One of the best ways to help your children to save up for college is to have them earn it themselves. Rather than through the traditional route of part time jobs, introducing them to entrepreneurship by having them start an online store might be a better decision. You’ll teach them about digital marketing, sales, and technology. You’ll also be giving them the skills that will be invaluable to them when they work for a company. Who knows? They may even become freelancers or entrepreneurs. Here are some great tips for helping your children get started.

Tip #1: Get Them Familiar with Technology

The best way to introduce your kids to the concept of online stores is to get them familiar with the technology. Let them figure out how to set up and build websites so that they can do everything themselves from scratch. There are numerous free online videos that teach the basics of setting up and building websites. For example, you can teach them about a CMS platform like Joomla and get them to register a domain and set up Joomla hosting. Once they set that up, they’ll learn how to operate a site from the Joomla hosting panel and CMS platform.

Tip #2: Encourage Them to Design Sites

Design is a big part of eCommerce and online marketing in general. Teaching kids how to design websites is a core skill that can help them in the future. There are many free tutorials on how to build and design websites. There are also plenty of free design software programs that are available. What’s more, there are many site building and design tools that they can use like drag and drop programs. This allows any user to build sites without technical know-how.

pexels-photo-216995

Tip #3: Teach Them Vital Research Skills

A big part of creating/designing websites, finding products to sell and figuring out what to do next relies on research skills. Teach your kids how to use the search engines to look for ideas. There are many search modifiers that can be used to display better results, so you may want to get them to start there. Google isn’t the only research tool either. There’s Amazon, eBay, keyword research tools, social media trending tools, and more. The idea here is to give them the resources to find the data and information they need to make decisions on what to sell on their online store.

Tip #4: Push Them to Write Content

Content is a big part of how interacting and communicating with consumers. Writing content is an activity that you can’t ignore in digital marketing. Many business owners opt to outsource content creation. However, you should push your children to create their own content. It’ll teach them a wide variety of writing skills from editorial skills, blogging, to copywriting. These are writing skills that aren’t taught in schools and are constantly in demand in the marketing world.

Tip #5: Leverage Their Social Media Skills

Your kids are already using social media. Instead of having them waste hours upon hours on social media for fun, encourage them to learn how to market on social media. Get them curious about what kinds of posts influence people to engage, building social media followers, creating relationships with followers and crafting ads for social media. You’d be surprised to hear that there are many Instagrammers that make a full time income simply posting photos and leveraging their follower numbers to partner with brands.

Tip #6: Inspire Marketing Creativity

This is an expansion on the social media tip. You want to get your children to learn about marketing. Many college courses teach marketing classes but the best teacher will be real life experiences. In most cases, they won’t have a big budget to work with. That’s why you should inspire them to get creative about digital marketing. There are numerous free and effective ways to market a site from SEO, social media, content marketing, blogging, PR, and joint ventures just to name a few. Get them to focus on one or two strategies and inspire them to come up with their own marketing campaigns.

Tip #7: Introduce Teamwork and Management

If you have more than one child, getting them to work together on this project will be a great way to teach teamwork. You should probably moderate how the work should be divided and what needs to be done in the beginning to help them get along. If you only have one child, get them connected with a freelancer or an online partner. They’ll learn everything from proper business etiquette, leadership and management skills that will help them in the future.

Tip #8: Teach Proper Money Management Skills

When it gets to the point where money needs to be invested into the business for advertising, you want to teach your kids proper money management skills. Get them to build a budget for their business expense. Explain to them the concept of cash flow and how it affects their business. Get them to use accounting software to list every single expense and profit. These financial skills will serve to be invaluable to them for the entirety of their life.

At the end of the day, you won’t be able to control whether or not your children succeed with the online store. The only way to do help them succeed would be to do a large part of the work for them. What’s really important is that they gain the skills and become interested in entrepreneurship. If they find it interesting and fun, you’ll get them on the path to working on their online store.