People often ask me what I would do if I wasn’t running Bronco and the answer would be a teacher, and I have had various comments from people over the years that say “You’d make a great teacher!”, which always makes me smile. One day you never know!
Anyway I had the opportunity over the last few months to teach my youngest son Ethan a thing or two about running a successful business, as he got prepared to run a business as part of his Year 6 Enterprise Project. The basis of the project is that the headmaster gives each child £3 to start a business and to see how much profit they can make in a week… OK so the challenge was set.
Ethan formed a small group with his mates so that there were 4 of them, so they had £12 to invest.. but no idea what to sell. We had a good brainstorm about what kids like best and what could be bought relatively cheaply and sold at a decent profit… then we came up with the idea of sweets as ALL kids love sweet. Next was to get in touch with Dom at ClicknMix to ask a favour. Could we get sweets from Dom at a good price and how about ClicknMix doing a bit of sponsorship for some branding on the bags and posters. Of course being so great he said of course and the deal was done.
Next was the complex bit of working out the weight of individual sweets, to work out how many say cola bottles you can get out of a 3kg bag, to then work out how many of each kind of sweets could go in a bag to still make a healthy profit, while minimising the amount of big bags of sweets we needed. We ended up working out we needed 8 x 3kg bags of sweets to make 300 x 50p bags of sweets.
With Dom offering to sponsor some sweets the costs were lower than they would have been, so they would be in profit quicker.. then Bronco stepped in with another chunk of sponsorship which was then going to cover the rest of the costs for the business. Obviously in a normal business it’s not usual for your first batch of stock to be donated, but it’s certainly a help to get the business rolling to ask favours from where you can, even if you end up paying back the cost of the stock when you have got the first chunk of profit in.
Next was the name and Ethan came up with CandyTrix and designed himself a logo, which was then used on the posters that went up around school and badges for the “staff” .. he learnt quite a bit about the importance of branding and getting your name out there. Now everyone knows who CandyTrix is an even one of the parents I was chatting to at rugby at the weekend asked about “candytrix”.
We picked up the mountain of sweets from Dom after the Think Visibility conference in Leeds and the following weekend set about packing up the 50p bags of sweets (all 300 of them). It was a big production line with me and the kids packing the bags with the right quantities and Dave sealing the bags and packing the boxes ready to transport to school.
On the Monday it was a fairly slow start for Candytrix with 54 bags sold. Ethan came back amazed at how much money they got and how great it was to be selling. They had a stall as well as travelling salesmen with baskets of sweets going around the playground. The next day Ethan took 80 bags to school and they sold out! Wednesday was the main Enterprise day at the school and on that day took all the remaining stock and sold out! That was 300 bags of sweets sold in 3 days.
Wednesday evening was a bit like … hmm what can you sell now! Do you just have 2 days off or do you reinvest? Brainwave … biscuits, because after sweets, biscuits are the next big thing. So we headed up to the Co-op shop armed with £10 of the profit and bought a load of biscuits. There were still some clear bags left so we set about packing up mixed bags of biscuits.
Out of the £10 spent on biscuits, we made 95 bags to sell at 50p. Thursday morning Ethan was met with some disappointed customers who had brought in extra money for the yummy sweets, only to be met with biscuits but they soon started to buy again. The biscuits didn’t sell as well as the sweets, but they nearly all went after 2 days of selling and he made an extra £30 profit from them which all helps.
So the question we are all waiting to hear is who was the most successful business in the Year 6 Enterprise week? I think it should be announced this week at school once they have counted up all the money. Ethan’s group made about £200 in a week which all goes to help the school fund resources which is great, and learnt lots about running a business at the same time too