With winter lingering, it’s hard to think of summer jobs, but kids can earn money year-round with a little bit of effort and planning.  Our boys grabbed snow shovels with the first snowflake, and learned a lot about teamwork, division of labor, and money management between siblings of different ages and abilities.  Great life lessons.

Who doesn’t love a lemonade stand?  It shows creativity, resourcefulness, and is a great way for kids to understand the value of work.  This article gives kids a huge toolbox of ideas and resources to find ways to earn money.  I remember my first jobs as a babysitter, as a cashier (loved that!), as a waitress.  I learned so much about people and carry those lessons with me.  (Please don’t ask about the time I forgot a customer’s order under the heat at Hot Shoppes and tried to deliver eggs that looked like they were from the Dinasour age…didn’t go well!).

Enjoy this guest post from Steven Cooper, founder of How to Make Money as a Kid, a great website loaded with free tips and resources to help kids create ways to earn cash.  He shares some great tips and free downloads here at the Lounge – enjoy!  – Amy

Make a plan now.

Why start now? Though summer is still a ways away, you can be ready and prepared to make money as soon as school gets out. You won’t have to waste potential time you could be earning money trying to figure how and what you’re going to do. You will get a jumpstart on other kids and get more clients. Let’s say you decided you wanted to mow lawns. If you figured out the logistics of your business and started pre-selling your services now, you could get all the potential business before any other kids or professionals do.

What is your why?

It is essential to have a goal for how much you want to earn. You’ll also want to know what you want to buy or do with all the money you earn. If you have an exciting goal then when the work gets tough you will push through and succeed.

Choose your idea.

If you cant think of an idea of how to make money this summer, you check out my list of 200 plus ideas for how to make money as a kid. Choose one and get feedback on the idea you choose from your parents.  Editor’s Note:  The site lets you sort ideas by age as well.

Get a mentor.

Find someone who can help you set up your business and give you an insiders view. With a mentor helping, you can try new ideas and feel confident you will succeed.  Going back to the lawn-mowing example. A good mentor would be a professional landscaper. He would know the ins and outs of the business like how much to charge and how to do a good job. Learning from their advice could save you a lot of time and money by learning from their experience.

Develop a strategy.

Talk with your mentor and develop a strategy that will work for you.  See what resources you will need and how you can get them.  Decide how much to charge and think your business through as if you were your own customer. This will make sure that you have thought of everything that needs to be done.

Pre-sell your idea.

By pre-selling your idea, you can have clients already lined up before any other kids have even started to think about how they are going to make money this summer. If you find your idea is not selling, then talk to your mentor. If it’s still not working, consider trying something else. The good thing is that by starting now you haven’t wasted any time. You can start a new idea that works before summer hits.

Get ready.

Get everything you need to do your business in place. You might even want to start earning money after school and on the weekends.

Author Bio:  Steven Cooper is the man behind howtomakemoneyasakid.com. He was an entrepreneur as a kid and now provides how-to guides, 200 plus ideas, tips for parents and a community of kids networking and making money.