Homestead kid business, they can do now…and they should! What better time to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in your kids, than when they are young? Now don’t get me wrong, I think kids need time to be kids; but what I see more today is kids being couch potatoes. A homestead kid business CAN be fun and instill some valuable character traits like responsibility, creativity, diligence, self-confidence and independence (pretty awesome, right?)! Not to mention when they are making their own money they learn the value of it in a real and tangible way. To quote Joel Salatin from Folks This Ain’t Normal, “I’m a big believer that children should have autonomous businesses. This teaches the value of a dollar, persistence, thrift and good math skills.”
So maybe you’re asking, why not just give them an allowance for chores? Chores are good, part of life and certainly part of living on a homestead. But do YOU get paid for your home and farm chores? Or do you have a business/job that pays you money for work done outside of your personal responsibilities? Secondly, is are your children going to be able to earn, through allowance, what they may be able to through a small business?
My 11 year old daughter started a dog poo cleaning service in our neighborhood last year. Her first customer paid her $10 a week for a once a week clean-up after her 2 dogs. We are a one-income family and paying a 10 year old $40 a month wasn’t something I’d budgeted for; this was good money for her! I finally realized she understood the value of her hard-earned money on a trip to the movies. She asked if she could have a candy, to which I said she could if she paid for it herself. After some thought about how much poop had to be cleaned for a $5 candy, she decided to go without.
Now I want to say that I think teens should also consider a business they can run from the homestead but today I want to talk about your under 16 crowd, even under 13. These are businesses that even a fairly young child can run with very little intervention from mom or dad. Depending on your child’s age, experience, etc this homestead kid business may be more of a partnership with you; but that’s a call you have to make. Or perhaps you or another adult can “mentor” them for a time until everyone agrees they are ready to handle it solo.
Homestead Kid Business – A Few Things to Consider First
- How much time are you willing to give to helping your child start their business?
- If they need some capital (money) to get started, are you going to front that? What will your repayment terms be?
- How or will you help them to manage their income? Will you require a certain percentage be donated (like a tithe), saved (long term or short term) and how much will be for future business expenses?
- What are your child’s strengths and weaknesses? Are you hoping to build them up in weak areas or capitalize on their strengths with their homestead kid business?
- If you don’t feel like you can take on the task of helping your child build a business alone, look to your local 4H groups – many of them have entrepreneurial groups.
Homestead Kid Business – Ideas to Get You Started
- Eggs – can be especially profitable if you offer pasture raised eggs or corn and soy free feed.
- Chicks – if you feel like your child can handle incubation, raising chicks for sale can be part of a profitable homestead kid business.
- Quail – same as chicks. More money can be made by selling adult birds (at the 8-10 week age).
- Meat Rabbits – Kits can bring a decent price. Make sure you pick a breed that is popular with meat raisers.
- Worms – Vermicomposting continues to rise in popularity and there is money to be made in both worms, worm castings and compost tea. Check out Mother Earth News’ article on having a worm farm business.
- Picking Up Poo – Whether it is dog poo or livestock manure.
- Vegetables or Herbs – Selling organic veggies and herbs (fresh and dry) is another great option. Not to mention they’ll learn the valuable skill of gardening!
- Wood Working – Does your child like to work with wood? Do they have skills to make a product for sale?
- Sewing, Mending and Other Needlework – Quilting, making clothes, mending and altering clothes to crocheting and knitting blankets and scarves. If your child and skills with a sewing machine other needle crafts, this could be a great homestead kid business!
- Homestead Chores – weeding, planting, cleaning up poo/manure. The list is endless!
- Lawn Chores – mowing, raking, seeding.
- From the Kitchen -selling of cookies, breads, lemonade, jam, jelly and other canned goodies.
Check out The Totally Awesome Business Book for Kids, for budgets, recording keeping, marketing and more.
I hope these ideas help you and your kiddo to come up with a Homestead Kid Business that works for your family. Do your kids already have one? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
How to Get Your Children to Like Work – a word from Joel Salatin whose kids all had businesses young and $20,000 in the bank when they turned 20 (I sure didn’t have that).