The number of child and teen entrepreneurs is rising, and many successful business people started when they were ultra young. If your child shows a passion for business, and you think he or she has what it takes, there are a few things experts agree on that can help you jump start them on their way to entrepreneurial success and strategic planning for a small business in the future.
If there’s one thing kids have in abundance, it’s passion, and that’s how most kid-run businesses get started. Encourage their passion, but direct it in such a way that it’s productive. Nothing shuts a kid down faster than being told what to do, so let your child come up with their own idea.
Share your knowledge and experience with them. If you’re a business owner too, tell your child what you learned and what you would do differently if you could do it over again. Then, let them use that information the way they see fit. Just try not to be the one who looks on while they make mistakes that you could have stopped, just so they “learn a lesson”. Nothing knocks the wind out of a young person’s sails like failure in front of people.
Be supportive, but don’t be a golden parachute or a helicopter parent. If your child is going to start their own business, he/she needs to do the work. Don’t skip over the difficult parts, like managing the money and dealing with rude or dissatisfied customers. If you only let your child do the fun parts, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise when they move toward managing the business on their own.
With some guidance and help from you, your child could be the one who decides to change the world. They don’t have to wait until they are 18 or 21 years old.