Most people think that it is difficult for kids to make money because of their age, inexperience and lack of knowledge. However, there are many advantages that kids have when it comes to making money. This article will examine:
A. Five Advantages Kids Have In Making Money
B. Five Challenges Kids Face In Making Money
C. Five Ways A Website Can Help Kids When Making Money
D. Five Ideas On How To Make Money As A Kid Using A Website.
A. Five Advantages Kids Have In Making Money
A.1. More Opportunities To Learn From Failure
If you study the lives of some successful entrepreneurs, you will find that they started their entrepreneurial journey from a very young age. Starting out on the entrepreneurial journey as a kid allowed them to experiment and make more mistakes sooner and learn from them.
Most people have only heard of Elon Musk because of his success with PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX. What most people don’t know is that he started entrepreneurship when he was only a kid when he and his siblings went door-to-door in their neighborhood selling decorated Easter eggs. He continued his entrepreneurial streak when at 12, he sold his first computer program called Blastar.
Mark Zuckerberg is best known for creating Facebook. But he actually started computer programming in middle school and tried experimenting with many other different social media-type software until he hit it big with Facebook.
Warren Buffet is often acknowledged as being one of the best stock investors of our time. But did you know that he bought his first stock at 11 years old? He then went on to be mentored by Ben Graham, known as the founding father of value investing.
Did all these super successes make plenty of mistakes? Sure they did. Failures are all a part of learning. However, the earlier your kid gets used to making better decisions and recovering quickly from setbacks, the faster they can accelerate their success too.
A.2. Mistakes As Kids Tend To Be Less Devastating
Not only do kids get more opportunities to fail when they start young, their mistakes also tend to be less devastating because their businesses are often on a smaller scale. For example, it’s much easier to recover from a loss of $300 than a loss of $3 million. It’s easier to recover from a failed lemonade stand than a company that goes bankrupt.
People also tend to be a lot more forgiving for mistakes from a child as compared to an adult. Often, adults will even step up to help and guide young entrepreneurs if they see a kid struggling with their business.
One of the most important reasons to allow your kid to start learning how to make money early is because they get to practice entrepreneurial mastery. The younger they start, the more hours of practice they get to refine their entrepreneurial skills.
In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about his research in discovering that many world dominators in sports actually started out really young.
Although entrepreneurship is quite different from sports, it cannot be denied that the more you practice something, the more you are going to be better at it.
The more businesses your kids start, the more experience and knowledge they will accumulate with every endeavor, even if it’s a failure. Failure not only teaches valuable lessons, it also builds resilience which is vital for every entrepreneur who wants to succeed.
With added experience, kids are able to make better decisions as they get older and weather the emotional ups and downs more that come with the entrepreneurial world such as negative setbacks, unexpected outcomes and stressful problems.
A.5. Kids Can Take Bigger Risks
Unlike adults, kids don’t have to worry about the responsibility of feeding a family (at least not in the developed world anyway), paying off a mortgage or being financially stable.
This enables them to follow their passion, take bigger risks and just focus on what they want or like to do. This is especially so if they have a supportive adult that is willing and able to bail them out if things go downhill. Knowing that they have such support can provide them with courage to take great entrepreneurial leaps.
B. Five Challenges That Kids Have In Making Money
Being a kid in business can come with its advantages but there are also unique challenges that entrepreneurial kids will face.
B.1. Lack Of Knowledge And Experience
Knowledge and experience are important for the success of a business. When first starting out, unless the kid has someone like a parent or a mentor to guide them, they will lack knowledge and experience.
Fortunately, this problem is not unique and applies to all new entrepreneurs and it can be overcome. Some strategies to overcome a lack of knowledge and experience include doing lots of reading, talking to other entrepreneurs and looking for mentors.
Don’t let a lack of knowledge and experience stop your child (or you) from starting though. At the end of the day, you can read as many books as you want and get as much advice as you want but nothing beats first-hand experience. The amount of learning and experience that one gets from a single failure or success is invaluable. Don’t wait to start.
B.2. Lack Of Confidence And Self-Trust
A lack of confidence and self-trust can be paralyzing. This is one major reason why kids who actually enjoy entrepreneurship don’t think they can make money as a kid.
However, the more successes that your kids experience or see other kids achieve will help them get over their own lack of self-confidence. Getting involved in a peer group that is equally entrepreneurially-minded is wonderful.
