It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about money management and even create business ideas for kids. From healthy lollipops and online chefs to teenage fashion designers, there are plenty of creative young entrepreneurs finding success that will inspire your kids.
One of the most popular free apps on iTunes, Bubble Ball, was created by 14-year-old Robert Nay. Though he coded the app, his mother worked with him to put the app on iTunes and promote it. Starting a business together can be a fun way to build confidence in kids while teaching important problem-solving and budgeting skills.
Most of us dream of a life of financial security, for ourselves and especially for our children, so start them off on the right foot by doing this simple thing: start young. According to How to Raise Successful Kids author Bill Murphy Jr., many successful entrepreneurs began when they were just kids, often with the support and guidance of their parents.
Get them into the entrepreneurial spirit by tapping into their own interests, and show them they can turn their passion into a business. Build their confidence by encouraging their ideas, no matter how small, or big. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. For Animal Lovers
Caring for animals comes naturally for a lot of young people. Whether you have pets at home or you want to see how your children will fare in taking responsibility for a future furry friend, develop your child’s nurturing side by helping them start their own dog-walking or pet-sitting business.
For older kids with more experience handling pets, try offering grooming and pet washing services. Not only will they love spending time with different animals, they will learn valuable lessons in taking care of and being responsible for another living being.
They may also learn business basics such as logging time sheets for their dog-walking business, and also forecasting time needed for each task so they can cost out their services effectively.
2. Foodie in Training
Many kids love food, not just eating but preparing it as well. If you’ve got a little baker or creative chef, try starting a food service business together. Depending on the age, you can start as simple as a sidewalk lemonade stand or bake sale, or progress to making specialty foods such as candy or jam, or cake and cookie decorating.
Nine-year-old Alina Morse wanted to create a healthy lollipop that wouldn’t ruin her teeth, so she and her father worked together to create Zollipop, a brand that is now on the shelves at Whole Foods. Together, they researched what ingredients would work, crafted the recipe, designed the branding and packaging, and pitched it to retailers. Alina also included her little sister, turning to her for taste tests and brainstorming the name.
Working with your kids to come up with a fun product, name and brand, and working on marketing it together can help them quickly gain useful life experience in the kitchen, as well as learn budgeting skills through costing out raw materials and time management.
3. Love the Spotlight?
Some people are born to be stars. If your child loves to perform, they may be interested in starting their own podcast or YouTube channel. This is fairly new territory for us parents, but there are tons of kiddie bloggers, vloggers, influencers and content creators out there, including a preschooler named Ryan who you, or your kids, may have heard of.
Ryan and his parents built Ryan’s Toys Review , and he is now one of the youngest and most successful stars on YouTube, earning $11million in one year. Start small by suggesting to your child to blog about anything they have a passion for, from toys and crafting to travel and charity work.
Lizzie Marie Likness discovered a love of cooking at an early age, and when she was six years old, she asked her father to help her design a website to highlight the health-cooking videos for kids she was making. The website, dubbed Lizzie Marie Cuisine, brought Lizzie opportunities to become a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and work with the NFL Atlanta Falcons for their First Down for Fitness program, a healthy eating and exercise initiative aimed at elementary students.
Being in front of a public platform can help kids find their own voice and learn to advocate for their own values and beliefs. They may even get an early lesson about online marketing and monetizing content.
4. Little Artists
Does your kid love arts and crafts? A career in the arts may be in their future, so starting young can help them build a portfolio and acquire valuable entrepreneurial skills from the get-go.
Thirteen-year-old Isabella Rose Taylor’s parents encouraged her love of art and creation by sending her to a summer sewing camp and working with her to build her own clothing brand, including building up a hefty social media following. Taylor’s creations are now on sale at Nordstrom, her clothes have debuted at New York Fashion Week.
If your kids enjoy making small crafts such as ornaments or designing custom shirts or bags, work with them to set up an Etsy shop to sell their one-of-a-kind gems.
Love the holidays? Kids can start a gift-wrapping business or create and sell custom holiday gifts to help ease the stress of holiday shopping. If your little artist loves the art of creating handmade goods, this is a business that will never feel like work. What’s a better life lesson about chasing your dreams than pursuing a career in the arts? They will also learn about budgets and loans through borrowing from and paying back to the Bank of Dad for initial material and production costs.
5. Outdoor Adventurers
Do your kids love being outside? Why not learn some valuable business skills and earn a little cash while enjoying the beautiful sunshine? Outdoor jobs can be as simple as watering plants and gardens to cutting grass, raking leaves and shoveling snow.
Older kids can be garage sale helpers, car washers, or even growing their own fruit and vegetable crops to sell. If your kid just wants to ride his or her bike around the neighborhood, get creative and start a bike or vehicle advertising business. Plaster their vehicle of choice or helmet with paid ads from local businesses and be the talk of the town every time they ride by.
Working outdoors will help children maintain an active healthy lifestyle. Seasonal work will also teach important entrepreneurial basics such as auditing their business after the season is over to better budget and cost for the following year.
6. Natural Born Leaders
Some people are born to lead, and it may start as young as school-age years. If your child loves being a role model or helping younger kids, they can work as a tutor or babysitter.
If they have more specific skills and interests, they can demonstrate those skills by becoming a music or art teacher, or coach a little league sport. When you see a penchant for leadership in your youngster, nurture those skills and you may just be raising a future CEO.
Teach them the other side of being a great business leader by encouraging them to give back to the community that supports their business or to a charity or cause of their choice.
Gift your child with a unique learning experience by starting a small business together. It won’t be the profits and margins that matter, but the joy of watching your child excel at something they love and learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Don’t forget to brand their business and get the word out so your friends and family can show support!