I asked many on LinkedIn.com and here on my blog to contribute ideas to improve my young aspiring entrepreneur’s chances over his toy sale a few years ago. He had decided that his project for this year would be to sell something again. We really appreciated all the ideas.
Ultimately, we talked about where to go for heavier traffic in the country and realized that most skiers heading to the Pomerelle Ski Resort pass right near our home. We requested permission from the farmer who owned the field (happened to be my uncle) and set up at the base of the Albion grade.
We started with market research. My boy called Pomerelle to ask how much they charged for hot cocoa. Mid-conversation he hung up the phone and exclaimed, “ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS FOR ONE CUP!!”
He and I searched the Internet for good recipes and he went to town with his Mom to purchase the ingredients. The cups and lids were harder to come by as they were sold in 600 to 1000 packs on the web and would run over 100 dollars together. Too risky. Luckily, when we attended a cousin’s reception, he asked the owner of the Sweetheart Manor in Burley if he could buy a few cups. He grinned from ear to ear when he walked away with 60 cups and lids for free, a donation to young entrepreneurship.
We all decided that 3-5pm, when the night skiers were headed up and the day skiers were headed down, would be the best time to sell. As repetition would catch those who drove by repeatedly, we planned to sell for 2 hours every Saturday in February.
The signs, which were made out of silage plastic, required more work than we thought they would, but they showed up very well and were strong enough to leave outside for the month.
I was impressed with how much he grew over the four weeks. He went from standing their quietly waiting for someone else to initiate the conversation, to jumping up and down to get people’s attention as they drove by.
He also learned, after selling mostly regular chocolate cocoa, that he could get more people to purchase his Strawberry Valentines cocoa if he encouraged them by saying, “this one is my most favorite in the whole world.”
At the end of the month he made $90.59 total revenue and spent $26 on supplies, so he brought home $64.59 to split between his capital for the next sale, his savings, his mission fund and his tithing. He was thrilled, and so were my wife and I.