Last week I volunteered some of my time to assist Y7s with their Young Enterprise Tenner challenge and had an absolute blast.

There were so many different types of businesses; from custom-made t-shirts, to pots of slime, tie-dye tote bags, stress balls and a big disco event. So what did I learn from my experience which we as adults can learn more about running a business and what did the kids do?

  1. Choose your team wisely and never work with your mates. There were a few tears and tantrums at school and some kids even jumped ship to join another team. In real life I’ve seen a fair share of fall outs, tears and tantrums with clients who disagree with their business partners. A good partnership works things out, but I have seen some friends go into business and it flops very quickly.
  2. No idea is a crap idea. They kids were brave, bold and very excited about their ideas and delivery. They learnt quickly from their mistakes and moved on. As adults we seem to beat ourselves up about a failure instead of dusting yourself off and getting back on it.
  3. Practice your sales pitch over and over again. Challenging the kids on their pitches they listened and refined so they were crystal clear and delivery was good. When was the last time you practiced your ‘elevator pitch’ and asked someone what they thought about it? When they said something negative, did you get all upset or offended or did you go back and refine it?
  4. Don’t neglect the boring stuff. Lots of the kids were so excited about their ventures and being keen viewers of the Apprentice wanted to get straight onto the make and sell, and some of them left the costs out. With a quick recap many of them went back and looked again. With many small (and larger) businesses, business owners or team members are so keen to charge ahead with their latest project or venture that they don’t give themselves enough time to work out their goals and objectives and projected ROI. I see this time and time again especially when it comes to advertising. Personally I love the numbers and the selling process.

In summary

Be more kid in your ideas. Then make sure you do your sums.