Your Guide To Starting A Business As A Teenager
Well first I would like to introduce myself because you have to know a little bit of where I am coming from: I have a passion for 90s and 00s pop music. A majority of my clothes have cat fur on them due to my love for my two cuties. I live in Northern NJ, but I lie on Instagram and say I’m from NYC because it sounds cooler. I have a large magazine collection (so this is very exciting for me) and I run an online/print zine for teens called Crybaby. While I am no Tavi Gevinson, I have definitely taken on a lot more than I thought I could handle at the age of 16. I have started an online/print zine which has become successful rather quickly. I run it on my own (for the most part), with three friends as contributing editors to help when I can’t handle it all. And while the zine is now on stable ground, it definitely didn’t start there.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the hardest thing I have done in my 16 years on planet Earth, so here is my advice to people who want to start something while stuck at home with their parents:
#1 The first thing I would say to do is get friends to help you.
While it can make it more complicated, it is such a good feeling to share your success with the people you care about the most. Just make sure you all understand your roles in the business and the workload that will be necessary (it will help avoid fighting).
#2 Use social media to get noticed.
This one may seem obvious to most, but it is especially important when you don’t live in a big city or don’t have connections to the industry you want to be a part of. The Instagram for Crybaby has gotten the attention of Jade Taylor, the Senior Beauty editor for Nylon, and other people in the publishing/fashion industry. Instagram and Facebook is also how I got many of the interviews I have done for my zine. Social media can also be used to meet new people that could either help in your business or that would be interested in your business. Many of the contributors to my zine were met through Instagram. I dm-ed them and we ended up working together. Social media is something that we, as teenagers, must take advantage of. My zine wouldn’t be anywhere without the internet and my savvy social media ways.
#3 It is easy to forget about the importance of school, but don’t.
It’s hard, especially when you’ve started doing something you love or have always dreamed of. So make sure you find a way to balance school and work. I still haven’t worked out the kinks, so I can’t give any explicit directions, but trust me on this one.
#4 Have fun.
Even though it’s a business, you’re still only a teenager and I’m assuming your business is either not making a large profit or just breaking even (if that). You shouldn’t take on the stress as a teenager if you can’t handle it because trust me – it will become inevitable. What I have learned from my experience running the zine is that this is like a test run for me. Crybaby is not the last thing I will take on (and I’m only 16), so I should have fun with it.