Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. That’s the beauty of innovation – as long as you have a great idea and a passion for success, anyone can create their own business and bring their vision to life. And there are a handful of kids who are making their presence in the entrepreneurial world known.
These kid entrepreneurs range from 8 to 18 years old but already understand how to run their own businesses and how to manage their finances. Often armed with limited resources, kid entrepreneurs have to be efficient with their capital and can teach some adults a thing or two about money management. Here are five young entrepreneurs with some valuable tips.
1. Asking for money isn’t always the answer.
When Moziah Bridges founded his handmade bow tie business, Mo’s Bows, at the age of nine, he began with just three employees: his mother, his grandmother and himself. Since starting Mo’s Bows, Bridges has sold more than US$ 300,000 worth of bow ties and men’s accessories, catching the eye of his current mentor Daymond John. After appearing on Shark Tank with his mother and asking for 20 percent equity, John advised Bridges to turn down any investment offers and to continue growing Mo’s Bows. The lesson here? Sometimes it’s better for business owners to grow their company slowly rather than hand over ownership in exchange for short-term funding. Just like Bridges, companies who are interested in long-term growth and success should stay true to their brand and not follow the other businesses who are seeking investments.
2. Maintain your social responsibility.
Mikaila Ulmer was stung by a bee at just four years old, launching her fascination with bees and inspiring her honey-sweetened lemonade recipe. Thus, Me & The Bees Lemonade was founded and since her appearance on “Shark Tank”, Ulmer has inked an US$ 11 million deal with 55 Whole Foods stores across the nation who will now carry her signature drink. But don’t think Ulmer’s focus is strictly on making a profit; Ulmer donates a portion of her profits to local and international organizations fighting to save honeybees and participates in many social entrepreneurship panels. In business, it’s not always about making as much money as possible.
3. If you don’t love your job, it’s not worth it.
Part of starting your own business is chasing your dreams and seeing your vision come to life; often times, money isn’t the primary goal for entrepreneurs and as adults we should also lessen our obsession with green "Benjamins." Ollie Forsyth found his passion for entrepreneurship running his own online boutique and runs a charity that supports young entrepreneurs in school. And while Forsyth makes good money from his online shop, he’s less interested in profit and focused on giving back to others and having fun running his business. As the young Brit puts it, “there’s no point in earning millions if you hate your job.”
4. Build around a need in your life.
Sometimes a business is born out of a specific necessity. For Rachel Zietz, she found her business in the form of lacrosse practice equipment and her company, Gladiator Lacrosse, is on track to make US$ 1 to US$ 2 million in revenue. Zietz’s idea was simple: as a varsity lacrosse player, she and her fellow teammates needed sturdier, high-quality practice equipment that current manufacturers couldn’t deliver. The market for lacrosse equipment is roughly US$100 million and Zietz has found herself a unique niche. Entrepreneurs don’t need to have a big crazy idea to be successful; just like Zietz’s Gladiator Lacrosse, a business that satisfies a specific need in a niche market can lead to an extremely profitable idea.
5. Find local suppliers to reduce costs.
At only eight years old Mia Felber has been able to create a business that gives the highest quality and 100 percent natural pet care products for pets call Paleo Pets. This came as a necessity and passion while trying to find truly natural products for her own pets. Following in her mother’s footsteps she figured out how to create healthy and safe products for cats and dogs using local ingredients. As an entrepreneur, finding the right ingredients to craft your product can be costly and can take time to get from the supplier to the manufacturer. Instead of looking overseas for ingredients, entrepreneurs could take a page from Mia’s story and look to local and regional sources for their products. This cuts down on material costs and gives entrepreneurs like Mia an opportunity to price their goods accordingly.
Summing it all up
You’re never too young to pursue your entrepreneurial goals and many of these kid entrepreneurs have proven that age is just a number. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas and learning to budget finances early on can help you grow your business in the long-run. If you’re looking for some business inspiration, consider learning from some of the best and most successful kid entrepreneurs.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph.