Yesterday, I spoke with Ann Morgan of www.howtoraiseamillionaire.com. In our discussion she shared with us how to inspire our kids to become entrepreneurs. You know me though; I'm all about the black and white. Tell me how to do something and I'll get it on my to-do list. I asked Ann to sit with me awhile longer and allow me to pick her brain on easy and fun ideas to get our kids started earning some cold hard cash!
Tara: We've talked about how to inspire our kid(s), but how do we really get started on this journey to millions?
Ann: Honestly Tara, just sit with your kid(s) and evaluate where you live and what business they can start. Help them think about the neighbors (their potential customers) - what they need and what service your child can offer. Remember, we are going way beyond the lemonade stand and looking for a product or service their neighbors need on a regular basis.
Tara: Are you suggesting that we build a business plan? How would we even get started with that, especially if we are not entrepreneurs ourselves?
Ann: A business plan seems daunting and over the top. But remember that in its simplest form a business plan is merely a well thought out set of blueprints to start a business.
Decide what core business works for your circumstances. Your lives are busy and you'll need to fit the business into your lives. Brainstorm. Think of as many products or services your neighbors might need as you possibly can. Nothing is off the table. Put the list on a piece of paper. Now across the top of the paper, write all the considerations you need to have to suit your family. Do you go away every weekend? Well then a product or service that needs to be delivered on the weekend won't work, will it? You are striving for something with a steady income, a core business that pays each week like...well...allowance.
Once you have the core business decided, start thinking about those five business skills and how you'll accomplish them. This will help put your business plan in place.
Tara: Your son Jack started "Jack's Garbage Valet" - now that's thinking outside the box. What are some good ideas/suggestions for kid-friendly jobs?
Ann: I have to say I am partial to the garbage valet idea. It is a perfect kid business. It is a cash machine. It fills a need and it helps the kids build a real trust bond with their customers, which leads to other ancillary income from things like vacation mail, pet sitting, and the like.
These ideas are straight from Jack's book, How to Let your Parent's Raise a Millionaire:
Lawn Care: Mow your neighbors' grass. Even though there are a lot of adults who do this for a living, some of your neighbors might really like paying a kid to do this. Some of them might have even had a business mowing lawns as a kid, and they would probably love to pay another kid and help them get a start in business, just like they did.
Pet Valet: There is just no elegant way to say this one: Pick up your neighbors' dog poop. Poop isn't pretty, but cleaning up after a dog is one of those things that has to happen.
Pet-Walking Service: Take your neighbors' pets for a walk. This is a great job for kids who live in the inner city. It is also a great job if you live in a neighborhood with elderly people.
Grocery Valet: Carry your neighbors' groceries. We all have to eat and helping people take their groceries home from the store or in from the car is a great idea. You might not have a lot of neighbors who need this but they would be loyal clients. When they get to know and trust you, you can offer them other services to grow your business.
Compost Creator: Take your neighbors' compost-able trash, make compost for them, and sell it back. "Compost" is anything that comes from a plant - even inedible things like napkins. This would be great for neighbors who like to garden but don't want to do the work to make the compost.
Recycle Valet: Ask your neighbors if you can collect their cans and bottles. Then, turn them in for cash. Collecting bottles and recycling is good for the planet and is a good way to make extra money. But it takes a lot of cans and bottles to make even a dollar. Imagine how much more money you could collect if you got your neighbors to let you recycle their stuff.
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