Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Young Paracording Entrepreneurs

Young Paracording Entrepreneurs
Tomorrow's Business Leaders are Crafting Paracord Today

Theo Waitkus, Paracord Planet fan

The value of a dollar is vastly inflated in the eyes of a child. As a kid, I used to do anything for a few bucks. I remember the dog days of summer, when my neighbors and I would set up a streetside lemonade stand, beckoning walkers-by to make a purchase. It took us about 6 hours to accrue a whopping $5 in total profit, and only 30 seconds to blow that entire amount on candy at the local gas station. We didn’t care. We were young, ambitious, and hungry for any little portion of wealth we could find. The same entrepreneurial passion is alive and well in the hearts of youth ten years later. I grant paracord some of the credit for this. Paracord crafting has not only become a way to spend one’s afternoon, but also has become a viable business venture for children of all ages.  Listed below are the most valuable lessons a child can learn about running a business from selling paracord bracelets to friends and family.

Lesson #1: How to be creative

Image from Rothco

The first thing a paracord crafter must establish is their competitive advantage. What can you make that nobody else can?! You have to keep a watchful eye on your competition and make it your sole objective to create more original products. This requires creativity. A child’s imagination is his/her most coveted asset. The uninhibited mind of a child is able to develop an unfathomable range of ideas. This means an unlimited amount of paracord designs. Creative weave and knot patterns will be the stepping stone that children use to further their business. When they enter the corporate business world, it’ll be the same. A creative product is as necessary in the industrial market as it is in the market for paracord bracelets. Young entrepreneurs will learn how to continually expand their creative minds through selling paracord designs.

Lesson #2: Understanding supply and demand

Image from Lead Energy

My first economics course in high school was nearly the death of me. I also never crafted nor sold paracord bracelets while growing up. Coincidence? Maybe. Seriously though, kids can learn a major lesson in basic economics through their bracelet business. How many bracelets do I have to craft this week? How much raw paracord and how many paracord buckles will I have to buy to satisfy these orders? Not only will a child learn the relationship between supply and demand, but also will learn how to increase demand through marketing. Whether they choose the word-of-mouth route, wherein Billy tells Jessica that Little Joey down the block can make an awesome bracelet, or they go to social media to post listings for their products, children have the opportunity to make their brand known. Learning how to price their products is another lesson for these young saleschildren. Selling paracord bracelets is the ultimate Economics 101 lesson for a kid.

Lesson #3: Distributing your product

Image from Mambo Sprouts

After a product is created and a customer is interested in purchasing said product, your saleschild is going to need to get the product to their customer. This is where their lesson on distribution will come in. Whether the distribution involves packing bracelets in one’s backpack and delivering them at school or sending them in the mail, kids will learn a valuable lesson here. Not only does the product have to stay safe and in-tact, but it also must be delivered at a reasonable time. The same concerns emerge in the corporate world. Quality and timeliness are the keys here. Our young entrepreneurs will learn the benefits of having a proper distribution system during their bracelet-selling endeavor.

Lesson #4: Managing customer relations

Image from Cindy Tansin

The final, and arguably most valuable, lesson a child will learn from crafting and selling paracord products is customer relations. In an ideal world, every customer we ever encounter will be exuberant and joyous with their love for our product. Unfortunately, universal satisfaction is a mythical goal. A child may encounter a few customers who are less-than-happy with their order. They will learn the ramifications that come along with an unhappy customer, and will learn how to improve the quality of their product to avoid encountering this unpleasant event again. Children will learn how to respond to adversity and persevere, which is very possibly the most important lesson for any businessperson to learn. Our young entrepreneurs’ early lessons in regards to customer relationship management will really set them ahead in the business environment of their future.

Making paracord bracelets most likely will not make your child rich. However, it will make them rich with knowledge of important business concepts. I firmly believe that the best entrepreneurs and business executives of our future are busy crafting and selling paracord bracelets today. So, encourage your child, younger sibling, or neighbor to get into paracord crafting; it just could be what leads them to success in their future.

Image from Grand River Toys

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Written by: Jackson Yakowicz, P2 Intern

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For more of Jack's work, view his full blog.