Get a job! And net some summer cash

Just for kids

June 03, 1999|By Ingrid Roper | Ingrid Roper,Chicago Tribune

Bored? Looking for something to fill the long summer days? Then get to work! For the under-16 set who can't get a job at the mall, this may mean starting a business. Combine what you like with what people need and watch your hobbies turn into cash.

KNOW YOURSELF: What are you good at and what do you enjoy? If you love surfing the Web, put your cyber-savvy skills to work doing research for the computer-shy.

LISTEN UP: What are people complaining about or wishing they had? Those are needs. Come up with an idea for a product or a service that fills those needs. Can you run errands for the couple that just had twins? Sell sports drinks to athletes at a triathlon finish line? Be on the lookout for opportunities.

POWER PLAN: Set realistic goals and plan carefully. Can you do the job yourself or do you need friends to help? How much money do you want to earn? Start small and build your business rather than dreaming up grand plans and disappointing customers with spotty service later.

SHOUT ABOUT IT: The people you know are your best source of customers. Distribute fliers and cards to friends, neighbors and family. Hang posters in local hangouts. Place an ad in your community newspaper. However you advertise, check with your parents first to make sure it's OK.

GIVE IT YOUR ALL: Be professional and on time, and always do a little more than your customer asks. This will keep business booming.

STUDY UP: Look for books in your local library for more tips and ideas on making money. We suggest:

* "Jobs for Kids: The Guide to Having Fun and Making Money" by Carol Barkin.

* "Fast Cash for Kids" by Bonnie Drew.

* "Making Cents/Every Kid's Guide to Money: How to Make It, What to Do With It" by Elizabeth Wilkinson and Martha Weston.

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