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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Micro Business for Teens Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #microbusiness

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Micro Business for Teens Review



    I think every teen longs to have spending money of their own. In our family we do not pay money for chores they do around the house and we do not give allowances. That is just how we work around here. So when my kids become teenagers and have a little more freedom to go out and do things with friends they want to be able to have money to spend. I do not pass out money just because they ask though. I often will split the cost of something with them so I know they truly want it. So where does their money come from? They do odd jobs for people but the cash is very sporadic, so they have been talking about starting little businesses of their own based on their talents. So when I had the opportunity to review Micro Business for Teens and the books that are part of the program I felt it was God opening a door to give the boys direction to follow their ideas.

   We were given 3 E-books to review and help the boys work through the program, they are  Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook. This curriculum is geared for pre-teens and teens ages 10-18. I do feel it is a great starting point for adults as well who want to start a micro business of their own. My 2 younger boys used this program and they are 14 and almost 16. My oldest son who is 17 has a "real" job so he was not interested. The PDF version of each book, which is what we were given, cost $4.95 for the two books and $9.95 for the workbook. You can also choose a print version of each for $9.95 for the books and $14.95 for the workbook. There are discounts for large group orders, for instance I think this would be a great class for our homeschool co-op for our 7-12 grade kids.
Micro Business for Teens Review

   So let us start with book 1: Starting a Micro Business. Great place to start right!! You need to investigate everything about an idea before jumping in head first and sinking. Plan and strategize that is the only way to get things done right. The first chapter covers what a Micro Business actually is, short version, it is usually a home based business that has little to no start up costs and very little risk. For instance Taylor's 1st idea: Computer Repair and Virus Removal. His second idea: developing a game App for i-products. Both of these ideas require NO start up money. This is music to this Mom's ears. Alyx's ideas may need a bit of start up materials like tools if he did not already have them. Lucky for us this is what he already spends his extra money on so we are good to go. Alyx wants to start a handyman service and an small auto repair shop. I will get more into where their businesses are headed in a minute.

    As you read through Starting a Micro Business your teens and you if you are like me will learn all aspects of starting their Micro business, there is talk of why you want it to be a sole proprietor, working with partners at a young age, generally does not end well, heck sometimes as adults it doesn't work either. You learn about keeping the business small and manageable and some great ideas for beginning businesses like lawn service or snow removal. Telling the kids how to avoid scams and then you move into problems and hiccups that may develop with your product or service and how to avoid or overcome them. One of the big things Alyx ran into when doing snow over the Winter was non paying customers. We want to avoid this in the future as much as possible and we definitely learned some pointers that will help him out.

  The boys learned how to write up a business plan and get their thoughts onto paper. This is a great visual helper and let's the kids work out any kinks on paper first before they set their plan into action. You learn that if your business has a product you need to have a sample product. This did not apply to my boys but I am interested in selling some of my crafts at a local store so this appealed to me. I was over the moon with the emphasis the curriculum places on carrying no debt and building a debt free business. This is HUGE in my book. I want my boys to live as debt free as possible and we talk about this often and I love how this shows to carry this philosophy over to their business world.

  There is a whole chapter devoted to types of businesses, child care, pet sitting, landscaping, you name it if you did not already have an idea you will get one by the time you read through this book. The final chapter is filled with inspiration and motivation. The benefits of learning, finding a person to motivate you (be your cheerleader). You will learn that it will not always be easy but you must stick it out to be successful. Don't give up when the going gets tough. SHARE! Sharing not only gets the word out about your upcoming business but helps others know they can do it too!
Micro Business for Teens Review

     The next book we got was Running a Micro Business. After you have worked through the first book and have your idea for your Micro Business and know how to get started now you need to learn what to do to keep it running like a well oiled machine. This book tells you everything you need to know including time management skills, how to balance everything including school work, home life and now your business duties. You will gain knowledge into bookkeeping and customer service. How to overcome being shy and how to express yourself professionally. The most fun part of this book for my kids was learning about marketing and advertising for their business. For Taylor my artsy boy, this has become a whole class all on its own. He has even sparked an interest into a career in advertising. You never know where God will lead you when you begin and adventure, often times it is merely a stepping stone for the true path. While working through both of these books there is also a workbook that is helpful for completing some of the steps to getting your business up and running and keeping it running smoothly. Touching on Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Record Keeping. You also learn about bookkeeping and using software to manage your business. You will touch on legality of a micro business, do you need a business name? Do you need to obtain any licensing such as permits from the city or tax ID. Lastly reducing risk, do you need any type of  insurance, for my older of the two this is especially important since he will be driving soon. The boys enjoyed learning about what an LLC was and we took it one step further and learned about all the types of businesses.

Micro Business for Teens Review
The Micro Business for Teens Workbook works hand in hand with Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business. Here you will put to paper what you learn and read about. The best part of having a PDF version of this workbook and curriculum is that you can easily use it for more than one student without having to make additional purchases. I have found over the years that while at first I did not like the burden of printing all of the needed sheets off I have liked having the opportunity to send it off to the office supply store for printing and if I so choose I can have them punched and spiral bound for easy flat open books. Or we can 3 hole punch the pages and put them into a tab folder or binder. Then we can use the opportunity to have a little Art and create custom book covers that fit each of my boys personalities. So now I am seeing many added benefits of digital, printable curriculum. 
My boys worked on this several times a week for the last 6 weeks and we are continuing to work through it and they will be ready to launch their business ideas in June. Taylor is busy spreading the word about his computer repair business and has already practiced on mine and my Dad's computer. Taylor found over 600 malware and malicious files and such on my Dad's computer and installed new Virus and Malware protection. He already has some customers lined up and is relying heavily on word of mouth.  He is also busy creating a great looking flyer that he is going to put up at our local senior center and my oldest son's work has a community board in the doorway. He can even purchase an ad next Spring for our co-op's yearbook. Alyx is completing his endeavor on starting a automotive/home repair business and already had his first job last week, fixing a leaky utility room sink for a neighbor and this Friday he is installing the water lines for our friend's new fridge's ice maker and door water system. He is also interested in doing small auto repair and had the opportunity to work on my car recently replacing the fuel filter and also fixing the heater core in my car. He can do oil changes and tire rotation and is up for almost anything and likes to be challenged. I like to see my boys put their God Given Talents and Hobbies to good work. This curriculum has truly been a blessing and has helped my boys put their dreams of starting a small business into a reality and the potential to earn some great spending money. I guess we better get crackin on our new economics curriculum so we can keep the momentum and drive going. 
If you would like to hear what the other crew members thought about Micro Business for Teens. 
Click to read Crew Reviews
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2 thoughts shared:

Carol Topp CPA said...

Jenn,

Thank you for the review. I appreciate it.
I loved hearing about your sons' businesses! I'd love to feature them on the Micro Business for Teens blog if that's OK with them (and you). My assistant, Jonah, will be in touch with you.

I do allow multiple copies to be printed of the Workbook within a family. But, not all authors or publishers allow that (just so you know).

The Micro Business for Teens books work well in a group. I've taught it at my homeschool co-op and it was the easiest class I ever taught! The students did all the work. They also gave feedback and encouragement to each other. Groups discounts are available here: http://microbusinessforteens.com/teachers-2/

Jennifer Kasprzak said...

Thank you so much Carol, this is so exciting to us!!! Cannot wait to hear more details, thank yiu so much for the opportunity.
Jenn, Alyx and Taylor