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Elementary Entrepreneurship

Summary: The article details how one can apply the lessons learned from childhood nickel-and-dime operations to larger businesses.

You don’t need an expensive college education to start a business. Kids have been starting businesses for ages, and you can learn a thing or two by looking into how they run their small operations.

Look for Demand

Selling lemonade, delivering the newspaper, or mowing lawns might seem like simple ventures, but they always succeed because they meet the community’s demands. Most of these childhood ventures only stop because of a lack of interest or once a financial goal has been met and not because the business failed. Lemonade stands become full-on diners or groceries, selling products with high demand in any given season. The trucking industry can be considered an expansion of the usual paper route as it delivers goods to people’s doorsteps.

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Mowing lawns evolve into large-scale lawn care/treatment operations or franchises covering wide tracts of land or any other service that provides short-term labor. The bigger the demand, the more you can raise the prices of your products or services. Of course, you’ll need to make in-depth studies to ensure your business’s viability and not enter an over-saturated market.


Kids go to their friends and family to sell things, and Girl Scouts even go door-to-door to sell cookies. Every business needs to have a wide network inside and outside the community. Suppliers will ensure they never run out of stock or necessary materials, and logistics specialists will ensure things go where they to. Of course, a good number of clients is essential, and cultivating good relationships will ensure a business’ success.

Expand your network by making partnerships within the community. If you can source your supplies locally, it would cut transportation costs significantly. Local partners will also drive business towards you, and good word of mouth are often deal-makers. Cater to your existing clients, but make sure to attract more — expanding your client base is the surest way of making your business grow.


In this day and age, painted signs and traditional media (print, radio, and television) aren’t as effective as they used to be. Americans spend more than 5 hours on their smartphones and tablets, and that’s where you want to hit them. Almost every successful business has some online presence, usually through a website and social media. Going online allows your company to extend its reach around the globe as well as target specific people.

A dedicated website will also let your customers perform online transactions and give feedback. In 2019 — and especially in 2020 — online transactions have become the primary avenue for buying, selling, and hiring. A phone app will make your customers walking advertisement platforms. You can send them notifications on special events and sales, and having your logo on their phone screens serves as a modern-day endorsement.

Your childhood forays into business can give you the necessary know-how to be a successful entrepreneur. If little kids can run profitable nickel-and-dime operations, you should be able to run bigger businesses with little to no problem.

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