Business Ideas for Kids(and how to help them)

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Making money from nothing is one of the hardest skills any of us can learn. By giving your kids exposure to this as young as possible, they can learn to set themselves up and build wealth for a lifetime. The best way to learn the value of money is by running a business.

Kids are more capable than a lot of people give them credit for. Given the chance, many children create successful ventures that last them years. These experiences also build other supplementary skill and memories and can help them form meaningful connections with other kids and adults.

A lot of the time, your kids might need a hand in getting started, whether this is a bit of startup capital form the family bank or to start out small with a low-cost business and build up a larger one with the money they earn. However they go about earning their first few dollars, the feeling of accomplishment beats out just about any other feeling in the world.

Outside the Family

We don’t get paid for chores. Neither should your kids. Paying out pocket money for nothing or for work that is just part of the norm is a bad way to teach your kids the value of a dollar. Instead, especially in the context of building family wealth, your children should turn to either building more value for the family or be bringing in revenue streams from outside the family.

Providing value to the family may mean working in the family business, or helping renovate a rental or a property for sale. It may mean pitching in on a family project to tidy up and resell a car or boat or another project that earns money for the family.

If they’re aiming to bring revenue streams in outside of the family, then jobs or businesses are the way to go. Parents should be helping them save this money rather than letting them spend it. We all regret spending decision in our younger days. Let’s try and help teach our kids to be savers rather than spenders.

Starting Them Out

Some kids can’t help but part with their hard-earned money. Thus when they are young, everything they earn should be kept by the parents unless used to reinvest into the business or for some ‘fun spending'(the % is determined by you). If you can, put their earnings into a high-interest savings account or some other relatively low-risk investment vessel. This will teach your children the power of compounding returns too.

Parents should also look at taking a ‘tax’ out. Depending on what your goals are, if you’re planning on sending your kids out into the world to start over, this ‘tax’ pool can be given to them when they leave home. If you’re building intergenerational wealth using the collective method, you could set this aside and later ask if they want to put it in the family bank to help the family wealth grow, or reinvest it back into their own ventures. This certainly beats out the tax the government will charge them when they hit adulthood(hard to get that back!).

If your child needs start-up capital, just like the real world, it should be borrowed and repaid. These are the principles of life that all of us must learn at one point or another. It’s your call if you charge interest or not. How you handle this is totally up to your personal beliefs and how you manage your family bank. Dropping your children in the deep end can help teach some of life’s harder lessons early. It’s a softer landing if they’re learning from family rather than the powers that be.

Ideas

Some kids will come up with their own ideas for earning money. This is great, pursuing ideas we want to test out is a great way for kids to learn the entrepreneurial process.

If you and your child are stuck for ideas(we all are from time-to-time). I’ve made an ever-growing list below that you can refer to for some seed ideas or to flesh out into fledgling start-ups.

Some of these ideas may be more job-oriented. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a job, especially when young, to earn income. It still brings money in from outside the family, that can be re-allocated to grow the family wealth or build a business in the future.

Grow Seedlings/Saplings

Difficulty: Easy  |  Potential Earnings: $-$$$

Trees are something that can climb in value the older they are. As a little-known money spinner, saplings can be bought when quite small. Kids can then nurture these for a few months to a year, then resell them at a profit. Japanese Maples come to mind. The same can be done for fruit trees and other ornamentals.

For added values, large pots can be acquired, bought or converted from large plastic barrels. With some extra soil and compost, love and care, these trees can be grown to a larger size, or to produce fruit and then sold for a huge multiple. Great way for your kids to learn an immensely valuable life skill and earn some money along the way.

Your child could also grow seedling from seeds, then sell them to local Gardener. This is a much harder approach, but the multiples achieved are way higher. To get free pots, they could visit their local garden center as request left over/used seedling pots.

Selling Worms

Difficulty: Easy  |  Potential Earnings: $$

Worms are vital to the cycle of nature, they break down organic matter, distribute it through the soil. Their waste is an ideal fertilizer prized by gardeners.

This process can be captured and optimized, their byproducts bagged and sold. All the while the worm population doubles every 90-ish days and can be sold off for profit.

