Small Business

How To Start A Business For Kids

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 14 minute read

Does your child tend to fidget when sitting in class? Is this guy a weirdo whose insolence occasionally gets on the nerves of the grownups in charge? Or, do they really just want to make money because they enjoy creating things?

If this describes your kid, they may have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. There is a lot you can do to help them develop the skills, virtues, and beliefs that will allow them to reach their greatest potential.

How to Inspire Children to Start Their Own Businesses

As a parent, you can do a lot to encourage your child to think like an entrepreneur. My own boys are just three and two, but even at their young ages I’m already planning how I can best encourage in them a lifelong passion for knowledge, a genuine interest in the world around them, and a desire to try new things. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while you’re doing the same.

Consider Their Benefits and Drawbacks

In his TED Talk “Let’s Raise Kids to Be Entrepreneurs,” seasoned businessman Cameron Herold recommends that parents focus on their child’s interests and talents. Herold argues that students who don’t fit the ideal of “a good student” shouldn’t be forced to succeed academically, but rather given the skills they need to start their own enterprises.

Herold contends that modern educational institutions actively push students to major in fields like medical, law, and engineering because of their reputation as “good careers.” People that exhibit a predisposition for scientific study are frequently encouraged to do so. Those who excel in mathematics are typically encouraged to pursue careers in computer science or accountancy. Success in these areas is more likely for kids who naturally have an affinity for them.

Unfortunately, young individuals who are very creative, have a knack for thinking of fresh ways to tackle old problems, or who don’t seem to fit any other “professional route” are rarely encouraged to do so, even if doing so might be very fruitful for them. Instead, kids are told their differences make them outsiders and that they should work to fit in.

Learn as much as you can about your child’s strongest traits. Determine the activities that bring them the greatest pleasure. What are the specific abilities in which they excel? As for why they would do it, I have no idea. How can people make the most of their innate skills and interests to start thriving side businesses?

You must also take into account the potential threats they confront and the areas in which they are deficient. For illustration purposes, consider that Branson had severe dyslexia as a youngster. Herold has ADD, just like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Such problems, as well as bipolar disorder, affect a large number of company entrepreneurs. They can even become useful in the right circumstances.

For example, if a topic of interest arises, a child with ADD or ADHD may get obsessed with it. Find a problem that needs fixing in your child’s area of interest, whether it be sports, fashion, or food.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to act impulsively. Although this may be disheartening for parents, it often proves to be good for young entrepreneurs who are more likely to press through in spite of reservations or uncertainty. They are not afraid to branch out and experiment.

After they’ve zoomed in on something that piques their interest, you should assist them weigh the prospective outcomes before releasing them. They’ll make mistakes now and again, but they’ll learn from them and get better with time. As entrepreneurs, people with ADD or ADHD often succeed because of their willingness to try new ideas and accept the inevitable failure that always follows.

Expand Their Social Circle

In order to help your child develop an entrepreneurial mentality, it’s important to take a look at the people in his or her surrounding environment. You are the people you hang around with is a slightly revised version of the classic saying ascribed to Aesop.

As a matter of fact, either option is acceptable. One’s social network has a major bearing on one’s identity and worldview. A helpful piece of advice from Casnocha is to “surround oneself with folks wiser and more accomplished than you are.”

If you want to raise a child that thinks beyond the box, you should surround them with individuals who do the same. Motivate them by sharing the experiences of young people their age who started their own businesses and made a success of it. Make an effort to put them in touch with thriving business owners who can act as mentors and share their insights on what it takes to launch a successful enterprise. Give them examples of artists, writers, and lecturers who have overcome incredible obstacles to pursue their passions.

Help them connect with others who can encourage and support them while their ideas are still in the conceptual phase. As an entrepreneur, your success is directly proportional to the strength of the team you’ve assembled.

You play an important role in this group of do-gooders. Don’t shoot down your child’s ideas or warn them about the difficulties they’ll face if they act on them. Instead, provide assistance in formulating a solution that will satisfy you both.

Show them how to create objectives.

When beginning a new enterprise, the ability to set and achieve goals is of the utmost importance. Your child will need this as part of the foundation he or she builds on to succeed in any endeavor.

Discussing a manageable goal with your child is a good place to start. Things like saving up for a new toy or trying out for student council president come to mind. Work together to develop a plan for accomplishing this aim.

The next step is to write down your objective and strategy. Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor of psychology at Dominican University of California, found that more than 70% of people who wrote down their goals also reported accomplishing them.

Finally, it’s crucial to keep hammering home the need of a plan to your child. Your enthusiasm has a significant role in determining their fate. Your child might be motivated to follow through on their goals by using sites like stickK.

Teach Them How to Handle Failure

Everyone has trouble dealing with disappointment, but young children may be especially susceptible to its crippling consequences. That’s why it’s crucial to teach kids, from an early age on, to take criticism, learn from their mistakes, and keep trying until they succeed.

