The idea of starting a business when you have young children can be overwhelming (OK, the idea of starting a business at any time can be overwhelming). Will you have enough time to devote to your family and to growing your business? Will the company benefit your family or become a burden?
There can be so many questions along the way. However, there are several great benefits of starting your business now while your kids are still under your roof. Here are a few ways to get them involved in your family’s next adventure and the benefits they will gain along the way:
How to Get Your Child(ren) Involved
Talk about what you do.
Just like you ask your kids about their day at school, tell your children what you do during your day. You can share specifics of your day-to-day work or share how you are starting a new business venture, and your goals and hopes for the business and your family.
Bring them to work with you.
Children naturally look up to you. They observe and immulate your every move; children want to be like you. There would be no greater excitement for them than to join you at the office. Now, we understand older kids may not share the same enthusiasm, so meet your older kids where they are. Figure out what would excite them, and invite them to tag along.
Put them to work.
Whether it’s washing windows, vacuuming carpets, or restocking the snacks and drinks, involve the kids in what some would call grunt work. This will not only teach them the value of contributing a helping hand where and when needed, but it will show them the importance of working your way up to more responsibility and trust—as you master one task, new or additional responsibilities will be added.
Pay them (in cash or other rewards) for their work.
No good work should go unpaid. Use this opportunity to thank your kids for a job well done. Not only will it show your appreciation, but you can use it as an additional teaching tool. Learn more about that below.
Benefits of Including Your Child(ren)
Builds great work ethic.
Being involved in the work, and possibly even the decision-making process of starting your business, will help your child(ren) build entrepreneurial skills and an unmatched work ethic. They will become a true go-getter. This valuable quality will benefit them, whether they decide to follow in your footsteps and start their own business or become an intrapreneur. (link to article comparing intra and entre)
Develops a variety of skill sets.
As the business grows, so will your child(ren). They will learn age-appropriate skills as you give them various tasks with which they can help. The skill sets can build upon each other as your children (and business) grow and mature. As mentioned earlier, this can be anything from restocking toilet paper to bookkeeping.
Teaches the value of a hard-earned dollar.
As you pay your child(ren) for their work, they will begin to respect money and the value of what it takes to earn a dollar. When you teach them about saving, spending, and giving, you are setting them up for a lifetime of success. The fundamentals of understanding life’s expenses along with proper money management is a priceless benefit.
As your business grows and your children get involved, do not expect they will always have the same passion for your venture. Teach them, lead and guide them, but be open to their own interests. The values and skills they pick up along the way will carry into their future, no matter what they choose. That is benefit enough for your effort to include them!