We live in a time where the entrepreneurial spirit is accepted and praised. People are starting businesses all the time, and kids should not be excluded from that. There are so many business ideas that let kids express their imagination, wonder and skills. Here are seven ideas to help get you and your kids started.
1. Children's book author
Reading stories with kids is a time-honored tradition, so why not write one? It can be based on your child's life and the funny things they do or say, or the book can be used as an opportunity to teach a life lesson like sharing or respect. Get your child's input on how they would like to develop the story. Bonus points if your child draws the artwork for the book.
This is a great business to start with older kids. If they excel at a certain subject, let others know. Parents are always looking for ways to help their kids, and often that can mean finding a tutor. As the parent, you can help your child with things like driving them to and from tutoring locations or supervising tutoring sessions in your home. Parents can also help with advertising by taking flyers to work or by posting them around town.
3. Babysitting and pet sitting
Babysitting and pet sitting teach kids responsibility. In the digital age, getting jobs like this is simple. Websites like Care.com and Rover.com are great resources to not only post your kid's babysitting service (Care.com) or pet-sitting services (Rover.com), but they are also places to find jobs.
4. Lawn care
When kids are out of school, jobs like lawn care are a perfect way for them to spend their summer. Not only do they make some extra money, but they learn valuable skills for the future such as attention to detail, timeliness and respect for others' property.
5. Computer repair
Let's face it, some kids are better at working with computers than others. Growing up in the digital age has allowed kids to live and breathe technology, making them experts in many areas. If this sounds like your child, help them turn their skill into a business by creating flyers, publicizing their services on social media platforms and getting the word out. If your child has helped you with your computer, you can provide a firsthand testimonial about the quality of their work.
6. Marketplace seller
Imagination allows kids to create art, jewelry and other crafts that appeal to the whims of potential customers. If your refrigerator is covered with artwork, take it to the internet. There are so many options these days for selling handmade goods; Etsy is no longer the only option. With many online marketplaces, you get unlimited listings, can set your prices, and get community support from other sellers.
7. Cleaning service
Put years of chores to good use and encourage your kids to market their cleaning skills to others. Things like vacuuming, dusting and washing dishes are all things your child can do for neighbors or family members. If your kids are older, you can include tasks like cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors. You can advertise on community boards online or at local places like grocery stores and libraries.
All of these businesses can be started with your child and can teach them viable skills for the future. Encourage your young entrepreneurs to try their best and seek success with their new business.
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.
Additional reporting by Shannon Gausepohl and Sammi Caramela.