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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioIt used to be that wearing the right clothes or expensive shoes made you cool at school. But a new trend shows that owning a business is the new status symbol for teens.
Think back to how much money you made when you were in high school. Five bucks an hour? Possibly seven, working part-time? Let's hear the story of one Utah junior high school student who started his own online scrapbooking business.
"He started selling templates for them to pop their own pictures into to print for scrapbooks. Next thing we find out, he's making $500 to $600 a month selling his templates," explained Larry Benson, Young Entrepreneurs of America board member.
Board members Larry and Leslee Benson say stories like these are becoming more common.
Leslee said, "Teenagers have a lot of disposable income. So, really, if you have a teenager that comes up with a product, you've got a great market because they know a lot of people."
Larry said, "Teenagers are able to start their businesses with minimum amount of money to start up and little risk."
The Bensons say younger people are becoming more clever, too. They told me about two preteens who created competing worm-selling businesses, and one figured a way to get an advantage.
"One of them actually guaranteed their worms?" I asked.
"Guaranteed their worms," Larry said.
Leslee added, "So, he said, now labeling is something you need to worry about when you're selling a product."
They say there are pitfalls teens fall into when they open a business. Many times, teens worry about the small details
"We tell them, ‘Let's get out there first to see if what you're wanting to do is viable, see if it's a product or a service that people want. Then, when you establish that it's a product or service people want, then we can worry about legal,'" Larry said.
Other young people underestimate how much work it will be.
"I think everybody likes to be their own boss and thinks it's the best thing in the world until you own your own company and realize that it's not so great," Leslee told us.
The Bensons say they work with teens who have their own landscaping, boat detailing, and even steam cleaning businesses