Are you looking for ways to help your child make some money? If so, you’re in luck! Many business ideas for kids are perfect for teens and children of all ages. In this blog post, I will share three businesses I started as a kid: a gumball machine business, editing, and a pet-sitting business.
I will detail these businesses and the lessons your kids can learn from them! These are great ways for your child to develop self-confidence, improve a work ethic, and grow resilience while earning some money along the way.
3 Businesses Ideas for Kids
The best part about teaching your kid how to start a business is that they learn that they don’t need an employer to make money! It is possible to create opportunities for yourself out of nothing.
Here are 3 easy small business ideas for kids to start:
- Kid’s Gumball Machine Business
- Editing (Videos, Articles, Social Media Photos, etc.)
Small Business Idea #1: Pet-sitting
What I loved about pet-sitting was the variety of animals I could take care of. Pet-sitting does not always have to mean dogs or cats! And that is why this is the perfect small business for kids since this may be their first exposure to responsibility.
When I was a child, I first started out pet-sitting fish, turtles, and even a snake! This was a great experience, and I was able to work my way up to larger animals that required more attention (aka: walking!). You also learn to appreciate all animals’ unique characteristics (yes, even snakes!).
Starting a pet-sitting business is fairly easy. I have a pet-sitting business guide that walks you through all your basic information, including setting rates, finding jobs, and extra services you can provide.
What kids can learn by starting a pet-sitting business
- Interpersonal Communication
Small Business Idea #2: Kid’s Gumball Machine Business
My father gets the credit for this idea! When I was 13 years old, he convinced me to invest some of my holiday money into a gumball machine. I added the machine to our family ice cream business across the street from our home.
Operating this business was exciting and taught me a lot of important concepts. I think this is what made me interested in becoming an entrepreneur!
Gumball machines seem to naturally attract kids. After all, there is something fun about putting a quarter into the slot, turning the crank, and waiting for the gumball to pop out the bottom. I can still remember my excitement doing this when I was a young child.
Starting a gumball machine business is very easy. The main thing is finding a place to locate your machine. Family-owned businesses are great places to start asking, as many local businesses will be happy to help a young entrepreneur. Plus, it is a small way to make their store more memorable for customers. Check out my kid’s gumball machine business guide for more information.
What kids can learn by starting a gumball machine business
- Delayed gratification
- Basic investing principles
- Money management
Small Business Idea #3: Editing (Videos, Articles, Social Media Photos, etc.)
When you think about editing, you probably think about professionals. However, editing is also a great way for a kid to get a start in establishing a small business. This is particularly good for kids who excel in English or have strong interests in reading, writing, or technology.
When it comes to editing, there are many different types that your child could specialize in. Many people want copy editors who can proof documents, articles, self-published books, etc. Additionally, the increasingly digital world has a huge demand for people adept at editing videos or photos.
Copy editors typically earn between $5 and $25 per 1,000 words reviewed. Photo and video editors can often earn a bit more! This could be a great idea if your child has a strong interest in graphic design, media, or writing. They can start locally by offering to edit things like college admissions essays or join an online site like Upwork or Fiverr to access a wider base of clients.
What kids can learn by starting an editing business
- Graphic Design
- Transferable skills
Why are These Small Business Ideas for Kids Important?
Of course, there are many ways for kids to make money… but that doesn’t mean they will be making a business. These small business ideas help empower kids and teach them the value of hard work.
As the job market gets increasingly competitive, the skills kids need to learn become increasingly complex. Learning to run a business is an excellent mental exercise where they must overcome various problems.
In the process of solving their small business “problems,” they will be gaining real-world exposure. Not every answer is handed to you in a classroom book! Some things will need to be researched or decided on by themselves.
How to Teach Kids to Use These Small Business Ideas
Now that I’ve covered some of the businesses kids can start and why it’s important, let’s share how you can take these projects to the next level.
- Create a business plan (Rates, potential client list, etc.)
- Design a logo in Canva
- Draft up a “work agreement” in Google Docs for their client to sign
- Open a savings account
- Consider opening a Roth IRA and help them file taxes!
Final Thoughts on Business Ideas for Kids
Starting a small business is a great way for kids to learn about entrepreneurship, which will help them for the rest of their lives. Many people teach their kids how to save money, but teaching them how to earn and manage their money is also important!
These three businesses are just a few of the many options available to children. Your kids can use these businesses as models to create unique ideas or adapt the concepts I’ve shared to fit their interests and skills.
Whichever route they choose, I hope that this blog post has helped give them some ideas and motivation to start their own business!
What small businesses did you run as a kid? Which of these ideas might you try out with your child?
Kathryn Rucker is a business consultant and personal finance blogger who is passionate about helping individuals and businesses scale by improving their online presence. Kat started traveling the world in 2019 and currently runs her blog and business out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.