If you don’t know any other kids who are also involved in entrepreneurship, consider looking for something like Children’s Business Fair or Lemonade Day which organizes events for kid entrepreneurs. It’s a great place not only for your kid to get started but also to meet, network, partner and be inspired by other kid entrepreneurs.
B.3. Lack Of Networks & Resources
Kids often lack the networks and resources that adults have. Most kids especially complain that they don’t have the money to buy the supplies or materials they need.
On top of this, they say that they don’t know what to do or where to start. However, the great thing is that your kid has you! You can play a truly important role in your kids business if you want to.
You can start by sharing ideas, your experience and your own networks and resources with your kid until he or she starts to develop their own. If you don’t have any, as mentioned earlier, organizations like Children’s Business Fair or Lemonade Day are great places for your kid to acquire networks and resources.
B.4. Legal Restrictions
Due to your kid’s age, your kid may be legally unable to do certain things. In some countries, contracts with minors under 18 are not considered legal. This means that your kid is unlikely able to qualify for any bank loan. As another example, some famous entrepreneurs started off their entrepreneurial journey by selling things at school but some schools ban selling on school grounds.
It’s a good idea to research what sort of legal restrictions there might be in your city but as a general rule, as long as there is an adult that is willing to partner with your child, the adult can be used as the main contact person (or supervisor) and the kid can piggyback on the adult as the “assistant.”
Keeping your kid safe while carrying out business activities is important. When it comes to entrepreneurship, your kid is more likely going to be interacting with strangers that go beyond his or her circle of friends or school mates.
If your kid is thinking of selling things door-to-door, many people no longer consider it safe to allow a young child to roam by themselves unsupervised. Even if your child were to open up a lemonade stand on a busy street, it is a good idea for an adult to be close by to keep watch.
When it comes to online safety, the internet has opened up our access to the world but in the same way, it has also opened up the whole world’s access to us, including your child. Because of this, it is important that you limit and supervise your child’s online activities through site blocking services like Net Nanny and other similar services.
C. Five Ways A Website Can Help Kids When Making Money
C.1. Creates Credibility
Having a website creates a higher level of trust compared to someone who doesn’t have any website at all. Somehow, people tend to view businesses that have a physical website as more established, professional (assuming that you ensure that your website is designed well) and trustworthy.
A good platform to use when creating a website is WordPress. WordPress is the most popular open source software around for creating websites and highly favored for many reasons. However, to get your website up and running, you actually need to find a hosting service to host your website before your website can actually exist. One of the easiest hosting services to use that also provides the WordPress software service is Bluehost. It is also reasonably priced. There is a step-by-step tutorial here to set up a Bluehost account.
A website is also useful for providing further details, pictures and testimonials. For example, if your child wanted to provide babysitting services, lawn mowing and dog-walking services, he or she can compile information related to their service on the website and print the web address on a business card or flyer that is delivered or handed to potential customers for added credibility.
C.2. Cheaper Set Up Costs
Setting up a business used to be extremely difficult if you had no money, connections and resources but the internet has leveled the playing field considerably for wannabe entrepreneurs.
If someone wanted to set up a physical retail shop or service, most people would need to rent a physical premise or office to run their business from there. Such leases can vary greatly in rent (normally you won’t be able to find anything less than a few thousand dollars a month) and a lot of it depends on the location of the premise.
However, when creating a website, the startup costs can be less than $100 a year. For example, Bluehost often runs specials where it only costs a few dollars a month to get both the hosting service and WordPress platform. If you see such a Bluehost special, grab it with both hands!
For kids who tend to have little or no money to invest in a business, getting a small loan from parents or friends to create a website is a lot more realistic and achievable than trying to get a huge loan for a location-based business.
C.3. Connect With Potential Customers Around The World
Having a website allows your child’s business to be “found” by others around the world. Your child is not limited to his or her neighborhood and can be selling to a whole variety of customers including international customers.
For example, if your child intends to sell digital products such as ebooks or videos, they truly can access a whole range of customers that is unbounded by geography.
A website also provides your child with the opportunity to connect with and learn from other businesses from around the world. It’s not uncommon that businesses seek each other out to collaborate and form partnerships based on mutual benefit.
C.4. Protect Your Child’s Location, Details and Age
One of the major challenges that kids face when initiating a business is for customers to take them seriously because of their age. However, a website can be used to provide privacy or anonymity not only for your child’s identity but also his or her age.
A website can be registered under a company, a pseudonym or even an adult’s name such as their parent’s. In this way, no one really needs to know that the business is being run by a child (of course, preferably under your assistance or supervision).
