How to Turn Your Child Into A Money-Making Machine

lemonade stand

Photo: Dan Anderson

One of the most pleasurable days of my life was when my kids picked out items they wanted to sell, put price tags on them, painted signs that they then copied at a copy store and then hung up all over town, and then bargained, negotiated, and made deals left and right until the front of our lawn was empty of all the items they wanted to sell.

Every kid needs entrepreneurial experience. The feeling that you create something powerful enough that people pay money for it. Its exhilarating and inspires growth in so many ways. But its not about reading, or studying, or being smart, or even providing a good role model. The only way your kid will be an entrepreneur is if he or she starts TODAY.

Idea #1: The Lawn Store

A) Tell them to find 10-50 things in their bedroom close that they would be willing to sell. (and believe me, they have those items)

B) Pick a day to do a garage sale

C) Have them make the signs for the sale and then they should hang them up all over town. Teach them how to be marketers with these signs. They should be as salesy and noticeable as possible.

D) Tell them to call all their friends to come over for the garage sale with their parents.

E) They should organise the items by category. Make them really think about the shopping experience as people mill through the items.

F) Have them be the salesperson at their garage sale. Negotiate every deal.

Repeat one month later and see how they've learned from the experience. Maybe add a new twist. See if any local stores want to donate items. You can donate the proceeds to charity. Having quality store items will add value to your kid's items. Have your kids do all the bookkeeping. Understand which categories sold best and to what types of customers (did kids buy? Or parents). Serve coffee so parents can chat and drink while their kids shop. An entire book can be written about kids garage sales. After sale #2, have the kids brainstorm about how sale #3 can be even better. Send me the ideas they come up with.

Idea #2. Start a local newspaper

Have them make a newspaper of all local news. Sales at local stores, news from neighbours, real estate news, etc.

Have them sell the newspaper door to door. Make sure they do at least 2 editions before they lose interest. On second edition they can get sponsors from local stores.

Idea #3: Niche Blog.

Idea #4: Be a consultant

Idea #5: Blogmaster

Help other kids set up their first blogs. Charge a small fee.

First, of course, your kids should set up their own blogs. What's their favourite topic? Upload a picture. Start blogging. Post on other blogs often enough that they then feel comfortable putting links in their comments back to their own blog, etc.

Once your kid has become comfortable with the blogspace, make a little brochure, print business cards, and help other kids set up their blogs.

Idea #6: Have them write a book

Idea #7: Stock market

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