Will this teach them entrepreneurialism?

Despite my existing website and other projects, I like to look over ebay and see what kind of businesses are available. And, if any of them are in the right price range and meet my other requirements, I may open up a email discussion. And, depending how that goes, we might talk on the phone. And, occasionally I may end up purchasing one. Well, recently this happened. And, what follows is my logic for this investment….my sons need to learn business skills, and I think I have the vehicle.

My father was a very well meaning man. He worked very hard. However, he had no desire to work for himself. He had the energy and the smarts, but he did not have the tools or the belief he could succeed. I don’t want my sons to feel they are unskilled an incapable of owning their own business. So, since they are often short on motivation, I want them to have a short term incentive (money) and a longer term investment-ownership.

Since I am early in the process, I am sure my preliminary logic is missing factors that will influence the eventual success or failure of my plan. But, until then, this is why I think my recent purchase of an ebay business will be beneficial for my sons:

  • Teaches quality: As my sons worked the first night after the “equipment” arrived, they were not familiar with the equipment being used. And, unfortunately, this resulted in a cutting the product incorrectly. They asked, “Dad, it is close to the right size. Won’t it be alright?” And, after I said “no”, I went on the explain how important it is to give your customers the best you can give them. In the days of “cheap” products, I hope other dads are trying to teach there sons the same lessons.
  • Teaches discipline: After school activities and a very busy day, there were orders that needed fulfilled. And, rather than saying, “tomorrow will be okay”, they stayed up well past their normal bedtime to get it done. Our/their customers chose to buy their product. The customers had other choices, but yet gave them their money. If you can’t take care of your customers, then your priorities are wrong. And, if at the end of the process, they don’t want to be responsible for taking care of customers, then they would have come to that conclusion based on experience.
  • Teaches marketing: Why do people buy from you? Is it your ebay feedback? Is it your price? Is it being at the right place at the right time? It could be a combination of all of those things. As we learn this product together, we can discuss those issues. And, it will not offend me at ALL if they out think me. If fact, it will let me know the experiment is on track. (And, that the teacher isn’t completely crazy!)
  • Teaches Profit: What happens if we lower our price? Can we switch suppliers or talk to our present supplier and reduce our product cost? Can we reduce our shipping cost? Their labor may be cheap, but that doesn’t mean they can’t think about the bottom line and understand how they can contribute.

If this experiment is of interests to you, please let me know! Give me your experiences or your ideas to challenge them. Regardless, I am hopeful additional posts will follow….

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