If you think kids can’t be successful entrepreneurs, it’s time to think again. An article on Addicted 2 Success lists some youngins who made it big in the world of business, and proved that kids (yes, kids) can be entrepreneurs too. The founder of Miss O And Friends was only 16 – still in high school – when she started her online business, which is now worth millions.
It’s great to involve children in business and entrepreneurship on a regular basis to teach them that they are limited by their imaginations. Cameron Herald, the chief officer of 1-800-Got-Junk for 7 years recommended that we ‘raise kids to be entrepreneurs’ in his 2010 TED Talk. We’ve touched on work experience previously on our blog and recommend you check it out if you haven’t already. That being said, winter is almost here, which means many kids will be interested in holding fall and winter bake sales. Need proof? Think of the countless pastry stands at churches, community centres and schools, and you’ll get the idea. A fall and winter bake sale is a great way to teach kids business lessons. What kinds of lessons? Well let’s delve into some!
Customers want customization!
A bake sale is a great opportunity to teach children business lessons about market capture. That is, figuring out what kinds of customers your kids have access to and what they would like to eat. For example, if your kids are involved in the local church, you could ask your children what kinds of cookie designs would be most appealing to the parish. Christmas trees, angels and stars might be some suggestions.
This will change depending on the customer base. If your kids want to start selling baked goods near a synagogue during Chanukah (also spelt as Hanukkah) it would be wise to teach them to adapt the type of product they sell.
Use a kids’ winter bake sale as an opportunity to teach social media marketing to children
In this day and age, every business needs to be Internet savvy. Show your children how to use social media to market their business. For example, help children create a Facebook page for their company. Facebook may require that you (the adult) be the account holder. However, it’s possible for you to create the page, then allow kids to create and maintain the page, so long as you keep your children under close supervision. Show them the rudiments of taking pictures of products — such as a popular cookie — and posting them. Be sure to teach your children how to post the time and date of each bake sale in advance and during the days of business. The same applies for Twitter, Instagram, blogging platforms and so forth.
Keeping track of money matters when teaching kids business lessons
It would be a great idea to teach kids simple accounting over the course of the bake sale. If your kids haven’t been introduced to spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, now would be a fantastic time to do so! Show them how to keep track of business expenses such as paper plates, baking ingredients and food packaging. Then show them how to ‘balance the books’ by adjusting the prices of goods to cover costs and make a profit. You might have to help them set up the formulas first though! If you have extra time, try to keep an inventory of the best-selling goods. This will help inform which pastries you and your kids will make more of. Tracking sales could be used as a guide for creating new products!
Big business starts small!
Remember, the lessons that you teach your kids with something as small as a bake sale will remain useful if they decide to become entrepreneurs. Lessons such as managing money, market capture and marketing are all skills applicable to any business, no matter how big or small.