Summer is rapidly approaching. The weather is heating up and so is your kid's yearning for the latest summer fashion, gaming device, or technological advancement. It is the perfect time to help your kids start their very own summer business so they earn the money they need to buy the thing(s) they want.
What follows are some great ideas on how to help your child decide what summer business to start, plan for their business, implement their business and then analyze their business for greater success next time.
What Business Should They Start?
Summer offers a myriad of season specific start ups. Some examples could include any type of yard work, lawn mowing, gardening or neighborhood cleanup. Kids have two whole months off from school which opens up possibilities for child care, summer day camps and so on. With the nice weather comes hot opportunities for outdoor events and entertainment. Kids could plan and host an event like an outdoor movie, theatrical production, concert, or a skateboard competition.
Don't neglect the old standby - Lemonade Stands! These can be particularly effective if you get your kids to set their stand up near an outdoor sporting event on a hot day! You could also help your kids to put a new spin on an old favorite. Some ways they could accomplish this include: strapping on some roller-blades and offering a delivery service, offering a 2 for 1 deal or coupon, or giving a portion of their proceeds to charity.
If none of these are to your child's liking then use the Discover Your Business worksheet from TrueSmarts.com's Advanced Kid Business activity. This worksheet will help your child use his or her own interests and talents to devise a start up which is tailor made for your child.
How Should Your Child Plan?
I don't think that you need to sit your child down and make him or her crazy with executive summaries and marketing reports, but it is a great idea to have your child complete a basic plan for his or her business. You can make it as simple as answering the following:
- What are you doing?
- When are you doing it?
- How will you get the materials you need?
- How much will you charge?
A thorough answer to all of the above questions will give your kids the bare bones basics for planning their business.
If you would like your child to do a little more planning for their small business. There is a kid's business planning worksheet in the Advanced Kids Business activity called Plan Your Business. Though simplified, these worksheets will help your child create a complete and comprehensive plan for starting his or her business.
How Should Your Child Analyze The Results?
Once your kids have created and run a small business, take some time to perform a retrospective with them. A retrospective could be as simple as a discussion of how their experience went, whether or not they made a profit, if the experience was what they had anticipated and what they learned or would do differently the next time.
If your kids have started one or two smalls businesses in the past you may want to get a little more involved with the analysis portion of your child's business. Take a look at the Analyze and Improve Your Business section of the Advanced Kids Business activity which includes a simplified excel Balance Sheet and Income Statement. This is a great way for your child to begin thinking about how to maximize his or her profits, decide if there was anything to do differently next time, and reflect on his or her experience.
Reward Their Efforts
Regardless of how successful your kid's business was, you should reward their efforts. Positive feedback is an incredibly powerful reward for kids. A simple, "I am so proud that you started up your own business", goes a very long way!
You could also have a tangible reward. Some ideas for a reward could include: an outing to a favorite restaurant, an afternoon doing a favorite activity, getting to pick the movie on movie night, or you could create a small photo album with pictures from the day they ran their business.
Anything that you can do to create a positive memory around creating a business will drastically increase the likely-hood that your child will try to do it again. If you want to foster the courage, ability, and desire to become an entrepreneur in your children, make sure that you take the time to reward any and all efforts your child makes in this direction.
Every Journey Starts With a Single Step
Starting a summer business is a fantastic way for your kids to learn how to assess neighborhood needs, assess their skills and talents, plan a business, advertise, provide a service, create cash flow, budget, analyze a business, and so much more.
It is also a wonderful way to help your kids to be confident, independent, community minded individuals with the daring to step out and take a risk.
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