Some of these can be short-term projects, while others can continue for years. Regardless, kids can learn a lot of lessons about professionalism, including punctuality, attention to detail and strong customer service.
Here are some skills they can learn with your guidance.
Marketing: Letting people know about your business should be more than just word of mouth. Your children can create inexpensive but professional-looking business cards on the computer and home printer or through a printing service. They can hang flyers advertising their business at the local stores and hand them out in the neighborhood.
Websites are easy to create, and there are many free ways to host and create a website online. The kids can create social media accounts for their businesses as well to do online marketing.
Customer service: A good lesson when teaching kids business is how to treat customers. Solving problems and helping customers feel good about the purchase or service is vital to a continued relationship. Kids can learn that sending a nicely wrapped package for a customer order makes a difference, or that doing a little extra edgework when a client isn’t happy with the lawn-mowing job can go a long way toward having a satisfied customer and being proud of the job they’re doing.
Planning: Part of teaching kids business is the planning process. To book babysitting clients, your child needs a calendar. If your child doesn't write down other babysitting gigs or school obligations, it's possible to double book, which is a planning problem as well as a customer service problem. Help your child troubleshoot what can go wrong and create systems to prevent problems before they happen.
Business plan: If your child has a business idea, encourage him or her to think through all the details, even creating a short business plan. That might include determining how much a product will cost and how much they can charge. Determining a need for that product or service is helpful, too. If a child enjoys making bookmarks and there are several book clubs or libraries in your area, it may be a winning business idea.
While it may be too early to teach your kids about business insurance, it's something worth discussing in easy-to-understand terms. If a baked item is contaminated or the package sent across the country doesn't make it there, the seller can be liable. Discuss these types of situations and the importance of business insurance after they get up and running.