Scrapbooking Store Start Up Sample Business Plan NEW!

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Yet many people either do not have time or do not feel qualified to teach their children traditional skills. Interest has grown in classes that teach cooking, sewing, carpentry and even etiquette. Cooking classes and products for kids have become especially popular.

The proliferation of cooking shows on TV and a recent educational emphasis on health and cooking in response to the childhood obesity epidemic have also added to the number of kids interested in experimenting in the kitchen. According to the Food Network, TV chefs such as Rachael Ray often draw more tween fans than toyear-olds at public events. The Bay Area is currently leading the kids' cooking trend, with interest high in cookbooks, cooking demos and classes, but this market can be expected to keep growing nationwide. Do you have what it takes to run one of these businesses?

Not surprisingly, the typical owner of a kids' business enjoys being around children. Even if you're not dealing directly with kids on a daily basis, you'll still need to get feedback from them and be sensitive to their interests, so having an appreciation for how they think, learn and play is essential.

Personality Matters Being interested in kids isn't all you'll need. Depending on what kind of business you start, you may need some of the following traits as well:. Patience: Working with kids takes patience, even under ideal conditions. Accidents and bad moods can create a tense atmosphere, not to mention you may need to deal with a wide range of behavioral issues, personality differences, energy levels and attention spans.

You need to be able to work through it. Flexibility: The ability to deal with the unpredictable glitches that arise is essential. Sense of fun and wonder: Kids live in a world of magic, excitement and endless possibilities. Try to enter that world with them.

This is especially important if you're designing kids' gifts or toys. Empathy: Remember what it was like to be a kid? The better you are at putting yourself in the place of your young customers, the stronger your business will be. Persistence and energy: As with any business, perseverance is an important success factor.

Launching a business is a time- and energy-consuming venture. It's not unusual to work 70 to 80 hours per week during the first year, or even longer. Helpful Experience In addition to having a personality that meshes well with children, there is an entire range of skills and experience needed to run a business. If you're operating your business solo, you'll need all of them to at least some degree, unless you outsource the work. If you hire employees, make sure to hire people whose skills complement, rather than duplicate, yours. As a general rule, you should have some kind of experience with whatever you're selling.

You or your employees may need a background in the following:. Public relations: Any business owner needs to know some basic guidelines for dealing with the public and the media. To tackle them yourself, you'll need some previous experience and preferably a bookkeeping class. Management: Chances are, you'll start out with no employees and therefore won't need this experience. As your business grows, it may become more important. The more employees you have, the more time you'll spend on management-type tasks.

Informal management experience is usually sufficient for dealing with a small number of employees. Design: If you're planning to design the products you sell, you'll need some design experience, preferably with the particular kind of item you have in mind. Teaching: A teaching background is helpful, although not mandatory, for conducting cooking lessons. You can get by without formal training, but it's best to have at least some practical experience.

Cooking: As common sense would indicate, you need cooking experience, even if it's not formal training, to teach cooking classes. Even if you hire all your teachers, knowledge of cooking basics is important. Event planning: There's no substitute for experience in party planning. Consider volunteering to help at a few children's events or getting a part-time job with another party planner to learn the ropes.

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How to Start a Kid-Focused Business

If you don't have it, do whatever it takes to get it. Following are some niche possibilities for each of the five types of kids-related businesses. Keep in mind, however, that children's products and services already constitute a niche market. For some of these business types, further specialization may not be practical. Kids' Party Planning You already know you'll need to make yourself stand out in kids' party planning by establishing some kind of niche, but where should you look for one? Probably nowhere, at least not immediately. Instead, you should try different types of parties to see which work best for you and which offer the best market for you.

This strategy will also help ensure that you don't wind up without enough parties to plan.. Even once you're better established, be careful not to restrict your market too much.


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You can become known for, say, tea parties and yet still produce other kinds of children's, and even adults', events. In all but the biggest, most affluent markets, too narrow a niche is a problem in children's event planning.

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With the understanding, then, that perhaps only about half your business may be in a niche market, here are some possible ideas:. Tea parties: Usually these are dress-up parties at which "tea" is served and often a little etiquette lesson given. These are popular for girls in the 4-toyear-old age range.

With the proper marketing and adjustment of activities, the age range could probably even be extended beyond 9.

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Spa parties: Any kind of "pamper me" party is popular with girls 10 and up. Hair, makeup, manicures or pedicures, facials and any other pampering activity are good entertainment ideas. Holiday parties: Christmas parties are the most common, but any holidays are possible. You'll need to target a geographic area with high levels of disposable income. Bar or bat mitzvah parties: These can be a good bet in areas with a significant Jewish population. Overall, as the U. Hispanic population increases to a projected 25 percent, this niche will get even better! Sweet 16 parties: So far, this type of party is prevalent only in the trendiest, wealthiest areas.

But that could change. High school-related parties: Prom, homecoming, winter formal, senior breakfast and graduation can provide a niche market in areas of the country with large schools. Currently, California seems to be the main market for professionally planned school parties, but the market may expand. If you decide to try a niche, keep in mind that what's trendy or popular in one area of the country may not be in another.

How do you find out this information? One way is by interviewing professionals in related fields. Photographers, florists and caterers know what types of events are popular in their areas. They may even have suggestions for site personnel such as hotel managers, for example you should talk to. In addition, interview prospective clients in affluent households. Doctors' offices and law offices are good places to start. Also, joining local business organizations can put you in contact with businesspeople with high levels of disposable income. If you say you're conducting market research and then keep your questions to a minimum-four at most-people will usually cooperate.


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Kids' Gift and Bath Products Creating a product to fill a need that you have in your own life is one good way to find a niche. When Nicole Donnelly, for example, wanted her baby to go diaperless for a while to clear up a rash, she needed a way to keep the baby's legs warm and her knees padded for crawling. The idea was an instant hit and she sold pairs in two weeks.

She launched her company, BabyLegs, in Seattle in Bedroom or locker accessories: photo frames, memory books, wastebaskets, desk accessories. There's no substitute for getting out there, doing the legwork and finding out what's available. Check out any trade shows or consumer gift shows you can find. While the main trade shows for the gift industry are in major cities like New York, Atlanta and Dallas, many cities across the United States host consumer shows. Kids' Educational Toys and Games Whether you're selling ready-made toys and games or those you produce yourself, it's a good idea to remember that educational toys and games already make up a well-defined niche.

However, if you're starting up with low costs and you have an expansive reach such as by using direct mail or the internet to get the word out , you could specialize in one or more of the following ways:. Skill type: motor skills, alphabet, reading, hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills. Play medium: paper, game board, manipulatives, keyboard Kids' Plus-Size Clothing Although the children's casual plus-size clothing market may be well enough served, it seems clear that plus-size clothing for teens and young adults is a good niche opportunity.

When LeRona Johnson launched her teen and young adult plus-size clothing store, MerriBella Fashions, in in Chicago, she knew how hard it was to find fashionable clothing to please her own teenage daughter. For her year-old, the Lane Bryant retail store wasn't an option. The styles and fabric types were different from what her friends wore. And she had another objection. Department stores are problematic, too. Those that carry junior plus sizes are few and far between, and selection is limited.

In her store, Johnson stocks the types of styles her daughter wants to wear. Customer response to MerriBella's trendy, youthful style selections has been enthusiastic. One of her customers lives in Iowa.