I think that every child goes through a stage where they would like to make their own money to spend or save for something they would like to purchase without having to ask Mom or Dad. I know that there have been several times that my children have tried to come up with ideas. Our family was given the opportunity to review Micro Business for Teens by Carol Topp, a CPA and mother to teens herself. This is a 3-book curriculum set that includes
This book set is recommended for ages 10-18. Each book is available in paperback for $9.95, or in ebook format for $4.95. The workbook is available in paperback for $14.95, or ebook format for $9.95 We were given the ebook format of these books to review.
What It Is
These books were written by Carol Topp when, as a mom to her own teens, she could not find resources her own children. Some books that she found had horrible ideas, some had a few good ones, and some stated they were for teens, but had ideas geared toward adults. Starting a Micro Business, the first book in the set, is 7 chapters long and 59 pages, and covers the following:
- What is a Micro Business?
- Getting an Idea: Micro Business Ideas Best for Teenagers
- Problem and Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
- Plan it First: Writing a Business Plan
- Financing Your Business Without Breaking the Bank
- Taking Care of Business: Extra Information to Get You Started
- Encouragement: Final Words to Motivate You
This book starts by giving some general information on micro businesses, which I enjoyed because I like to read statistics. I had actually never heard the term “micro business” before reviewing these books. A small business can actually have up to 1,500 employees and have an annual income of $25 million or more. 95% of American businesses could be classified as micro businesses with 10 or fewer employees. This book also has quite a few ideas to get you started, some I would have never thought of as a teen’s business. I like that Carol recommends that a teen totally start their own business instead of selling someone else’s products and how to avoid scams. The book is well written and assumes you don’t know much about starting or running a business. This is good because honestly, most kids do not know very much about it. At the end of each chapter are “Important Points” that reiterate was just discussed.
Running a Micro Business is a little longer at 9 chapters and 80 pages, but it contains more information. After all, coming up with your micro business idea is just part of the actual business. Now you need to learn how to run the business! This book covers the following:
- Customer Service
- Record Keeping
- Bookkeeping Basics
- Using Software
- Legal Names & Numbers
- Reducing Risk
- Time Management
This covers more detail, and goes into topics that teens wouldn’t likely think of. Here teens will learn about payment policies, selling online or in-person, how to market their product d make a marketing plan, providing good customer service, the importance of keeping good records, and so much more. Both of these books are very easy to understand with no big words. The longest and probably most important chapter is about bookkeeping, which makes sense because this is something you need to know if you’re going to run a business.
Last, but not least, is the Micro Business for Teens Workbook. The chapters in this book correspond to the chapters in the first 2 books. To use this book, you first need to read the chapter that corresponds to the chapter you are working on. Chapter 1 in the workbook covers Chapter 1 in the first book, Starting a Micro Business. Chapter 10 in the workbook corresponds with Chapter 3 in Running a Micro Business. The nice thing about this micro business curriculum is that it can be used in either an individual or group setting, and it is self-paced. Chapter 1 in the workbook lets the student list their skills, as well as listen for complaints about products, as well as list any jobs they have now or have had in the past. There is even a box for them to brainstorm crazy wild business ideas. This makes the workbook a little more fun. The workbook really makes the student use their brains and think about what they want to do.
How We Used It
Since we received the books in PDF format, I transferred the first 2 books to my and Rachelle’s Kindles so that we could each read them on our own. The books aren’t very long, and we read each in about 1.5-2 weeks. We haven’t gotten very far in the workbook yet, since it takes some thought to work through as opposed to just reading a book. Issac has also shown recent interest in having a micro business to make a little extra money, and he also read some of Starting a Micro Business, but he’s not gotten as far as Rach and I did. He and Rach have done some brainstorming of their own, though. This would be easy enough to adapt to group time, especially if most of your children are older.
What Do We Think?
We enjoyed the Micro Business for Teens set very much. I like that it contains a lot of information, but it’s very easy to read and understand. I really liked that there are quite a few micro business ideas in the book, so if you can’t think of anything else on your own, there are already some great ones to go by. At less than 100 pages, the books are a nice fast read for the most part, although with all of the information you get, you’ll definitely want to go back and review what you’ve read. This set can even benefit adults as well as teens.