Episode 28 | 20 Mins
5 Jobs You Can Hire Your Kids To Do
When you hire your kids in your business, what they do can help justify the wages that you pay them. If you hire your child to sweep floors, you probably can’t justify paying them the same as you would if you hired them to help source your products or find your next big idea. In this episode I talk about 5 jobs that you could pay your child to do in your business, which could be substantial enough to justify decent wages.n your business.
(this transcript has been edited to improve readability)
I wanted to do this episode because anytime I’ve spoken about to someone about hiring their kids in their business, the first thing out of their mouths is “I’m a brain surgeon, there’s nothing for my child to do”. Okay, maybe not that exactly, but something like that. A lot of times we think about the main tasks that we complete in our business and think that there’s no way that our child could handle that. But, there’s so much more to your business than cutting open brains – there’s admin, advertising, scheduling, researching, and probably a slew of other things.
And if somebody does think of something that their child can do in their business, it’s usually janitorial work or filing or shredding papers. Those are valid jobs to give your kids – although you have to be sure that the janitorial work doesn’t amount to glorified chores – but I think we can do better. We can give the children real jobs so that they can develop real skills that they can carry with them to their own business, to take over your business, or even into the work force if they grow up and choose to be an employee. In the last episode I mentioned a few things that you could have your child do such as social media management, digital advertising, creating sales copy, website design, graphic design, and yep even being your apprentice so that they can learn how to make your products for sale. I personally think the last one could be super special because they can create their own line of products under your brand and watch their ideas come to life but you know… that’s just me :).
Something else to consider when giving your kids tasks in your business is that how much you can reasonably deduct as a wage is going to be largely dependent on what they’re doing in your business. If you just have them filing or shredding papers, the IRS may not allow you to write off $12,000 in wages for that child. They may determine that based on your child’s age and when they work and what they’re doing, $12,000 is not reasonable for shredding papers. So you want to give them something that’s reasonable for them to do based on their age, but also substantial enough to justify paying them a decent wage that’s going to really make a difference on your return. By the way, in my ebook How to Hire Your Kids, I calculate the tax savings on paying your child $12,000 versus over $20,000. Now obviously I made some assumptions, but based on the assumptions I made you could save an additional $2,700 in taxes by paying your child $22,000 instead of just $12,000. Depending on your actual income level you could save more or less. But I wanted to point that out because people always focus on that $12,000 but you’re not limited to that amount as long as it’s reasonable to pay your child more. Giving your child a meaningful task and not just busy work can help you justify paying them more and being able to save more in taxes.
Today I’m going to give you five MORE jobs your kids can do in your business that aren’t janitorial work or busy admin work that might even justify paying them decent wages.
First, your child can help you fulfill orders and make deliveries. As I mention this, I think about all of the times that I’ve ordered food from UberEats or Doordash or groceries from Instacart and saw a little kid bring my bag to my doorstep while the parent waited in the car. Now some people might not think having your kids walk up to strangers homes all by themselves is safe, and that’s understandable. But even if you don’t, if you do in person deliveries you could absolutely have your child help you deliver your products to your customer’s homes or places of business. In the process, they can see how you engage with your customers, handle complaints, and build those customer relationships. Even back at the office, your child can be the one to take orders, pull orders, and eventually even schedule the deliveries and then ride along with you to make the deliveries. Depending on how old they are, maybe you could even start having them manage the customer relationship itself (under your supervision of course). If you don’t make deliveries and you just ship everything, your child can definitely still take orders and get them ready to be shipped. Bonus points if they’re young and you let them add something cute and personal to the package to let your customers know you run a family business.
Second, your child can help you with research and sourcing and inventory management. If you own a boutique or online store, let your child research products that you should add to your shop. So while you have one child taking orders for customers, pulling orders and getting them ready for delivery, your other child can be the one figuring out what’s hot in the streets, where to find it, and maybe even how much it should sell for. Especially if you have a teenager and your ideal audience skews younger they can have their ears to the ground and find out what the next big thing is probably much easier than we can. So what if you don’t sell products? Hello parenting influencers! Your child can still help you find out what are the popular topics that you should discuss in your blog or on your social media to make sure your sites seem fresh. Your child has a closer connection to what’s going on with the kids these days, so their information is valuable to your brand and maybe you can be THE ONE to bring that information to the parenting world, THE ONE that’s the first to scoop some new thing that’s going on with the kids, THE ONE that has all the reshares because you were the first one that posted about it. Beyond that, especially if you aren’t necessarily a parenting influencer, your child can be the one to research sponsorship opportunities and maybe even put together a pitch for you. The goal is to have your child do something that’s meaningful for your business beyond shuffling papers around.
