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October 17, 2017

How Your Children Can Help Build Your Business

Even when I was too little to really help Mom out much, I could answer the phone for her and take orders. “What flavor cake would you like?”

how your children can help your business

Growing up in my mom’s cake shop provided some of my favorite memories and most important life lessons. I learned work ethic and customer service skills. Even when I was too little to really help her out much, I could answer the phone for her and take orders. “What flavor cake would you like?”

During my middle school years, we would blast the oldies radio station and sing together while we cleaned until late at night, just her and I. When I got a little older, she even let me make deliveries on foot to the offices around downtown Nashville. And as a bonus, I got to keep the tips—which was big money to me!

As Dave Ramsey puts it somewhat humorously, “Teaching a child to work is not child abuse.” I can’t wait for my oldest, Carter, to be old enough to help out with some chores!

Of course, many of us moms struggle with guilt. But my mom wasn’t hurting me by running her own business and putting me to work—she was helping me. In fact, working alongside her is what shaped me into who I am today.

Do you have kids at home? Here are some age-appropriate expectations for how your kids can help you too!

Ages 5–7

If your child is five or under, they probably can’t do much more than observe. But you’ll be surprised at how much they pick up on watching mommy work! In the 5–7 range is where they can start helping you clean around the house, and even package up orders if you sell a product.

Ages 7–12

At this age, let them be your little assistant: answering phones, addressing envelopes, maybe even writing out invoices and checks.


By the time they’re teenagers, they are truly capable of so much. You have a little part-time employee on your hands! I love the stories my friend Rachel Cruze tells about selling her dad’s products at the merchandise table at his events. He paid her a commission based on how much she sold and it taught her how to make money.

So if you have kids around the house, don’t hesitate to “hire” them and put them to work. You’ll get help with your business and I promise you, what they will gain from the experience will be worth much more than what you pay them!

How have you brought your kids into building your business? I want to see them in action! Share an image of your family working in your business together on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #BBbuild. We want to honor all the hard work you and your children put into building your business! Everyone who posts a photo before 10/20 will be entered for a chance to win two tickets to our Nashville Business Boutique event!

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  • Audrey says:

    One thing I would add is prayer. My 8 year-old son prays for my business almost daily and it is a wonderful reminder of whose business it really is! ?

  • Bethany says:

    Great article, Christy! Isn’t it fun to involve the whole family in the business!

    As a homeschool mama and a business owner, my four “Little Farmers” (ages 3-8) have rich opportunities to learn real world lessons. I incorporate what I am learning about business into conversation with them throughout the day.

    One day we may discuss marketing and the different ways they may see marketing (good or bad) in the public. I also teach them about pricing items and we do market research together. They help me brainstorm ideas for products and do “taste testing” of my recipes. They know about “tare weights” on the scale and how to measure by volume versus weight. They love generating ideas for products and articles! I also let them take turns going with me as my “apprentice” to marketing events, speaking engagements and Farmer’s Markets. They take care of our flock of sheep — a vital part of our farm work.

    When our children treated as partners in our family business it gives them a sense of pride in our work (and they better understand why mama is spending time doing computer work 🙂 We also celebrate business accomplishments together as a family!

  • What a great reminder to include the kids in the family business!
    I take my two girls with me (age 10 and 8) to sell at craft fairs. (The 6 and 4 year old boys aren’t interested yet.) They help with set-up and take down and do the majority of the selling. They’re adorable and therefore natural saleswomen 😉 and being a salesman is something I hate. I pay them a little commission based on how much product they move. They love it! They love making money and they love the special girl time we have together.
    People always ask them, “did you help your mom make this?” Customers want to hear “yes.” But since I do a dessert item in my home kitchen, by law they are not allowed in the kitchen while I work so I do it all after they go to bed. I could have them help me with some of the other things you mention (labeling, invoicing, etc). But I just haven’t yet. Thanks for the encouragement to let my little ones assist me!

  • Rachelle Soileau says:

    Iam working on opening my own boutique.Right now I work at a clothing store but when I get my business started I want to bring my daughters in so they can learn work ethics and how to be responsible.

  • Tricia Prues says:

    This is awesome!! While I started to get my daughter (4 y/o) excited about helping around the house from as soon as she could grab a fork out of the dishwasher, I never thought about her helping with my business! Heck, she may not even know what I do! Ha! She just knows that mama goes to her office downstairs to work.

    This really has me thinking about the conversations I can have with Margaret (and my 18mo son when he gets older) about my business. Yes, we include it in our prayers as a family, but Margaret is definitely at the age where she can begin to grasp the kind of work I’m doing (coaching entrepreneurs to recapture and prioritize their time so they can succeed in business while still having the quality time they want with their family). I totally see her helping me stamp and seal envelopes! She loves doing that kind of stuff.

    Our dream is to have a location-independent business and to be able to travel to events and speaking engagements as a family. What better way to teach our kids about business than getting them in on the action! I could consider business trips field trips for homeschooling if I’m teaching them, right?!

    Thanks for this great post, Christy. You got my wheels turning!