Financial success comes gradually for most firms. Each business owner takes a chance, messes up, and then gets back up.

Talk to your child about what went wrong and what they could have done better to increase their chances of success the next time they try something new, whether it’s an assignment for school or a business venture. How could they begin again, this time putting their new knowledge to use? What measures will they take to ensure that this mistake is not repeated?

Help them discover needs and opportunities.

The businesses Herold started out with usually filled a niche or met a need in the community. When he visited the local golf course, he saw that everyone who didn’t have a caddy had a hard time with the incline around the thirteenth hole.

He carried their belongings up the single hill and set out a lawn chair for them to sit on. At the maximum level, he made $1. Thus, he earned more than his caddy colleagues who worked all 18 holes put together.

It’s often easiest to begin your search for holes and voids in your child’s own existence. How frequently do they experience whatever it is that makes them feel uneasy? When will they figure out a solution? With the help of baby steps, kids may focus less on the issues at hand and more on the solutions.

The following stage entails broadening one’s horizons. Inspire your kid to look for those who are struggling, both in their immediate vicinity and further afield. As soon as a need is identified, they should start brainstorming solutions.

You can get your business up and running quickly by looking into temporary positions. In the Christmas season, your child may start a gift-wrapping service, and on the Fourth of July, they could offer cleanup services for neighborhood barbecues.

Compel them to find a solution

Herold wasn’t allowed to work while he was a child. His company owning parents suggested he find his own way to supplement their income. To make ends meet, he tried his hand at a few other types of work before joining his siblings in business.

Raise your youngster to see independence from you as the only path to success. If they want to buy something, they need to find a way to get their hands on some cash. This situation reminds me of the old business adage, “the hungry wolf hunts best.” If your child has to earn a livelihood in this way, they will learn to be resourceful and not take shortcuts.

Teach Your Children Financial Concepts

Despite the fact that teaching about personal finance and financial literacy should be a part of every school’s curriculum, it seldom is. So it’s up to you to teach your kid about money management and budgeting.

In this case, allowances are insufficient. While it’s true that giving your child money in exchange for helping out around the house could help them establish a strong work ethic, Herold argues that this is practically the same as paying them a wage and does little to encourage an entrepreneurial attitude. Instead, Herold advises sending your teenager on a house tour to determine what needs doing and then arguing with you over pricing.

They will develop better skills in opportunity recognition, problem solving, and bargaining as a result.

It’s also important to teach your kid about budgeting and saving. Even very young children may learn the importance of saving up for a reward with the use of visual aids like coupons and drawings. The capacity to control expenditure and wait for a desired purchase is vital for the management of personal and business finances. If you step in before they reach adulthood, your child will have a far better chance of avoiding costly financial mistakes.

Discuss Marketing

The success of even the most incredible company venture depends on satisfied customers. That’s why it’s so important for your youngster to get an understanding of marketing and how to implement it in their own business.

Having a talk with your child about the advertising they see on a regular basis is the first step you should take, whether it be the commercials they see during their favorite TV show or the ads that pop up on their tablet while they’re playing games. What exactly is it about each advertisement that makes them want to click on it? What do they see as the benefits and drawbacks of each option?

Is there anything they could do to the commercial to make it more appealing to someone of their generation specifically?

It’s the same while going shopping; you may talk to others. It’s a good idea to chat to your kid about the messages they see on the cereal box and how they make them feel; you could just end up teaching them something about marketing.

It’s beneficial to expose your preteen or adolescent to the field of social media advertising. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to a business’ bottom line.

Encourage Their Ingenuity

Herold recommends no more than four times a week of reading bedtime stories to your youngster. Have your kid read you a story at least three times a week. Set out a selection of toys and ask them to come up with a story using the objects in play.

This exercise is great for your kid’s imagination and quick thinking. In particular, it inspires kids to take pleasure in creating their own stories and thinking up original concepts.

It is recommended by Herold that parents use innovative approaches to coaching their children in public speaking. Public speaking or staging a play with their friends are both excellent options since they require them to think creatively and independently of one another.

Teach Them How to Request Help

Independent children may find it difficult to ask for aid. However, learning how to seek assistance is a skill that will benefit you throughout your life.

Your kid’s chances of becoming a prosperous business owner improve if they have the self-awareness to know when they’re getting stuck and the social skills to ask for help. This help might come from you, a mentor, their social network, or a local/government entity like the SBA.

There is a free online course offered by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) that gives information to anyone interested in starting their own businesses on various issues such as feasibility analysis, securing financing, and establishing a legal entity.

Teach them how to communicate effectively.

The ability to speak clearly and fluently is more vital than ever in today’s world. Young people’s interpersonal and written communication skills have suffered with the proliferation of electronic media such as social networking sites, text messaging, and more time spent in front of screens. This is especially true of today’s youth, who are exhibiting a dramatic drop in interpersonal communication skills.

