Starting a business is one of the most valuable ways to teach your daughter early lessons about economics, leadership, success, and, yes, failure — and to have fun doing it! You don’t need an MBA or tons of startup cash, just an idea. Follow these simple steps to hang out your shingle together.
Step One: Share Your Passion
What activities do you and your daughter enjoy when you have special time together? Maybe you love stringing beads together to make necklaces, baking cookies, or even writing stories. Then consider, are we creating something others might enjoy as well? That’s how it started for illustrator mom Mica: She noticed that her 4-year-old daughter, Myla, enjoyed doodling on her drawings. She encouraged Myla to continue putting her creative flourishes on the art. The result of their collaborations: beautifully fanciful works that Mica then began to sell online. Now mom and daughter are publishing a book together!
Step Two: Create a Plan
Once you decide on your product or service, you have to answer a few questions. For example, how much time can you commit to the project? Is it something you and your daughter enjoy doing every weekend or once a month? How much might it cost to produce enough to sell? This will help you figure out whether you should sell online, at school fairs, or both! Write up a quick “business plan” together. Think you’ll need extra money? Pitch your idea on Kickstarter; the site helped Mica and Myla raise more than $28,000 to fund their book!
Step Three: Set Up Shop
The Internet provides almost countless forums to get your goods or services to the public. You can easily start a blog, a website, or an Etsy shop. You can research craft fairs or bake sales near you. Or you can simply ask your school or local representatives to fill you in on the next town-wide sidewalk sale. Now all you have to do is come up with a name for your budding biz!
Step Four: Spread the Word
Who might need or enjoy what you’re offering? For example, are their kids your daughter’s age who would love her homemade jewelry? Let them know about your new project! You can send a mass e-mail or text, post a notice on your Facebook wall, or hang a flyer on a bulletin board at your local library or coffee shop. Ask friends to help you get the word out!
Step Five: Learn As You Go
The best part of starting a mini business with your daughter — along with, hopefully, adding some extra cash to your child’s savings account — is teaching her about finances and entrepreneurship at a young age. So be sure to include her as you, say, tally what money has come in, what has gone out, and what you earned. When you have missteps, use them as precious teachable moments. Set goals together and celebrate as you reach them. Most of all, have fun!
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