There are plenty of business ideas that let kids express their imagination, wonder and skills. We live in an exciting time where the entrepreneurial spirit is accepted and praised and starting a business provides an invaluable life experience for kids.
There are so many benefits to children starting out on their business journey; it develops very practical skills like organization, problem solving and communication. It’s also a great way for them to learn responsibility and the value of a dollar.
So when your child shows an entrepreneurial streak at a young age, you should take their ideas seriously and let them play out naturally.
Parents can often get in the way of their children’s success. It’s important that your child is passionate about what he or she is doing. You want them to enjoy the experience and not lose interest.
Support your children’s business plans in a couple of ways, the first being to come up with an action plan that you and child can both fill out.
Resist the urge to say things won’t work or that no one would pay for their idea. This process is a learning experience; the end result doesn’t necessarily matter.
If your child doesn’t already have a specific business idea in mind, get them to make a list of their favorite things to do.
HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE IDEAS:
- If they love animals, they could start a pet-walking or pet-sitting business
- Make candles and sell them on Etsy
- Hold an acting workshop for younger kids in the neighborhood
- Teach music lessons
- Babysitting and pet sitting
- Lawn care
- Cleaning service
- A tutoring business
- Computer work (creating flyers, social media)
- Make jewellery & crafts to sell on Etsy
Over the last few years crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular option for both entrepreneurs and investors. Financially speaking, starting up a business doesn’t have to mean going through the tedious process of nailing down traditional funding. The ever-growing crowdfunding option is a real game-changer for small startups. Via platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s possible to source the funding you need, plus some. It is often a quick and convenient process, where you can learn what the public think and build a fan base before your child kicks off their business.
When Parkinson’s caused her grandfather to spill his drinks, 11 year old Lily Born decided to do something about it. So, she came up with the revolutionary 3-legged Kangaroo Cup. The ceramic mug was financially funded from Kickstarter and she raised just over the £3,540 she needed for production in 30 days. Not only was her cup more stable, but it stacked easily, needed no coaster and didn’t splash when carried around, thanks to the rim gently curving inwards. 16-year-old surfer Josh Apitz was so sick and tired of slipping off his surfboard because he was wearing sunscreen that he came up with this innovative solution — and it’s helped him make a tidy profit.vHis product, Seagull Milk is both non-slip and 100-percent natural. Part of the proceeds of every tube of Seagull Milk goes to Australian beach cleanup organization Take3ForTheSea. Josh wants to help contribute to solving the skin cancer epidemic and also plastic pollution.
Set a goal and make a plan
Let your child think about all the nuts and bolts needed to turn their idea into a reality. What kind of equipment, supplies or training do they need? If they’ll be mowing lawns, what do they need? A lawn mower, gas for the lawn mower, etc. If they’ll be babysitting, should they take a CPR or first aid course beforehand?
They should write down their goals for the business, including both financial goals and anything else they want to achieve.
The Bottom Line
Even if it doesn’t turn out as planned, you can show them that adversity is a part of life, and that failure is an opportunity to retool an idea or a door to a new opportunity. The work experience also looks great when it comes time to apply for college and scholarship opportunities.
It doesn’t matter if they want to make a website with Fortnite hacks or making and selling slime, finding something they want to learn about and helping them find things to read about sets a natural path to turning that knowledge into a business.