The textbook entrepreneur story begins with the lemonade stands at 8-10 years old, and a paper route at 10-14 years old. Now with the internet being roughly 25 years old and most kids know more about it then any parent out there, this is a time when young entrepreneurs should be flocking to the online service industry, and online publications. It seems so far fetched, creating a successful e-commerce store, or online service business, but really is it? The e-commerce giant eBay, which was founded in 1995 (20 years ago) and is now worth $66 billion, or Amazon which was founded in 1994 (21 years old) is now worth a staggering $135 billion. Most people write that off as luck, and no one else can do it again, so lets look at a smaller scope, when Elon Musk came from South Africa to Canada, then to Silicon Valley, where he launched a company called PayPal in 1998, maybe you’ve heard of it, then sold it to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002, and now it is worth an estimated $38.2 billion, not a bad buyout eh?
These are just some examples of small Silicon Valley startups, now lets look at a smaller scale again with young people who’ve gone into the online service business, blogs, etc. Lets look at a online publication called Elite Daily, which was started by three people in the twenties, and had a $60,000 investment in 2012, and then a little over two years later they have 40 million monthly unique views, have 60+ employees, a spacious Park Ave office, and recently raised $1.5 million in funding. The three founders Gerard Adams, David Arabov, and Jonathan Francis, none of them with a background in publications, like most of that age and younger, but they had an idea and created an extremely successful online publication geared towards the younger generation.
The main reasons I feel so strongly that young entrepreneurs should be all over online services are as followed:
Low Start Up Costs:
Starting an online website, buying a domain is extremely inexpensive to do, and also to maintain. Personally I’ve had 6-8 different online sites ranging from sports blogs, to trading blogs, to finally Investors Corner. I had various online publications which were fun, and I made money from when I was fourteen years old, having college students intern for me, of course they did not know my age. I had DenverSports303.com NYSports212.com and several others. For $5.99 per month you can have web hosting, easy web building software, and your own domain (.com, .org, etc.). So for $60 per year you can have your own website to set up a blog, e-commerce, online service business, etc.
Various Revenue Streams
When you start up a site you can easily monetize your site, Google has a great program called Adsense where you simply apply, get accepted within 2 days, and you can place HTML ads on your website can make money when they’re clicked, and by the amount of people who see them. When your traffic increases to your site or service you can begin generating more and more revenue while traffic increases.
Promote Your Site on Social Media
While social media sites offer advertising to reach your target market it is an expensive option, but what you can do is simply make a social media account for yourself or your site and promote it. Hashtags on Twitter and Instagram will bring your content to those interested in your topic, it may be sports, travel, food, etc. But using hashtags on Twitter or Instagram helps your post get reached to more and more people. This way you can promote your business, website, whatever it may be, for a free yet effective way.
It Teaches So Many Life Skills
While these young entrepreneurs may not create the next eBay, Reddit, Elite Daily, Paypal, etc. Creating a website teaches young entrepreneurs so many valuable lessons that our formal education fails to teach students today, which is starting a business, taking risks, trying something different, and becoming your own boss. Young entrepreneurs can start their site and spend hours a day working on it, and if done right make money! Instead of playing video games, young entrepreneurs should focus there time and energy towards a business that can be created for the same cost of the new Call of Duty.
It is so important to give young, driven youth the opportunity to try different things, take risks, and try and make money for themselves. I started Investors Corner at 17 years old from a Starbucks and my bedroom and turned it into a very successful online service business where my subscribers learn to be self sufficient traders and are having a lot of success so far. Spending over $200,000 over four years to get a degree to be an investor or trader is crazy, for a low price you can learn from someone like me who is already successful in this industry. Other young entrepreneurs can do the same thing if they have a unique talent such as mobile app development, start your own online business! It can be done for so many different industries, and the internet is still so new, meaning there are so many ideas and niches that a young entrepreneur can take advantage of. Most importantly you learn so many valuable lessons that will serve you throughout your entire life, these lessons cannot be taught in a classroom and thats why you need to think differently and try different things then most of your peers will do! So if your a young entrepreneur find your niche in the online service industry!