10 Businesses For Kids and How to Market Them
How often have you heard from your kids, "I NEED that", or "Can I have some money?" With three children of my own, I hear it almost daily. It's not always possible to hand over extra money, nor do I want to. I want my children to learn the value of money. When they were really young, we had them do extra chores for pay. These chores were above and beyond their typical daily or weekly chores. During the summer months I also gave them an opportunity to earn money by doing school workbook pages. They earned 25 cents for each page they completed. This gave them the ability to keep up with their academics while earning money for souvenirs or extras that they wanted. Now that they are a little older, two of the three have started businesses of their own. This article provides some business suggestions for kids and places to advertise or sell.
Businesses For Kids
My oldest daughter is 15 and loves fashion. She went on line to You Tube and learned how to make various forms of bows and began to make her own. She discovered that there are lots of opportunities for selling her bows. She has marketed them to cheerleading groups, preschool and Kindergarten classes, and started her own Facebook page called Lyss's Loveables. She has also marketed her bows to young horse show riders who are required to wear the bows as part of their "uniform". She has been making bows and selling them for the last two years.
My youngest daughter is 9 and had no desire to be outdone by her older sister. We thought through many options for her before she decided on selling seedlings. She plants seeds in small beginner planters and when they grow to a few inches, she sells them. She has had impressive success with vegetables and enjoys planting flowers as well. Her new plan is selling herbs. She named her business "Aubrey's Greens and Things" and has sold many at a local farmer's market, through a online garage sale of sorts, and through Facebook. It makes her feel grown up to make her own money.
- Make and sell homemade dog and cat treats. There are many good recipes on the internet for pet treats. Many people will buy homemade treats as they are more wholesome and have no fillers and preservatives in them. Parents should assist depending on the age of the child with internet searches to maintain safety, and assist with kitchen needs as necessary, but children are capable of following a recipe, mixing the ingredients, and packaging their treats for sale.
- Wash cars. Children can practice on their parents' cars and then progress to their neighbors homes with parent permission and supervision as necessary. This is often a chore that people will put off and have trouble finding time for. Children can have regular monthly customers in their neighborhood. This requires a bucket, car wash soap, rags or sponges, and a water source in the customer's yard. To make extra money, clean the inside as well.
- Mow lawns. This is a great summer job when grass is growing and some people would rather find more enjoyable activities to do with their weekends. Again neighbors are the best to ask for this job if the child is going to use their family's lawnmower and walk it to the job site. It is also possible to find customers that will allow the child to use their lawn mower. Extra money could be made by edging, pulling weeds, or raking.
- Pet sitting for neighbors and friends. People often go out of town for work or vacation and would rather have someone they know take care of their pet than board their pet.
- Babysitting. For older children who enjoy children this is a good way to earn money. Offer services for mother's to go shopping, for parents to have a date night, or for parents to attend an older child's activity without a younger child in tow. It makes a babysitter more marketable if they take a babysitting course that includes CPR and First Aid.
- Plant a garden, harvest the produce, and sell. Find some fruits or vegetables that are easy to grow in your area and create a section of your yard for a garden. The child will have to be consistent with taking care of the garden while the plants are growing and the produce is maturing, but once it is ready a produce stand can be quite lucrative.
- Make homemade candy, cookies, pies, or other treats and sell. Do you have a recipe that people can't get enough of? Do your children enjoy baking? This is a great way for children to make money. Find two or three recipes and advertise that they will be for sale. For example, at Thanksgiving, advertise that the child will have a type of pie and a type of cookie and take orders. They can also find places to set up bake sales.
- Learn to make a usable craft like potholders, book covers, book marks, etc. to sell. There are so many things that can be created by kids and sold on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, or other sites. Get creative.
- Tutor younger children. This would be an older child who is good in a particular subject. Is the child in an Algebra class and can tutor younger elementary students in math? Is the child particularly skilled at writing stories and loves to read and can help 1st and 2nd graders learning to read? This takes someone who is patient and works well with children younger than themselves.
- Be a mother's helper by helping others with household chores. Many mothers with young children find it hard to get all of their tasks done during a day and find it helpful to have teens help them with household chores. Activities like folding laundry, vacuuming, or even wrapping Christmas gifts can be greatly appreciated.
Ways to Market Your Child's Business
There are many ways to get a child's business noticed.
- Social media is a great source and one that reaches many people at the same time. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a number of other sites to let friends and family know what your children are doing and see how quickly they start to make money.
- Make sure to create business cards with your child's name and contact information and/or let the child make fliers promoting their business. Then take the cards or fliers around the neighborhood.
- Find a local flea market and get information on setting up a booth on an evening or weekend. Have enough of the product on hand to sell at the flea market, but have a way to take orders also.
- If the item is wearable or crafty, many consignment shops will allow the products to be placed in their stores. Some sellers will give the child the profit outright, but others will take a portion of the profit for their store. Make sure you know in advance what the arrangement will be.
- Does your child's school have a newspaper or another way to make announcements? Place an ad and get the word out to the school.
- Find local business that can use the product or service. For example, are there pet stores, pet shelters, or other pet sellers that could use homemade treats? Could a local boutique that sells children's clothes use bows? What about a photographer that takes children's portraits or cheer or gymnastics programs that could use bows, embellished socks, hair ties, jewelry or other items?
- Does your town have a free advertising publication or one that is very low cost? Place an ad for your child's business.
Do you have any other ideas? I would love to hear them (and so would my children).
What are your thoughts about children and business?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 TripleAMom