Blogging has definitely been on the backburner recently. In this case, I had three teenagers arrive from the UK and had to settle them all into school. This entailed an awful lot of translating UK school reports into something that let the US schools put them each in the right class. And then there were the shots and TB tests and school sports gear. Oh yeah, no uniforms however this means a larger set of clothes that needed to be purchased. Luckily, my brother stepped in and dealt with the boys clothes. Amara has settled into the expedient solution of stealing my clothes with the occasional foray to Marshalls and Old Navy at get the few pieces that she can’t find in our closet. This doesn’t happen in a stress free environment either. We moved into our flat and had to beg, borrow and IKEA the place into a habitable state.
So, my few remaining brain cells have wanted the day off every time I mentioned the idea of a thought provoking blog. Until today when my daughter decided to make some money. The kids haven’t had pocket money for years. Instead, they would work in the office and earn enough to pay for whatever they wanted. They all talk about getting jobs. At 13, Amara is too young for that strategy to work, so she hit on the idea of selling cupcakes. She decimated the kitchen making 14 beautiful cupcakes and then, well, then came the time to sell them.
We live in an apartment complex: 300 potential customers close to hand. However, it means knocking on people’s doors and asking them to buy her cupcakes. All of a sudden, the idea frightened her terribly. Now parenting is an art. At times you have to teach children to move well beyond their comfort zones – and possibly beyond yours. So, I told her she had to go and that I would go with her. We started at one end of the long hallway. One person said no, another didn’t answer the door. Each door knock led to an uncertain conclusion. And the further along the hallway we went, the more reluctant she was to knock on the next door. What I knew and she didn’t was that this kind of door to door selling system is a numbers game. And I had to keep her knocking on doors until someone said yes. Soon we found a mother who thought that relatively cheap cupcakes would make her two kids a great treat. And further along, a young man answered the door, asked for 2 and then bought 4. As he turned away, he said to someone in the house, ”Great, cupcakes!” It sounded as though we were the next best thing to the pizza delivery man.
So, she learned that she can sell the cupcakes and that she can have satisfied customers with a well presented product. And now the community garage sale day is tomorrow and she can make more money then as well. The basics of different channels of distribution and door to door selling all in one day. Now we need to work on pricing. I think that 50 cents is too cheap, so the price is going up to $1 for tomorrow’s sales. And then we’ll learn about price elasticity and it’s effect on sales volume.