Great Opportunity for Students.

A panel of entrepreneurs will discuss:

  • 5 steps to turning your ideas into a business
  • The common pitfalls of entrepreneurs
  • 3 reasons every teen should start a business

Register: http://landing.collegeplus.org/entrepreneurship-webinar/

In this webinar, panelists will discuss the prospect of starting a business from the perspective of a student. They’ll share tips and tricks, discuss the common mistakes and barriers when starting a business, and explain how to overcome unexpected challenges.

Sponsored by CollegePlus.

 

Register here and join me Tuesday night!

Carol Topp, CPA

Start a micro business this summer! Part 1

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It’s summertime and  that means it’s a great time to start a micro business-especially for teenagers.

Listen to this episode of the Dollar and Sense podcast as host, Carol Topp, and her guest, teenage micro business owner, Rachel Coker, explain the best type of businesses a teenager can start this summer.

Listen to the podcast

Here are some micro business ideas Carol and Rachel shared:

Business Ideas: Products

Crafts, clothing, sports-related shirts/towels, bracelets, pet food, baked food/candy/cakes, jewelry, books, ebooks, CDs,  iPhone/iPad apps

Business Ideas: Services

Tutoring, Childcare, Music lessons, Editing papers, Web design, Pet Sitter/Dog Walker, Bookkeeping, Event planner, Virtual assistant, Writer/Author/Blogger, Lawn care, Cleaning/Clutter control, Writing coach

 

Check out the Micro Business for Teens books and videos

For more ideas visit the Micro Business for Teens Pinterest page.

 

If you found the podcast helpful, please leave a review on iTunes. Click on “View in iTunes” to leave a review. Thanks!

Summer micro business idea: Flip Flops

Summer time means flip flops! Try decorating them in unique ways as a micro business this summer.

Get inspiration form Pinterest, Etsy or Madison Robinson, who had the idea to turn ordinary flip flops into extraordinary sea-themed fish flops with battery powered lights.

Madison’s Fish Flop shoes have now gone on to sell more than 60,000 pairs and have made her more than $1.2 million dollars! Fish Flops are now sold in Nordstrom and Macy stores nationwide. You can read more of Madison’s amazing success story here.  This story is courtesy of Forbes.

Warning! When decorating flip flops don’t copy any professional sports teams logos or you’ll be in hot water!

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Make sure to take time this summer and learn more about business. Starting a Micro Business is a great place to begin.

Carol Topp, CPA

Summer micro business idea: Snow Cone Truck

© by Sean Loyless

Looking for a job one summer, 17 year old Iowa teen Austin Moss, stumbled across a snow cone business online.

Austin borrowed money from his grandparents to buy a truck, took a few financial classes, and then got a permit from his city for ASM Shaved Ice

He ran a successful shaved ice business during the summer! As a mobile business, Austin sells shaved ice from his truck and also has worked for companies and private parties.

You can start a micro business just like Austin! Read my book series, Micro Business for Teens, to get started.

Carol Topp, CPA

We’re Not Raising Children! (or maybe we are!)

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Are today’s parents guilty of micro managing our teenagers?  Or being helicopter parents?

This episode of the Dollars and Sense Show podcast is part 1 of a two-part workshop Carol Topp presented at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati last year titled, “Were Not Raising Children, We’re Raising Grown Ups.”

Carol discusses the topic of sheltering our children too much and for too long so that they are ill equipped for adult life.

Listen here

Grab your handout here

Mentioned in the podcast:

  • The Self-Propelled Advantage Joanne Calderwood
  • Parenting for the Launch Dennis Trittin
  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Amy Chua
  • Setting The Records Straight Lee Binz, TheHomeScholar.com
  • Phil Vischer podcast at PhilVischer.com

In Part 2 Carol will share important life skills your teenager needs to know, such as: career choice, money management and living independently. She will share tips on how to impart important lessons in a natural way and share resources to help you raise a grown up!

See you in Cincinnati!

Convention floor

I’ll be at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati this weekend, April 9-11, 2015. I hope you’ll come by my booth #1420 and say hi if you’re there!

I’ll be speaking on:
Real Life Skills Learned by Running a Micro Business Friday at 8:30 am
and
Career Exploration for High School Students on Friday at 2:30 pm

and I’ll have copies of my new book, Career Exploration for Homeschool High School Students for sale-hot off the presses!

