We know you're exhausted and somewhere in the middle of all your to-dos your child tells you they want to start a business. You're probably thrilled at first because it will get them off the video games. But then you stress wondering how you can add that into your day. Well, you've found our site and that's a great place to start. Our Getting Started guide, which comes in all of our Start Up Kits is filled with great information written at a 8-12 year old reading level. It's a short read with some great information on goal setting, customer service and measuring profits. Together with the products that come in the kit, your child should be able to go page by page without you having to teach them. (I'm sure you have dishes or laundry calling you too.)
Of course we want our kids to learn responsibility and develop entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. When was the last time your child came to you with a problem AND a solution? Wouldn't that be amazing? What does that even look like?
"Mom, the bird's cage smells so bad it's worse than my socks. I could change the paper. " (mind blown emoji)
"Dad, all the other kids at school have XX. If I sell $25 worth of my product will you take me to get one of those?"
With the right guidance and minimal support, kids can gain valuable experience in managing their own business and become more self-sufficient as the business grows. It can also be a great way to make some extra money and give kids a sense of accomplishment.
When considering a business for kids, the most important thing to keep in mind is that they need to be able to handle the responsibilities on top of their schoolwork and the stress can't be too much to handle. If you and your partner are busy, kids need to pick the right business that they can run on their own or with minimal help from their adults.
For younger kids, under 12, they may need help figuring out the type of business they should start. If they are intimidated they might just need some emotional cheerleading, your physical presence or even help approaching customers at first.
When our family started Young CEO Squad we grabbed our reusable straws at sat in front of everyone's favorite coffee shop. We set up and then something strange happened. My kids became really shy and didn't want to ask for the sale. It was surprising to me - I had not thought about kids being intimidated to talk to adults. So I just started interjecting a "hello" to the people going into the store to get them to stop and be interested in what the kids were doing. Then the kids took over the sale.
Most people were thrilled to see young entrepreneurs working hard and wanted to help. When they would ask why the kids were selling or for what organization, what impressed them the most was that the kids were starting their own businesses and leaning to be entrepreneurs. After a few sales the kids were brimming with confidence and ecstatic with their accomplishments.
By the way the 2 kids sold 18 straws in 2 hours in winter and made over $50. $90 gross revenue minus 2 hot cocoas and the cost of 1.5 kits = $50 profit. (TIP: Many people don't carry cash so we printed out my Venmo QR code and had that at the ready)
We teach kids to put one foot in front of the other. No great business was built in one day- and so they need to go through the steps to get up and running.
While we recommend starting a business with our Kids Business Start Up Kits, some ideas for other businesses that kids can run include:
Selling homemade crafts. Kids can sell homemade items such as jewelry, artwork, or decorations. It can be a great way for kids to express their creativity and make some extra money.
Doing yard work. Kids can offer services such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, and cleaning up gardens. Have you ever seen a citrus tree overloaded with fruit? I bet that neighbor could use some help picking them!
Tutoring. If the child excels in a certain subject, they can offer tutoring services to other kids.
Pet care. Kids can offer pet sitting, bathing or walking services to neighbors and friends, which can be especially helpful during the summer months.
Recycling. Kids can collect and sell recyclable materials such as cardboard, plastic, and glass.
When helping your child get their business started, it’s important to have them set a goal and plan what they will do with their profits. Some of the profits they should spend on anything that makes them happy - self-care is worth it! And they should reinvest some of the profit into their business to help it grow even more. With the right guidance and support, you can help your kids open the door to being young entrepreneurs and watch them gain independence, confidence, and responsibility and find a new passion.