What are the best product ideas for kid entrepreneurs?

Many times when our young entrepreneurs consider business ideas for kids, they have one of two problems: either they are overwhelmed with business ideas (and don’t know how to choose), or they can’t think of a single good one. The process of finding a great business idea for a kid entrepreneur does not have to be difficult. Here we will talk about how to find that perfect idea and then jump into the process of launching your business!

 

Ultimately, the best business idea for a kid entrepreneur is one that you *actually* make and sell. We have seen so many aspiring kid entrepreneurs get tangled up in really complicated, big ideas (e.g., an app with tons of features), then get nowhere because they don’t have the skills or resources to actually create the product (did you know that professional development of a simple app starts around $10,000?). 

 

Given the choice between a simpler idea that you are able to launch quickly and with excellence vs. a more innovative idea that never actually happens - we will take the simple idea every time! 

 

Remember, the first product that you launch doesn’t have to be your “forever product”. If you’ve not had much experience with entrepreneurship, consider those first few products a learning experience, and maximize the opportunity. Each time you launch something going forward you can make it a bit bigger and more complex, until one day you arrive at that “forever product” that you might stick with for a long time.

 

In order to help our students find the perfect product idea in our Break into Business launch programs, we provide them with Guidelines, our SUPA Star framework, and some Sample Ideas to kickstart their thinking.

Guidelines for Kid Business Products

When working with first-time entrepreneurs, we provide them with a list of guidelines that their products must meet in order to get the “green light” from their coach. Here are the guidelines, and then I’ll explain the reason behind them:

  • The entrepreneur must be able to buy all the supplies needed to make their first batch of products for ~$35

  • The entrepreneur must be able to make the product (or at least a really solid prototype) within 2 weeks (e.g.,  at this stage, we don’t want a product that will require a year-long research & development effort)

  • The entrepreneur must be able to make about 20 products (or, if it’s a service business such as lawn care, be able to serve 20 customers) with their $35 investment.

Why these guidelines? Again, we are pushing our beginner entrepreneurs toward action. By limiting their budget to $35 we ensure that they will be able to buy supplies out of their own savings, or secure a loan from an adult fairly easily to get going. By requiring the product to be made quickly, we ensure that the entrepreneur stays motivated all the way through launch. 

 

It’s easy to lose steam when you are several months into a project and have other competing interests such as homework! Finally, we want 20 products, because we want these products to be quite sellable for a reasonable price to multiple customers. This will provide a rewarding experience.

 

What happens if an entrepreneur comes to us with a budget of $45 for start up costs, but an amazing product and detailed plan on how to produce it? We’ll approve it every time. Again, these are only guidelines and we treat them as such, but they can be a kid entrepreneur’s most powerful tool.

SUPA Star Products for Kid Entrepreneurs

Once we talk about guidelines, we introduce our kid entrepreneurs to our SUPA Star framework. SUPA stands for Sellable, Unique, Problem-solving, and Aligned. These are all concepts that we tackle in much greater detail during our LAUNCH programs, but by way of a quick summary of what we are looking for in a great product:

  • Sellable - the target market is large and accessible, and they are interested in the product

  • Unique - the product is different in some way from other products on the market. It might be higher-quality, taste better, be better looking, or simply sold in a more convenient place.

  • Problem-solving - the product must solve a burning problem for its customers. People are reluctant to part with their hard-earned money. It will be much easier to convince them to take a chance if they see real value in the help your product can provide.

  • Aligned - what are you uniquely good at or knowledgeable about? We love when entrepreneurs build in their own passions to their products.

 

Sample Products for Kid Businesses

We always give our entrepreneurs a list of sample products to get their wheels spinning. You may or may not see an idea below that resonates with you, but thoughtfully considering these ideas may lead to a “Eureka!” moment of your own! Here are ten sample products that we have seen sell very well by young entrepreneurs:

  1. Candles - usually with very unique scents and/or organic ingredients

  2. Bath bombs

  3. Body lotions or scrubs

  4. Food items - using a unique recipe or putting a new spin on a favorite (ex: gourmet popcorn)

  5. Smoothies - we all need more fruits and vegetables in our lives

  6. Kits - we have seen a huge variety of successful kits. From kits to help celebrate a birthday, “office survival” kits with pens and other supplies, to craft kits for kids. 

  7. Hand-drawn greeting cards

  8. Pet items - from treats to toys, and everything in between. People spend a LOT of money on their pets!

  9. Jewelry and/or hair accessories

  10. Lawn care, house checks, phone sanitization, babysitting, and other service businesses

Now that you have a good sense of Guidelines, how to make a SUPA Star product, and some Sample Ideas to get you started, we hope you’re off to the races on deciding on the perfect product for your business. Need more help in choosing between ideas, or coming up with a great one? Check out our LAUNCH programs where we spend an entire day working on that perfect idea, and all LAUNCH entrepreneurs receive 1:1 feedback from a Business Coach.

 

 

Meet the Author:

Monica Lage is the Executive Director & Co-founder of Break Into Business. Monica holds a Commerce degree from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School. Monica spent several years helping Fortune 500 companies solve their most pressing problems as a Management Consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. Throughout her journey she has sought out opportunities to share her love of business with young people, eventually pursuing Break Into Business full-time in 2014. Since then she has seen hundreds of young people flourish as entrepreneurs, all while raising her own three mini-entrepreneurs in Atlanta, Georgia.

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