TeenLit: Advice for Young Entrepreneurs, Start It Up
It’s a good bet that many of the teen entrepreneurs who contributed their thoughts and detailed their experiences in Start It Up wish they had this book when they first started out. Judging by their comments, though, they seemed to pretty much have it together when they decided to go into business.
Start It Up (Zest Books, March 2011) is a guide for teens who are interested in making some money, but not by working for someone else. After her explanation of “entrepreneur,” author Kenrya Rankin offers advice and information to help get a new business off the ground. She starts with a ten-question quiz designed to determine the appropriate niche—“The Creator,” “The Helper,” “The Techie,” or “The Handy One.” Quiz answers reveal one’s interests and appropriate niche, and Rankin offers suggestions for businesses that could be started in that area.
Features throughout the book include “The Tip Jar,” offering ideas for efficiency and success, and “How I Started My Business,” encouraging, inspirational first-hand stories from people who began their businesses in their teens and early-twenties. Rankin also supplies the reader with worksheets to develop a business plan, and internet resources. She stresses the importance of finding a mentor, and she discusses the pros and cons of individual ownership vs. partnership.
Suggestions from young entrepreneurs are peppered throughout the book, and Rankin gives a wealth of information on the technical aspects of creating a business, hiring and managing, publicity, and customer service. She wraps us with ideas to use a business to improve the world (“Doing Good”) and discusses options (“To Grow or Let It Go”) for those at a crossroads who must decide whether to shut down their business, hand over the reins, keep it going, grow it, or start franchising.
Start It Up is upbeat and easy to understand, but does not sugarcoat the hard facts. It catalogs the benefits of entrepreneurship, but it’s clear that there are a lot of challenges and work involved. It’s a valuable resource for teens considering going into business and those who aren’t quite certain they’ve got what it takes.