Updated August 2018
One of the best and most difficult ways to earn a living is to be your own boss. It is not easy to own a business, but for those who do, it can be a very worthwhile endeavor. Doing something you love may not make you a multi-millionaire, but when you get to go to work every day for yourself, the rewards can be both intrinsically and extrinsically satisfying,
Owning a business does not have to be a brick and mortar store. You can also earn money online by selling items on auction sites, on craft sites like Etsy, or by creating artwork and uploading your designs to sites like Cafe Press, Zazzle and Redbubble. My two daughters both sell items on Red and the extra income it generates for them helps them pay for the things they want.
Here is how your troop can earn the Junior Girl Scout Business Owner badge.
*Note-Before you begin this badge, you may want to search for local businesses who already have this badge earning opportunity in place.
Photo from Pixabay
Step 1 Explore Businesses You Might Like to Start Someday
This is an easy step because all the girls have to do is talk! Ask them what kind of business they would like to run…but have them think about the reason why. If a girl likes to bake, does she want to own a bakery? If she enjoys gardening, does she want to own her own landscaping business?
Write down each girl’s ideas on a big piece of easel paper or on a white board.
Step 2 Learn the Basics of Running a Business
The girls need to understand that you cannot just have an idea and open a business. What you need is a solid business plan. Have the girls select one of the ideas from the list they generated. Then hand out copies of this Business Plan for Kids from the Biz Kids website, It is easy to use and understand. The girls can work with you to help them fill it out.
This would be a great tool to use if you are going to do a troop fundraiser. The girls will need to have a target audience in order to set a goal and work out what they want to do.
(For additional worksheets and help on this top, you can visit this page of the Biz Kids website.)
Step 3 Find Out What Kind of Support is Available for Small Business Owners
This step is really a brief discussion. Going it alone in the world of business can be scary. One thing the girls should know is that if they ever choose to start a business, there are resources available to them. Banks have loans, local community groups have small business seminars, and there are online resources from the local Chamber of Commerce that can be of some assistance.
Step 4 Investigate What Makes Great Customer Service
Photo from Pixabay
Here is some fun for the girls-they get to role play good and bad customer experiences. The girls will act out different scenarios that you have written on slips of paper and have placed in a brown bag. Each slip has both roles-the customer and the business owner.
Some scenarios can be:
- Customer is returning a new sweater that fell apart in the wash.
- Customer walks into a store and the salesperson is on her phone and/or is ignoring the customer.
- Customer needs help finding an item and the salesperson does not go out of her way to help. She just points. The customer returns and cannot find the item and the salesperson gets an attitude.
- Repeat the scenario above but this time the salesperson goes out of her way to find the item.
- You can have the girls pretend to be on the phone and have one set of girls have a pleasant and helpful interaction and one be rude and not helpful.
Ask the girls which store would they more than likely return to? Why?
Step 5 Understand the Importance of Consumer Research
Ask the girls if they love pancakes. More than likely, most of them will. Once upon a time, you could only get breakfast at McDonald's before 11:00 AM, after that you were out of luck. But consumer research showed that people wanted to buy breakfast all day. So when the company switched to an all day breakfast menu, their profits skyrocketed.
That is the benefit of consumer research.
Go back to the original business idea. Have the girls formulate questions that they could ask other people to see if the business they are trying to create is a viable one. Is there interest in this?
You may want to conclude this meeting by showing a portion of the show Shark Tank. You can show them snippets of when a person does not have “the numbers” and why they do not get financing from a Shark. You can also show a snippet of a person who does have all the financial information and who gets a deal from one of the Sharks.