Your kids can create a worm farm, a home for composting worms, then feed them on food and garden scraps. These scraps don’t even have to come form your home. You can source them from cafes, green grocers, restaurants and neighbors. THis free waste is converted into vermipost by the worms.

This vermipost can be sold to local gardeners or stores. The worms will also multiply and can be sold as well, lots of gardeners want to set up worm farms of their own. Out of all of my business ideas for kids, I think this one is my favorite. You are taking waste and turning it into cash while helping the community. It should not be overlooked, for kids or adults. You don’t need much space either.

To learn more, I have a full post on selling worms here. This is something I did early on in my financial life, and still do from time to time.

Door-to-Door After-Dinner Treat Sales

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $$

This is one of my favorites, though parental supervision is recommended. Children can purchase candy, snacks or ice cream in bulk. Once it’s a little past dinner time, they can go around the neighborhood door knocking and selling a little bit of dessert to your hungry neighbors. This provides your neighbors with the convenience of treats-to-the-door and your kids can pocket the margin they make on their sales.

Make sure your kid has prepared appropriate carriers for their treats of choice. Nobody is buying ice cream soup!

Paper Delivery

Difficulty: EasyHard  |  Potential Earnings: $-$$

This is a classic. Most paper routes are on a sort of ‘contractor’ basis. This means that kids are given the responsibility of delivering a butt-load of papers on their own accord.

These routes can actually be stacked up. This means that the same route can have multiple papers/pamphlets delivered. This lets your kids compound their earnings for roughly the same amount of time spent.

Kids will typically start out by wisely investing in equipment that makes deliveries more convenient. Maybe with a bag on foot, then moving onto a bike, then upgrading to a trailer or a stroller. It depends on the child and terrain the neighborhood is in. If you’re in a flat area, then it’s easy pickings!

Interestingly, Warren Buffett got his first start in business delivering papers on a rather large scale. You can learn more about this in the biography, “The Snowball” by Alice Schroeder.

T-shirt Designer

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: 0-$$$

If your child has a knack for unique designs, they can try their hand at designing t-shirts and selling them online. There are plenty of platforms that let kids do this. Amazon has their own system for designing merchandise. There’s also Teespring and Spreadshirt, to name a few. These are print on demand services, so there are no upfront stock costs involved. A minimum order quantity must be hit before they will be printed though, so it pays for your child to have an audience or a method to get their designs out into the world.

Once the ball is rolling on a design, the process can be replicated and built up into a multi-faceted revenue source.

Reselling Drinks/Snacks at School

Difficulty: Easy  |  Potential Earnings: $$

For the industrious child, drinks and snacks can be bought in bulk and resold to their peers at school. This is something I did when I was younger(along with other less innocent revenue streams haha!). This can be done with drinks, snacks, or sealed lunch items.

A friend of mine’s son does this with breakfast UHT milk drinks. He buys cartons of them at the bulk store, then takes them to school and sells them for twice what he paid. This is one industrious kid. He makes enough from this and a few other ventures and even pays his parents a weekly rent, out of respect. He is fifteen. Yep.

Toy Testing

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $$$

Every child’s dream job. This dream is a reality. Toy makers need kids to test their toys to test out its flaws and point out its’ highlights. It can be tough to get in and requires your kids to be fairly young. Social media plays a huge role in this these days and parents will need to actively find and pursue opportunities. Auditions involve going into a huge room full of toys, and children being judged on how they play and interact with a plethora of toys. Successful applicants are chosen out of thousands.

There’s an alternative to this which involves kids making youtube videos. Not sure how I feel about children that are really young being on social media and in public videos. This is down to your personal choice I suppose, but do consider your child eventually becoming an adult as well and what they will think of this(and you) then. Funnily enough, these youtube channels are hugely popular and can make hundreds of thousands. Pretty nuts. Though often times the kids don’t look like they’re having much fun. How ironic.

Breed Small Animals

Difficulty: Hard  |  Potential Earnings: $$

This is a huge undertaking. Children can take on breeding small animals as a means or creating revenue. A LOT of research much be done beforehand or else you’ll wind up overrun with animals. Small animals can mean amphibians, reptiles, small mammals or poultry. All this will depend on your local demographic. You and your child can do a bit of research by asking around pet store for what they get requested for the most. If you can sell to them, even better – commercial contracts will be the most secure, even if your child loses a little margin in the process.

