Not all kids will be naturally curious or brave to start talking about business ideas. It’s something that a parent should teach and encourage.
Business can be fun like any game they play. And if they learn the rules of the business game, they’re that much closer to winning—and their venture will be all the more rewarding.
If your kids learn how can to think like little entrepreneurs and manage money at the early age, you will both benefit from that knowledge in the future.
First, explain entrepreneurship’s basics & benefits.
Doing business means making money. Having a few extra dollars that allow your child to buy toys or have money for school field trips is something they will find appealing. Teach your kids to think proactively and to ask themselves: “How can I afford it?” when they want to buy something. The question is formed to put your brain to creative work and finding applicable solutions.
Equally important to making money is a lesson on how to keep that money. There are various methods to save money that you can explore and pass onto your kids. Money management is one of the most valuable life’s lessons.
When asked where he learned about money, Warren Buffet said, “My dad was my greatest inspiration. He was my hero when I was 6 and he is still my hero now. He is an inspiration to me in every way. What I learned at an early age from him was to have the right habits early. Savings was an important lesson he taught.”
Even if your children seem uninterested in their own side hustles, there are a few fun ways you can use to plant a seed and provide them with basic financial and entrepreneurial education.
Many kids love TV time, so the opportunity for education is just a click away. There are quite a few money lessons they can learn while watching cartoons. For example, Elmo teaches money management and the importance of saving with his three jars. Give three jars to your child to do the same. Later, when they want to buy a toy, you can tell them to take the money out of their saving jar and let them personally pay for it at the store.
Warren Buffet’s Secret Millionaires Club is another cartoon that is aimed at teaching kids about money. Add a few cartoons like these into your child’s watching mix and talk about what the message is.
Using games as educational methods is nothing new, as kids learn best when they are playing. No matter what type of the game is, you can leverage playtime to teach your little ones something about money, its value and running a business.
It may be a basic coin game, where you can use real coins, or draw values on the cardboard. Coin games teach the value of money and basic mathematics.
Another idea is to playing family board games like Monopoly or Payday, where you can monitor your child’s behavior and teach along. For more sophisticated methods, there are business simulation online games, where your child can play pretend and experience the perks and pitfalls of owning a business, like owning a Coffee Shop or running a Lemonade stand.
When your child is old enough to read, you can add books to your teaching. There are plenty of books suitable for every age, that can make perfect gifts. Encourage your kid to read by setting an example or making reading your together time.
Books instill creativity, ideas,and a can-do attitude that may lead to a self-sufficient individual. If your child is a preschooler, try Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money. If you have teens, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens or The Coolest Startups in America might be a good fit.
4. Commission-based Allowance
Instead of giving your kids money just for breathing, you may teach them the value of money and how money needs to be earned by letting them work for their allowance. Like Santa’s little helpers, they get to assist you with the house chores, take care of their own living areas and make money out of it.
Consider giving them a basic allowance (like a basic salary) based on their age, and then add commission based on performance. Define the basic chores, then put commissioned ones and the amount they will earn from each chore on the chart.
Like in business, you may even give them a special bonus, if they do something extra or find something that needs to be fixed around the house. Letting your kids control their allowance like this should plant a seed for good habits, teach them responsibility and how they are not entitled to free money.
5. First Business Ventures
Earning their allowance may be the groundwork for your child’s entrepreneurial journey. When they realize they control the amount of money they make, maybe they will start to think of their own ways to make money.
In order to avoid the mistake that financial book author Robert Kiyosaki did when he literally went to make money by melting lead and producing coins, brainstorm ideas with your kids. Explore the options, as you know your child best: does it have artistic skills? Is it capable of assisting other kids in school? Having a sidewalk lemonade stand can be only one of their business ventures.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
- Tutor other kids for a fee.
- Resell candy, gum or soda: they can buy cheap with coupons and resell with a small profit margin.
- Sell their original art online, i.e., personalized greeting cards or photographs.
- Become a pet or baby sitter.
- Deliver newspapers.
- Sell their old things. They can sell their toys or clothes online or at a yard sale. They’ll make money and declutter their room!
- Design and sell their own jewelry.
- Help neighbors (fill-a-need).
It’s never too early to adopt useful habits and valuable life lessons. Whatever ways you go or tools you use, you can instill so much knowledge in your children and make them believe in themselves.
Encourage your little ones to try their best. No matter what happens with their business, even if it doesn’t turn out as planned, tell your young ones to consider that experience as an investment in themselves.