I often get asked what exactly is the Biz Ops Game? Here is a short video to explain what it is, how it works and what it teaches.
I often get asked what exactly is the Biz Ops Game? Here is a short video to explain what it is, how it works and what it teaches.
Choose a business idea. You can’t start learning about how to start a business if you don’t have an idea. Think about hobbies, interests, what you’ve learned, what you have experience in, what you’re good at what you like to do in your spare time.
These 7 steps will give you a good start for getting a business going. If you would like a complete Step-by-Step guide including free downloadable worksheets. My new e-book You’re Never too Young to Start A Business is available for only $2.99 on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE to ORDER If you would like more information on cultivating young entrepreneurs, visit eseedling.com and sign up for our e-newsletter.
I am an avid reader of ideas for teaching entrepreneurship not only for improving my own teaching of entrepreneurship but also so I can help parents and teachers implement entrepreneurship education in easy and effective ways. Sometimes we forget about the everyday opportunities we have for developing our kids into young entrepreneurs so here are 5 everyday activities that you can use to teach entrepreneurship to your kids.
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My theory is that you can’t really teach kids how to be an entrepreneur if they don’t know what it is. The hard part is defining what an entrepreneur is! If you Google “What is an Entrepreneur”, you will get 149 million results in a matter of seconds.
The first one listed is the dictionary definition:
noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs
Here are a few more of the definitions that came up as some of the first search results:
Entrepreneurs know you need to be both a leader and a manager… in that order. They always start with a leader, and then find a manager. “What is an Entrepreneur?” by Ken Krogue, Forbes July 3, 2013
An article from Inc.com entitled “What is an entrepreneur anyway?” by Justin Bariso (Nov 28,2014) includes several definitions of an entrepreneur including his personal favorite (which happens to be my favorite of the article also): Rory MccGwire (founder of The Marketing Donut): “An entrepreneur is someone who, rather than working 8 hours a day for someone else, would prefer to work 18 hours a day for [him or herself]. (And one can then embellish it with half-the-pay, twice the stress, but ten times the fun, etc.)” The article also discusses whether or not if all business owners are actually entrepreneurs which I tend to think they are.”
One of my favorites is from Entrepreneur.com: Who is an Entrepreneur by Juan Jose de la Torre on April 29,2015; He includes many traits but ends up with I think is the real key: “Passion is the real drive:There is another element that really dwells at the center of any entrepreneur: passion! An entrepreneur possesses an interior fuel and stamina that drives his or her actions; this superior energy helps to overtake and surpass the different challenges and it injects strength to continue pursuing goals when difficulties arise. Anyone can be an entrepreneur and behave like one- regardless of whether or not they happen to be an equity holder. Ultimately, it’s all about the attitude when running the show.”
This is a great start but since there are 149 million results it tells us that it is not quite that easy to define! That is why “What is an Entrepreneur” is what I start with when I’m teaching young entrepreneurs – how can you teach them to be one if they don’t know what an entrepreneur is.
To introduce what an entrepreneur is and does, I use a short video from Grasshopper (a virtual phone company) entitled Entrepreneurs Can Change the World: http://grasshopper.com/idea/ The video includes many points about being an entrepreneur and provides a great base for a discussion of what an entrepreneur is and does. Some of the points in the video include:
Entrepreneurs can be anyone
Anyone can change the world
One person can make a difference
They may start with little or nothing except a brilliant idea
Entrepreneurs Work hard
They see opportunities
They think about how life can better and make it better
Entrepreneurs change the way we see the world
They are innovators, thinkers, doers
Entrepreneurs take risks
They create jobs and fuel growth
Entrepreneurs find new ways to solve problems
In addition to the points in the video, I emphasize that passion and purpose are extremely important (to keep you going when times are tough) and then we go into a discussion of choosing an idea that they can use their own unique talents and skills (I’ll save that for another blog post).
Being an entrepreneur is not just about learning the business skills to run a business (anyone can learn those skills); it is about what an entrepreneur mindset is. They must be able to see opportunities and have the ability to come up with creative solutions. They also need resilience and so when they fail, they can keep on going. In a future post, I will talk about the new Entrepreneurial Strength Finder by Gallup – based on research they state that there are 10 Entrepreneurial Strengths necessary to become a highly successful large scale entrepreneur. I believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur (or I wouldn’t be teaching kids) and that if kids can learn about the possibilities before they even reach high school they will be much more open to learning what is an entrepreneur, developing those entrepreneurial strengths and creating an entrepreneurial mindset so that they can become successful entrepreneurs.
