Category Archives: Exploring Careers

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Turning a hobby into a business for Teens!

News Flash! It’s never too early to become an entrepreneur. Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a business? Are you good at drawing, painting, sewing, lawn care, graphic design or fixing things? Or have you had dreams of modeling, acting , singing or becoming an author? Is there something you enjoy doing so much you currently do it for free? Have you ever thought about how much income you could earn from your hobbies? Well, if you haven’t …the time is now! Let’s explore what it will take to turn your hobby into a business. With the appropriate planning and an entrepreneurial mindset, you can be on your way to starting a successful business bringing in more cash than any allowance your parents could ever give you.

 

Tip One: Do you homework!

In order to start a business, you want to make sure you do plenty of research to understand what it will take to be successful in your field.   Start by determining the following:

  • How much start-up funds do I need?

  • How should I set up the business? ( Ie. Sole proprietorship, Independent contractor, Corporation , Partnership etc. )

  • Do I need any training or licenses?

  • How much can I charge?

  • Will I need to pay sales taxes?

  • How much time can I commit weekly to the business?

  • Will I need my parents assistance to set-up my business?

 

 

 

Tip Two: Save…save ..save to Invest!

You want to make sure you can appropriately fund your business with the start up funds needed to get your business off the ground. Start putting money to the side to invest as capital in your business. You may also want to see if you can get your family to assist you with start up funds as investors with a small return on their investment. Open a separate account for your business to start managing your business funds appropriately.

Tip Three: Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a snapshot that potential investors and banks look at in order to predict where your business is headed and what it will look like in the future. “If you Fail to plan, you Plan to fail”. Most businesses are unsuccessful because their business plans were incomplete or ineffective. In addition, your business plan sets the strategic plan and direction for your business to help you make appropriate decisions with the end goals in mind.

The Main Components of a Business Plan are:

  • Mission Statement – articulate the purpose of the company’s existence, their target audience as well as the products and services.

  • Vision Statement –focuses on the values, aims and the future direction of the company.

  • Organizational Plan– is a description of your business, products and services and the long-term goals of the company.

  • Competition refers to researching other businesses that offer similar services and products within market. This is comparing prices and other marketing techniques.

  • Market Analysis – is the study of the market in its entirety that relates to the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that may arise when launching your business.

  • Market Plan– this is where you develop strategies on how to solicit consumers and business. Use all public relation resources and social media to market your brand.

  • Financial Plan– is a blue print of your business’ current and future financial state. It captures how much money is needed to start the business including all start up expenses. In addition, the financial plan will forecast proposed revenue for years to come to assess growth potential.

  • Executive Summary– summarizes all the sections of your business plan by extracting the main points. Prospective investors determine whether your business is profitable based upon this section of the document.

Tip Four: Mange your money wisely

From day one, you need to make sure that you are recording all financial information pertaining to your business. Exceptional book and record keeping skills is essential. Avoid commingling business funds with personal funds. As your business becomes more profitable hire an accountant to help you with tax planning and other services.

Tip Five: Get to work!

Take all the tips that you have been given above and get to work! Businesses are built based on creative and innovative ideas that were given wings to fly. Let your passion, ideas, skills and hobbies allow you to become a successful teen entrepreneur. Being your own boss as a teen is super cool! Good for you!

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Looking for a job?….Resume Writing Tips!

We all have to have them and we all have to tend to them at one point or another… As pesky and cumbersome as it may be; it’s a job that must be done. Updating your resume… whether things are going right or wrong in your career; its something you will have to do at some point. If it’s got to be done, might as well have it done right. Here are a few tips to help out with that :)

1. Understand your skill set – You must understand your skill set. As common sense as this may sound, its definitely worth mentioning. Your skill set is what makes you qualified for a certain position or job. The better you can articulate your capabilities, the better your chances of convincing potential employers that you are the right person for the job. Far too often people leave off valuable skills from a resume, because they either don’t know how to articulate that it’s a skill they possess or they simply are not aware that its a viable skill. Before attempting to update or create a new resume you should jot down what your skills are. After writing the list, consider whether you feel the list accurately reflects all you are capable of or have done in your work history. Typically people have a set of hard skills and soft skills. You’d want to be sure to include both in your resume. Usually related hard skills can translate into soft skills when grouped together, so start with the hard skills first then tackle the soft skills next.

2. Show use of skill set in job history – As important as tip 1 is, this tip is just as if not even more important. Being able to articulate everything you are capable of means nothing if you can’t provide solid examples of when and where you have used those skills. When listing each company you’ve worked for you want to make sure you include the skills you have listed when describing what you actually did. This really connects the dots for those who are reading your resume and removes any doubt or confusion as to whether or not you actually possess said skills. You’d especially want to be mindful of this when using popular buzzwords that are common in the industry for which you are seeking employment.

3. Don’t be too wordy – Don’t be too wordy in any section of your resume. Typically, people can go overboard with the amount of verbiage they use when listing previous jobs and what they actually did at these jobs. When listing employment I like to list the name of the company, dates I worked there, position held, a brief description of what my role was and then 4 to 5 bullets which illustrate EXACTLY how I used my skills to to do my job. In the name of writing sentences that are to the point; each bullet does not have to be a complete sentence. However, each bullet point should be written in a way that suggests you have a command of the English language and that you are an effective communicator. :)

4. Tailor your resume to the potential job – It’s good practice to tailor your resume to the job you want. When submitting a resume for a particular job you want the resume to paint the picture for the person reading it. If you have access to a job description or have a good idea of what the potential job entails, its good to keep that in mind when tweaking your resume. Your previous experience should spell out what makes you capable of doing the job in which you are seeking. This is even possible when seeking a job in a different industry.

You may not have targeted a particular job but maybe you have targeted a specific industry. It really helps understand the industry you and have a really good idea of what potential recruiters are looking for. Keeping that in mind, you’d use vocabulary and phrases that speak to what they are looking for.

5. There should be no grammar and/or spelling mistakes – This particular tip is self explanatory. There should be no spelling and/or grammatical errors in your resume whatsoever. Poor grammar and misspellings suggest lack of attention to detail and carelessness in general. ALWAYS have your resume proofread before sending out. Because you wrote the resume, your eyes may miss errors. Therefore, its best to get someone else you trust to read it over as well. Also, if you are not sure of how to spell or use a word correctly please avoid it. These kinds of errors stick out like a sore thumb and serve as unnecessary detractors. There is never any excuse to have spelling errors or grammatical errors.

Hopefully these tips were helpful… this is part 1 of a two part series. Part 2 will contain writing samples and before and after samples. Stay tuned… Happy resume writing :)