This is just a quick post. I’m swamped this week but wanted to share this as I thought it was appropriate as we move into the hot summer.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, one of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to create a business plan.

If you’ve got children and you’d like to start teaching them early about the values of entrepreneurship or if you need a little kick-in-the-butt yourself in regards to effective business planning, this post is for you.

I remember my first business. In the town where I lived they had just built an amazing multi-million dollar marina. This marina was just awesome! Literally hundreds of spots for boaters to park and party and every single space sold out almost instantly.

I was very young. Maybe 10-12 years old, I can’t remember exactly. I asked the marina management if they we be opposed to me walking around the marina and “offering cold pop” to boaters. They agreed as long as my parents were around and knew what I was doing. My entrepreneurial instincts kicked in at a young age. I knew this idea would be a hit.

I simply filled up my little red wagon with ice and about 6 different varieties of cold pop. I then just strolled up and down the docks selling the beverages to boaters. You wouldn’t believe how much money I made at such a young age. I was able to do this little stint for about 2 or 3 summers until the marina realized that I was essentially cutting off sales for them before they even had a chance to occur (boaters having to leave there boats to walk to the marina shop.)

This was a pretty cool business. Think about it. Mom would drive me up to the grocery store where I’d invest my allowance in a few cases of pop and a couple of bags of ice. We would fill up my wagon with ice and pop and I’d go out and sell. When I ran out, I would just walk back to Mom’s car fill up the wagon and go out again. The boaters began to know me and I began to know them. I started to learn the boaters habits. I knew which boaters would be around and what types of pop to carry more of. It was flawless business execution.

I can’t remember exactly how much I made but I do remember pop was expensive. It was around $8.99 for a case of 24 cans. I’d sell the pop at a $1.50 each or three for $4.50. On a good day I’d easily sell 7-10 cases of pop and on a bad day I’d sell maybe 1-4 cases. Not bad for a being 10 years old. As the boaters began to know me and look forward to my visits they also began to give tips or tell me to “keep the change.”

My father always played an important role in all aspects of my business endeavors and still does to this day. He went to great lengths to help me succeed in the cold beverage business and still does with any other venture I’m involved in.

I stumbled upon this article which shows how one father taught his children about entrepreneurship. I think the article is important for a few reasons. For starters, it gives us some examples about how we can teach these lessons to our own children and secondly, it shows you how to create a small business plan for any business that will almost ensure success. It shows that writing a business plan doesn’t have to take months and be a massive volume. It can take a few days and some proper thinking. This father taught his children everything from pricing to scheduling to equipment purchases.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading this.

Click here for The Ultimate Business Plan

[tags] business, entrepreneurship, business plan, sales, business planning, business execution, small business [/tags]