Your kid will benefit greatly from developing strong communication skills. Child prodigy Adora Svitak presented an amazing TED talk titled “What Adults Can Learn From Kids.” Svitak is just 12, but she has the wisdom and insight of someone much older in her conversations. Her words are as uplifting as she herself.

Limiting your child’s screen time can help them become a more confident and articulate speaker. You could follow the lead of First Lady Michelle Obama and ban all screen time throughout the week except for school, or you could just get rid of the TV altogether. Your youngster may now participate in more beneficial activities such as talking to adults, reading books, playing board games, and interacting with friends instead of watching television or playing video games. They will improve as communicators as a result of all of these techniques.

Know that your child sees you as an example and looks up to you. Therefore, it is crucial to act as an example of the kind of person you want your children to become. It’s rude to try to multitask when chatting to someone; focus on them instead. Pay close attention if your kid is trying to communicate with you. When telling someone about your day, it helps to add specifics. Add flourishes to your stories to make them more engaging to read.

Role-playing is another tool you may use to help your child develop better conversational skills. Role-playing may be a beneficial strategy for helping people overcome fear and dread. Your kid may benefit from talking to a friend about the effect the buddy’s statements had on him or her.

Your child will be more prepared to handle this type of situation when it arises if they have had prior experience speaking in a similar scenario.

Small Business Ideas for Children

In terms of starting a business, your kid has no limits other than those imposed by his or her imagination. Once you start rewarding the aforementioned traits and skills, you’ll find that your staff will begin surprising you with new and creative ways to improve the business.

Small businesses may be a great way for kids and teens to make money and find their footing in the working world.

Buying and Selling Used Toys

Find the toys and games that your child no longer plays with or is willing to donate by sorting through their old stuff. Try selling them online at sites like Craigslist and eBay, or at a local consignment shop.

If you’re tired of doing everything by yourself, get your kid’s aid with anything they can. Even if a child is too young to create a whole eBay listing on their own, you may still show them the ropes.

Allow them full control over taking photos, determining the asking price, and crafting the item description. Giving them as much independence as they can handle will let them feel the pride that comes from financial independence.

They may also be used to your advantage while perusing thrift shops and yard sales in search of items to resell.

Handmade Items for Sale

Does your kid dream of being a famous artist? Knit? Fashion ornaments? If this is the case, perhaps they are making money off of their innovations.

If your kid has an artistic eye and an aptitude for crafting things, they can start a company and sell their creations on Etsy. Other online markets outside eBay, Etsy, and Amazon include DaWanda, Zibbet, and iCraft. They may use Zazzle to sell products featuring their artwork or doodles.


Tell me about your child’s progress in French class. I was wondering if they had a decent touch on the piano. Where do they stand in Advanced Placement Calculus?

The skills your child has may be put to good use by coaching others of similar ages or younger students in subjects like music, art, or academics. Tutoring may be a great way to earn additional money and hone skills you already have.

Animal-Related Services

Your child may find a rewarding career in animal care if they have a natural affinity for creatures of all shapes and sizes. Some examples of these kinds of services are having an employee walk your dog, having someone come over to play with your pet during the workday, having someone stay with your pet overnight, and even having your pet groomed.


If your child enjoys writing and sharing stories, it’s possible they’ll take to blogging. It will take time to build a sizable following for your site, but the potential earnings are high. However, you may experience a huge increase in traffic if your youngster is a gifted writer and spreads the word.

Also, your tech-savvy kid could like podcasting or creating instructional videos on YouTube. Topics ranged from how to get better at video games to knitting, toy railways, the newest clothes, and fort-building techniques. One thing to keep in mind is that the more specific the topic, the more devoted the readership is likely to be.

Odd Jobs

Every member of the household is responsible for performing some level of housework. For elders, the task of raking leaves and eradicating weeds can be particularly challenging. That’s a laundry list of activities your youngster can do to earn money.

Make a schedule of chores around the house that they can accomplish quickly and easily. Make a leaflet together and disperse it widely around the neighborhood.


If your young one shows promise as a gardener, you may advise him or her to start growing organic vegetables to sell at a farmers’ market or food co-op. Fresh, locally-grown food may be sold door to door, helping those in your community who don’t have access to a garden or a car to get healthy food.

The idea is adaptable to a wide variety of dishes, so it’s useful if your kid enjoys the kitchen. Start your own successful business by baking and selling homemade delights including cookies, bread, jam, and pies.

Bottom Line

Small children have steadfast confidence in their own skills. As adults, it might be difficult to rediscover that youthful optimism. Children do not challenge what we teach them the way we do. They are free from the worries and uncertainties that plague the rest of us as we become older.

The optimism of a youngster in his or her own abilities to make the world a better place is unrivaled. You can assist children achieve this by encouraging them to be confident in who they are and encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings openly. Promoting your kid’s entrepreneurship growth might end up teaching you a thing or two about the world and about yourself.

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