Charles Alexander (2)

Alexander

A few years ago, my wife (Sarah) and I visited my daughter Ava’s elementary school to do something called “Parent Share.” 

“Parent Share” is when grownups bore little kids with what they do for a living.

Since Sarah and I are entrepreneurial, we decided to help 140 second graders start a business.

Should be easy, right:)?

We took on about 40 kids at a time, putting 4-5 kids per business.

We had them pick a business, name it, decide what they were going to sell, price items, and even do an organizational chart.

But most importantly, we had them describe why their business was different and why customers would buy from them.

We got some shocking results!

And by shocking, I mean, we had dozens of 7 and 8 year-olds GET IT!

We had a photography business that sold “very expensive photos, but they are all 3D and the customer gets to edit them.” And there was a candy store that “had the most sugar in their candy, than anyone else!”

Out of 35 business, there were only a couple that were the best or cheapest

Oh, and there were ZERO business with X number of years of experience, great customer service, or had some complicated sounding certifications.

Why?

Kids know you can’t be the same as everyone else and expect to STAND OUT among everyone else

Odds are, you are unique, and there is a good reason for someone to buy from you instead of your competitor.

  • If you are truly the expert, display it.
  • If you really serve a special market, make sure everyone knows about it.
  • If you are the most convenientfastest, or most accurate, hang your hat on it.

And if that seems too difficult, I know a few kids you can hire.

Charles Alexander is the director of the Small Business Development Center at Vol State. 

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