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To think my hobby could be turned into a small business

(34 Posts)
CountryMummy1 Mon 29-Dec-14 15:40:16

My DH thinks its a non starter but I think it might make me a little bit of money, hopefully enough to allow me to continue to be a SAHM.

My background is teaching/education and I ran a rainbow and brownie group for many years. Along the way I saw many younger siblings and children who weren't in the groups be very envious of the badges that the brownies could earn. This got me thinking and as a hobby I have produced some little activities and badges for my almost 3 YO and her friends as there is nothing like that for their for their age group. All of them absolutely love it.

At the moment I have a variety of different badges e.g. 'Crafter' 'Nature Detective' etc. To gain each badge the child has to complete 5 activities obviously with help in the 3-5 year age group. The activities are very open ended using materials easily found at home or out and about. The activities are very open ended and can be approached in many different ways. Once the 5 activities are complete the parent (child themselves) when older can submit evidence (photos, text etc.) to my website. They then receive personalised feedback and a badge to print off to stick in their little book. I have just sourced some cheap cloth badges for DDs friends as they want to put them in their T-shirts.

Obviously this could be extended in many ways - older age groups, links to University of the 1st Age, links to National Curriculum, special badges for special events (Olympics).

My DDs friend's parents love it but I realise they are probably biast (as its free for them) and they are a very small sample.

Anyone think there is any potential in this??

spinduchess Mon 29-Dec-14 15:41:19

Theres a company called Lifescouts who do something similar, but are failing miserably.

CountryMummy1 Mon 29-Dec-14 15:41:44

Sorry about horrendous grammar/errors - am on the world's teeniest phone!

CountryMummy1 Mon 29-Dec-14 15:43:36

Ahhh thank you, have never heard of them. Will have a look. Maybe it's a bit of an old fashioned concept these high tech days

Bogeyface Mon 29-Dec-14 15:44:06

I wouldnt pay for something like that tbh. I have a 3 year old and I know that she would be enthusiastic at first but would then lose interest. I would rather wait until she is old enough for Rainbows.

Also, a lot of the attraction of Rainbows etc is that someone else is doing the work not the parents!

Sorry but I dont see that it will earn you enough to make it worth while, your hourly rate would be pennies.

LapsedTwentysomething Mon 29-Dec-14 15:46:15

I wouldn't pay for that as an online service either, sorry OP. A physical class going something similar might work better.

notinagreatplace Mon 29-Dec-14 15:52:45

I agree with others that I don't see this working as an online business. I think you could make it work as a physical class or group - e.g. you could offer your services to an after school club or holiday club or similar.

I think also that you should be wary of trying to do bits of work in order to continue being a SAHM - at the end of the day, anything that you do work-wise is going to be work and not SAHMing, which is great if you want to work but not great if you don't. My SIL recently went through this - she wanted to work for a friend of hers in order to fund being a SAHM but it didn't work out because she didn't properly accept that it was going to entail a certain amount of work and take time/focus away from her baby.

Purplehonesty Mon 29-Dec-14 15:59:09

Hmm sorry no I don't think so. It's a lovely idea but I think parents prefer to send their wee ones to rainbows/cubs when they are older for this kind of thing.
You have the right kind of idea tho and background. Could you start an after school club if there isn't one locally? Or a holiday club? Or run activities for that age range during the day as you sound like you would be brilliant at it.

Viviennemary Mon 29-Dec-14 16:04:26

Not really I'm afraid. A craft group could work but I don't think there would be very much money to be made with such a group. If your background is teaching wouldn't a few hours private tutoring be a better idea.

Storytown Mon 29-Dec-14 16:11:52

I hate the idea of such structured things for under 5s as I think they're way better off with free play but if I was the kind of parent who wanted to do all this, what's to stop me looking at your website and pinching your ideas but not actually paying you?

If you turned professional tomorrow, would your friends pay you or would they choose a different way to entertain/educate their DC?

As others have said one attraction of brownies etc is a bit of cheap babysitting.

Also agree with the poster who said you can't "play" at running your own business. Anything that's going to be successful enough to make enough money to make a difference to the family finances is going to involve hard work and lots of hours. If you just want a bit of spending money and to work a few hours, a PT job at minimum wage would be a better bet.

scortja Mon 29-Dec-14 16:14:11

I think it sounds like a nice idea but I don't know how you could make it pay..

