"So What??"

Our KidPreneurs have had an exciting couple of weeks exploring business ideas by looking at how businesses are started. They have experience taking their passions & interests or solving a day to day problem and turning them into a business.

So What?

Our KidPreneurs have built their confidence by discovering their innate ability to be creative solution oriented thinkers.

So What?

Catching on? This is an exercise that we play with the kids to help them see past the features and into the benefits to really get to the core of why someone would want to buy their product. If you go deep enough with this exercise, you can get down the the real "WHY" you are building your business and attract customers who feel the same way.

This stage of the program reminds me of the famous work by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why.” In his work, Simon highlights that brands who understand the reason they do what they do have greater success in attracting customers and brand loyalty.

Our exercise looked like this;

So you have decided to make a bar of soap that has toys inside… So What?

- "So it looks cool"

So your bar of soap looks cool… so what?

- "So kids think the toy in the soap is cool"

So Kids think the toy in your bar of soap is cool… so what?

- "So kids are more likely to wash their hands to get the toy"

And there it is. You’ve made a product that has features that kids like such as cool colours, toys, etc with a benefit for parents…kids will want to wash their hands.

The Features and Benefits lesson was a lot of fun with these KidPreneurs. They are getting very excited to talk about their products with customers at the upcoming Market Day on November 24th at Henderson Place Mall from Noon – 4:00 PM.

Don't be afraid to ask them "why" or dig deep into their product features and benefits. It's great practice for them as they hone in on their sales pitch.

They hope to see you there!


Is What You "Know" Losing You Money?

Today was one of the more interesting days for seeing development in our students during our Build a Biz Kids Lemonade Stand Challenge Summer Camp. Day 3 is all about creating prototypes of their product and then test marketing them with real people; A critical step in any business but more often than not, it's skipped.

No really, it is. Look at your business. When was the last time you gave a sample of your business service or product while in development to a customer and asked for their opinion on it from top to bottom, start to finish & encourage raw truth? And I don't mean an online survey with a score of 1-5 for satisfaction.

Let's take a Mortgage Broker or Real Estate Agent as an example. Many don't even consider their service to be testable or in development. It is what it is and I just do what everyone does. Advertise, have a coffee with clients, do my thing and then send flowers or a gift at the end. But services should be tested formally just as much as products.

The most dangerous entrepreneurs are those who made a tangible product based on their own personal need and fail to ask HONEST feedback on it from strangers. Tangible products cost a lot of money, especially when buying in high quantities so please, please, don't just ask friends and family. Stand on a street corner or go to your potential market and ask them to rip it to shreds. In fact, only ask them for negative feedback and see what you get. Best to know now then once you have spent $100k on a warehouse of widgets only 20 people might be willing to buy.

This is where What You "Know" Might Be Costing You Money. Because what you know is not always what everyone else is willing to pay for.

Day 3 of our Build a Biz Kids Summer Camp is a special day and a BIG eye opener for our students. As many parents know, kids taste pallets are not as developed and, therefore, sometimes their concoctions are not what they thought they would be.

For example, the Red team wanted to create a cherry lemonade & a lemonade and Sprite with pretty straws & pink tissue bows. The Blue team created an orange lemonade and mango lemonade with dainty lemon wedges on the cups.

One mixed, the Red team didn't like the tart cherry juice at all. (I think they envisioned grenadine and not real cherry juice). While the Lemonade & Sprite was better, only half of the team was ok with the tart lemon flavour and fizzy bubbles of the Sprite.

The Blue team battled it out but ended up scraping their orange lemonade due to the "yucky" factor and, again, were split over how successful their mango lemon twist would be.

After pouring and garnishing their samples, they went out into the world and found brave adults to try their mixtures. With notebooks in hand, they explained their recipes and asked direct questions about their product.

"On a scale of 1-5, how do you like the taste? How pretty is it? What don't you like about it? Do you have any additional comments so we can make it better?"

What surprised them was that adults like the taste of the tart lemonade and the feeling of fizzy Sprite on their tongue. They also liked the mango twist and thought it was tropical tasting. The kids who were very certain that no one would like it were a little confused but in a good way. They were relieved they had a recipe that might work!

"It needs to be colder though", "I wouldn't drink this in the morning because it's too sweet but in the afternoon it would be perfect!", "I feel like I should be in the sun drinking this! It's so tropical!"

The kids were sometimes confused by the feedback as some liked sweet drinks and others didn't. Some loved mango and others weren't as big of fans. They learned the value of note taking and, at the end, reviewed their results. The kids who were shy to talk to strangers ended up forgetting their were chatting with random adults because they were super interested in hearing the feedback and write it down.

Aside from becoming better bartenders, these kids explored some important lessons from the day.

- Don't assume your taste buds are the same as others.

- You can't please everyone, so go with the majority

- Don't assume you will get it perfect the first time but keep working on it

- Always welcome negative feedback. It does't mean you did anything wrong or should give up. It means you know more now so you can make it better next time. Negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback

We are often asked, what is the difference between your programs? Well, in the end, nothing, and everything. A child could take our program over and over and over again, especially our after school programs, and never have the same experience. We teach kids how to start a business and to skip any of these critical steps would be setting them up to fail.

While we dive deeper into concepts in some courses more than others, yes, your child will learn how to developed a product or service through exploring passions & solving problem. They will learn how to make a prototype and test it as much as possible. They will develop a marketing plan and test out their communication with a 30 second elevator pitch before going to market.

But guess what, we would make you do all of that too :-)


These Aren't Real Businesses...

Businesses are Big, Daunting Tasks. Surely these 7 year olds aren’t starting a REAL Business…. Right?

