One of the side benefits of being a mum in business is that your children get to see a whole other view of career possibilities, not just employment, but entrepreneurial options too.
Back in the day, I started delivering leaflets and papers when I was about 14, then did waitressing and shop work when I was 15, and have always worked ever since. But I’d never even considered having my own business – I don’t think it even crossed my mind as all the “grown ups” I knew at the time were employed by someone else.
My husband is employed but I’ve been running my own businesses for almost 10 years now, since our youngest was a baby, so our kids have grown up with that as another totally normal option for them, and have already started dabbling.
Their first venture was about a year ago when the “putty fad” first began. Our son goes to a grammar school, meaning that a lot of the boys there come from all over the place and don’t live in our local town. At the time, Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty was getting really popular. It was possible to buy it from a shop in our home town for £3 a pot, but online it was about £5.99 for the same thing, often plus postage. So the two of them stopped arguing for long enough to pool their pocket money savings and invest in a little stock of putty at £3 a tin, which Jamie then sold to his school friends for £4.50 a tin. He started promoting it on Instagram and taking orders, and for about 6 weeks they made a tidy profit until the bubble burst and putty stopped being cool. While they were still enthusiastic I taught them the basics of keeping their books.
Our daughter in particular has had The Entrepreneur Bug ever since and has been desperate to do something else even though she’s only 9. She’s dog and horse mad and out of the blue she came up with the idea of dog walking to help her save up to do some more horse-riding badges, and asked me to help her set up her business. So we set her up a Facebook page, she drew a logo and I spread the word about her page in our local area. She’s been posting on her page and responding to enquiries (with supervision obviously!).
Within a week she had two customers, one of which has become a regular, and in her first month she’s already earned enough to do two more Pony Club badges. She’s reinvested her first tip on dog treats 🙂 She’s also been tracking what she’s earned and has her own customer database (beautifully decorated with felt tip pens obviously!). It also means she’s stopped moaning about going out to walk her own dog and now actually wants to go!
On top of it being a great exercise in learning new skills and being responsible, it’s been incredibly encouraging how supportive people are when they see a child taking the initiative. One of her customers even insists on paying her more than her rate every time because she thinks it’s great that she’s working to earn for a purpose.
You probably guessed that I’m super-proud of her too!