How Can I Hire the Kids to Help Sell Books?
What about the Kids Jobs with the Online Business? Can I Hire my Kids to Help?
A frequent question I am asked is what jobs can we do with the kids. I admit kids jobs are not always the easiest to find even if you are there to help them learn and work. It can be tricky including them in the business. However, I have tried to view it in light of having help rather than having extra work with my children home with me. We have homeschooled for 17 years as well as had the children in private school for the past three years and we have had a home business selling exclusively online for twelve years now. We also have a local service business which has been active for four years along with a brand new brick and mortar book store. We have eleven children so we’re very busy. I know you are, too. I have a few insights and things that have worked for us over the years. I hope you can benefit.
Communicate their value in the business – When our oldest was only 13 years old she took over the kitchen and dinner duty every night. It began as a necessity since I was writing my first ebook and needed the extra help. When the routine changed and my time was more free I asked her if she still wanted to make dinner. She said she wanted to continue in the kitchen duty. This was a light bulb moment for me. She felt needed. This is such an important time to make our kids feel like they belong and I think business activities lend well to unifying the family unit.
Make the business work part of their daily routine – We have established time frames for performing tasks for the business. I batch our tasks and we do them according to a time schedule. This is called chunking and is quite an effective time management tool in the corporate world. We find it useful here, as well. I have the children do different tasks according to their abilities. Our chunking looks like this; on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we pull, pack and ship our books. Every weekday, in the evening, one of our teens will list books …and so on.
Pay them for their work– In the beginning when we had five small children and we would all go to the book sales we the children helped us look for the books. I showed them pictures of the books to look for and when they would find one I’d give them a percentage of the book’s value. This is called a finder’s fee and they were quite motivated. I did at one point pay only a dollar or two per book but I found they responded and were motivated better by the percentage amounts. It was like a treasure hunt for the children and sometimes they’d get into it big time. In so much as interrupting mom every few minutes to eye a new find.
Capitalize on your child’s strengths– I love when I can leverage any of my time. I find it alarming that sometimes our kids’ time isn’t viewed as important as our time. Have you ever thought about how much time a young person has allocated to structured and required activities? Between school, church, sports, and social activities a child has hardly any time left for favorite pursuits. We have tried to find strengths in our children or interests in the business to keep them interested in their work. We have our more creative writers on descriptions, the camera happy children on the pictures, the geek types on building and maintaining the websites, our mathematical kids for book keeping activities and so on.
Include what they do in the business as school credit– We not only cater to their strengths in the business but we try to take as many of the activities and count them toward home school credit as possible. This leverages both their an dour time. How depressing to sit and type out four book descriptions and then tell the child she needs to go sit down and do her language studies. I am not saying that book work does not have a place, but we found we needed to stay aware of the balance in it all.