At eight, I was too young to understand what a business plan was but that was not going to stop me from creating my first one. You may be thinking about a lemonade stand or maybe a paper route but those would both be wrong as I had decided to go into the seaweed business. Yes, you heard me correctly, I was going to market a service based around seaweed. To fully grasp what occurred that rather hot summer day, I need to begin by breaking down what happened into the business plan that I had no idea I was using.
The first part of a simple business plan is to figure out just what your product or service would be. In my case, I was at the beach for the day with my family and the neighbor’s boy who was a year younger than me, but a great worker. The beach was huge, as good beaches tend to be, and in the middle there was a canteen that served very good fish and chips. I had wanted to buy some and so did the neighbor’s boy but we had no money and when I asked my mother, the answer was no. This is what led to the opportunity for me and the neighbor’s boy to create a business.
The first thing we did was try to figure out what sort of product we could offer and being at the beach we were pretty well left with seaweed as the only real commodity that we had in abundance. We needed to somehow develop a service that utilized seaweed and would generate a financial stream that would take care of our canteen needs. It dawned on me that we could create a service where people could pay us to throw seaweed at their friends. There were oodles of people to choose from as potential customers, which is the second part of a simple business plan.
We had identified our product/service and we had identified our customers which meant we were ready for the next part of our simple business plan which is when will the service get done. It was impractical to just pick up seaweed as we went so we decided that we would begin our business once we had stockpiled enough seaweed to meet our financial goals. So we both worked hard gathering seaweed until close to an hour later we had a huge pile. We were ready to begin selling our product and that brought us to the final part of our simple business plan which is when will you get paid.
It was decided we would get the quarter up front before any action was taken. The pitch was simple, “For twenty-five cents we will throw seaweed at the person of your choice.” It was a little scary at first approaching strangers but once we started receiving money it became much easier. Boyfriends would pay us to throw seaweed at their girlfriends and a few times the girls would pay to get their boyfriends. It was interesting to note that boys paid us more than girls did which might have suggested that they were our target audience.
The business worked really well and we easily earned enough for the canteen. However, the money was good so we kept going as we began to dream of the local candy store back home. If we had shares, our price would have been nicely climbing. Unfortunately, we got a little greedy and this led to the end of our business. In a nut shell, some boys paid us to throw seaweed at their girlfriends and before we could do it, the girls counter offered with more money if we would throw it on the boys instead. Money is money and we took the counter offer which was a serious breach of business ethics. The boyfriends naturally felt betrayed and they retaliated against the business that broke the customer’s trust. They picked up my partner and threw him into what was left of our pile of seaweed. I got it worse as they picked me up and threw me into the ocean.
With our business officially closed we headed to the canteen and enjoyed fish and chips and also a soda while we wondered how much candy we could get with the leftover change. We didn’t really learn a lesson that day though on reflection a lesson was there and I have certainly come to understand how important business ethics are and I certainly wouldn’t consider ever treating a customer that way.
If you enjoyed my story of my adventure in seaweed then please take a moment and visit my Amazon page for The Daughter of Man and read some of the reviews and then download the free sample. I am sure if you give it a try you will want to buy the book and get to know my writing better and experience my gift for storytelling. Thank you for reading my blog post and feel free to subscribe to the blog so you will be the first to know when the next post comes out.