• Scott Millar

Top Tips For Running a Business In School

Updated: Dec 20, 2018

So, you’ve decided to start a business whilst you’re still in school! Well, buckle up because you’re in for a crazy couple of years. In this time you’ll be pushed to your limits and you’ll also reap the rewards in something that might just change your life forever. For me I started my business when I was in grade 9 and continued to run it throughout high school whilst also trying to maintain high grades, a hectic extra curricular schedule and occasionally a social life on the side. Whilst it was a pretty hectic time, it was also something that really helped shape me as a person and an activity that I could not recommend more for any other passionate young people. Here are some of my top tips for surviving on your journey:

Start Small 

As much as we all want to be able to raise $500,000 for our latest business ideas when we snap our fingers, unfortunately the reality is that trying to get an investor to hand over any money to a teenager is near to impossible. What I recommend instead is self funding. Find a business or an idea that you can start with a few hundred dollars and go from there. Focus on making money as quickly as possible and start investing that money back into the business as it grows. From there you don’t have too much risk and you can learn from the start and what your creation grow from an idea into a thriving business. 

Start Sharing Your Story 

Running a business whilst still in school is a pretty remarkable achievement, be proud of that! Don’t feel as if you have to prove yourself or hide your age, be proud and embrace it - ask lots of questions and learn as much as you can. As well as that, start sharing your story. People really want to hear what young people have to say and if you start talking, they will listen. It’s also worth getting in touch with the media as they will absolutely love stories like yours. 

Figure Out How Your Body Works Best 

School probably already has you up late with assignments and homework and with a business, that workload is only going in increase. To help manage that, procrastination is not an option and it’s up to you to figure out how your body works best so you can work as efficiently as possible. For me it was around figuring out just how much sleep I need and when I need to have it, when should I nap, when should I talk to friends, when should I do my creative work and when do I need to do my hard work. It’s a lot of trial and error but it’s important to get in touch with your body. 

Develop Your Switch 

One of the trickiest things I found in school was going from talking to adults at business events, to talking to kids at school. It was really tricky at the start and it took a lot of work to develop a solution. For me, it was all around developing a switch that I could flick to go from adult Scott to teenage Scott. This didn’t just happen either, it was a lot of planning and practice and I almost treated the two as different characters I was playing. Once I had that sorted though, things got a lot easier to manage socially.

School Is Still Important 

One of my biggest frustrations is when I see other young entrepreneurs totally discounting their education and going ’stuff the system’. Whilst they may think they’re being smart and taking a fast track to success, it’s a rather immature view on the situation. So please remember that your education is still important. Whilst your teachers or peers may not totally understand what you do, it’s important that you still try your best at school and learn as much as possible. That year 12 graduating certificate might just come in handy one day. 

Be A Nice Person 

Okay this one might sound simple but you’d be surprised how many a**holes there are out there. This a pretty simple point that just focuses on greeting everyone with a smile and an open mind. If you’re a good person people are likely to want to help you! 

Now these are just a couple of points on running a business in school. There are plenty of other lessons and things that you will learn but it’s up to you to learn those for yourself. If there is ever anything I can do to help, just email my team at info@bopindustries.com and they pass on the email to me and I’m always happy to help.

Just remember that you are awesome and doing something pretty special.