At the end of each semester, the Profit Club does a brainstorming session and shares the lessons learned. This semester was twelve 4th and 5th graders, 8 boys and 4 girls. They never cease to amaze me how much they learn and apply what I teach them. I could not help but share the things they documented on the dry erase board during our classroom meeting time. Captured in their words:
What have you learned from working at the profit club store?
How to sell
Got a lot of business
You have to be nice to everyone even those people you may not like and normally would not even talk to.
Customers can be brats and they spelled it BRatz. Basically, saying the customer can really be a pain and you have to be nice to them anyway.
“The early bird gets the worm” – they quickly learned that if you are late for your work shift, the person who is at school early can take your place. Working the store for 20 minutes before school was their favorite part. A lesson for all of us that hands-on experience is the best way to learn and apply the objectives of the class.
Good customer service
A great list for fourth and fifth graders running a profit club store selling healthy snacks 20 minutes a day before school. They were open 25 days, 20 minutes a day. The results: $402.79 profit deposited in their account to use toward helping others. They definitely met their objectives of learning about pricing, picking products to sell, and helping others “being a prophet” to donate to missions.
I had the privilege of teaching and leading a group of twelve boys in 4th and 5th grade in the first semester of the school year. They go to a private Christian school and they have the option to select a club as an elective class held twice a month for 40 minutes. They can choose from a variety of clubs – Fitness, Robotics, Technology, Crafts, Profit, Drama, and Chorus. The boys and girls pick the club that interests them and they participate for a whole semester. It is a wonderful way to provide them with an alternate way to learn and apply what they are learning. The group leaders are parents or teachers that volunteer their time to share their passion and expertise.
The Profit Club gives me the opportunity to teach business skills to these young students. Each semester, we start with the basics. They transform their desks into a conference table and the classroom becomes a conference room. The ruler becomes a talking stick and they must have the ruler to speak and avoid two people talking at once. They learn to have an agenda or they do not have a meeting. Brainstorming becomes their favorite agenda item. Presenting their ideas back to the decision maker (school Principal) is a welcomed task. They know the objectives of the club before they select which one to join and we go over them at each meeting. The objective of the profit club is to:
Learn about Pricing
Pick a product or service
Help others – “Be a Prophet” – donate to missions
Of course, they learned a whole lot more and I think I learned as much as them or possibly more. This past semester consisted of 6 total 40 minute meetings and them running a school store that sold healthy snacks. They were open for 27 days for 20 minutes before school. They invested 5.4 hours of time and made a profit.
Sprinkles definitely take the cake with their innovative idea of offering fresh baked cupcakes to customers through a very creative source – the world’s first cupcake ATM machine. A prime example how an Entrepreneur, Candace Nelson, goes with gut instinct, follows through and makes it happen. The idea started when Candace was pregnant. A craving for a fresh baked cupcake in the middle of the night. Now that is an Entrepreneur. In looking at the Sprinkles website, I was even more amazed how Sprinkles has donated over $3.8 million in cash and cupcakes to charities in the local communities where they operate. Congratulations to Candace and Charles Nelson for the success of their business but most importantly to the impact they are making through their contributions back to the community!
A lot of great lessons learned shared by five exceptional Women Entrepreneurs. Some really good advice for both women and men. Strategy and communication are a big part of the advice, however, the one common theme I noticed that each entrepreneur shared was at least one comment each around around the topic of People. In summary:
Believe in people.
Bring out the best in your team.
Hire the best and take care of them.
Surround yourself with people who challenge your thinking.
Hire the right people partners – invdividuals you like and respect.