Why on earth would you want to start a business with your 10-year-old grandchild? Isn’t it better just to “let kids be kids” and leave the serious stuff to your grandchild’s parents? Not necessarily!
The truth is that most parents are busy. They may want to teach their kids about entrepreneurship and money management, but, they simply don’t have the time. When you talk to your adult children, you may find that they love the idea of you taking an active role in helping their kids to get ready for the real world. Of course, you should follow their lead, but, if they are game, there are many reasons to consider starting a business with your grandchild.
Whether you start a lemonade stand, eBay business, cookie baking venture, jewelry design business or anything in-between, the experience is bound to be useful and fun for everyone involved.
Here are 4 reasons to start a business with your grandchild.
Teachers do their best to give our kids a good start in life. But, let’s be honest, K-12 education is all about making sure that kids know the basics. You learn to read and write. You learn geometry, algebra and trigonometry. You may even learn more exotic subjects like computer science.
What you won’t usually learn are skills like marketing, finance, copywriting, design, operations management, negotiations and business law. This is a shape because, for the most part, these skills will be valuable whether you choose to be a business person or a physicist.
If you have business skills, this is the perfect opportunity to share them with your grandson or granddaughter. If not, why not see your new business venture as an opportunity to develop your own skills. iTunes U, Coursera and Udemy have a ton of free or low cost business courses… and, when all else fails, you can always turn to Google.
When your grandkids are little, finding things to do with them is easy. Heck, to a one-year-old a game of drop the dummy, pick up the dummy can provide hours of entertainment!
Once your kids are 8 or 9 years old, it starts to become more difficult to find things to do together. Oh, sure, they will be happy to play on the iPad or their PS4, while you sit in the living room downstairs. But, trying to get them to engage in an activity with you for more than 30 minutes is challenging.
Starting a business, even a small one, can be the perfect opportunity to take your relationship to the next level. It doesn’t matter if the business is ultimately successful – although that would be nice. What matters is that you both go into the exercise with open hearts.
If you are like most people in our community, you never had the opportunity to start a business of your own. Instead, you worked for somebody else, doing your best to support your family.
Starting a small business with your grandchild is a great way to gain confidence as an older entrepreneur. Unlike a “grown up business,” lemonade stands, cookie baking businesses and jewelry making companies don’t require a big upfront investment. They also don’t require you to hire employees. They simply let you try your hand at entrepreneurship in a low-stress way.
A friend of mind once told me that you never learn faster than when you are teaching. I think he was right. As you research marketing, inventory management, social media and a dozen other topics, you will gain skills that you can use in your own life. When you teach them to your grandchild, they will stick in your brain forever!
For the most part, starting a business with your grandchild is all about growing, learning and having fun. That said, there are plenty of examples of businesses that children started that went on to be successful.
One of my favorites is Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces. Jack, at 10-years-old, took the concept of starting a lemonade stand to the next level by offering kits to other kids who wanted to start their own stands.
The idea was so powerful that he was able to convince the infamous Shark Tank investors to back his idea with $60,000 of their own money.
Take a look at this short 1-minute video and you’ll see how powerful cross-generational businesses that involve kids can be! Yes, I realize that Jack built this business with his dad, but, grandparents can do exactly the same kind of thing with their grandkids.
Starting a business with your grandchild is a great way to teach them practical skills, while improving your relationship. I hope that this article has inspired you to consider doing something with one of your grandkids this year. If you do, please let us know how you get on!
What do you think of the idea of starting a business with one of your grandkids? What kind of business would you start? Please join the conversation!