I was with my children in the living room, last weekend; they were running around playing with each other. They sat down after they were tired and started to settle down. I brought some snacks and cups of coffee for them. So I threw a question to them “What will you do in the next summer vacation”?
They were happy, screaming, and started to jump. My son Paul replied” I will play games on my PC”, Jen said, “I will learn yoga”. George was sitting next to me; he smiled and said “I want to start a company”. So the other two children laughed at him “are you joking George”? “No, I am serious”.
I hugged him and kissed him on his cute cheeks. I never thought that George will come up with this brilliant idea. I am sure many parents would be surprised to read my son’s answer. Never mind, it’s ok to think like that. So I gave him guidelines that helped him to achieve his goal, although it took him some time and great effort to make it a success:
1. Let the child make a decision:
I sat with George; I gave him a piece of paper and a pen. “George, just list down the activities you like “. He started writing:
- Guitar lessons
These are few ideas, he was happy to pursue. As in adults, the same is the case for kids. I did this exercise to identify the business, he loved to do. In this way, George will take interest in starting a business and running it.
Based upon his input, I suggested he go for a pet spa, pet looking after ideas. I also told him that he can make and sell candles or chocolates etc. I even told him that he can use his guitar to teach lessons to kids in our home’s surroundings.
2. Setting up Business Plan:
I also discussed with him, the steps required to set up his business. He told that he will use different cooking pieces of equipment for making chocolates. First, he said that he will make it on a small scale, let’s say 5 to 10 pieces. He will call his friends, neighbors to come and taste it. He will ask everyone to give an honest and unbiased review.
He will make certain changes and then in the next phase, he will make a Facebook page and run the ad campaign. He said he will target the audience, who are going to school.
3. Business Know-how
After listening to George, for some of his ideas, I thought that just having a passion, business plan in hand is not enough. It was high time that he should read the best books for starting a business. It will help him gain more insights into different aspects of making a venture successful.
It may also worth noting that I told him to talk, to different chocolate-making companies. They will tell him about different flavors and ways to expand his business on an industrial level.
4. Financial Management:
In this type of small business done in vacation, it is a good opportunity for George to brush up on the understanding and practicing of making statements like net profits, looking after the day-to-day expenses like paying to suppliers, paying utilities, etc.
It will be a better way to understand, the learning about to optimize the day to day operations as well. It will also give my son confidence, to make important decisions about choosing the better supplier. Delivery services etc.
5. Market Research:
This is very critical and important to understand about the competition in any industry let’s say in the chocolate sector, getting data and analyzing the different companies, their customer’s feedback.
It is also a very valuable tool to understand and do the product development, marketing strategies, logistics, etc. Without having this in place, it is difficult to succeed in any sector which cut-throat through competition especially after the launching of online companies.
6. Getting an Advisor:
For any newbie like my son George, I have also not much knowledge to guide me all the way. I told him also to look for an expert, which will guide him. George can go back to him again and again, to get the answers to his questions, which he may come across during setting up his business.
These mentors have had experience in their field; they can give a piece of valuable advice, whenever George will get stuck.
7. Acceptance for Failure:
I also explained to George that every startup has two sides, profit, and loss. I told him that he ought to never quit. He should consult his mentor and other people, to make him motivated and pursue his passion. I told him that it is part of the process of continuous learning.
I also told him to always look for out of box, ways to take the business to the next level. There is no shortcut to success. It is about perseverance, patience, smart work, and a team of motivated employees who can make a huge difference.
I had a very fruitful discussion with George. He understood that it’s a long journey, which requires lots of struggle, taking risks, staying positive, and focused on achieving the goal. As always I was ready to give him moral support to go ahead in life and make his name. I wished him good luck.