Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review of Micro Business for Teens

Micro Business for Teens Review
Some kids are natural entrepreneurs. They are selling their toys to the kids who come over to play from the time they are toddlers. They are selling lemonade at a young age before realizing that they can make a lot more money by getting their younger siblings to sell the lemonade while they collect a royalty simply for providing a little business advice. Then there are the kids with the great ideas. They just know that x or y or z would make a great business if they could only figure out how to bring it to fruition. Micro Business for Teens is the perfect resource for both kinds of kids.

Carol Topp, CPA has crafted a program for teens (ages 10-18) comprised of three parts: Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business, and Micro Business for Teens Workbook

These three books are to be used together in concert in order to create a cohesive program. The books are relatively short. The workbook is used alongside the texts. Starting a Micro Business is 60 pages of text. Running a Micro Business is 80 pages of text. The workbook is 102 pages. The program takes a student through the entire process of a Micro Business from conception of the idea through execution and sale of the final product. Students even learn about necessary legal information and reducing risk. It is very thorough! In the workbook, students are able to put pen to paper about everything from bookkeeping to time management to using money management software.

Micro Businesses at Casa Delgado

By the time Henry printed and bound the pdf books we received, Therese (12) had already read all of Starting a Micro Business and completed the associated workbook pages by printing them out individually. She loved this program and couldn't wait to get started. 

She fairly quickly decided what kind of business she wanted to be in - crafts. She narrowed down her options, emailed her friends about her final product selections and polled them about what they would be willing to pay. There was a lot of consensus both about the product and the price (she is going to make fabric covered journals with initials on them - something she herself would buy in a minute), so her next step is to begin figuring out how much her materials are going to cost her so that she can make sure that she is pricing her product correctly. She is chomping at the bit at this point to get going! She has made extensive use of Chapter 4 in the workbook - "Writing a Business Plan," and feels very confident about her ability to launch her business. Her first opportunity to really showcase her business will come later on this summer when our homeschool group holds its "Kids' Marketplace" during which kids can show and sell things they make or market. Mrs. Topp's trio of products has been of inestimable value in getting her to the point where she feels like she can really make a go of launching a Micro Business. It has given her knowledge which has given her confidence.

...but wait! There's more! Nicholas (10), too, was bitten by the micro business bug! Henry has been making paracord bracelets since Christmas, and he decided to mentor Nicky through the process of setting up a Micro Business of selling paracord bracelets and key chains. Now, admittedly, Nicky is not reading Mrs. Topp's trio of books, but it is because we got these products for review that this idea even occurred to Henry. He has an MBA and is always trying to get the kids interested in investing and/or starting a business. Risk averse me is always saying, "Well, no, they're too young and that sounds like a lot of work," etc. My attitude is not particularly conducive to learning. His is. He was very intrigued by Micro Business for Teens. He read it, liked its approach and decided to implement it with Nicky. 

Nicky is impulsive. He has ADHD. He is compulsive and obsessive. He has OCD. That makes the whole "making and following a plan" thing very challenging. That's why these books are so incredibly helpful. They give Henry a way to be able to point to a set way of doing things and explain that there is a method for making a business work and that the steps need to be followed in order to be successful. Teaching Nicky that lesson has been an unexpected benefit of Micro Business for Teens.

The two Micro Business for Teens ebooks are $4.95 each. The workbook is $9.95. Families have permission to print one pdf copy of the ebooks. Families are granted permission to make multiple copies of the workbook pages for use in their immediate families only. With such generous copyright permissions and such reasonable pricing, this is one program that I can't think of a single reason not to get. That was a lot of negatives: what I mean is - you need this program.

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  1. Laura,
    Thank you for the review! I really appreciate it. I'm glad your kids liked the books.

    Sounds like your daughter is off to a great start. She'll learn so much!

    I was also touched to hear that Nicky benefited from learning how to make and follow a plan. Thanks for sharing that!

    You might enjoy the public television program Starting a Micro Business, based on the first book. It features 6 students (all homeschooled!) and their parents discussing their micro businesses. http://youtu.be/K2g_MKqLUpo

  2. Thanks so much for reading, Carol! My kids are still learning with your program and still on track with their nascent micro businesses!