There’s nothing Booked Parties loves more than supporting the creative, energetic spirit of entrepreneurs. Recently, we are finding inspiration by setting our sights a bit lower…literally. A new crop of entrepreneurs are on the rise, but you won’t find them running their businesses between the hours of 9am to 3pm when school is in session. Gone are the days of paper boys and lemonade stands. Today’s young business owners are savvy beyond belief, successfully identifying niche business models and leveraging the power of social media in a manner that’s so natural to them, it’s staggering to us grown-ups. The children are clearly ready to lead the future.
Last year at the age of 14, the entrepreneurial lightbulb clicked for Mason Greenstein. He realized that he could extend the athletic skills he’d learned over the years to coaching younger children. What’s more is that he could offer his services at a fraction of the rate offered by the professionals. That led to RentATeenager.com, a website Mason founded as a resource for adults seeking a wide range of services. The concept is simple – Mason sources the teenagers and connects them with service seekers. The result is a business that quickly gained momentum. We spoke with this young entrepreneur to learn more.
How many teenagers do you partner with and what’s the vetting process?
I have partnered with over 25 teens who I manage using a spreadsheet that lists their skills. When I get a request, I simply refer to my spreadsheet. I am constantly adding teenagers to my spreadsheet. The vetting process is done on a case-by-case basis. If, for example, I have a request for a soccer coach, I’ll find a varsity soccer player or if I need a math tutor, I’ll make sure the teen is taking advanced math classes. I’m very selective about the teenagers I partner with since they are the basis for my business.
What’s your profit structure?
My company earns the first fee. The teen then earns 100% of the profits for any services rendered going forward. I also provide my customers with a satisfaction guarantee, so if someone is not satisfied with the service, the fee is waived.
How do you promote your business?
I promote my business on Facebook and by placing ads in Inside Chappaqua. I also rely on word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers and I personally spread the word to all of my friends and the adults I know.
Are there any challenges you experienced that you didn’t anticipate and if so, how did you handle them?
I honestly didn’t expect the high response the business received so quickly. I had to act fast and quickly recruit many more teenagers to fill the jobs!
How do you balance running a business with the responsibilities of being a kid?
Schoolwork is my top priority, but so far I’ve been able to balance that alongside the business without either suffering.
What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs?
I would tell them to stay determined. If you have an idea for a business, go for it. Even if it doesn’t start off well, just keep trying until you’ve figured out how to make it work!
Shauna Levy is a writer, communications professional and a stay-at-home mom. Her interests include flaunting her discount shopping finds, cooking food her children reject and restoring her 125-year old home. She is currently raising her three boys, ages 9, 6 and 5 alongside her husband in Chappaqua, NY.