“Poppy, how much is the 6S?”
Now my 11-year-old son doesn’t yet have a cell phone but sounds like he’s starting to show some interest. I told him after looking it up with Google, that it is around $600.
“That is about six months of work if you earn $100 each month or $25 a week”
Now he is taking care of neighbors cats and getting mail for them when they’re on vacation to make some side money. And he’s raking leaves and cleaning gutters. Not yet mowing people’s lawns but showing interest.
So as we’re finishing breakfast at Denny’s he asks me, “Poppy, can you take me to Home Depot to get a rake after breakfast? I want to make some money this weekend.”
I can just hear the wheels whirring in his head. I can tell he’s calculating how quickly he can earn that phone money.
I’ve seen him in action and know that he has the sales gift (didn’t get it from me) and a smile that melts hearts tied with a huge work ethic (he used to take the garbage cans out when he was three and vacuum the house as soon as he could push it).
Here’s one of his early entrepreneurial exploits…entrepreneurial wheeler/dealer.
So this is not a surprise to me and I did help by working with him last Fall to do a few leaf raking jobs together to show him how it works (we made about $15 for a couple hours work). But then he went crazy with it from there…
Energy and Passion Pays Off
But his passion and energy and enthusiasm have taken him much further than I ever could have.
This weekend he made $111 in about 5 hours. Not bad for an 11-year-old. But what’s more is he even went out in the wind and rain and cold. His little hands and face red.
80/20 Rule Applied
He’s had customers ask him to come back again (he did one twice in two days – where he made $40 the first time and $10 the second time – power of the 80/20 rule). Recognizing your best customers and giving them a premium experience helps them get the most from your relationship and you both win.
Planning and Building a Pipeline of Future Business
He is learning to plan for the future and fill his sales pipeline. Lining up lawn mowing jobs for Spring with those he does and does not get leaf raking jobs from (he hasn’t mowed anyone’s lawn but our family’s so far – but that isn’t stopping him from lining them up ahead of time – a reminder to get the work then worry how to get it done later – ABM – Always Be Marketing!)
Economies of Scale and Teamwork and the Power of Leadership and Teaching Others
He’s worked on his own and he’s also worked with his sister and friends (he’s learned he can both make more in less time and also likes the social aspect of working with others – a great reminder to using leverage and the power of teams).
Finance and Accounting
And when he get’s back from jobs he’s counting his money (comparing what he had before to what he has now; depositing in his mom’s “Bank” with real deposit slips – learning good real world skills).
Costs of Doing Business
He’s learned the cost to get his business up and running (I fronted him $20 to buy the rake and broom and told him once he made $20 the rest was his. He took that as a challenge and earned $55 the first session and paid me the $20 on the spot).
Competition and Assessing Your Ideal Customer
And also learned about competition (“I hate the gardeners…they take a lot of houses so I can’t rake their leaves.”) and how to not let it stop him but recognize where it is and ways around it.
He’s learned to evaluate customers (“The street down there isn’t as good. I’m not going there again.”) and go where the best jobs are.
Get Out There And Do It!
Now are you thinking of starting a business? Or are you running one that needs a little jump start? Look over some of these principles and see how you can apply them as you launch/grow your business.
Business really doesn’t need to be that complicated. But there are certain principles that get results. And repeatedly attending to the basics will do more than anything to drive things forward for you.
And just like my son, you may find a little outside guidance is all you need to unleash your future opportunities.
And with the holidays upon us, opportunities now and into the New Year abound. Take advantage of them.