C.5. No Need To Meet Anyone Physically
Not only can a website protect your child’s identity, but if your child wants to run a business completely from home without the need to physically meet with strangers, a website makes this possible. If your child needed to deliver goods to others, your child could just do door drop-offs or use the postal service for deliveries.
By running the business from online, there is no actual need for your child to meet up or interact physically with strangers. As a parent, knowing this gives me a big sense of relief that my child won’t be forced to meet with strangers. They literally could run their business from home if they designed it to do so.
There are tons of ways that your kid could make money using a website. Here are five ideas.
D. Five Ideas On How To Make Money As A Kid Using A Website
D.1. Online Services
Many Baby Boomer and Generation X business owners tend to struggle with online technical skills like social media marketing, computer programming and graphic design. Kids are more likely going to have better skills than these older business owners because they grew up being exposed to these things.
For example, your kid has great opportunity to help frustrated business owners and provide truly useful online services like:
- Computer programming/coding
- Graphic design
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- WordPress and other content management systems
Your child can post up a description of their services, rates and contact details on their website. This website can be used alongside any other additional advertising that your child might want to do, including posting on websites like Nextdoor, Fiverr and Upwork. Your child can also use the website to provide information to neighbors, friends and family of what they can do.
Also remember that once a job has been completed well, ask your child to talk to the customer to get a video or written testimonial so that this can placed on their website to build credibility.
D.2. Online Product Storefront
An online storefront is a website with an online shopping cart where your customers can shop and pay for purchases online. This can be for both digital and physical products.
For example, your kid could sell digital products like ebooks, songs, digital photography, designs etc. For sales of physical products like T-shirts, your child will have to find a way to deliver those products to customers. Popular online storefront providers include WooCommerce and Shopify.
The great thing about an online product storefront is that your kid gets paid upfront before he or she needs to transfer the product to the customer. However, it is important to ensure that your kid delivers the product promptly and has sufficient stock ready to be sent out once an order comes in.
Online product storefronts can be a family team effort with everyone pitching in and taking on different responsibilities to ensure that the business runs smoothly. If you are making enough profit, you may even wish to hire other people to help your kid manage and run some of the work.
D.3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is based on the idea of recommending products and services of third parties. When someone clicks on a link to purchase the product or service, your kid gets paid a commission from the sale. The most popular affiliate marketing program is Amazon Associates which is linked to products sold online through Amazon.
To ensure that their recommendations are seen by a larger amount of people, most successful affiliate marketers make recommendations by blogging on their own website. They also spend a lot of time on SEO (search engine optimization) which is working on building popular keywords related to their affiliate marketing so that Google places them higher in search rankings.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is that it can be really fun if your kid has a particular area of passion and loves writing or creating content about it. Also, if your kid is able to hire good people and put good systems in place, he or she may not have to do very much and can make the business run like a mostly passive business (which means that the business makes money even if your kid is focusing on school and not doing very much).
D.4. Advertising Revenue
Your kid can also run a business that relies solely on advertising revenue. Your kid needs to create a website that other people want to visit on a regular basis.
To do this, your kid has to give a reason to potential visitors to keep coming back to the site. Your kid can do this by writing articles, creating an online directory, running a forum or providing other useful information that makes people want to come back.
Once your kid has a good amount of visitors coming to their website, they can sign up to advertising services like Google’s AdSense to monetize their website. Just like the affiliate marketing business mentioned above, this business can also bring in passive income if your kid sets up good systems and hire reliable people. In fact, a lot of businesses that choose to make money through advertising revenue also do affiliate marketing at the same time.
D.5. Market Location-Based Services
Just because your kid has a website doesn’t mean that they can’t offer location-based services.
A website can be used to list events that your child intends to have such as lemonade stands, a garage sale or a car wash service (your kid can provide location, cost and time information).
Your child can also use the website to market traditional kid-services such as babysitting, dog-walking and lawn mowing. However, in addition to marketing their location-based services, your kid can use the website to allow potential customers to request quotes, read testimonials, check your child’s availability, make bookings and even make payments online.
Having a website just adds to your child’s perceived professionalism and enables your child to use technology to systemize processes.
So there you have it. We think that all wannabe kid entrepreneurs could benefit from a website. Do you think it’s a great idea for your child to have a website for his or her business? If you are ready to start, check out this step by step tutorial on how to use Bluehost to get your child started.