The sluggish economy is affecting just about everyone, especially kids. These days kids want and need everything from fashionable clothes to iPods to evenings at the movies.
As any parent will tell you, none of this stuff is cheap. And with adult paychecks having to stretch further and further, any income kids and teens can bring in is much appreciated.
But the days of lemonade stands and mowing the occasional lawn may be in the past. Today kids of all ages are pulling in sizeable incomes working in the small businesses they own.
Thirteen year-old business owners? You bet. Kids, teens, and “tweens” are running everything from service businesses, to ingenious product retail operations, to online mail order extravaganzas.
Most of these businesses are cheap to start. Kids and/or their parents don’t have to shuck out a small bank account to get the new business started.
Keller was just a fourth grader, but he quickly found a way to earn $50 or more per week. His mother took him to a store where he could purchased candy wholesale. Then Keller resold the candy to other kids after school.
School administrators were fine with the little guy’s entrepreneurial spirit and the kids absolutely loved the opportunity to purchase their favorite sweets, often at a discount over local stores. After expenses, the 4th grader cleared $15 to $20 per day.
Nelda, a high school junior, knew she had a smart business idea when she overheard a restaurant owner complaining about all the customers who wanted home delivery. “The owner didn’t have the time to deliver orders to people, so I offered to do it for her. Now I deliver meals to people all over town. My delivery business takes just two hours each afternoon and earns me several hundred dollars each week,” she said.
Meanwhile, Markus, a 13 year-old 7th grader, is earning an impressive income offering closeout items on eBay. Markus gets the items from his uncle’s store, then sells them on eBay and keeps a large percentage of the profit for himself. The store owner is happy to see items move and Markus is able to save about $700 per month for college.
These are just a few examples of the many solid, doable business ideas for kids. There are literally dozens of proven ideas that are being used by kids of all ages to earn anywhere from pocket change to an adult-sized income.
And this is perhaps the most important time in decades for kids to learn how to run their own businesses. Even a very small part-time venture can teach a child the vitally important aspects of being an entrepreneur.
In this day and age when jobs are getting harder and harder to come by, knowing how to start and operate your own business that makes good money is a skill to last a lifetime.
Of course, kid-approved businesses can be run part-time, leaving youth plenty of time to be kids. When a young person’s idle time is filled with an interesting business that gives them the money they need, tasks like homework and household chores are easier to schedule in a disciplined way.
Also, most families simply need more income. If a child can bring home the cash they need to pay for items they want, then everyone in the family benefits from the additional cash flow.