You've probably never wondered how to encourage young entrepreneurs, but if you're a parent you may have a budding tycoon in your family. Lots of highly successful business people started with a simple idea in their bedroom. Does your youngster show an enterprising spirit? Try these tips on how to encourage young entrepreneurs, and you could have a comfortable future thanks to your children …
1. Start Small
The first of my ideas on how to encourage young entrepreneurs is that they should start small. That's sensible for any business, and youngsters aren't going to have the resources or knowledge to embark upon a major enterprise. Your young entrepreneur needs to begin in a small way - remember the saying 'big oaks grow from little acorns'. Being too ambitious can ruin many a good idea.
2. Discuss Ideas
Let your youngster run whatever ideas they have past you. Don't dismiss anything out of hand; help them to explore the viability of each idea. Perhaps they can return to an idea later if it's not practical to try it right now. And don't assume that something is too outlandish - many innovators had ideas that seemed ridiculous at first, but went on to become hugely successful.
3. Long Term
Encourage your young entrepreneur to look at the long-term picture. What could they do with their business in the future? How can they turn it into a long-term success? How do they get repeat custom? A short-term goal is fine if they want to earn money for a specific purpose, such as making enough money to pay for a laptop, but it's always worth looking at long-term possibilities.
4. Facts & Figures
Younger people may not know much (or anything) about legal aspects or finance. Help them to find out the information they need and deal with any paperwork that may be necessary. If they're making money, what do they do about taxes? Are they legally old enough to work? Are they going to make a profit at the price they can get?
If your young entrepreneur has a viable idea, there are a lot of organisations that can help. A search on Google for young entrepreneurs will bring up dozens, if not hundreds of organisations. Some will be specific to a local area, while others are a useful source of general advice. They may even be able to help with funding for the fledgling business.
Help your child to understand if their idea isn't feasible. You won't be doing them any favors if you encourage them to pursue something that just isn't going to work. Perhaps their ideas need to be altered, or even changed altogether. Of course, it's not guaranteed that even a good business idea will succeed, but for success to happen, the idea must have a sound basis.
Finally, your young entrepreneur will need a source of funding. There are several possibilities. They could earn the money through chores or a summer job. Organisations may give them a grant if they have a good idea. Or you could loan them the money (treat it as a business loan that must be paid back; it'll be good practice for the real world of business).
We need people to start businesses so that other people can have jobs. So encouraging your child's entrepreneurial streak could lead to a flourishing small business, or even one day a huge multinational. Who knows? Perhaps your child will be able to make a living doing something they love; many hobbies have been turned into successful businesses. How did you make money when you were young?