How to Guide Your Kid To Start Their Own Small Business
We all want our children to become confident, intrepid, and imaginative little men and women. We want them to follow their dreams, take chances, and understand they don’t always have to color within the lines. These lessons aren’t necessarily taught in the classroom but can be learned during their earliest entrepreneurial pursuits.
A summer business can be the perfect breeding ground to help your child’s confidence and entrepreneurial spirit take flight. It encourages creativity, while also teaching some very practical skills like balance sheets and marketing. And today’s kids aren’t just sitting by the lemonade stand either. They’re busy building an organic lemonade empire or creating an app that lets you know where the best lemonade stands are on a given afternoon.
If your child shows an interest in starting a business this summer, here are a few ways to help make that experience (if not the business itself) a success:
Introduce the concept of money management
Summer business is a great way to introduce kids to basic money management skills as well as complex topics like calculating gross profits and managing overhead. Teenagers can keep track of income and business expenses. Younger kids can practice adding up price totals and counting change.
You may need to give your child money to kick-start their business. If so, have them itemize all their upfront costs, so they know exactly how much is needed. You could offer to fund a certain amount, as long as they contribute some of their own birthday money or allowance. You could even hold an investor meeting where your child pitches their idea to you and outlines their financial needs.
Nurture their skills, talents, and interests
Encourage your kids to be creative and use their imagination. If they like to write stories, encourage them to write. If they like to make things, let them use your tools. Playing sports will teach them teamwork. Passions and interests are often a great source of business opportunities.
Make a plan
A good business plan is at the core of any startup. While your child doesn’t need to put together a fancy PowerPoint to pitch to a VC, you do want to teach them the importance of planning. Have them create a list of all the equipment and supplies they need to launch their business. For example, if they’re starting a cupcake business, what ingredients do they need? How will they package their cupcakes? If it’s a babysitting business, they might want to take a CPR or first aid course. How much time do they think the business will take and how will they balance it with their other activities?
In addition, have them write down their goals ahead of time. How much money can they make? What else do they want to achieve in the business? It will be a great exercise to revisit these goals at the end of the summer.
Entrepreneurship isn’t just about making money. It’s about solving problems and helping people. Encourage your child to help by offering a portion of their profits to charity or hosting special sales events to raise money and support a cause. A quick note on keeping your child motivated: as much as we want to teach our kids and help create opportunities for them to achieve success; remember that they are still kids. Keep it fun, and don’t put too much pressure on them.
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