Catch them young: Launching an enterprise for your kids
We all want our children to be smart, confident and imaginative little men and women. We want them to dream, follow their dreams, take chances, and understand they don’t have to colour within the lines. These theories aren’t necessarily learned in their classrooms, but they can be learned during their entrepreneurial pursuits.
Kid entrepreneurship encourages creativity and helps build their confidence and entrepreneurial spirit. Today’s kids aren’t just sitting down and building toy-bricks, rather they want to know how to produce their own toy bricks to their taste, if given chance. It’s high time we stood up and actualized their dreams and gave them immunity from financial dependence at their early stage of life.
If your child shows an interest in starting a business, here are a few ways to help make that experience a success:
LET THEM FOLLOW THEIR PASSIONS: If one does what one is really in love with, such investment/project will be nearly flawless (if not flawless). This should be passed down to our kids; that they should state what they like doing most. These things they like can then be turned to a business concept (after critical review). If your child doesn’t have a specific enterprise idea in mind, don’t bother, have them make a list of their favourite hobbies and activities and convert it to a business concept. It’s far better to help our kids pursue their own idea (provided it’s safe and legal) than to impose our own ideas on them.
MAKE A PLAN: Have your kids create a list of all equipment and supplies they need to launch their business. Make an assessment on the list and add/remove to/from it, if need be. For example, if they are starting a portrait-making business, what are the tools they’ll need? How will they package it to entice customers?, etc. in addition, have them write down their goals ahead of time. Examples are: how much they can make, other things they want to achieve in the business, etc
INVEST ON THEM: Arguably, your kids are not yet financially independent, which implies you have to give them some money they’ll need to kick-start. Their business plan should itemize all what they need, so this will guide you how much you’ll spend. For kids that have been saving from birthday money, monthly allowance, or other savings, you can make them contribute so that they can create more enthusiasm.
OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT: Open a bank account in both your name and theirs. Let them see their money grow each week/month. If possible, business expenses should come out of this account so that your child can get a more realistic sense of how expenses impact their profits. This will encourage them to make smart choices about how to invest their business.
LEGALIZE IT: Depending on the type and scope of the business, you may want to consider forming an official company structure. The rules that guide business do not exempt the children; business is business! There are some permits, certificates, licences to get even if the owner is just starting high school. You can usually find out licensing information by getting in touch with the organization in charge of that. While most kids operate as sole proprietors, this business can put your family’s assets at risk if something should happen to your child’s business venture.
IT’S OKAY TO FAIL: There are usually hiccups on the way to success. However, this disappointment can be so devastating for your child and deter them from trying in future. The day they started, they’ve had it in them that it would be a smooth ride with the business flourishing without any odd. It’s up to you to help your child realize that failure is not such a bad thing as they see it. Share an example of anyone’s brilliant failures you know, or let them know that even most icons had some massive failures along the way before they hit it. As a little entrepreneur, Naria (from ‘Naria Starts a Business’) failed but she picked up later and became the most sought-for lemonade juice seller. As entrepreneurs, our greatest lessons often come from failures. Discuss the experience with your child. Get them thinking about what happened and what they could do differently.
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