I would actually be interested - I find that at the 3ish age physical groups are more about the parents chatting than the children doing activities, and that crafting at home sometimes seems a little pointless.. Sure I could make reward/achievement badges etc but something coming in the post would be much more exciting..

Maybe its the former art student in me but I do like having a project to complete..

AuntieStella Mon 29-Dec-14 16:18:28

This idea is very similar to the old I Spy books (fill in to a required level, send off, get badge).

AFAIK, they ceased trading on the badge/reward front, though I think they still sell the actual books to tick things off as you spot (aeroplanes being a good seller).

26Point2Miles Mon 29-Dec-14 16:18:51

Dont they all do this kind of thing at playgroups/nursery etc?

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 29-Dec-14 16:20:32

I don't think anyone would pay you for this sort of thing when the National Trust offer certificates for free on their "things to do before you are 11" site. A lovely idea though.

fanjobiscuits Mon 29-Dec-14 16:20:53

Do you have a business plan?

TotallySociallyInept Mon 29-Dec-14 16:34:38

Would it be possible to change it to an activity pack with badges in. Then sell locally in craft shops?

redskybynight Mon 29-Dec-14 16:38:23

For me the main issue would be that to get the badges the children would need considerable support at home. And the children with considerable support at home are probably doing these sorts of things anyway.

The benefits of Rainbows/Brownies (for parents) are that someone else does things that they can't/don't want to do at home plus the whole idea of there being activities that you can do in a group that you can't do with a lone child.

DaisyFlowerChain Mon 29-Dec-14 16:47:31

It's not something I would pay for either. Surely any parent can do it themselves if they really want to or just wait until a child goes to school and can take part in activities.

Wantsunshine Mon 29-Dec-14 16:51:39

I really like the idea and my DD does something similar now if you look up Toucan boxes I think it is. They just do certificates she would prefer badges

MrsTawdry Mon 29-Dec-14 16:57:19

A website with activities to complete and actual badges being sent to homes would work OP. There are too many "virtual" rewards about and my DC don't care about those.

MrsTawdry Mon 29-Dec-14 16:58:30

In your shoes, I would contact some websites with DC activities already up and running and offer them a package of badges to reward their users with.

So for each user you could supply the necessary badges. It won't earn you a million though.

samithesausage Mon 29-Dec-14 17:00:25

I think you may have to approach nurseries with this one. The one my son goes to runs mini clubs such as spanish and dance which the parents pay for. If it's like a mini scouts you could run a half hour-45 minute session in nursery ewhere the kids could complete activities to win a badge.

Minisoksmakehardwork Mon 29-Dec-14 21:03:30

I honestly don't think you could make this work in this concept.

As a parent of 4 (2,2,4 and a 6yo rainbow) and a rainbow unit leader, my opinion is the age of the children you are aiming it at is very young and I don't think they'd necessarily appreciate the reward of a sew on badge for doing 5 different activities.

The parent in me asks if I'd have time/inclination to sit there and make sure everything was completed and then sent off for verification for (potentially) 3 children.

The cost of getting badges embroidered can be quite high too, so you'd be looking at getting perhaps a couple of hundred made up of each design to bring the cost of those down. And then you've got to sell that amount too.

It's possibly a goer if you look at making the packs up entirely and including the badge to be rewarded on completion as judged by parents. But...

As an ex-guider, would you be able to make your product compete with the likes of rainbows/beavers - half the appeal I am sure is someone else does all these activities? What would your price point be?

By comparison, my unit charges £30 a term and does at least 2 badges in this time (10-12 weeks). So our breakdown would be roughly £15 every 6 weeks. This includes our supervision of an hour a week, the badge, the equipment needed for every activity we do.

Then add onto that other events where there is no extra charge but a badge - thinking day for example, archery for our girls as we have really good connections. That £30 for 12 weekly sessions plus 2 additional events equates to 4 badges for the girls plus approx 20 hours supervision that parents haven't had to do themselves. All for £30.

newyearsresolutionsnotforme Mon 29-Dec-14 21:49:33

Fun for free but I don't think you'd find many paying for it so you'd never make any profit or possibly never break even.

Laquitar Mon 29-Dec-14 22:27:43

I was going to say the same as others , 'no i would't pay for it'.
Then i thought that i would do it when i was a Nanny. It has been ages though and i dont know how Nannies work nowdays (internet, more classes etc) but if you insist on trying maybe target Nannies?

With your background i think you could do something better and profitable though?

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