How To: Start A Business

Lunar Flower Cases homepage. The host website used for this page is Shopify.

Photo courtesy of Natori Cruz

Lunar Flower Cases homepage. The host website used for this page is Shopify.

Natori Cruz, Editor

High school is when teenagers get their first opportunity to get a job. For some it’s easy, for others it can be a difficult transitioning process. It’s that whole to get a job you need experience but to have experience you need a job idea. Not to mention that some kids don’t receive allowance from their parents, which means they’re flat out broke. Now, this was me. I decided what could be a better way to get money than to make my own business. It’s self-employed, work when you want, and all the money goes to you. You may need some money to begin with, so you’re best option would be to get a loan – from the bank or your parents – and then pay them back once you’re all settled. This article is written mostly personal experience so results may vary. However, I have been running my own online shop, Lunar Flower Cases, for almost a year now and have been pretty successful doing so. Here are three main steps to get through to be on your way to being an entrepreneur.

Step 1 – Product creation: Think of what you may want to sell. You can either one; buy products in a wholesale (bundle) or two; make your own. Making your own products would get you more money, but it would take a longer than just buying them because of the construction process. You also need to find a good price. Not too cheap to the point where you’re not making much profit, but not too expensive to where no one wants to spend that much on a specific product.

Step 2 – Making your website: Since you’ll just be starting off, I recommend using Etsy. It’s an easy platform to manage, everything is straight forward and it’s free to use. Another great host website is Storenvy. It’s a bit of an upgrade from Etsy. With Storenvy you’re able to customize your own website design by buying one, view your sale dates, and have discounts, sales and more. Although Storenvy is free, you must pay an extra $5 to have your own sale or custom URL (which a custom URL costs a separate price). Last on this list would be Shopify. Shopify is a good option when you want to get professional. It offers many different website layouts that coincide with the type of products users sell. It has more benefits and ways to really customize your store layout, payments, and product displays. However, more features means more cost, and Shopify requires a minimum of $30 per month. When you’re first starting off, all you have is $30 per month. So starting small will be best in the long run.

Step 3 – Sponsoring: How are you going to get somewhere without anywhere to start? It may take some time before you finally start getting buyers at least once a day. It took me a little while (about 6-7 months) to get to that point. Choose a social network to get your business out there to the public. Instagram is a great way to keep your followers updated on pictures of your products, and what you’re selling. To help get more buyers, asking someone to sponsor you is your best bet. Sponsoring will require you sending them product(s), and having them telling their followers to buy stuff from you. It works great, the only thing is you sometimes need a lot of sponsors before you can get some money from the products you sell. It pays off in the end though, trust me.

If you follow all these beginner steps, you’ll be on your feet in no time. Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while going through with a business. It’s a great way to prepare you for the real world and learning how to do things are your own.

Tip – Be patient. You should not expect for your business to just take off over night. It takes hard work and dedication, so just don’t throw it away because it takes awhile to start up.

Tip – Don’t put any information you’re not comfortable with online. Get a P.O. Box so no one will have your exact address, never enter your social security number online, and don’t give out your credit card information unless you know for sure what you’re doing (you may be randomly charged). But you also must respect your customers’ privacy. Their information should only be exchanged between you and them.

Tip – Start off your business with the lowest budget you can. Spending at the beginning is needed, but not too much. It’s better to start off small and work your way up then just spend a bunch of money and hope it all works out.