I’ve read of children who breed rare chickens for local sale. And also of kids who bred and sold curly winged flies for reptile enthusiast. I’ve actually met a young fellow who was breeding axolotls. He had a whole room dedicated to these creatures. He was making bank – about 100k/year from them. That was mind-blowing to me. This wasn’t even his main focus. he was studying full time to become a marine biologist. Pretty appropriate evolution of his business.

I’d recommend buying a book on breeding your animal of choice from Amazon. Don’t do this half-heartedly. This is a huge responsibility to your child and they should treat it as such.

Garden Weeding

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $$

Ah yes, the garden task most of us dislike the most. Weeding is a necessary frustration when if comes to most any gardening. While weeds can be handled with some other techniques, nothing is cleaner and greener than good old-fashioned elbow grease. Kids can roll up their sleeves, knock on some doors and offer weeding services to local gardeners in exchange for a modest payment.

Weeding may need to be practiced a little first – you wouldn’t want to pull out Mrs. Krank’s petunias or cabbages!

Sell Arts & Crafts

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $-$$$

If your child has a knack or passion for creativity, then that desire can be a great drive to to make a bit of cash. The internet offers countless platforms to sell arts and crafts on, the most prominent being Etsy.com.

Any number of crafts can be sold through Etsy. From custom teddies, to bracelets, to dolls clothes, to finger-painted masterpieces. If your child has the drive to monetize their physical art, then it can be a great revenue source.

The best approach is to create easily replicable goods(prints, sewing patterns etc) with some ‘out-there’ items. The replicable ones are the bread and butter revenue sources and the ‘out-there’ ones can bring in other chunks of money to reinvest into this or other more scalable businesses.

Sell Fad Items

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $$

This can be hit or miss. Typically your kids are going to have their finger on the pulse of what’s trending. They can exercise this knowledge the build a small(or large) scale business off of.

This might mean importing fidget spinners or pokemon cards or other resellable items. Or it could mean creating popular patterns on shirts etc.

These items can be sold to school or club peers or online. This may require taking a loan out from the family bank for some starting capital, but the returns can be really good if done properly. These sorts of things are short-lived though, so focus on a quick turn around.

Lemonade Stand

Difficulty: Easy  |  Potential Earnings: $

When life gives kids lemons, they get out Mom’s sugar and make hyper-sweet lemonade. This sort of business is best suited for your kids when they’re a bit younger. A time when people are more interested in helping out some cute kids trying to make a few cents from the old lemon tree in the yard.

You’ll want to give them a good recipe for lemonade. They could join this up with something like a fruit stand or snack reselling too. Could turn into a good afterschool or weekend earner for your kids to make a little for themselves.

Do beware though. In a growing world of over-regulation and socialist policies, local authorities are putting the clamp down on this traditional way for kids to make a bit of mone.

Start a Blog

Difficulty: Hard  |  Potential Earnings: 0-$$

Kids can start a blog too. If your kid has a knack for writing and can provide something of genuine value to other people, then by all means, they should go for it. This might mean short story writing, or explaining things with terminology other children would understand or just a journal of what’s happening in their lives and their school experiences(that’s probably a really good idea, actually). The wealth in terms of writing experience they get will probably serve as a sufficient dividend, IMO.

Bike Advertising

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $$

Bike advertising is quite a creative pursuit. It involves approaching local businesses and offering to ride a bike around with advertising for their business in tow. The best way to do this is with a trailer.

The best time? Peak hours. Kids finish school before the worst of the traffic hits, this means they can ride a bike trailer along the gridlocked roads and busy streets with an advertisement in tow. They can contract these out by the day/ride to local businesses, creating recurring revenue and affordable advertising. Better still, they’re getting fit in the process.

