One of the qualities I admire in Teenvestors is that they are optimists. They all feel they can make their businesses work. Unfortunately, optimism is not good enough when it comes time to realistically figure out the steps to take to actually operate their businesses. Coming up with good business ideas is just a start. The efficiency at which the businesses will operate on a day-to-day basis is probably a more important determinant of the success or failure of these businesses. Efficiency is determined by the ability of the young entrepreneurs to handle the level of business they expect. The following sections discuss other symptoms of poor business planning.

Failure To Consider Your Physical Abilities and Maturity

Your parents or guardians should be involved in your decision to start some businesses because of the physical and mental maturity that may be required for any business.

Some young entrepreneurs decide to start businesses that they can't possibly handle because of their age and physical abilities. Avoid businesses that depend too much on your physical strength.

In addition, if you are under 18, avoid businesses that require that you have any kind of intimate contact with customers. You may be chuckling right about now but think of cases where a young entrepreneurs may want to give pedicures, manicures, and other services that involve touching customers. Also, if you are a minor, I recommend that you avoid businesses (or situations) where you are alone with customers in their homes.

Taking On Too Much Business

Some young entrepreneurs take on too many customers. They first figure out how much money they want to make, and then calculate how many customers they will need to meet their goal. If they are lucky enough to get as many customers as they want, they may find that they created another problem: there aren’t enough hours in the day to make the product or deliver the service.

One high school entrepreneur started his own desktop publishing business. He bought some expensive computer equipment and started looking for writers who wanted to get published. He took on two writers and then the nightmare began. All of the administrative work he needed to do in order to publish the books was his undoing. First, he started skipping school to work on his business. Then he started staying up until 2 a.m. Finally, he closed his business.

This young entrepreneur’s problem was two-fold. First, he did not thoroughly investigate all the steps he had to take to become a legitimate publisher. He found out the hard way that producing a book requires more than just good writers. It requires that the publishers edit the work and perform all other administrative services such as copyrighting the book and preparing to have it carried by national distributors.

This young entrepreneur’s second problem was that he took on more than one writer at a time. He should have gotten his feet wet in the business with one customer before acquiring more. When I asked this kid about his blunder he said, "I really didn’t know how much work it took to publish a book. I figured that with a computer and a good printer I could easily start my own desktop publishing business."

Poor Time Management

Young people who want to start their own businesses have to become good time managers. They have to manage school and homework, recreation, the responsibilities of family life, and their businesses.