Senior Bridgette Kim Featured in Wall Street Journal

Bridgette Kim Wall Street journal

(article from Wall Street Journal)

For teenage entrepreneurs, running a summer business can teach a lot of lessons.

Students, of course, are taking a chance when they launch ventures of their own instead of hunting for jobs, whether for the summer or the whole year. And in doing so, they're in for a crash course in entrepreneurship. They must learn about dealing with customer complaints, adjusting a flawed business model and more.

Here's what some student entrepreneurs learned about business—and, sometimes, life.


Bridgette Kim

Status: Senior, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney, Md.

Business: tutoring

Revenue: $8,900 since start in 2016

Profit: $7,500

How she did it: Ms. Kim began tutoring in math and science as a summer business after her freshman year. She initially helped middle-school students, and then shifted her focus to high-schoolers, charging $20 an hour. She stopped tutoring at the start of her senior year to focus on college applications.

LESSONS LEARNED

Be prepared to sacrifice: When two students complained that they hadn't been helped, Ms. Kim developed a money-back policy and refunded them each $40. But in the end, the students kept working with her. One told Ms. Kim that initially he didn't believe she could help him and wasn't paying full attention. When he buckled down, he picked up the material, she says. The other student appreciated Ms. Kim's hourly rate and that she went over the allotted time without charging more.

Adapt to your customers: When Ms. Kim saw students losing concentration, she modified her approach. After explaining lessons, she asked students to summarize to make sure they had understood the material. She also found a session of more than an hour was counterproductive. "Even at 70 to 75 minutes, kids would start to fall asleep," Ms. Kim explains.