Business Idea for Kids & Teens
Using volunteerism to help your children start their own business.
If you live in the Midwest like me you know how wonderful it is to wake up in the morning after a new snowfall, look outside and see … that someone else has already shoveled your driveway for you! It’s a gift and for some people a tremendous stress reliever.
What does that have to do with helping your kids to start a business of their own? Everything! Shoveling neighbors driveways in the winter is a fabulous business and there is no better way to get a business started than to provide the service for free first so your future customers can see your work, know the value of it, and then decide if they want you to continue for money.
If you have young teenagers who are looking to make some money on their own, volunteering with a job like snow shoveling for the first season is a great set up for a future business. It also gives them some great community service experience. Serving others provides great personal satisfaction – a fabulous self esteem builder. A job like snow shoveling is great exercise for a young body as well.
How would a young teen start something like this? Just do it. The small investment in a good shovel is all you need – and, of course, some snow. The next time there is a snowfall, even a small one, send your young man out and have him start shoveling. Choose families in your neighborhood with the most need – widows, single moms, someone who has been sick. True some of these folks may not have the money to pay your budding entrepreneur when he does start charging, but it’s a great service to these folks and it will also help build trust with other neighbors who will be able to pay.
My suggestion is that your teen be a volunteer shoveler for a full season. He may find that people will start to offer him money during that time and that’s okay, but he should not solicit that until the following year. The next fall, before the first snowfall, he can then develop his pricing structure, create some flyers and other marketing materials with a friendly cover letter explaining how he is now starting his own business and would like to continue shoveling this year with his pay schedule attached. Will everyone hire him? No. You wouldn’t want everyone to hire him anyway. Shoveling is tough work and it would be impossible to do the entire neighborhood with just a hand shovel. The potential to build this into a larger business is there, however, as your teen saves for a snow blower and then a plow, etc.
Once your child has established himself with the winter work, he can expand from there into lawn mowing and other landscaping type jobs in the neighborhood. Since he’s invested the time to build rapport with the community by volunteering, most will be very open to paying him as a trusted and valuable worker.