Saturday, August 9, 2014

Help Your Children Start Their Own Business



No matter who you are,  you know our current school system does not teach our children everything they need to know. It falls terribly short on real life lessons. If we as parents don't step up and help teach these lessons,  we are doing our children a disservice.

One of the lessons we should be teaching our children the value of work and creativity. How do you do that? Encourage them to start their own business. I am talking a real business in miniature, also called a micro-business. When you want your children to learn real lessons don't always let them sell something and keep all of the money. That is for younger children, but for older children it doesn't teach them the true nature of business. I have done it with my children and my parents did it with me. This did teach me that work produces rewards, but it did not teach me about all of the other things involved with business.

Even taking business classes doesn't give anyone the knowledge and wisdom that real world experience can. I believe my college degree just proved I was willing to do what was necessary to get through. There is nothing I learned in school that I couldn't have learned in life.

What things do running your own business teach you? Hang on we are going to cover quite a bit.
Expenses Come Off the Top

Like I said above I remember selling things when I was a kid and keeping all of the money. It wasn't til much later that I realized the materials I used to make things cost money. Money my parents spent. Of course most of my projects were made from recycled materials and still are, but some portion is new.

We found an idea for a business for our kids. Both are artists. They have different styles, but both are very good. They are going to start making wall art.

I make the canvases and get them ready for them to work their magic. They come up with designs and then have to assemble the supplies they need to make their design. As soon as the first one sells they have to pay back what was spent on supplies. Anything over that is profit.

Advertising

You cannot expect people to buy something they do not know exists. You have to let people know. Today this is a lot easier than when I was a kid. I mowed yards for extra money. I remember going to people and asking if they needed someone to mow their yard. Today we have the internet. You can let thousands of people know about a product just by writing.

There are also craft shows. A craft show teaches then to make a lot and have a delayed return. There is also the expense of booth rental. All of this is paid before a sale takes place.

Production

You cannot expect people to buy a product they have not seen. I let them know there is a custom made market put there, but until they establish themselves and have a solid portfolio of products they have made they cannot expect people to order things unseen.

Also since they have shown an interest in craft shows they will have to produce enough to fill a booth. I have never seen a crafter's booth with only two items. You have to have enough items to make a good showing.

Pricing

Just because you think your work is priceless doesn't mean everyone else does. If the world based prices on me not much would cost what it does today. My children can set any price they want, but if people won't pay what they are asking they will make no money.

The reverse of this is also true. You can price your items too low. People may buy what you have like crazy, but if you have not included a high enough profit margin you will not be in business for long.

Sales and Customer Service

I am willing to help my children all I can, but I am not going to do it for them. At least not without price. If my children want to keep more of the profits they have to do the sales. If they want me to sell for them I should get a commission. This is just the way life works. My daughter is quite shy, but she will learn at the very least cordial communication.

Investment

Just because you have repaid your initial start up costs does not mean you get to spend all of the profits. You must take part of the money you make from each sale and apply it to supplies for future projects.
Just having stated this outright to my children made them look at business differently. People do not get to keep all the money they make.

Hard work can and should pay off. There are tons of lessons to be learned by your children starting their own business. Who knows, maybe you could learn some things too.

The best thing about your children starting their own business is they learn to relay on themselves. That alone helps them have a brighter future.

Maybe a family business could help you achieve your Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes

If you would like to purchase some of my daughter's artwork please contact me at theruraleconomist@gmail.com

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