Is your kid bored with traditional toys? Or, more to the point, are you bored by them, but still want to foster a connection that will build a foundation they can rely on?
That was me and I really needed a way to play with my five-year-old without feeling like I was wasting my time. Then one day on the drive home from school we had a pivotal conversation.
Her: "When I grow up I want to be a baker for dogs and a vet."
Me: "A baker for dogs? What do they do?"
Her: "I make doggy treats and cookies for dogs."
I thought about that for a moment and then glanced at her in the rearview mirror. "You know, you could be a baker for dogs now."
Her face lit up. "Really?!"
When we got home, I showed her how to get started with her own doggy treat business, and now I'm going to show you how to get your one-0f-a-kind kid started in their own business at little or no cost and in just an afternoon.
How to Start Your Own Business, for kids
1. What do you want to do?
The first thing you'll need to do is identify what your child's passion is. This can be done in a simple conversation like the one I had with my daughter. Questions like "What do you want to be when you grow up" or "What do you love doing?" or "If you could solve any problem, what would it be?" are great starting points for a child-run business. Once you identify what your one-of-a-kind kid would like to do and what they are good at, you're on your way to your awesome kid-owned business idea.
2. Identify One Product or Service That They Can Do Now!
There are limitations of education, dexterity, maturity, and practicality that make occupations such as a vet outside my 5-year-old's reach right now. However, she can, with a grown-up's help, bake doggy treats. Most of your child's dream jobs can be achieved in an age-appropriate way. I provide a list of ideas for kids who want to be clowns, firefighters, police officers, teacher, gardeners, and more in The Every Story My Story Play And Learn: Start Your Own Business Workbook if you need some help coming up with the right business for your young entrepreneur.
The workbook also includes two activities that will help you identify:
3. What's Your Offer?
The best approach to business is to sell first and make later, so whether your child is offering a product or service, it's best to find someone who will pay before you start buying materials or baking cookies. Your child will love to get creative choosing their business name, designing their logo, and picking their offer.
To design your offer you'll need to
Pick One thing to do well. One Service. One Product. One Cookie, so to speak.
Pick One group to serve. My daughter picked dog-owners.
Pick One price to offer your service or product at, such as 4 cookies for $8.
4. Get the Word Out
Marketing doesn't have to be scary. You can help a lot by talking to your family and friends, co-workers, and neighbours about what your child is doing. You can even make an ad by filming them talking about their business. Never underestimate the cute factor. People don't follow businesses, they follow people. And little people who start their own business gets everyone in the happy-place.
If you want to know how to use Facebook to help your kid entrepreneur with their marketing for FREE, watch this YouTube Video on setting them up with their own business page.
5. Do It Again!
Sell, make, deliver, and repeat. This is the activity that keeps on giving and something your child can do to learn the value of money, basic social skills, and other real-world skills that will serve them all their life.
A word of warning, there will be real work involved and while you should help your kid, I don't recommend you do it for them. If they lose interest, I would suggest requiring them to live up to their commitments and meet all current orders and then, let them drop it. Facebook pages come down as easily as they go up. After all, they are kids! When it stops being fun, that means the game is over - but it doesn't mean that you should take-over.
It's More Fun When It's A Shared Experience
Join Growing-Up Together and share your child's new business page with like-minded parents and connect your kid with other young one-of-a-kind kids.