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This week it was Jerry Seinfeld’s kids lemonade stand getting closed down by police due to neighbors complaining about parking and not having a permit. I have been hearing about a stand getting closed down almost every week some place in the U.S. this summer – what do you think this does to kids who are testing the waters for entrepreneurship? Most of the time, the kids who start the lemonade stand are raising money for a good cause or they may be saving up for a larger purpose (not to mention all the learning they are doing). What better way than to start a lemonade stand?
So what is up with the neighbors who are complaining and basically getting the kids ticketed, fined and closing their businesses? I’m wondering is the lemonade stand on a hot summer day really causing them a problem? Do they not have enough to keep their selves busy? Another reason for shutting down the stands is that they are competing with a local business – I’m wondering how much business a young entrepreneur lemonade stand takes away from an established business. I have learned that is more important to focus on your own business and do the best you can then to worry about the business next door! And what about our police force – don’t they have more important things to do then to visit a kid’s lemonade stand to close it down? I’m frankly quite disappointed that we are even spending resources on this! I’ve even read
Okay, so there may be arguments that the kids should get a business license. But really can’t we make kids first taste at business more positive? How about if municipalities create a Lemonade Law and allow kids up to 5 different days to run lemonade stands during the year. If the kids want to sell more days, then the formal process of applying for the permit would need to take place. A website page could be added for kids to register the dates of lemonade stands and print out a permit that they can display at their stand so when their neighbor wants to report them they can easily see that the young entrepreneur has taken care of the permit. One simple webpage set up can eliminate the phone call to the police, the police having to investigate and break the young entrepreneur’s heart!
If you know of any municipalities have come up with a good system to remedy this issue, please share maybe others can learn from what has already worked! We definitely need to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to try out their business ideas – if we don’t change the way we treat them we may have less and less young entrepreneurs which will translate in less small businesses in the future (more on that in my next blog post)!
If you would like free tips and resources to cultivate youth entrepreneurs (or to run lemonade stands) – sign up for our free e-newsletter at eseedling.com or purchase More Than a Lemonade Stand at eseedling.com or your favorite online book store.
In the last 2 blog posts I included ideas for how young entrepreneurs might come up with a business idea, an overview of the steps to get started and 10 ideas that work. Now that the business idea is starting to be developed, here is some more detail on what to do next.
Here are 5 steps to get going in the right direction:
1) Calculate how much the unit (or direct) costs are. What is needed to create the product or service? For example, if you are making jewelry, you will need to know how much wire, beads, and other supplies are needed to create one unit (bracelet, ring, earring, etc.) and then figure out the total cost. There may also be costs for equipment or supplies that is necessary to make the product or provide the service so that also needs to be taken into account (these are indirect costs). The same is true for a service, how much do you want to get paid for the service and are any supplies needed to provide the service.
2) Pricing the product or service – after the costs are calculated, figure out how much you want to make per product or unit of service. This can do this by using an accounting equation (a simple math problem); Income-Expenses = Profit. You have already calculated the costs and the profit is how much you want to make (such as $2.00 per bracelet). You can then back into the income which is the sales price for the item or service. Also make sure to account for indirect costs.
3) Get the word out. You need to figure out how you are going to get the word out to potential customers. Once you know who your customers are (neighbors, friends, family, school mates, etc.), you can figure out how to communicate what they are selling to them (this is marketing). This may be by making posters, business cards, flyers, or posting on social media. The key is to find out where your customers are and what the most cost effective way of communicating your message to them is.
4) Follow the rules. Make sure to check with your city, town or school about any rules they have for selling items. You want to make sure they obey the laws and rules so they don’t end up with fines or other issues.
5) Keep good records, make sure you keep track of what you are selling how much you are making and keep it separate from your personal money such as allowance or other non-business funds. This is a good habit to get in right away as it is very important if your business grows to keep business and personal funds separate. If your business takes off – you may need to consult with an accountant or attorney about any taxes you might need to pay.
These 5 steps will get them going in the right direction with a new business. Watch for future posts as they will focus in more detail about the different concepts of running a business as a young entrepreneur.
If you would like additional information on youth entrepreneurship or teaching youth entrepreneurs sign up for my e-newsletter and free tips at http://eseedling.com/
In my last blog post I talked about how kids can use their talents and passion to guide them into a business idea. But how do you know if that idea will work? Here are 9 business ideas that have a high chance of success for young entrepreneurs (and some helpful hints for each one):
Remember you have a few weeks of summer left so it is a great time to get your business idea going! Always remember to ask your parents before starting up a business endeavor! Visit eseedling.com for more resources and information on youth entrepreneurship.
