It's Popcorn time again

Freshness Warning
This article is over 11 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

For the last few years, September has been popcorn month around here. Like many others, my son’s Cub Scout pack sells gourmet popcorn each fall to raise money to fund activities like the annual swim party, camping trips, and pinewood derby races.

Three years ago, I helped my kids launch a simple online popcorn store. Two years ago, we added a small blog to the store. The store has grown a bit each year. The first year all of the orders were placed by friends and family. Last year, they got a couple of orders from complete strangers.

Chocolatey Caramel Crunch, only $15 There’s been some interesting lessons for my kids both about business and themselves.

My kids have learned about sales incentives; the popcorn supplier provides prizes for selling popcorn and my kids found that they sold more when they had a specific prize in mind. Setting a goal helped my kids become not only the top sellers in the pack, but the among the top sellers in our region.

Although competitiveness was an early motivation between my two sons, last year they learned they could do more working together. By working in tandem, they covered more ground and made up for each other’s weaknesses. Combining their efforts resulted in greater sales than they would have gotten otherwise.

Questions from the internet public have provided lessons in customer service. One woman complained via email about child labor—not in selling the popcorn, but because she thought Cub Scouts were being employed to actually produce the products. Another person mistakenly thought that her grandchildren would get credit for the sale and wanted to cancel her purchase after she discovered this wasn’t the case. With help, my kids have decided how to answer each of these questions, and they type up the responses and send them off.

The success in popcorn sales has motivated my oldest son toward entreprenuership. He was the top candy seller for Little League this past spring. This summer he printed up fliers and handed them out in th neighorhood offering his services as a pet sitter and plant waterer. He netted about $100, and the jobs keep rolling in. Now he’s learning time management and responsibility as he finds time to do the work between school, scouts, soccer, and baseball practice.

This year, he moved on to Boy Scouts and his troop doesn’t sell popcorn. So his younger brother has offered to split the prizes with him if he helps out. Now my younger son has an employee and has to manage his time and decide how much of the prizes his help is worth.

If you like popcorn, go get some. The caramel corn is fantastic, and I recommend the above-pictured chocolate caramel corn. It’s only on sale until October, so hurry up.


Your comments:

Text only, no HTML. URLs will automatically be converted to links. Your email address is required, but it will not be displayed on the site.

Name:

Not your company or your SEO link. Comments without a real name will be deleted as spam.

Email: (not displayed)

If you don't feel comfortable giving me your real email address, don't expect me to feel comfortable publishing your comment.

Website (optional):

Follow me on Twitter

Best Of

  • How not to apply for a job Applying for a job isn't that hard, but it does take some minimal effort and common sense.
  • Simplified Form Errors One of the most frustrating experiences on the Web is filling out forms. When mistakes are made, the user is often left guessing what they need to correct. We've taken an approach that shows the user in no uncertain terms what needs to be fixed.
  • The best of 2006 I wrote a lot of drivel in 2006. Here's the things that are less crappy than the rest.
  • Rounded corners in CSS There lots of ways to create rounded corners with CSS, but they always require lots of complex HTML and CSS. This is simpler.
  • Debunking predictions Read/Write Web's authors have some goofy predictions.
  • More of the best »

Recently Read

Get More

Subscribe | Archives

11

Recently

Physical camera shutter for Cisco Spark Board (Jul 6)
A 3d printable design for a camera shutter for a Cisco Spark Board
My Travel Coffee Setup (Jan 20)
What my travel coffee brewing setup looks like, and how you can build your own for under $100.
Turkey Legs (May 30)
Product naming gone awry.
Speaking for Geeks: Your Slides (Dec 17)
Tips and tricks for creating great slides.
Speaking for Geeks: Writing Your Talk (Dec 14)
Don’t wait until the night before the talk to write it. Crazy, I know.
Speaking for Geeks: Tell a Story (Dec 13)
Telling a story keeps your presentation focused, keeps your audience interested, and makes it easier for you to remember your talk.
Speaking for Geeks: Where to speak (Dec 11)
You've got a great idea for a talk. How do you find conferences to submit it to?
Speaking for Geeks: Getting your session accepted (Dec 10)
Your conference speaking submissions are not getting accepted because they're bad. Here's how to make them better.

Subscribe to this site's feed.

Elsewhere

Tropo
Voice and communications platforms, including Tropo and Phono. Work.
SacStarts
The Sacramento technology startup community.
Pinewood Freak
Pinewood Derby tips and tricks

Contact

Adam Kalsey

Mobile: 916.600.2497

Email: adam AT kalsey.com

AIM or Skype: akalsey

Resume

PGP Key

©1999-2017 Adam Kalsey.
Content management by Movable Type.