Monday, January 24, 2011

An innovative way to teach your child about Business + Charity!

Business instructor Bob Merrilees is teaching students to make money in his entrepreneur class at Northern Highlands Regional High School. The students sell items on eBay, with profits going to local charities.
Business instructor Bob Merrilees is teaching students to make money in his entrepreneur class at Northern Highlands Regional High School. The students sell items on eBay, with profits going to local charities.

I am officially loving the ingenuity of Northern Highlands Regional High School's business teacher, Bob Merrilees. In an effort to teach real-life business skills to his students, he started an eBay selling project with his class. His students sell items on eBay and donate the profits to charities chosen by the students themselves. They learn the importance of customer service, advertising and marketing, shipping and payment logistics and the value of giving back to the community. You can read more about the article here

I have been thinking of ways to teach my own kids business skills from when they're young and I love this idea. Perhaps instead of having a simple yard sale, a better way of getting rid of the extra clutter may be this:

1. Have your kids help you organize the items for sale in bins according to categories.
2. Have them help in taking the pictures of the product. Teach them how to lay the product out in a way that will entice buyers and teach them how to use the camera and the different settings. Depending on their age and skill level, you could even show them how to edit pictures.
3. Show your kids how to upload the pictures onto eBay or craigslist or your local online barter site. Show them with the first item how to describe the product and list the price. Allow them to lead the product descriptions and pricing for the other items, only interjecting to direct them along the right path.
4. Teach them how to reply to emails.
5. Show them how payment is processed and how credit cards works. This may be a great time to teach them about good and bad debts.
6. Have your kids learn how to process shipping labels through usps.com, fedex.com, or ups.com. Teach them how to properly package the item.
7. You can start a family fund with the proceeds that can go towards a family trip/outing or your family could donate the proceeds to a local charity.

Some other business ideas include:

1. Lemonade/Juice/Hot Chocolate/Cookie Stand.
2. Making crafts and selling them on eBay, Etsy, at a local arts and crafts store, or chic boutique.
3. Selling their framed artwork on Etsy. I know of a lot of people who love kid's artwork.
4. Have them publish a book and sell it online through Scribble Press, Lulu, or Etsy.
5. Have your kids pick a topic and create their own magazine for other kids. They can create and publish their magazine on MagCloud. This can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis.
6. Have your older kids start a lawn mowing, dog walking, or babysitting business. Help them open a bank account and show them how to use Quickbooks or Quicken to manage their business accounts, send customer invoices, and so on.

Please comment if you have any other fun ideas to teach your children, both young and older, the value of business. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!!!

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