There is still a month left of summer vacation and the kids are getting bored! Why not have them start a business? Starting a small business is a good way to keep the brain drain away and keep the kids busy, learn responsibility, earn money and build their resume!
Here are 6 things to help your kids get started as entrepreneurs.
These starting steps will help kids get started learning about running a business and give them a taste of entrepreneurship! Want more information on youth entrepreneurship – visit www.eseedling.com.
Youth Entrepreneurs are Changing the World!
Every day I read about amazing young entrepreneurs who are making our world a better place. It is both encouraging and inspiring learning about what the next generation of entrepreneurs is accomplishing! But, if you think kids can go out on the street corner start a lemonade stand and then tomorrow run a successful business, then you need to think again. The seed may be planted but the young entrepreneurs need to be cultivated so that they can realize their strengths & talents, leading to increased self-confidence and allowing them to thrive and grow. The Small Business Administration states that only 50% of businesses survive 5 years and that only 33% survive 10.
Here are 6 things you can do to help kids succeed as entrepreneurs.
1. Help kids realize they have unique talents and skills.
Everyone has the potential to do something great. Finding the things we are great at sometimes takes a lifetime. Exploring with the kids what their talents are, what they are good at and helping them realize that they can use these talents and skills to make a difference will build their self-confidence and is one of the keys to creating an entrepreneurial mindset.
2. Look for problems that need to be solved and work on solving them.
Turning problems into opportunities is what entrepreneurs do. The more you have the kids come up with problems that they can turn into an opportunity, the more they will think about this when they look at the world on a daily basis. If they learn this early, who knows what problems they will solve?
3. Bring in entrepreneurs to share their stories and experiences.
Everyone has a story; including entrepreneurs and they love to share them and help others. Ask some local entrepreneurs if they would like to speak to the kids on how they got started (many had businesses when they were kids) and what they have learned as an entrepreneur. Or better yet, visit your local entrepreneur (try to visit at a non-busy time) and ask them about their business and how they got started.
4. Have kids present an idea they are passionate about.
Communication and presentation skills are vital to the success of an entrepreneur. Without good communication and presentation skills entrepreneurs wouldn’t be able to sell to their customers, communicate with their employees and vendors or effectively present to get funding for their business. Have kids start presenting about something they are passionate about – it will make it easier for them and break the ice.
5. Show them that failure is a tool for learning.
Kids today get an award or trophy for almost everything they participate in. This has set today’s kids up for a hard fall. In real life – we don’t always win – it is important to teach kids that failure is okay and that we should learn from our failures. Games are one way that is a safe way to teach that they can learn from failure. Find a game that teaches business concepts and use it as a learning experience.
6. Teach business basics.
Entrepreneurs start a business because they have a passion, skill or talent but they may have no clue of how to run a business. It is important that the passionate entrepreneur knows business basics and/or have a partner who can run the operations of the business. If they don’t have business sense, the business is likely to fail.
To find out more about tools and books to help you get in on the change visit: www.eseedling.com
How to Build a Lemonade Stand out of PVC Pipe (in 6 easy steps)
Since Lemonade day is coming up soon and summer is not far behind; I thought it would be helpful to share what I learned when I built my lemonade stand booth that I used a recent trade show. Many of the attendees were interested in how to create the lemonade stand so here are the instructions. I also created a YouTube video which you can watch below.
Supplies you need (for a 6 foot wide by 6 foot tall in front, 7 foot tall in back and 2 foot deep stand):
NOTE: If you are making 4 feet wide – then you can eliminate 4 of the 2 foot sections and 4 of the coupling connectors. Tip: Print this list out and take with you to the store!
Dollar Saving Tip: Approximate cost of PVC pipe and connector parts is: $68.72. You can save quite a bit of money if you have someone who can cut the PVC pipe as it is much less expensive in larger lengths.
Step 1: Sand the ink off of the PVC pieces
NOTE: the pieces that are being used for the base or the top that the awning will hide do not have to be saved. The other option is to spray paint the PVC pieces – make sure that you purchase a paint will adhere to the PVC.
Step 2: Assemble the base
Step 3: Assemble the sides up to 2 rungs high
Step 4: Assemble the top
Step 6: Add the finishing touches