|Teen Biz Basics
With summer jobs tough to find, your teen might want to launch a business. You can lend a hand.
by Mary Tarkowski
Earning spending money is good for an older child. Instead of harvesting the parental money tree, he learns responsibility and self-discipline.
With part-time and summer jobs hard to come by this year, one solution is for a young person to start his own business. A budding entrepreneur learns to sharpen planning skills, set financial goals and think creatively. Here’s how to help your child get started.
What do you like? A teen can often find a business idea by thinking about her strengths and what she enjoys. Is she athletic, mechanical, artistic? Is she picky about details, or would she rather galumph through a big, messy job? Does she like little kids? Animals? Computers? Does she have a special talent?
Parental assistance. Help your child think through the business details. Would he rather work alone or join up with a friend? Will he need to use family equipment or space? When can he fit work into his schedule?
Your child might also need help in figuring out start-up costs and how much to charge. You can offer assistance designing a flyer listing the services and contact information, and setting safety rules for distributing it. By role-playing as the customer, you can stress the benefits of courteous, professional behavior.
Start Small. A young entrepreneur usually needs to start small, offering one product or service to a limited number of people. By dipping one toe in the water rather than belly-slamming into the lake, he’ll soon know what he’s doing right and what might need fine-tuning. Later, as his business grows, he can make use of more advanced advice.
Mary Tarkowski is a freelance writer.
7 Types of Kid Businesses
1. Teach. Work with younger children to improve their sports skills. Tutor math or other subjects. Teach computer basics to children or adults. Help set up websites.