One of the best days I have had so far with Build a Biz Kids was at the Tinypreneurs show this year. Tinypreneurs hosts a tradeshow exclusively of kids where they set up shop and sell their wares. It was so cool seeing these young kids take pride in products they have made and proudly speaking to potential customers about why they made each item and why the customer should buy one.

Kids have a truly authentic enthusiasm that you can’t help but get wrapped up in.

But getting back to why it was a fantastic day……

Aside from Tinypreneurs being a great event overall, coincidentally there was a small craft fair running right next to them of about 25 vendors, all adults. Walking through the kid’s booths and then taking a stride down the “grown up” businesses, they were alarmingly similar.

With exception to perhaps more expensive packaging and a lack of crayon signage, the parallels gave me a bit of a chuckle.

The adult craft fair had a delicious bake goods stand of short break cookies and other baked delights, but we had an adorable sibling team who had bags of cookies for sales as well.

There was an adult vendor selling gift cards and post cards, but we had a kid of only 11 who took incredible photographs of nature and was selling non-stop by making the pictures into gift cards, postcards and bookmarks.

Another Adult vendor had handmade soaps and candles, but, so did we on the kids side.

The list goes on. These adults have their own business and brands of products that they make and sell and repeat every weekend, online and beyond. Many earn a living this way. So, aside from the number of booths the adults run vs the kids and the online savvy of the adults having online stores (although some of our kids had that nailed down as well) these kids are taking the same steps and building a real business, the same as you or I would.

The one difference I did notice, however, was the difference in social contribution. The kids of this generation have a different perspective than perhaps generations previous to them. They want to help, they want to give back, and not just because it sounds good; but because it feels good and it keeps them motivated during the hard times.

We have created blogs on social entrepreneurship and will continue to do so in the future but needless to say, I was so proud to see so many kids taking action. They all took ownership of their businesses and many will continue to grow and adapt them as they learn more and more about their product, their market and their consumer needs.

Keep it up, everyone, of all ages!

To help nurture and grow your KidPreneur, take a look at our summer camp and after school programs registering now.


Don't Be a Dreamer

“You see that widget over there? I came up with that idea 10 years ago and should be rich..."

“I have this great idea. I’m totally going to make it this year. It’s going to be HUGE….”

“I’m writing a book. When did I start writing it? Oh, about 12 years ago. I just need the time to get it done and it will be a best seller….”

Do any of these sound familiar? Maybe you know someone who sounds like this, maybe that person is you. These are the statements of ideas that have expired and concepts lacking action. They are statements from dreamers.

Now don’t get me wrong, dreaming is great! Have lots of dreams, be creative and get inspired. But without action, you are missing out on more than just potentially a lot of money. You are missing out on internal fulfillment, exponential learning, greater perspective, and personal growth.

Our KidPreneur programs at Build a Biz Kids are focused on entrepreneurship, yes, but more importantly, they are about capturing ideas and immediately taking action in a supportive and encouraging environment. If we can teach kids to take action on their uninhibited ideas at an early age, just think of how much experience, growth, perspective, not to mention good old fashion self awareness they will have by the time they graduate high school!

Our greatest hope for our students is that they learn to identify areas of concern in their communities, seek possible solutions, and then rally those around them to take action. It can be a business venture, or it could be to help the elderly man down the street with his lawn mowing, or raising money for their local animal shelter, writing letters to their mayor about improving their schools and the list goes on.

We no longer want to raise dreamers, but rather, change makers. Kids who are taking action because they have the confidence, knowledge, and experience to do so.

For more information on our Kid Entrepreneurship programming for the summer, or coming up in September with after school programs, please visit https://buildabizkids.com/program-descriptions. Our programs were designed by entrepreneurs & parents for kids ages 7-12 years. We believe these are crucial years where their ideas are still unleashed and their confidence is prime for development.


Local Non-Profit Partners with Vancity to Teach Kids Fundraising

Build a Biz Kids – Lemonade Stand Challenge summer camp raises funds for Tri-Cities charities

A local partnership has begun building our future community leaders right here in the Tri-Cities. Build a Biz Kids is a not for profit summer camp and after-school program provider focusing on entrepreneurship and community engagement. In a partnership with four local Vancity branch locations, Build a Biz Kids will be hosting the Lemonade Stand Challenge, a Young Entrepreneur Learning Lab licensed program.

Throughout the Tri-Cities communities this summer, youth aged 7-12 will participate in identifying local charities that are supporting their community and have fun while raising funds for those charities. Through the concept of entrepreneurship, this program teaches kids how a collaborative and creative team can build a lemonade stand that makes a difference in their community by donating proceeds to local charity and learning about social entrepreneurship.

Of this partnership between Build a Biz Kids and Vancity, Leah Coss, President of Build a Biz Kids says – “We are very excited and honored to have found a partner who believes, as we do, in equipping children with practical skills which will better their futures and the communities they reside in. Every interaction with Vancity & their incredible employees has been so supportive but also action oriented which are the same values we strive to teach our students.”

Vancity has a vision to redefine wealth in a way that furthers the financial, social and environmental well-being of their members and their communities. Build a Biz Kids is on a mission to empower youth of the Tri-Cities to becoming engaged community participants. This partnership aligns these visions and missions through entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial skills challenge children to think outside the box, create unique solutions, and become leaders at an early age. The entrepreneurial mindset teaches kids to take initiative, solve problems, think critically, make decisions, interact with people confidently and look for opportunities around them. These skills help to increase self-confidence and provide more opportunities for bright financial futures for themselves and their communities.