How to get children involved in your business

Get children involved in your business

How to get children involved in your business

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Some children will want to be involved in the business you’re building. You don’t want to force the business on them, but encourage them to do something within it. Here’s how to get children involved in your business.

The amount of parents I’ve come across who have complained their children don’t want to be a part of their business is unreal. And it always makes me cringe. Usually, I find it’s in the restaurant or store business, but it can be everywhere.

Parents say that they set up the business for their family and they expect it to become a family business. Others will say that they took over from their parents and their parents took over from their parents. You know, expecting tradition to keep going. They often forget that children have their own interests.

Now, I have one child who is interested in what I do. She’s not interested in the writing side, but she is interested in the marketing side. My other child? She’s not interested in anything at all. And I’m not going to push that. If she wants to get involved later, she can. I’m just not going to force her into it.

Get children involved in your business if they’re interested

So, it comes to my first point in getting children involved in the business. This is something to do only if they want to. If they have no interest and want to do something else with their lives, let them do it.

I know one person who runs a restaurant who openly admitted that having her children work in the restaurant was her way to save money on employee wages. She underpays her children, claiming that they are going to benefit financially when the restaurant passes on. Then she was shocked to find out that her children don’t want to work there. There is everything wrong with this, and I’m not going to get into the legal problems. Just know I looked at her very differently after she said that. Her admissions hurt a lot of other people and yes, I judge for that.

Children are their own people. While you may have a dream, it doesn’t mean children will follow that dream. All you’re doing is pushing them away if you end up forcing them into doing something they aren’t interested in. When they move out—and they’re going to move out as soon as possible—they will cut you off completely.

So what if you do have children who are interested? As I said, one of my daughters is interested in the things I do. Here’s what I’ve done to get her involved.

Find age-appropriate tasks for them to do

My daughter who is interested is 10. She’s not old enough to work yet, and she doesn’t understand everything I do. So, to help her get involved in the area she’s interested in (social media), I have her set up to do one social media account for me.

We fell out of the habit on this, but we’ll get back into it as she learns a bit more. It’s important to find age-appropriate tasks for children to do. You can’t throw them into the deep end.

Let’s say you own a hair salon and your child is interested in doing it too. You’re not going to jump straight into hair coloring, are you? Instead, you’ll want to get them to do something like sweeping the floors or, if they’re old enough, ringing them out at the cash register. You may have them wash the hair and prepare a client for you to cut the hair.

My younger daughter is interested in photography. Maybe at some point I’ll encourage that in a way that it works for my business. She’s still on the young side, but it will be an option if she’s interested.

Pay them the same you would someone else!

Just because you have children working for you doesn’t mean you get to pay them less. You can run into legal issues here, but that’s not the only reason. Your children are still people just like other employees. You should be paying them the same as what you would another employee. If you don’t, they’ll find out and they’ll look elsewhere.

When you want to get children involved in your business, you need to make them feel valued and appreciated. The best way to do that is to treat them like the other employees. This can also prevent some entitled attitudes when it comes to shift patterns and the tasks they do.

Don’t go with “they’ll inherit this” line. Sure, they might, but they might immediately sell it. Or they may have not listened at all and run it into the ground. Or maybe they just give it away because your ruined the whole joy of it for them with your attitude.

Include them in the process for your business

As your children get older, they’ll need to understand more about how the business works. They’ll want to see how you market to get new clients, what your business goals are, and the steps you plan to take to achieve those goals. This is a side of the business that a lot of children learn late, so you want to include them early.

When you get children involved in your business this way, you show them what you want to achieve. You’re also giving them an idea of what they can achieve. While they still may not be interested in the actual work you do, they may have a head for the business side of things. They can always hire someone to manage the place while they do the tasks that you’re showing them right now.

Plus, as they understand the vision, they become more connected to the business and to you. They see a side of you that they don’t usually see, including your passions. That can help them want to help you achieve those goals.

If they’re not at an age where they can understand, have them do their homework in your office. My eldest is really good at doing schoolwork at home. She sits at her desk and gets through it, and I do believe a lot of that is because she’s seen me work at home her whole life. She’s seen me set schedules and stick to them. Now she’s made it clear that she wants a job that is remote in the future because she wants to do what I do—not the writing, but some of the other stuff.

MORE: 5 signs it’s time to take your side hustle full-time

Just remember that your children are their own people. If they don’t want to run your restaurant when they get older, that’s okay. They have other passions.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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