Beyond Babysitting – 5 Small Businesses for Kids
Kids of all ages love to earn and spend their own money. And now, there are more ways than ever for budding young entrepreneurs to make their mark that go beyond babysitting or mowing lawns (those are both still great, though). Whether it’s just for the summer or something they plan to do year ‘round, here are five ideas for kids who want to earn their own money by starting a small business.
Tech Consultant — Let’s face it, kids are simply more tech savvy than most adults over age 35. That’s because they’ve been using computers, tablets, gaming systems and cell phones literally their entire lives. Let them put that native knowledge to work by charging a fee for their consulting services. Whether it’s helping grandma and grandpa set up their iPad, troubleshooting the neighbor’s wi-fi router or keeping the whole family’s cell phones running smoothly, being the neighborhood’s go-to techie can be a lucrative gig.
EBay Seller — If your kid is a savvy bargain shopper who keeps up with the trends, they could be making good money as an EBay reseller. Finding bargains and reselling them at a mark-up on EBay is nothing new, but it’s usually adults who are in on the action. If your child has money saved, allow them to use some of it to purchase starting inventory; if they don’t, offer a loan to help them get started, with specific payback terms in writing.
Entertainer — Does your child draw a crowd doing magic tricks, singing, or playing a musical instrument? They can turn that talent into money by offering their services for parties, weddings, reunions or business events. Younger, less polished performers might want to stick to neighborhood gatherings, while older, more seasoned performers will do well actively marketing their talents for more sophisticated soirees.
House Sitter — There’s always someone in the neighborhood going out of town, let your kid be the one to capitalize on that by starting a house sitting business. Probably best suited for young teens and older, house sitting can include collecting mail, watering indoor and outdoor plants, turning lights and television on and off, and generally making sure the home is secure and appears occupied while the owners are away.
Vehicle Detailer — For kids who are meticulous and detail-oriented, a job detailing cars is a perfect fit. The neighborhood kid who gets a jump on that business can quickly grow a loyal clientele. Super-motivated youngsters might even recruit others and end up managing a team of young employees.
In addition to the the obvious benefit of earning their own spending money, helping your child run their own small business is filled with teachable moments. It’s the perfect way to learn about money management, budgeting, customer service, time management and work ethic.