Experiments in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship course for those 12 and up!

Objectives we hope to convey:

  • The basic types of business and how they make money
  • How to find an idea that they like and others will pay for
  • How to create products without going into debt
  • How to define your customers
  • Developing a pricing model and a budget
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Implementing a plan and selling the product
  • Working on teams
  • Presenting their ideas

Schedule (planned could change)

8/2/13 Friday 10AM – Overview and plan 8/9/13 Friday 10AM – Review their plans and help them define potential customers, work on product creation, pricing 8/16/13 Friday 10AM – Marketing plans and selling plans 8/23/13 Friday 10AM – Group meeting to work on presentations 8/30/13 Friday 10AM – Teams will present their results. Parents invited!!


Day 1 Notes

  • Work: defined by the bible  “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 This occurred before the fall!!
  • Money: A thank you for providing service.
  • Business: An exchange of money for good/services. People do not GIVE you money, you EXCHANGE money for something of value.

Examples of Business Types

Key question to ask:

– What will I do? – How will I sell it? – How much will I charge? – How will I market – What is the COGS – What is my profit

#1 – Service Business

Good: Easy top start Bad: If you do not work, you do not get paid.

Some forms this might take:

#2 – Manufacturing – Making a product

Good: Do the work once, get paid a bunch Bad: Do not get paid while you create the product

Some forms this might take:

  • Lemonade stand (Actually a little making and a little service)
  • Making jewelry
  • Write ebook on how to do something Example: Nathan Barry
  • Videos on how to do something Example: AskDrCallahan
  • Birdhouses

#3 – Reseller – Other peoples stuff (Affiliates and resellers)

Good: Easy to get started, but you might have to buy it first Bad: Lower profit margin

Some forms this might take:

Assignment #1

Come up with an idea of something to sell and market.

Requirements: – Easy to do. – Have the tools and resources to work with. – Not take too much time – can do in a few weeks – Something you are interested in

Good examples: – Something you like doing and can show others how to do such as making your own jewelry. – Something you can make with the tools you have such as birdhouses, jewelry, etcTough examples

– Writing video games – takes a while – Cost a lot of time and money to do

Parents Assignment  – Help them come up with ideas they can do in the house. – Can you buy resources they need?

Student requirements – Come up with idea alone or on team – Present idea and meet goals next meeting


Day 2 Notes

We went over the following items

  • How to define your customers. For example, instead of saying everyone is my customer, get to age groups, gender, affluence, zip codes, etc. The more precise information you have, the better and easier to find them.
  • Where do I advertise? Now that we know our customers, we think about where they hang out. What web pages they visit. Etc.
  • How do I price my services/products. THe rule we covered was
    • Minimum Price COGS x 2
    • Accurate Price COGS x 4
    • Actual price point is more a value proposition.
  • We talked over their plans with some feedback.


Assignment #2

  • If you have not done so yet, come up with an idea of something to sell and market.
  • Then in writing (email to me at ) send me by Wednesday
    • A short description (sentence or two) of what you plan to do to make money
    • A clearly defined customer description. Who are they?
      • http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226360
      • An example for a landscaping company might be: Upper middle class, nicer neighborhoods in zip codes XXX, retired couples, ages 45-75, drive foreign cars, ….. you get the idea – very specific.
  • Then tell how you will reach your customers to let them know about you.
 Get this to me by Wednesday!!

Day 3 Notes

Today we did the following:
  1. Reviewed their ideas with some feedback.
  2. Covered how to set goals and personal deadlines. (note I do this differently now – but the ideas are the same)
  3. Showed them how to make a presentation of an idea.

Assignment #3

  • They are to set goals that are specific and measurable and time bound. (ex: Make 5 widgets by October 1st.)
  • They are to develop plans of what to do to meet their goals by breaking the tests into small parts. May need parents help.
  • Then they are to schedule time to work on their goal. Daily is best way to do this.
  • Prepare to present their idea.

How to present your ideas?

Idea pitches need to do the following:

  • Quickly get to the point. Tell what you are doing, how you will make money, and how you are different then others who to the same thing. For example, if I was painting houses I might say: “I paint the exterior and interior of peoples homes. I make a profit by charging by the job. Unlike many other painters, I will show up on time, do the work I said I would do, and clean up behind myself.”
  • Tell why you (the person who has the idea) is qualified to do this business and this job.
  • Then tell more of the story such to maker it interesting. Customers you have had, things customers have told you (testimonials).
  • Your plan to grow your business – or whatever you plan to do in the future.

Next week I will not be teaching the class. The idea is to work on two things:

  • Their next steps.
  • Their presenting of their ideas to each other and the parents.