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Think like your customers in order to find them!

 

In the classic movie, Caddyshack, Bill Murry deals with a pesky gopher. He tries to think like a gopher and says,

“I got to get into this dude’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.

Who’s the gopher’s ally? His friends. The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.”

To find customers for your micro business, you must think like them.

You should ask yourself a few questions to think like your customers:

  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they shop?
  • Where do they spent time?
  • What do they read?
  • What website do they visit?
  • When are they home?
  • Where do they go for information or products?

Here’s an example:

My daughter, Emily, wanted to start teaching piano lessons to children. She knew that she needed to reach a child’s parents, specifically the mother, with her advertising. She knew that many mothers communicated with each other on-line and thought that would be a quick, low cost way to advertise.

Facebook is a great tool, but wouldn’t really work because Emily was connected with her friends there, but not mothers. Instead, she went to where the mothers chatted on-line. She put out a post on our local homeschool e-mail list. Within a few weeks she had three students and then word of mouth took over. One student’s mother told another mother and soon Emily had seven students and was turning away more interested customers.

So think like your customer in order to find them!
Starting a Micro Business for Teens BookMore tips on starting a micro business can be found in Starting a Micro Business. Available in print and ebook.

 

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You might also enjoy this podcast on Creating a Customer Profile.  Carol Sue and Phillip Priddy from FamilyBusinessGreenhouse.com  share their expertise on creating a marketing plan and a customer profile for your micro business.

Carol Topp, CPA

Your Sales Statement: Why You Need One

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In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of creating a sales presentation. Today I’m discussing why you should create a sales statement, also called a tag line.

If you have a product or service to sell to customers, you need to convince them that they have a problem or need that you can solve. Your product or service is the solution to the problem. But how do you share that you have the solution? It’s simple, you share with them the main benefit of your product or service.

Let’s look at an example, your customer’s lawn needs mowed but he doesn’t want to mow it. The problem is long grass that needs mowed. You offer a solution to the customer by providing your lawn care service. Instead of saying, “Hi John, I can mow you grass for $10.” You can say something catchy like, “Hi John, I’m Max and I can mow your lawn so you can relax.”

Creating a sales statement isn’t hard. Simply think of the main benefit that your micro business provides. Then, think of a short, five to seven word sentence that conveys your benefit using action verbs. Remember to keep it short, simple and memorable.

After you’ve created the sales statement, you can use it as your tag line on business cards, flyers, in conversation, and of course in the sales presentation that you created.

Running_small-259x300Interested in running a micro business? What you read above is an excerpt of my book on how to run a micro business. Not only do you learn how to create a sales statement and sales presentation, you also learn about marketing tactics, customer service skills, time management, and much more. Running a Micro Business is available for purchase on Micro Business For Teens or Amazon.

Carol Topp

Why a Teen Dropped Out of High School to Start a Fishing Business

Why a Teen Dropped Out of High School To Start a Fishing Business

Jordan Budd, business owner of OBX SeafoodNormally the road to success is finishing high school, going to college, and getting a good job in corporate America. But that’s not the case for 18-year-old Jordan Budd.

Jordan dropped out of high school during his junior year in May 2013. Why would he forsake his education? Jordan says that hanging around the wrong people and not having an interest for the high school classes were his reasons.

He enjoyed fishing and that sparked his interest to turn his passion into a business. Jordan began working under another fisherman to learn the trade. He worked in and around the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, where he lives.

While he was learning the trade, he also worked towards his GED. He received his GED 3 months after dropping out of school, in August of 2013.

A few months later, Jordan started his own fish business called, OBX Seafood, in October 2013.

The logo of OBX SeafoodWhile Jordan did start the business all by himself, he did have some financial help from his parents. He asked for $20,000 which sounds like a lot on money (most micro businesses can be started with little or no money), but he needed hat money to purchase a trailer, a pickup truck, an ice machine, a logo design, and a banner.

It’s been just over a year since Jordan has started his business. His fish are already in five local restaurants and he’s also selling at local farmers markets.

Jordan has thought about opening a storefront down the road, but is focusing on continuing to do what he does best for now.

(H/T: Winston-Salem Journal)

Curriculum SetFor more information about how to start your own micro business, check out my series of books, Micro Business For Teens.

Carol Topp