How to help you kids start an online business

Helping your child to set up an ecommerce store is the ideal way to introduce them to Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the development of a business from the ground up — coming up with an idea and turning it into a profitable business. But while the definition of entrepreneurship may be simple, its execution is much more difficult. Launching an ecommerce business has the same checklists as starting a company or business offline. This is your chance to guide and educate them in the world of business.

The great thing about starting an online ecommerce business is that you don’t have to put down as much capital and funding from the start. It’s the perfect way to test the waters before going all in. You will also be able to assess whether your child’s idea is viable or if it will need some tweaking to help them succeed.

Create a Business Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail – right? In order for the online venture to work you need to guide your kid to create a business plan. This is a great opportunity to teach them how to set up a business plan. This is a great opportunity to teach them how to set up a business plan that will also help them see what type of expenses there will be. Enable your child to voice their own opinion although they might not know everything, this will promote self-empowerment and encouragement that can be great to help them succeed in the business world. Entrepreneur.com has a good selection of business plans which you can use as a reference.

During this phase you can also discuss a preliminary budget with your kid. For instance, would this venture need capital, workspace or products that should be bought in bulk? Listen to their ideas and guide them towards a profitable middleground.

Discuss Responsibilities

In order to get the hang of things, the process of creating an ecommerce business will be a team effort. It’s important to teach your child responsibility and discipline when it comes to running a business. Let them know how you are willing to help and ask them what they feel they should be responsible for. You could also set a few ground rules with regards to management of the company.

They need to understand how the success of the company depends on their efforts. Set goals together, but most of all have fun and help them grow into the person they want to become. During this process is important to guide them choose their tasks and responsibilities instead of just telling them what to do.

Research the Market

Even though your kid might be over the moon with their idea, it’s possible that someone else is doing the exact same thing online. Before ordering a million sand art sets, see what the competition is like. How many people are selling these products online? Would you be able to match their pricing or offer a lower price? What is your competition on a local and international level?

Researching the market will allow you to determine risks and limitations, but it will also help you see gaps in the industry and improve where skills or knowledge are lacking. How will your kids’ brand be different? Are they offering something unique? How can the product be marketed in order to gain more attention, and indirectly more profit?

Choose The Right Platform

Starting an ecommerce business is not like setting up a stall at the flea market. It’s a business that has its core online. Internet commerce is growing faster than you kids’ shoe size and it’s important to choose the right tools and platforms if you want to be successful.

There are various ways to start an online store and you won’t necessarily have to develop your own website. Decide whether your ecommerce shop will be self-hosted or hosted via a different company. For instance, if it’s featured on marketplaces like eBay, Etsy or Shopify they will provide you with everything you need to list and sell your products on their platform.

One of the most popular platforms to create your own ecommerce website, is Woocommerce. Here you will have your own blog and ‘shop’ on a WordPress website which makes it easy to manage your company’s SEO. Other alternatives to self-hosting include downloadable software to create your ecommerce shop such as Prestashop and Magento.

These are just the first steps in helping your kids start their online ventures. Make planning fun, it doesn’t need to be all business. The Planning and development phase is a wonderful and creative process if tackled with the right mindset. These are the building blocks for future success and if they acquire these skills at a young age, the world is their oyster!

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