Mind of the Business: Think of Plan

Mind of the Business:
Think of Plan
To come up with a plan, encourage your child to come up with a concept and focus on the client or customer he wants to serve.

Concept: Recognize opportunities
Many business ideas were born out of frustration. Bill Gates, for example, saw how people were frustrated by computer software that was so difficult to use. He then solved this problem by developing program that ordinary people can use, thus the birth of Microsoft Corp.

Encourage children to look for opportunities. When they complain about something, challenge them to come up with solutions or ways to improve a product or service. Who knows, they might create the next Microsoft.

Another good example is the Water Lily bag I receive for my birthday. I have always been concerned about what can be done about the Pasig River. I never thought that water Isilies could be converted into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Whoever saw the opportunity to create something beautiful from something people normally discard has a good entrepreneurial mind.

4 Root of Entrepreneurial opportunity
(Council of Economic Education)

1. Problems: Can you create something that would solve a problem for your self or other people?
2. Charge: Any change can stir up new business opportunities. Read the newspapers! Look for changing laws situation or trends.

3. Inventions: Even if you don’t invent something. You might find a creative way to sell a new invention. Maybe you could be the first to bring a new invention to your community. Technology is developing at lightning speed. Read magazine that cover technologies that you find interesting, and think about how to create a business from these new advances.
4. Competition: If you can find a way to beat the competition, you can create a very successful business using an existing product or service. Look at the business in your community. Could you do a better job? Could you be faster, more reliable. Cheaper? If so, you may be looking at a business opportunity.

Client: know your market
Clients or customers play a big role in coming up with your business plan. Help your children determine who they want to sell their product or service to. They have to do a bit of market research. What do their clients need? Want? What will they pay for? How much will they pay for it? Are there other services or products that will compete with what you will offer? How will you differentiate yourself from them?

Not every idea is an opportunity if it does not meet the needs of your customers. Some people are so passionate about a hobby and think that other people will share their passion. They end up disappointed that no one wants to buy their product. Knowing your market is as important as coming up with an idea that you will love!

Get Wired got tangled
What started as a business idea among our grade school kids –beautiful murano-beaded utensils and napkin rings- evolved into a range of wired products that sold well within the school? This encouraged the kids, who name their business “Get Wired”. Excited, they imagined a concept store and assumed that their products would be a hit at the World Trade Center event. They made sure that their prices were competitive and lowered margins up to 50% off department store prices. To their surprise, despite their beautiful designs and competitive prices, no one seemed to want to buy their products. The crowd did not seem to understand what the napkin rings were for, nor did they appreciate the value of murano glass. The kids immediately said, “Teacher we have wrong market!” they went on an all out marketing campaign to educate people about the beauty and value of their products.

Lesson from youth entrepreneurs:
1.    know your market
2.    know your competitors
3.    educate your consumers

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