Nerds of all ages know that saving money is awesome. However, that doesn’t answer the important question on everyone’s mind: how do you make money in the first place? By law, you must be at least 14 years old to have a “real job” at a company or organization, but don’t give up yet. Even if you’re in elementary school, you can still start your own business, and it’s not as hard as it sounds.
Fun, easy money
When you’re a kid, being a business owner is pretty cool. Seriously! You’ll make some extra money, you get to be the boss, and you’ll be using real business skills that millions of grown-ups use every day. You can earn hundreds of dollars just by helping your friends, or doing things you already like to do. Take a look at this list for some super cool job ideas (and marketing strategies), and talk to a parent or teacher before you get started.
If you love little kids, babysitting is the coolest job in the world. Here’s why: you get paid to play games, watch movies, make dinner and laugh a lot. If you’re at least 12, ask your friends, family and neighbors with little kids if they need extra help after school or on the weekends.
2. Selling art
Do you like to draw, knit, or make things out of clay? All professional artists make money by selling their work, and you can too. They may sell their work at craft fairs, or they may even open a store online and ship their artwork all over the world. Look through your local newspaper or visit your city’s website to find out about craft fairs in your city. You may be able to participate at one through your school, church or youth group, too, especially during the winter holiday season.
3. Pet sitting / dog walking
Calling all animal lovers! Do you know all the dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and snakes in your neighborhood? When their owners go on vacation, they’ll need a responsible, caring person to take care of them, and that person could be you. Let your friends and neighbors know that the next time they go on vacation, you’d be happy to help take care of their furry, feathered or slithery friends. If you’re good with dogs, you can also offer to walk people’s dogs for them.
4. Mowing lawns / shoveling snow
Have you ever met a grown-up who loves to mow the lawn, or shovel snow off the driveway? We haven’t either! If you’re willing to do it, someone is probably willing to pay you for it. Working outdoors is good exercise, and since lots of people need help with it, it’s a great way to make a lot of money.
5. Roadside stand
Do you have a green thumb? Ask your parents if you can set up a roadside stand to sell fruits and vegetables from the garden. Maybe you don’t have a vegetable garden, but still have way too many lemons in your yard. That’s a perfect excuse to make lemonade when it’s just too hot outside, and everyone loves a lemonade stand.
6. Garage sale
Grown-ups have garage sales to get rid of extra stuff and make a little extra money. If your parents are having one, ask if you can sell some of your old toys and keep the money.
Marketing is all about making your business bigger and keeping people excited about it. Any time you see a TV commercial or an ad on the Internet, that’s marketing. Marketing is so important that some companies have hundreds of people working on it. Here are some ideas for marketing your own business.
Talk to everyone
Make sure people know about your business. The more people you tell, the more people will hire you, or buy your stuff. Don’t worry about being “too young”. If you’re nice to people, and you have something awesome to sell, grown-ups will listen to you, and they may even offer to help you spread he word. You can also try putting up flyers around the neighborhood, or putting an ad in your school or church newsletter.
Find out what people love to buy
If selling is part of your business, try to sell things that people will want. It’s not always easy to know what people like to buy, but that’s part of the challenge of running a business. It’s always okay to ask your friends and family what they think about your ideas. For example, if you make scarves, you can ask your friends to vote on their favorite scarf color. If most of your friends like green scarves, it probably means more people will buy green scarves, and you should make a lot of them.
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