Small Business Ideas for Kids
Written by Eddy Hood
Kids may not have the same financial responsibilities that adults have, but they often have enterprising goals for making money and being productive. Until they reach their teen years, youngsters are usually forced to be creative about how they earn money, pursuing odd jobs in a neighborhood or even finding a niche to sell a product. Help your child earn money with small business ideas that are anything but small. Your child can earn money while learning important lessons about entrepreneurship, which could set the stage for future success.
Learning about Money
- There are several resources on the Internet that can help kids learn about money.
- As kids grow, they will need to learn about money to ensure that they build skills for managing money. Give opportunities for building money management skills by giving kids an allowance. An allowance can enable kids to learn how to save and budget money.
- Children should also learn how to save money. Help your children open a savings account and encourage them to add to their account balance regularly.
- Take your youngsters with you when you shop and talk about the purchase decisions you make. Explain the differences between needs and wants to help kids learn how to budget their money and make smart shopping decisions.
- Teach your children a lesson about managing and valuing their possessions by offering an insurance service. Your children could inventory their valuables (such as electronics and sports equipment). Suggest a small monthly "premium" due to you each month in return for protection in the event of damage, loss, or theft. If something happens to an item, you will replace it under the terms of the protection.
- Kids can make money, too. Help your youngsters explore appropriate money-making ideas if they express an interest in earning money. A child in the preteen age group who enjoys children might take a childcare class to begin working as a parent's helper or a babysitter.
- A lemonade stand is often an exciting enterprise for youngsters. Selling food and/or beverages can give kids hands-on lessons about working to make a product, setting prices to cover expenses, serving customers, and handling money.
- Delivering newspapers or neighborhood circulars could be another money-making option for for young people. Your child might be able to handle a paper route before or after school.
- Youngsters could also set up a car wash business to provide this service to customers. They would need access to a hose, buckets, brushes, and sponges to wash vehicles for a profit. They might also make advertising signs to place in various spots around the neighborhood to bring in traffic.
- Other business ideas include pet-sitting, dog-walking, or landscaping services. Kids could offer year-round yard services, including snow-shoveling in the winter, yard clean-up in the spring, lawn mowing or weeding in the summer, and leaf-raking in the autumn.
- Talk with your kids about other ways to make money. An entrepreneurial mindset can be beneficial to enable kids to find new or unusual ways to make money. Perhaps your youngsters could find an untapped market in your neighborhood and begin working to fill it. For example, a child with excellent math skills might offer math tutoring sessions to younger students as a way to make money.
A Business Plan for Success
- Writing a business plan can be an educational process for any entrepreneur, including a young one. If your child has an idea for a small business, provide guidance for making a business plan. The plan should include details such as a specific product or service to market, pricing, the target market, a plan for attracting customers, expected profit, and money needed to get started.
- Setting prices for a business venture can be a learning process, too. Help your child decide about prices for a product or a service by investigating the prices set by other companies providing similar goods or services. The Internet can be a source for pricing information. Young entrepreneurs may be able to set prices lower than their competition, giving them an advantage.
- Once a child reaches the teenage years, it may be possible to pursue other types of employment. Individual states have child labor laws in place that govern the minimum age for employment, types of work, hours per week, and minimum wage.
- A teen with an entrepreneurial spirit might want to explore other job options. Provide assistance in exploring your local market area to see if any opportunities exist for a teen's business idea. By investigating potential customers, a young person might find a niche to fill with a new small business.