Voice Acting

Difficulty: Medium  |  Potential Earnings: $-$$$

Voice acting is a gig that can pay on either end of the spectrum. Kid voices can be in high demand for certain projects. Breaking into the market using platforms like Fiverr meaning getting up and running can be fairly easy. You’ll also need a good quality Microphone. I personally use the Blue Yeti. it’s a USB, free-standing microphone has everything built into it and has a great clear sound. Using Audacity will also be hand, as handing over raw audio is a bit of a nono. There are great courses on UDEMY for this also.

This can be something that can turn into regular royalty payments with the right clientele. It’ll take some significant work to get to this level, but that is one way to attain some passive income.

Photography

Difficulty: Hard  |  Potential Earnings: 0-$$$

Photography is an art form. People value art, therefore your child can make a bit of money by taking high-quality photos. Doing this purely for the money is probably not going to work out so well. So having a knack or passion to master this skill is a must.

You’ll also need a quality camera. To practice, a smartphone camera will suffice, as long as the phone is relatively recent. To take this a notch up, your child will need to look at getting some higher level equipment. A decent camera and a couple of lenses will work as a starter kit.

To start bringing in revenue, there are a few paths. The lowest effort would be to get a significant number of high-quality images(best shots only!) onto a stock image site such as Shutterstock. The requirements for these are really stringent so your child will need to practice a lot before attempting this. Once your kids’ photos are accepted, if content creators are seeking high-quality photos that you’ve been able to deliver, they’ll receive a payment. Enough of these that are in high demand and your kid will be pulling in a residual income.

Another approach is taking custom work from people. This is where you take photos at their request. This may mean taking photos of families, or it could be taking images for people listing their house, or a car yard. Anything really. A high-value camera and a skilled photographer can use their skills in lots of applications and earn some decent income along the way.

E-Commerce

Difficulty: Hard  |  Potential Earnings: $$

Starting an e-Commerce Store is easy in this day and age. With platforms like Shopify and Woocommerce, your child can be up and running in no time. There are a few approaches, first there the calssic purchase stock for reslae. This method usually ensures the highest margins for your child, but also means that there’s a fair bit of upfront costs in purchasing stock. Another method is to drop ship. There are a few good courses on this(I did this one on uDemy), but it isn’t as easy as most courses make it seem. Another way for your child to buidl an ecommerce store is selling digital products or services.

It will take a lot of work to get up and running but once established, it can provide a revenue stream for years to come. It isn’t unheard of that kids are able to pay their way through a lot of colleges using e-commerce stores. Just sayin’.

Pooper-Scooper

Difficulty: Easy  |  Potential Earnings: $$

Picking up poop isn’t glamorous. This is actually where the opportunity lays hidden. The least favorite part of dog ownership(apart from a destructo-dog) is picking up their poop. Your child can strike gold by drumming up a clientele that’s willing to pay them daily(or every second day etc) to pop over and pick up their dog’s poop.

The fee doesn’t have to be high. Maybe a couple of bucks. But when they’re doing 30 houses a day, this can be some serious cash for your kid to earn every day over the course of a week. Bingo-bango 30 houses, $2 a day for 7 days is $420 bucks. Wish I had this idea when I was 12. This service could be coupled with dog walking, washing or grooming, or with general yard services. If its holiday time, they may be able to squeeze a few more houses into an afternoon or a day, meaning there’s some serious earning potential here.

Any Other Ideas?

By getting your kids involved with making their own money, they’ll learn some of the most valuable life skills that will ensure they’re able to live the life they want.

However you help them out is up to you, but the more independently they’re able to achieve this, the better. If you’re planning on building intergenerational wealth, as they develop their financial skill, you’ll be able to gradually step them into the family empire as they get older. Thsi will help them create financial capital and manage family assets

So, do you or your kids have other businesses or ideas I missed out? What experiences dis your have as a kid trying to earn money? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading. Yours,
Business Ideas For Kids
Business Ideas For Kids

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Dynastus is all about building generational wealth, traditional values and an intentional lifestyle. Through deliberate living and a bit of know-how, it’s possible for everyday families to create a modern dynasty. This site aims to guide you, regardless of your background or situation, towards creating a strong family foundation and then, a dynasty. If you want to join the community of Founding Parents, you’re in the right place. Yours, Ben Signature