What 10-Year-Olds Can Teach Us About Marketing

We recently worked with two impressive entrepreneurs who are already selling well – and they’re not even old enough to drive! The pair are 10-year-old students, participants in a New Jersey school program called TREP$ (short for entrepreneurs) that encourages kids to plan and execute their own business, culminating in a marketplace where they sell their wares.

SO: Awesome table at market

When we first heard about TREP$ from one student’s aunt, we loved the idea! Often schools will push kids to plan a business, and then pretend to run it, but these students really went through every step of the process, from creating a business plan, to finally selling the products they designed – so they experience the difficulties, rewards, and even the financial advantages ($$$) of running a successful business. “It’s an awesome entrepreneurial lesson at such a young age,” said MVP Visuals President Ben Camerota, “I love it when kids have fun like this with business!”

The Right Look for the Market

Customers at the marketSo where do we come in? These two students are smart businesswomen, so they knew that a great display for their products (jewelry and charms) was important if they wanted to have good sales at their market. They were hoping to borrow a table cover for their setup, but we instead offered them their pick of custom colors, and donated the now perfectly-matched table cover! How’d it go? The pair grossed an impressive $372 from their table at the market! One student’s aunt described the experience, “They worked hard talking to all the parents and teachers that came to check out their merchandise…What a wonderful experience for the girls.”

Starting With the Details

We’re so glad we were able to help the girls get the most out of their TREP$ experience, making a great learning opportunity for all the kids in their school. But the lessons that they learn from the process aren’t just for kids – there’s valuable business and marketing wisdom in there for us adults as well!

BraceletsParticipants in the TREP$ program learn the importance of careful planning from day one: in workshops they discuss product development, finance and advertising, and create a detailed business plan to map out success for their brand new business. Of course the fun part comes later, but many businesses would do well to put more time into fundamental planning, especially with clear goals set to aim for in all the efforts that follow.

Creating the Right Look for Sales

Students also learn about dressing professionally and putting together a professional, sophisticated display that shows off all their hard work.  Presentation is a key part of marketing anything, whether it’s bracelets or insurance policies. The girls created great signs to showcase their business name (SO: Awesome), and had clever stands and racks for their products. Along with the super-professional table cover, the overall look was quality – something customers want to see from your display too, whether it’s at a trade show or community event.

SO: Awesome display

Find out more about New Jersey’s TREP$ program here; and if you’re interested in learning more about custom table covers, check out this post about choosing a table cover for your next event.

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