For the entire year I was in 4th grade, the answer to my mom’s daily question, “What was the best part of your day?” was exactly the same.
In case you don’t remember, snack time was a magical experience in elementary school. For 15 glorious minutes, we could go anywhere in the classroom with our friends and munch on whatever our parents packed for us to eat, while chatting away about Pokemon, power rangers or whatever after-school play-dates were to come.
BUT, those regular reasons weren’t why snack time was MY favorite. Snack time turned into my first business.
Early in the school year, after meticulous market research and an iron-clad business plan, I had cornered the snack time market. In my first ever business venture, I approached my mom with a thoroughly-thought-through proposal.
“Mom, hear me out.” I took a deep breath. Game-time.
“Ok, Matt-man…” She eyed her 9-year-old-pitch-man.
“If you buy me marshmallows for snack time, I promise not to eat a single one, because I know you don’t like me having too much sugar.” I smiled, showing her my freshly brushed teeth (another healthy habit she seemed fond of).
(Part 1: Make sure my mom knows I thought into my business plan and how this affects our parent-child convention of rule-abiding coexistence)
“Ok, Matt-man, then why do you want them?”
“Well mom, I’m glad you asked. Every other kid in class goes crazy for marshmallows. I don’t even like them because they’re not good for me. But they like them and will trade their whole snack for just a marshmallow or two. So, I could have a full feast of pretzels and carrots and goldfish and apple dippers if I bring just a small supply of marshmallows everyday.”
(Part 2: Explain my target demographic and value proposition to serve them)
“Hmmm. Interesting proposition Matt-man. Go on.” The wheels were turning in my mother’s mind. I was almost in the clear.
“Well mom, if you buy me one bag of mini-marshmallows per week, I could be having all different kinds of snacks from other kids without you having to buy them. This would save you money and make me happy.”
(Part 3: CLOSE.)
“You have deal, Matt-man.” Signed, sealed, delivered.
So, my very first investor supported my little snack-time venture. In less than a week, I had a marshmallow monopoly over snack time. Classmates lined up when the mid-morning bell rung, and I sat back to consider offers.
What was I in the mood for today? Perhaps a salty, sweet treat pairing pretzels and an orange… Looks like the girl with pigtails and a baggy of Utz’s, and boy who hates when his mom packs fruit for snack are the lucky barterers today!
What was your first business venture? What did it teach you? Let me know below!!!
— Marshmallow Mogul Matt Thomas