It didn’t take 15-year-old Harry Hall long to realise that it was going to take him "forever" to save up enough money to buy a computer.
Motivated by the potential to earn more pocket money on his own, he delivered 500 fliers in his neighbourhood, offering to wash and clean the inside of cars for $20 each.
He received just two bookings but, rather than give up, he posted an ad on his local community Facebook page.
“That one post attracted more than 200 responses and my business just exploded overnight,” the teen, who lives in the coastal NSW town of Casaurina says.
Eight months on, Harry now washes cars after school, on weekends and on school holidays.
He’s earning about $25 an hour – considerably more than he might have expected if he had taken up work in a fast-food restaurant.
So far, Harry's earned about $6,000, buying himself a computer and banking the rest.
He’s even increased his rates and built a website to enable him to cope with all the bookings.
“Now, all I’ve got to do is read my calendar to see when my bookings are, which is so much better,” he says.
Faced with overwhelming demand for his service, Harry plans to hire some of his young mates to make some money of their own and help grow his business.
The sweet road to success
A desire to help others and to overcome learning challenges from dyslexia propelled Darwin youngster Angus Copelin-Walters to start his own business.
“I was watching television one evening and there was a show raising money to help support people suffering illness and starvation,” the nine-year-old says.
"I decided I wanted to do something about it and donate money, but I didn’t have any."
His mum, Joanne, suggested a market stall selling lollies.
Angus put up his first stall about two years ago and he now offers a range of lollies at local markets, as well as special events.
His business, Croc Candy, turned over more than $14,000 in its first year or operation and almost $30,000 in its second, putting Angus on the sweet road to success.
He donates about 20 per cent of everything he earns to charities, reinvests some back into the business and puts the rest in the bank.
Angus buys the lollies to re-sell but is saving up to buy equipment to make his own. He also has ambitious plans to add "bush tucker products" in his product line and sell online around the world.
Mum Joanne says the exercise has taught her son a wide range of life skills.
“It’s important we help kids to understand the value of money at an early age," she says.
"He's not only learned how to handle money, but he also now understands the process of budgeting, reinvesting and even tax.
"It’s been an experience that will help him for his entire life, regardless of the future of his business.”
Give it a go
Jarrad Dober launched The Kid Boss Academy to teach children to earn money under their own steam.
Kids are in a unique position in that their failures in business won’t impact an income or family, he says.
Parents should start talking to kids about finances from a young age, gently motivating them to "give it a go," he says.
“The best businesses for kids are ones they can start with little or no effort, but involve plenty of creative and life skills.”
Car washing, lawn raking, taking out recycling bins or dog walking are great because they cost little or nothing to start, and kids can start earning in a few door knocks, Dober says.
“These are the sorts of businesses that kids can fit around school hours and grow without any pressure.
"Just get out there and have fun,” he says.