How to Sell a Child's Crafts
One of the best ways to get a feel for selling and whether your child likes it or whether his product appeals to people is to do a craft show. It doesn't have to be a professional crafts show, either. He can do one for charity or a local church group. The money is donated to a good cause and both of you get invaluable information about your proposed venture.
Have your child help you when you do your monthly bills. Show them how to balance a checkbook and reconcile a bank statement and explain why it's important. Show them some of the records you keep and explain why you keep them. Explain what a budget is and why it's important to have one. These are important life skills that parents often neglect to teach their kids, but ones that are extremely useful to have. For more advice, review these resources on Kids and Money.
If your child really enjoys a particular craft and keeps creating new and better designs, he might want to consider selling some of what he makes. I believe it's up to parents to teach kids how to earn, manage, and spend money wisely, and here's a great opportunity to do that.
Using his allowance as initial capital, your child can start a small business and learn the various aspects of handling money and making a profit. Teaching your children entrepreneurial skills may be the best thing you can do for their future.
There are some great resources for teaching kids about money and helping kids earn and handle their own money. You might want to pick up a copy of The Kid's Guide to Money: Earning It, Saving It, Spending It, Growing It, Sharing It or Better Than A Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas for Kids by 15-year-old Daryl Bernstein.
If your child really thinks he can turn his craft into cash, you'll both need to do some research, and, to ensure success, will need to keep some records and accounts. Here's a short checklist of things to do and ideas to ponder. This could be the beginning of an adventure that will affect the rest of your child's life!
Kid's Starting-Your-Own-Business Checklist
Ask yourself the following questions:
What items do you want to sell? Are there variations you can make to suit different tastes?
How long does it take to make each item and what does it cost for materials?
Will you need an inventory or will you make each item to order? How will you deliver your products? What will this cost you?
Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? How does your product and workmanship compare to others being sold?
How much should you charge for your product? What's the average price of products similar to yours? Can you make it and sell it for the same price or less than what's out there?
How will people know your product is available and how will they be able to buy it? What forms of money will you take -- cash only? Checks? Trades?
Will you advertise? Go to craft shows? Approach shops to display and sell your items? Send out flyers?
How can you find out what people think of your product before you try to sell it? Are you willing to change your product to what people want? How well can you take critical comments? Can you learn from them?
Once you do sell your products, what will you do with the money? Do you need to have a separate bank account? How much money needs to be put back into your business? How much can you spend on other things? How much should you save?
Another interesting and informative preliminary activity is market research. Go on field trips together to crafts shops and shows and see if anyone is making anything similar. How is your product better? How is theirs better? What methods are they using to sell their product? Do they appear to be successful (are lots of people flocking to their booth and buying)? What can you learn?
More on: Crafts for Kids
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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