3 Timeless Startup Principles I Learned as a Kidpreneur

From the time I was a 9-year-old girl, I knew I wanted to dip my pink toenails in my own business. My first startup failed. After quickly learning I couldn’t guzzle more lemonade than I sold, I tried my hand at something less tempting to my palate. I had a passion for fishing, including the thrill of the catch and the fun of the clean. I thought long and hard how I could parlay that passion into profit. I knew that if a hook had a chance to be successful it needed good bait. Big juicy night crawlers happened to be the preferred bait of choice in my neck of the woods. My first successful startup was selling night crawlers carefully counted and packed in cut off milk cartons for 15¢ a dozen.

From the position of a successful multi-unit franchisee today, I still believe in these three timeless principles. Their importance should resonate within any start up business plan today.

Nightcrawlers for SalePrinciple #1: Think big when you’re small.

Big is good. Especially when it comes to night crawlers. First, I had to secure some crawler inventory along with good worm dirt. I learned to think big on size and supply. After every rain I’d take my Dad’s flashlight and head to the back yard at dark. No rain, no problem. I just improvised with the sprinkler. Those juicy night worms would pop their heads and I’d strategically dive down for the capture.

I learned to think big. I still think big when it comes to business. A wise man once told me, “If you want a big day, prepare for a big day.” Cha-ching!

Principle #2: Location, Location, Location

Does location still matter? Yes. Even Amazon, the e-commerce retail giant is going to prime locations with bricks and mortar. Based on your startup’s particular demographic needs, finding the right location is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Plan ahead. Do your homework. Consult with experts.

My first crawler location was a shoo-in for success, or so I thought. I set up shop on my porch, which happened to be on a high traffic street. It was convenient to my sensibilities, but that’s all it was. So I picked up and re-positioned myself on a service road to my neighborhood lake. Cha-ching!

Principle #3: Cash Flow Management

Learning I had to pay bills along the way was a tough lesson. I’m not sure you know how bad I wanted that new Barbie. But learning from my failure with lemonade, I decided to handle my cash drawer monies differently. I was practically giddy over seeing money coming in, but I didn’t run to the store with it. Soon, I was able to pay for my supplies and even reinvest in some modernization. I installed a bigger sign and bought paper for flyers that I put on every car in a two-block radius. Cha-ching!

And after all my bills were paid, I paid myself. I sense some eyes rolling.

I’ve always said, “Successful entrepreneurs have doggedness, a keen sense of urgency and an innate ability to self-correct.” Those traits are quickly learned as we navigate the ups and downs of growing a business. Whether you choose franchising that offers you a support system, or you startup as an independent and figure it out as you go, don’t discount the timeless lessons you may have picked up as a kidpreneur. As simple as they seem, they could mean the difference between success and failure. Cha-ching!

“Successful entrepreneurs have doggedness, a keen sense of urgency and an innate ability to self-correct.” –Gloria Plaisted

Stuff We Like

Things We Support

Lakeland Eagles Youth Football

BrandChise® supports youth athletic programs and helping guide the leaders of tomorrow. Lakeland Eagles is a youth football and cheerleading organization for boys and girls ages five through fifteen. The program not only teaches the skills to play the sport but also how to work as a team, learn discipline, and understand responsibility.

Birds of Hope

Birds of Hope was created by two middle school girls who returned from a mission camp and learned bout the unsafe water conditions in many parts of Africa. Instead of forgetting about this after they returned home, they decided that they wanted to make a change. These young ladies now make small birds and sell them, with the proceeds going to “Active Water”, a non-profit organization who brings water filers to those who need it in Africa.

Minnesota Teen Challenge

Minnesota Teen Challenge has been working with teens and adults struggling with drug and alcohol addictions throughout Minnesota for over 25 years. BrandChise® supports the support, hope, healing, and freedom that this program has provided for many people over the last 25 years and is glad that they will be there for many years to come.

Stuff We Like

International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association, IFA, is a membership organization of franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers. This professional organization is dedicated to improving the franchising industry through education, trade shows, seminars,and a strict code of ethics. BrandChise® is not only a supplier member, but an active member of the IFA community.

Gloria Plaisted

Gloria Plaisted is a popular speaker with BrandChise®. Her symposiums have helped thousands of franchisees maximize their return on investment as it relates to their money, time and team building. She presents in a playful, practical and down-to-earth style.

You’ll marvel at the way this seasoned multi-unit/multi-brand franchisee and franchisor weaves and recreates what accounted for her success … while providing her audiences with invaluable tools that they can wrap their hands around and easily implement.

For over 35 years, along with her husband Rick, this dynamic team have been highly successful multi-unit franchisees/franchisor, as well as area developers.

Gloria is an Executive Business Consultant with BrandChise®.

What People Are Saying

Gloria made us want to literally run back to our business and make it work. She shares time-tested secrets that most couples have never even thought of. My husband and I needed all the help we could get and Gloria delivered a ton of it. She’s real, captivating, and I loved the story about the hot dog!

—Tom & Carrie Michaud, franchisees

Listening to Gloria is like a breath of fresh air. She not only talks about the problems but more importantly gives you the tools and techniques to help solve them in simple and practical ways. She provides great take home stuff that will immediately enhance your bottom-line.

—Mel Kleiman CSP/Humetrics, Division of Deploy Solutions

Your presentation was outstanding! If was fun to get a peak at what makes me tick. The results were so dead on it was almost frightening! I’m hoping there will be more down the road. I will be there.

—D. Adams/Koltes/Owner/Director/Nurses That Care

Gloria was a guest speaker at our Leadership Summit, for nearly 300 franchisee leaders. Her presentation focused on improving our delivery on key brand attributes that separate us from the competition. Her passionate speaking style, experience and insights gently reminded us of what makes our brand special and what can we do to keep them alive on a daily basis in each of our units.

—Chuck Chapman/Chief Operating Officer/International Dairy Queen