Thirdly, your child can be the model or the voice talent for your advertising campaign. I know you’ve seen the car dealership commercials where even the little kid has a speaking role. I’m willing to bet that the whole family got paid to be in those ads. This one is really good if you have little kids and really can’t think of anything else that they could do. Some of my favorite ads feature children in grown up situations… well not too grown up but, you know what I mean, like kids as doctors, or kids in a courtroom, or kids working in an office space. For example, if you’re in a line of work that you’ve been interested in since you’ve been a kid you could have your child “working in the lab”, so to speak, and the narrative could be that this has been a life long dream of yours that you’ve been imagining since you were a kid. I literally just thought of that, so you’re welcome. 🙂 One of my top ads is the gummy bear commercial where there are adult actors but kid voices and they’re executives in like a conference room setting and they’re talking about how much they love the gummy bears. I’m sure y’all know the one I’m talking about. “The red on is more gooder to me cause it tastes like berries.” Y’all know the one. So be creative. Or be simple, your child could just be an extra in the ad with few or no speaking lines. Just remember that how much work they do in the ad will determine how much is reasonable for them to be paid, so if they’re just in the ad to be there you wouldn’t be able to justify paying them as much as you’d pay somebody who would actually act and/or speak, but it’s something. As they get older, if they prefer not to be on camera they can be behind the camera. Based on their interests: They can be the one putting together the concept. They could help you with finding and booking talent. They could be the one editing the video. They could be the one styling the models or writing the script. They could be the one in charge of the whole damn thing, to be honest. It really just depends on what their interests are and what you need them to do.
Next, your child can be a product tester. Have a beauty business? Your child can be one of the people testing your products to make sure that those products do what they say they’re supposed to do. Is that lipstick really long-lasting? Is that foundation really true to shade? (I hope that makes sense because I don’t wear makeup but I feel like the foundation is supposed to match your shade?) Is that lotion really thick and creamy? Make clothes? Your child can be your fit model. They can make sure your clothes are durable, make sure that they look the way you want them to look and lay the way you want them to lay and hit where you want them to hit. If you have a food business… well I don’t have to explain how a product tester can work in a food business. 🙂 But even if you sell digital products, say courses and ebooks – you can have your child, age appropriate of course, go through your products to make sure that book or that course makes sense – especially if it’s something geared toward kids and teens but even if it’s something that’s geared more towards adults because depending on what you’re selling you want to make sure that most people can read, understand, and comprehend what you’re saying. And listen, if you sell products that are geared toward teens or a younger crowd – make them a salesperson! Let them sell the products and give them a commission. That’s probably the easiest way to hire them and to be able to justify how much you’re paying them, because how much they earn is directly connected to how much they work. If they don’t get out and sell the products, they don’t make any money. Now clearly you don’t want to do something like a 100% commission payout because that won’t be reasonable, but whatever you would pay your other salespeople/affiliates would be reasonable. If your child has a lot of social influence, they may even be able to command a higher price – just like any influencer.
Lastly, for this episode anyway, your child can be your photographer. Have them photograph your products or take your blog or social media photos. Even if you don’t have a need for anything else that we talked about in this episode or even the last episode… you take pictures and post them to social media, right? You might even have a blog or website or other platforms that need photos. Your child can take those photos for you. And some of y’all already have your kids taking your photos and I see the cute little captions… but you aren’t paying them so you’re missing out on a tax-saving opportunity. (Some of y’all even have your spouses doing this work too and aren’t paying them either and so are continuing to miss out on those opportunities.) If your kid is really good you can even have them take your sponsored campaign shots. They can be your event photographer/videographer. Maybe they can edit the photos too if they’re skilled enough. If you sell products, have your kids take the photos of your products, catalog those photos, upload those photos to your website, they can be in charge of all the photos. So they can hone their skills if it’s something they’re interested in, and you get to take something off of your plate (which we talked about in the last episode).
Of course, there are many other things that you can have your kids do in your business that goes beyond sweeping floors and organizing your fabric by color (which is important, I’m sure!). The best advice I can give when trying to figure out what job you can give your kid in your business is to figure out what they like to do – what’s a particular interest for them that they want to explore? – and find something in your business that can help cultivate that interest. Then, if you hire your kid as your photographer and eventually have them take photography lessons, or you hire your child to do ads or social media management and then pay for them to take a course to better their skills, you might even be able to deduct that on your tax return too. So you’re helping them hone a skill in an area of interest and may be able to take a deduction for it – something that would otherwise definitely be nondeductible if they weren’t your employee.
So that’s it and that’s all! (I don’t know why but that’s been like my favorite phrase lately :)) If you’re interested in more information about hiring your kids, check out my ebook How to Hire Your Kids at www.themillennialtaxpert.com/hireyourkids. Now, I know that not everybody that listens to my podcast or follows me on social media is a parent. It’s okay because next month’s theme is for every business owner! Next month we’re going to be talking all about how choosing the wrong business entity can cost you THOUSANDS of dollars. Here’s a few things that I want to leave you with before the next episode: 1) LLCs aren’t the end all be all that people make them out to be, 2) by not making a choice, you are making a choice, 3) you’re not stuck with a bad business entity, and 4) there’s no such thing as a quick question when you’re asking your tax professional or lawyer about what kind of business you should create. Make sure you tune in next Wednesday on your favorite podcast platform for the next episode where we discuss why it’s important to choose the right business entity. Talk to you then.
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