Some of you might be aware that I have been trying to start up an Entrepreneur Club for the kids in my neighbourhood. My plan is to tell you about what we are doing and at the end I will tell you about a coming call to action.
We will be talking about THE LEAN STARTUP and you could learn something about how to start a business for under $100 with negative working capital!!
I want to make sure the message gets to the right people, people that are interested so let me quickly go over the goals of this email project:
- Create awareness of the pending Entrepreneur Club (no I'm not looking for sign ups at this point - but it will come)
- Provide information in case it motivates someone else to do set up one in their area
- Introduce everyone to a new possibility since the job market is tough these days
- Create awareness around the product we are selling so we can find the right customers
My two kids scoffed at the idea at first until I told them it could be something as simple as a lemonade stand or selling popcorn at a Christmas market. That seemed to peak their interest just a little so there is hope of getting them involved.
Note: these aren't my kids but I thought it was a great picture.
Things I did to get started:
- I ordered a Glowforge glowforge.com. Check this baby out, watch the video on the link, it's pretty cool. It is expensive but my thinking is "what if I had an Apple computer in 1978? Where would I be now?" It's a pretty cheap call option for my kids who are 5 and 7 to play around with a leading edge product like this. Have you heard of it? They raised $28m in 30days crowdfunding. Crazy hey? It won't arrive for another 6 months but I'm excited about it. Great tool for the Club. Here is a coupon for $100 off the price if you like it. http://glowforge.com/?kid=6PNX4
- Maybe it leads to nothing but I think that the future is moving to micro manufacturing with leading edge products like this. This is Glowforge 1.0, technology is moving forwards in leaps and bounds, imagine where it is going to be in 10 years!
- I contacted the District about renting a room to host the Entrepreneur Club (not the official name just something I made up for now). Unfortunately they were disorganized and couldn't give me an answer so I contacted a student I knew that was interested (I will introduce Harry later) and asked him if he wanted to start a business that we could use as a cornerstone to attract other members.
- I had an idea in my head of the type of business we wanted to start with => under $100 in start-up costs with negative working capital. Negative working capital means the customer pays before you sell the product so you keep your start-up costs low. I wanted to teach them something that they as teenagers could use and let them know that it doesn't matter how old you are or how much money you have, you can still start a business. I'm hoping it will kick start imaginations.
My goal is to provide regular updates on what we are doing and some things we have learned. The student is in Grade 9 @ Mulgrave School here in West Vancouver and is a pleasure to work with so it has been a lot of fun. Harry is designing the website and helping put together the business, taking everything in and by all accounts seems to be enjoying himself and learning alongside me.
- The process has taken longer than I expected but that could probably be said about starting any business. The learning process that you need to go through is a great learning opportunity and I'm learning just as much as Harry.
- On-line selling is big business, there is a lot of opportunity out there. I researched all the ways to make money on the internet and let me tell you that there are a lot of people making their living this way. It won't show up in the job numbers every week and you probably haven't heard of any of them but it is amazing how the world has changed. I'm talking about a good living too!
We are hoping to launch our first business using the Lean Startup MVP (Minimum Viable Product) next week. Stay tuned for an update every day until launch.
Our first product validation will be around Gluten Free Energy Bars. You don't have to be Gluten free to try them (they don't bite back and actually taste good) or you might know someone else that might benefit.
We will only be selling within Canada to start as we try to walk before we run.