The last few months I’ve been reflecting on my own tips for building a business and what entrepreneurial success looks like. I’ve been mulling all this over while I create something new and exciting (stay tuned for more soon!). But I have to say one of the most inspiring moments during this period of reflection came from an unexpected place.
You see, most people don’t look to their children for business inspo. But there are lots of benefits of entrepreneurship for kids, so it makes sense to teach them a thing or two about business. And their enthusiasm and creative thinking? Well, at least in my case, I was left with some lessons, too.
The Benefits of Entrepreneurship for Kids
There are so many reasons to loop your kids into what you’ve learned (or are learning!) about running a business.
Entrepreneurship has benefits for kids—like an improved appreciation of money, creative thinking skills, the ability to set and achieve goals, as well as a strong work ethic. That kind of stuff will serve them for the rest of their lives!
I saw all of this exemplified during a recent weekend spent with my kids and some of my nieces and nephews. They wanted to have a bake sale to generate extra income to add to their allowances. I chose to see this fun activity as a learning opportunity, too.
Let me walk you through their process. You might just learn a few things about running your business, too!
Phase 1 of My Kids’ Bake Sale: Planning for Success
Most people who achieve a high level of success in the business world aren’t simply winging it.
This stuff takes time and planning, folks.
So that’s what the kids did with this bake sale.
First of all, they generated a general menu of what they wanted to bake and what they thought the neighborhood would buy. Since this was their first go at a bake sale, it meant that the actual day of the sale would be market research—so preparing the menu this time meant doing a little guesswork.
After they decided what they would make, they used the Harris Teeter website (that’s our favorite local grocery store) to price out the ingredients they needed, based on the quantity they planned to make—using only the finest, organic ingredients, of course.
Then they took out a loan from the Chopra Bank (by which I mean, they took a loan out from mama and papa) to make their purchases.
Phase 2: Some Good Old Fashioned Legwork
Before they got to baking, the kids had a little more prep work to do.
We made a trip as a family to our local Starbucks before hitting the grocery store to pick up supplies. There, we paid close attention to how things were priced—especially the sweets. This is the kind of market research that can give you so much insight into your own pricing. Because in my experience, people—no matter what they’re selling, be it dental services or chocolate chip muffins—tend to undervalue what they’re providing.
The outcome? The kids realized if Starbucks sold a brownie for $4, that means we could get away with charging $3 for a homemade, organic version.
Next up? Grocery shopping.
And then? The kids spent hours and hours in the kitchen putting in the work to make the best baked goods this side of the Mississippi.
(And they even cleaned up afterwards!)
Phase 3: Roll with the Punches
You know what happens when you make a perfect plan?
Inevitably something goes wrong. 🤪
The weekend rolled around and…. there was rain. Buckets and buckets of rain. Not ideal for an outdoor bake sale!
But, resilient as they are (and getting increasingly resilient as they dealt with the disappointment of rescheduling— yet another benefit of entrepreneurship for kids!) they took this opportunity to work on their marketing.
As dental professionals we know that improving your marketing is one of the top tips for building a business that anyone can give you—and that requires some strategy. Like determining where you want to advertise, in what medium, and what your message is. So, that’s exactly what my kids worked on.
They developed some flyers and then put them up on every telephone pole and community billboard in a three mile radius. And that supported their turnout and their bottom line on the big day!
Phase 4: Observe and Enjoy
The day of the big event brought some nerves, as well as even more important lessons and tips for building a business.
Lots of potential customers shrugged their shoulders and told the kids, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash.” Well, my kids addressed that objection easily! They upped their profits by a huge percentage by accepting not just cash (the preferred payment method of lemonade stands and bake sales everywhere!) but also Venmo. Those card-only shoppers didn’t have any excuse to not indulge their sweet tooth!
Since my kids had enlisted their cousins to help with every aspect of the production—from baking to sales—they also had an opportunity to manage others and determine the difference between a good employee and a so-so one.
And at the end of the day—they had to share their profits by paying their employees, too.
That’s not just called “being fair,” it’s plain old good business!
What Can We Learn From These Entrepreneurial Kids
At the end of the day, my kids raked in $261! How many of us can say we had a payday like that when we were under the age of 15?
Watching my kids learn about business made me super proud, and I really felt like I learned something, too. Seeing how eager they were to reflect on the experience, set new goals, and improve for the next time around was seriously inspiring.
Infuse Excitement in Your Business.
Seeing their honest enthusiasm for the process reinvigorated me when it comes to my own business. How many of us get so desensitized to the magic that comes with connecting with others and serving them? My kids reminded me of that.
Another takeaway? Their creativity. These kids never stopped. Once they had the seed of the idea, they took it and ran. From layout to flyering to enlisting help from their cousins and taking out a loan. They were never daunted and they never doubted themselves. And when things got hard? Well, they pivoted.
Believe In Yourself.
Mindset is a huge hurdle for most entrepreneurs. And let me tell you, at such a young age, my kids seem to have mastered that. I hope they never lose their confidence and excitement.
And here’s the other thing: We should never stop learning. We should all rise to the challenge of testing ourselves and trying new things.