So, you are the proud parent of a wannabe entrepreneur! What, they want to make money, but have no idea where to start? Brainstorm with them, offer them some of these ideas to get them started, and before you know it, your little Bill Gates will soon be making more money than you! Not really, but they will make some extra cash on their own, and that means that much less green leaving your own wallet.
Kids of varying ages can do many of these businesses, but you know your child best, so keep in mind age restrictions concerning your particular child as you explore these job ideas. Also, make sure that any local or state laws governing small businesses are abided by.
Neighborhood Party Helper
Help harried parents set up, decorate, supervise, and clean up before, during, and after children’s birthday parties and other social events.
Kids make great clowns and can hire themselves out to birthday parties, senior citizen groups, nursing homes, and other community gatherings.
Face Painting, (Fake) Tattoo Artists, and Hair Color Designs
Also a great opportunity for younger kids birthday parties and small community fairs. This makes a great business for two kids to do together. One child can do the face while the other does the tattoos. Popular also are washable hair sprays in bright colors. Kids can spray stripes, stars, rainbow designs, etc., onto hair of young customers.
If your child is artistic, let them create! Markets include selling designs to magazines, finished products at craft shows, church bazaars, etc. Do not overlook original ideas along this line either, as one mother told me of her oldest child who drew original comics in the third grade. While this may not have made the child rich, who knows what type of future job ideas may spring from this early venture into marketing his artwork!
If your family has a garden each year that provides tons more than your family ever uses, trade gardening help with your child for the excess produce. Your child can then sell these at a roadside stand for good old-fashioned greenery!
This is not a new idea, but still a good one, especially if you live in an area or neighborhood that has pet-owning couples, and both work outside the home. Make sure to meet with both pet owners and pets beforehand, so that you know your child will be capable of handling the animal. Businesses can offer one or both services. Bathing pets is a service often overlooked as too difficult for kids, and many pets may be too hard for kids to bathe easily and safely.
Often though, an older person may own a small breed dog that just needs a bath now and then, and the owner can no longer get down on his or her knees comfortably and do the job themselves. Summertime, kids may handle larger dogs by offering one afternoon a week to wash the pets outside. Think of a ‘car wash’ setup for dogs! Don’t let them forget they should offer a good brushing (Pet owners must provide brushes so fleas and other parasites are not transferred!) after the wash and dry.
Is your child very bright in a school subject, such as math or history? Have them offer their services as a tutor to younger children. Teachers may even be able to suggest possible clients.
Everywhere, in every neighborhood, is someone willing to pay good money for cleaning help. Garages, basements, and attics are all areas that occasionally need some down to the bottom cleaning. These are also areas that people just seem to hate to clean. Children can offer to clean on their own, or as an aide to the homeowner.
Grass Cutting/Leaf Raking/Snow Removal
Whether summer, fall, winter, or spring, there is always something that needs to be raked or shoveled. This is another excellent opportunity for two kids to work together. While one child rakes, the other one can bag leaves, while one shovel, the other one can scatter sidewalk salt, etc.
Kids are naturals at computers, and many know more, and always will, over the adults in their lives. Kids can offer computer services such as cleaning, software installation, routine maintenance, and basic instruction on how to use a computer. Don’t overlook setting up newly purchased computers and attaching peripherals, such as scanners and printers. Believe it or not, many people buying computers for the first time do not even know how to turn one on and off.
While those familiar with a computer know not to turn off the power while the windows screen is on, others do not know that you have to go to the start button and ‘shut down’ the computer from there. Kids can offer mini-courses in computer do and don’ts. Also along these lines, they can offer their services as buying gurus for what software is popular, what a basic system should consist of, etc.
Miss or Mr. Fixit
If your child is good at fixing things or assembling things, this is a great opportunity to make good money. Many people do not have time to assemble things such as bikes and swing sets.
While this is not technically a business, for those kids that live rurally, hiring themselves out as farmhands is a good way to make extra cash. Many farms need help that does not require kids to be by machinery. Stacking hay bales, picking rocks, cleaning barns, grooming animals, picking vegetables, all seem like hard work, but many kids like to work at these jobs. Older teenagers often enjoy the work, as it is mostly outside and peaceful.
Whatever jobs your child decides to try make sure that safety is a top priority. Making a profit is also at the top of the list, and while these are jobs, they should still be fun for them. Remember that they are kids!