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5 Essential Skills Every Teen Entrepreneur Should Develop: A Parent’s Guide

Many teens think all you need to become an entrepreneur is a business idea and some cash. However, this assumption couldn't be further from the truth. Without developing some crucial skills, all they'll have is a string of failed businesses, leading them to believe entrepreneurship is not for them.

In this guide, we'll explore five essential skills every teen entrepreneur should develop and how you, as parents, can play a crucial role in their growth.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are the backbone of entrepreneurship. If you tell me you want to start a business, the first question I'll ask you is: "What problem are you solving?" Because that question is at the heart of entrepreneurship and innovation. In this age, the ability to analyze situations, evaluate options, and make informed decisions sets successful entrepreneurs apart.

How parents can help their teens nurture this skill:

  • Encourage Curiosity: Foster a questioning mindset by encouraging your teen to ask "why" and seek understanding beyond surface-level information.

  • Real-Life Scenarios: Provide opportunities for your teen to tackle real-life problems. Whether it's a household dilemma or a decision about their extracurriculars, guide them through weighing options and considering consequences.

Discuss Different Perspectives: Teach your teen to consider different viewpoints. Engage in discussions that challenge their assumptions about popular topics.

Financial Literacy

We'll all eventually have to manage our own money at some point. But, why do we wait till our kids are adults and expect them to figure it out? We know that cash is the lifeline of every business. So if you don't teach your teen entrepreneurs how to manage money early, they can end up running their business down or worse going into negative debt.

How parents can help their teens nurture this skill:

  • Teach Budgeting Basics: Introduce the concept of budgeting by explaining income, expenses, and savings. Help your teen create a simple budget for their allowance or earnings from selling their product/service.

  • Introduce Saving: Teaching your kids about money doesn't have to feel like yet another task, it can also be fun. You can make savings fun for your kids by starting a savings challenge at home to see who saves the most. Another way to motivate your kids to save is by matching their savings. A great place to start is the Earlybean app.

  • Goal Setting: Teach your kids how to set SMART financial goals and explain to them the difference between short-term and long-term goals. For instance, Making a profit of ₦1,000,000 in my skincare business in 2025 is an example of a SMART goal.

Time Management

This goes without saying. I mean, balancing their academics, extracurricular activities, and entrepreneurial ventures, requires effective time management. Now, they may not get it right every time, but the more they stick to the process the better they can manage their time.

How parents can help their teens nurture this skill:

  • Set Clear Goals and Priorities: Work with your teen to establish short-term and long-term goals for their business and academic pursuits. Help them prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines.

  • Create a Structured Schedule: Help your teen create a daily or weekly schedule that allocates time for studying, business activities, and relaxation. Use tools like planners or digital calendars to visualize tasks and deadlines.

  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review your teen's schedule and workload to ensure they are managing their time effectively. Offer guidance on how to adjust their schedule if they are feeling overwhelmed or falling behind.

Resilience and Adaptability

Life will always happen no matter how well you plan. How does your teen handle it if business doesn't go as planned? Do you just give up? This is where resilience and adaptability are crucial. These skills help teen entrepreneurs to navigate challenges, setbacks, and changes in their business journey.

How parents can help their teens nurture this skill:

  • Encourage a Growth Mindset: Teach your teen to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Foster a belief that skills and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.

  • Provide Support During Setbacks: Offer emotional support and encouragement when your teen faces challenges or experiences failures. Help them reflect on setbacks as learning experiences and brainstorm solutions for moving forward. You can also share personal stories of overcoming obstacles and how you managed to adapt to changes.

  • Celebrate Progress and Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate your teen's achievements, no matter how small. Recognize their resilience in overcoming challenges and commend their efforts in building a successful business.

Marketing and Sales Skills

When you first start a business, you want to go for your low-hanging fruits- family, friends, loved ones. But that is not enough to sustain any business. For any business to thrive, you need to learn how to attract your customers and get them to buy from you. That's why learning about marketing and sales is very important in entrepreneurship.

How parents can help their teens nurture this skill:

  • Understanding Target Audience: Help your teen identify their target market by discussing demographics, interests, and preferences. Encourage them to conduct surveys or gather feedback from potential customers to refine their understanding.

  • Developing Marketing Strategies: Introduce various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, or local community events. Brainstorm creative ways to reach customers and promote their business effectively within budget constraints. Don't worry if all this sounds too "techy" 😅, we created a program to help your teen entrepreneur learn all this. Read to the end for more details.

  • Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Emphasize the importance of staying updated with marketing trends and consumer behavior. Encourage continuous experimentation and adapting strategies based on feedback from tests.

You may have already started teaching your teens some of these entrepreneurial skills, or they may have picked up some along their entrepreneurial journey. Either way, now you know the skills they need to thrive as entrepreneurs. What's that saying again? (scratches my head...) Oh, I remember: "If you know better, you'll do better."

Speaking about doing better, we recently launched a Teen Accelerator Program where you teens can learn all these skills and learn from seasoned experts. Click the link below to sign them up today: etap.earlybean.co