How can I make my kids enterprising? What are easy ways for a kid to make money fast? How can I start a business as a kid? How can kids make money fast? What are the best business ideas for kids? If any of these questions is on your mind, then read on because I am about to reveal the practical steps to starting a small business for kids and everyone alike.
Just recently, I was pondering over my life and that of my family. My memory flashed to my younger sister “Ada.” I have two sisters (Ada and Favour) and their ages are 13 and 11 respectively as at the time of writing this article (2012). Ada makes money running a call centre and selling recharge vouchers. She has been in business for more than a year now; she makes money more than most youths and she’s showing no sign of slowing down.
Favour, the younger of both helps Ada run the business in her spare time and unconsciously; she learned the ropes of running the business. Just few days ago, I got a call from Favour telling me she now runs a call centre business of her own; which is also an extension of Ada’s business. Now these kids are 13 and 11 respectively; but they run their own businesses, do their books, handle their finances and cash flow, deal with customers and make money.
But it wasn’t like this few years ago. I recalled how my sister “Ada” started her small business from scratch with little money and bootstrapped it from there. I recalled how she struggled to keep her business afloat; I recalled how she fought competition, handled customers, stood up to business challenges and grew her business into a success.
Now how was my sister able to accomplish this? How was she able to make money even when individuals twice her age are still roaming the streets looking for a job? Well, I will be leveraging my sister’s experience to teach you how to start a small business for kids. Rather than tell you in theory how to start a business as a kid, I will share with you the story of my younger sister.
I was tempted to write this article because I see parents invest in giving their kids sound education; all in a bid to make the kid financially independent in the future. But while such parents are investing for the future financial independence of their kids; I want you to know that there are kids out there making money more than grown-ups. These enterprising kids are not investing to make money in the future; they are making money right now.
Without mincing words, I have seen kids running their start-ups, actively learning the ropes of investing and doing all sort of other weird but legal stuffs just to make money. Are you left behind as a kid? Then here’s what to do.
How to Start a Business for Kids
To start a business as a kid, you must first be in the right mindset. You must appreciate the value of money and understand its workability. You must never see yourself as a kid. You must also understand the fact that money is not scarce; as it is touted to be.
You must understand the fact that a mere knowledge and application of the law of demand and supply is the big difference between those that are suffering in penury and those living in abundance. You must also be prepared to put in the required effort needed to succeed and lastly, you must believe in yourself and your ideas; regardless of how weird your ideas are.
My sister “Ada” wasn’t born with the entrepreneurial mindset; she developed it while helping my mom in the shop. While working with my mom, she developed the art of negotiation, dealing with customers and suppliers, handling cash flow and inventory; and all these occurred while she was between the age of 9 and 11. The point I am trying to stress here is that the entrepreneurial mindset is not in-born; rather, it is developed over time.
“If you want to make money fast, simply solve other peoples’ problems or satisfy their needs.”
As the entrepreneurial spirit within Ada grew stronger, she began to see business opportunities around that others couldn’t see. She even saw opportunities within my mom’s business premises that even my mom couldn’t see. Now how did my sister “Ada” come up with the idea of starting a call centre and voucher retailing outlet?
While managing my mom’s shop, my Ada observed that the woman running a call centre shop opposite my mom’s does not open shop regularly. After carefully observing the woman for sometime; my sister drew up a plan and went about researching the ins and outs of running a call centre. Her plan was to fill the gap left by the woman. Now this was how she came up with the idea. It wasn’t rocket science. My sister simply saw a need which was fueled by a woman’s lack of punctuality and she filled it.
Now how was a girl of thirteen able to raise the needed capital to start her business? Well, my sister “Ada” is known in the family for her enterprising spirit and the call centre wasn’t her first business adventure. While managing my mom’s shop, Ada observed that there were some items that customers were demanding but my mom wasn’t stocking them.
When Ada took the observation to my mom, my mom said she wasn’t interested in selling these items because their profit margin was low. But my sister also took note of the fact that while the profit margin for these items was low, the demand was high. So instead of allowing my mom’s negativity stop her; she decided to stock these items with her own money.
With the little she has in savings, she raised more money from my two younger brothers with the promise of repaying them with interest at a set time. That was how she started trading on retail items in my mom’s shop. As for the call centre start-up, she raised capital from her savings and got addition capital from my mom but the total start-up fund was nothing to write home about. But did lack of sufficient capital despair her? The answer is no.
Armed with insufficient capital and the will to succeed, my sister launched the business. Sincerely speaking, it was hell for her in the early stage of her business. I recalled how she bootstrapped the business; constantly racing between her shop and her supplier’s, because she was running on a lean budget. At this crucial stage, passion and the joy of owning her own business was what kept my sister going.
Gradually, she built capital, made some mistakes which made her cry, lost money to some dubious customers and grew in experience. As business progressed, my sister became experienced in the act of dealing with customers, handling finances, studying trends and growing a business.
5. Keep the ball rolling
As at the time of writing this, my sister is still in the business; grinding it out. But this time, she now has two call centre outlets instead of one. Favour, the last daughter of my parents now handles Ada’s new call centre outlet. Though Favour is only 11 years old; she handles the business with competence and confidence because she has been groomed by Ada in the art of running a successful call centre business.
In conclusion, I want to point out that nothing is impossible to a willing heart and age is only a matter of numbers. One of the reasons why I encourage parents to start a business for their kids is because the financial education and real life experience that a kid receives while running a business can never be acquired in school.
So if you have your kid walks up to you with an idea, don’t turn that kid down; don’t look down on that kid. Rather, give such a kid the needed mental and financial support; and most importantly, help that kid start a business no matter how small it is. Who knows, you might just be grooming the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.