Children’s imagination is impressive and their creativity can be magical. All of this can be harnessed to develop fantastic business ideas – but they might need a little help.

Even if your child’s business idea sounds far-fetched and impractical, try not to dismiss it as nonsense because that may discourage your child’s enthusiasm. Instead, encourage your child to rework the idea into a potentially viable business. Avoid saying that things may be obvious to you but discouraging to your child, like “No one will pay for that idea.”

Here are three ways you can help keep your child’s business ideas realistic:

1. Encourage your child to make a business plan

Every start-up has a good business plan at its core. Although your child doesn’t need to pitch an extravagant PowerPoint, planning is essential. Have them write down their goals to start their plan. How much money do they want to make? What do they want to achieve with the business? How can they build a customer base?

(NOTE: Get help with our online business plan generator. Also read up on why a young entrepreneur needs a business plan and what goes in it.)

After they have set their goals, have them research and create a list of the equipment and supplies they need for their business. Are there any specific courses they need to take before they can start? For example, if they want to start a babysitting business, they might need to take a CPR or first aid class.

2. Help them create a budget

Creating a budget can help child organize expenses, manage income, and keep finances in check. Your children should examine how much money they have available to start their business and how they’re going to spend it. This can help them determine what is feasible for a business idea. If they need money to start the business, offer to be an investor.

(NOTE: Read up on how to create a budget and Budgeting 101.)

3. Advise them to take a look at their market

Your child needs to research their target market and the ideal customers for their product or service. They need to think about how their business can uniquely solve the customer’s problem. Additionally, they should determine whether their business concepts have sufficient demand to be profitable. It can be challenging to enter a market if it’s competitive.

(NOTE: Read up on how to survive in a competitive market.)

Remember that, even if a child does not come up with an idea for a successful business, they can learn a lot from this process – and that knowledge can help them with their next idea.

Want more help? Check out our youth entrepreneurial program Business Innovation Journey.

Photo by Shubham Negi from Burst