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Friday 3 June 2011

A business plan from my 12 year old son!

I received the following email from my 12 year old son this morning. I was at work, and he was home, obviously putting his half-term holiday to good use!

Subject:  I know how to make over £30.00 at school in 6 weeks
"Everybody is interested in tech decks at school and they all say the cheapest place to get them is crazy clearance. They are apparently £3.00 each at crazy clearance. I have found a pack of 10 tech decks for £14.43 which is about £1.44 each. If I sold 10 per week at £2.00 I would earn £20.00 and make a profit of £5.57 per week. If I could do that for 6 weeks I would have made a profit of £33.42 towards my TV. Is this a good idea. Also do you think offering a free lollipop from the shop would be a good idea if I couldn't sell any in my first week because I would still make a profit on each tech deck. In east lee stores the lollipops are 20p and were popular at the beginning of the year, being sold at around 30p. If I charged £2.00 for a tech deck and a free lolli It would cost me £1.64 per tech deck and I would make a profit of 36p per sale. I would not do this straight away however because without the the lolli I would make a profit of 56p per sale. That is a 28% profit margin which is quite decent. Please tell me if this is a good idea. The only thing is allot of people are selling used tech decks for £1.50 but with mine they would be paying for the quality. I think it is decent because it means more than doubling my starting budget which would have to be £15.00. Tell me if this is a good idea and if so could you please build me a spreadsheet when you have the time just to keep you practicing your spreadsheet skills. And don't charge me for the spreadsheet because I can do it myself."
Putting aside the typos and lack of paragraphs (and the cheeky jibe about Spreadsheets by Email at the bottom), I realised I had come across so many business plans from grown-ups that weren't as considered.

He has sourced a supplier, researched the market (even establishing that he can still cover his costs at the current rate for second hand product) and knows his margins. He has even given thought to a promotion!

Part of me feels incredibly proud, and part of me worries I've created a monster!

By the way, I had to ask what a Tech Deck was, and this was his reply:
"It is a mini skateboard that you can use your fingers to ride and do tricks with. You can also get mini skate park equipment to use it on. Tech deck is the brand name though. you can get cheaper ones but they break alot easier."
What's more, this second email had a link to his blog in the signature!

It sounds like he'll do his bit for all of our pensions!

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  1. Dear Glen,

    Amazing - you should be very proud of him!!

    I know plenty of finance and business people who haven't grasped what you son has.

    All I can say is watch out George Osbourne!

  2. One word, Glen...brilliant! I'd never say you've created an monster. Sounds like he'll be one of those business teens who has to hire someone to drive him as he'll still be too young to have license, but need to get around to further execute his business acumen. I'd be very proud, too, but definitely think you should have him do his own spreadsheet.

    -bill s

  3. Bill

    Thanks for the comments. I hope you're right. He can look after his dad in his old age!

  4. What a fabulous post which shows either:
    a) You've taught him well (if perhaps a little young); or
    b) He's picked it all up through osmosis which suggests that conversation in your house maybe a touch dull/business focused!

    Having said that I'd be very proud!

  5. I really like this post.

    If he was ever to go on Dragon's Den sounds like he would really be able to hold his own - as opposed to some of the make weights who are simply there to be ripped to shreds for a TV audience!!

  6. Thanks Mark

    I'd like to think it was the former, but I can't guarantee it wasn't the latter!

  7. Thanks David

    He certainly holds his own with me!

  8. A monster? No. They wear hoodies.

    Your son seems to be a considered, self aware and thoughtful young man.

    Let me know when he starts his first business up as i'd like to invest :-)

    All the best

  9. Richard

    Be careful, he might hold you to that!

  10. They are apparently £3.00 each at crazy clearance. I have found a pack of 10 tech decks for £14.43 which is about £1.44 each. If I sold 10 per week at £2.00 I would earn £20.00 and make a profit of £5.57 per week. If I could do that for 6 weeks I would have made a profit of £33.42 towards my TV. Ascenergy