Encourage Your Budding Entrepreneur


​This is the third of a 12-week series on kids and earning money, focusing on teens. The tips presented can also be used with younger children if needed.

​I remember the first time my older daughter came to me with an idea about making money. She had been learning to crochet and had made a few flowers to give to her friends on the soccer team. A few of them loved them so much they asked if she could make extras for their other friends, or loved ones, and her first business idea was born. She went on to start crocheting purses and hats and I set up a Facebook page for her where we put up pictures of her creations. She still ended up selling more in person, but it was fun to do all of it with her.

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It is never too early to learn the value of a dollar and never too late to teach your child that value. If your teenager has indicated that he or she would like to earn some extra income, that's great! If not, maybe now is the time to have an open discussion about finances with him or her.
Start with an Open Discussion

​Today, that same daughter still has that entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout her years in homeschool, she contracted with her father to send cards to his clients (he paid her monthly), and was a church musician for our second home church. She is now a sophomore in university, and accompanies people for pay. She is also a church pianist, where she accompanies the choir and worship team. Last school year (her freshman year), she made enough money accompanying other musicians to allow her to completely pay for a trip to Germany, where she participated in a two week music festival. Am I proud of her? Absolutely.

Because I've learned a thing or two in the process of raising an entrepreneurial child, I wanted to share a few tips that might help you if you have one of your own.

If your child comes to you with different ideas of how she can make some money, or inquires about different jobs she could perform, you might just have the makings of a budding entrepreneur. It's important not to dismiss those budding entrepreneurial wishes, as your child may be onto something that will be a part of her future.

If she comes to you about finding a job or starting a business and you don't have the time to discuss it at the moment, be sure to let your child know that her idea is important. Then, set up a time to meet to discuss possibilities.

Let Your Child Be Heard

​It's important to set up a date and time where you can brainstorm with your child. She may or may not have an idea as to what the new business endeavor could be. That could be the beauty of the whole discussion.

Make sure you give your child free rein to come up with her own ideas. Do not discourage or dismiss any idea. Also, make sure not to impose your ideas on your child. I tried that with my daughter, and she just didn't care for the idea I came up with.

Whether or not your teen comes to you and inquires about work or you approach them, start with an open discussion. It should never be about dictating or demanding. We all know what happens when we command a teen to do something. Give them the opportunity to come up with their own thoughts and ideas so they get a feeling that it is within their control as well.

​Go with the Pros and Cons

Word of Mouth

Once your child has brainstormed different ideas, help her to see the advantages and disadvantages of each. Doing this will help her see the realities of a business, so she can determine which ones she might want to eliminate.

Also, list what is necessary to start the new business - such as tools, materials, and even money. If money is necessary to start the new business:

* Find out where the money will come from - does she have savings she can pull from, will she use a part of her allowance (if you give her one), or will she borrow from you (if you can offer her a loan)
* Ask how she will earn the money to start up the new business
* If necessary, desired, and if it is possible, work out a plan that you will help her with some of the start-up expenses.

​Once your child has brainstormed different ideas, help her to see the advantages and disadvantages of each. Doing this will help her see the realities of a business, so she can determine which ones she might want to eliminate.

Also, list what she will need to start the new business, such as tools, materials, and even money. If she needs money to start the new business, find out where the money will come from:

  • ​Does she have savings she can pull from?
  • ​Will she use a part of her allowance (if you give her one)?
  • ​Will she borrow from you (if you can offer her a loan)?
Word of mouth is the oldest and best tool and has been around for dozens of years. If you put the word out that your child is looking to make some money, you may be surprised at how many people need things to be done.

Discuss Finances at Your Child’s Level

​If your child has a dream for a new business endeavor, that's wonderful news! However, as her parent, you will need to discuss the cold, hard facts of finance with her. Support your child’s dream, but let her know that managing finances is, and always will be, a huge part of life.

Help her to create a document on the computer that will show her start-up expenses, her monthly expenses and her materials and supplies. Discuss the possibility of donating supplies to her business for the first month or two and then possibly taking out a loan from you to proceed. Make it clear that she will have to repay the loan from the profits.

Discuss finances at your child’s level of understanding. Don't be afraid to have her sign an agreement of sorts so she will understand that integrity and commitment are part of owning and operating a successful business – even if it is a microbusiness.

Have a Plan

Friends, neighbors, and even your teenager's school may be able to put you in touch with someone, if not themselves, who needs a job or two to be done. Household chores, outdoor chores, and everything in between are a great source of income your child. If you don't ask, your child will more than likely be missing out on some great opportunities.
Use Technology

​Your child should be able to determine what problem she will be solving in her business, and who she will solve it for. She should have a proper understanding of her target market, and know how she plans to market her product or service. This is where you will probably be able to help in a big way, so be sure to offer your suggestions and perspective. Of course, if you fall into the target market, then your insights will be even more valuable to your child.

All in all, having an entrepreneurial-minded child is a wonderful thing! Be encouraging, be supportive, and who knows - this could be the start of a lifelong adventure for your child! 🙂

Everyone’s child, even those at a very young age, is aware of how to use a computer. They are even more aware of how to use social media. If they have a Twitter account, what a great way to let everyone know they are for hire for indoor or outdoor chores.
Have your child design and print his or her own flyer for a specific service. For example, if your child is willing to mow lawns or rake leaves, print up a flyer and do a mass mailing.
Call in a Favor
An age-old tradition of bartering has been around for centuries. Perhaps you have done a favor for someone in your life and you are now in need of something in return. Do not be afraid to barter for a favor when it comes to finding work for your child. Perhaps you did some freelance work free of charge for a friend. Maybe that friend can return the favor in kind by employing your child to address envelopes or tidy up an office space during school break.

​These tips can be used with younger children if desired. To read the first post in the series, click ​here.​​​

Helping Your Teen Find a Job - JaMomma: Want to know how to help your child find that first job? I'm sharing tips here!
Helping Your Teen Find a Job - JaMomma: Want to know how to help your child find a job? I'm sharing tips here!

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Never be afraid to ask for a favor in return, especially when it comes to helping your teen find work. You never know, that person just might say yes. This will help take some of the burden of your teen’s expenses or future car off you.
Suzanne

About the Author

Suzanne

Suzanne is a 14-year homeschooling veteran, whose older daughter was accepted into every university she applied to. She is passionate about supporting moms through every stage of homeschooling, and also works with them to find ways of generating an income while they homeschool.

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