Young entrepreneurs from Emery and Carbon County had the opportunity to attend the Bright Ideas boot camp on June 13.
The room was jam packed with 55 young people interested in business and making money.
The Bright Ideas program is designed to introduce Emery County youth to entrepreneurship through the real world experience of starting their own business. The goal is to give kids the opportunity to learn life skills needed to be successful adults. Children experience a new level of confidence and see new possibilities for their future as leaders, business owners, and assets to their community (ecbrightideas.com).
Commissioner Kent Wilson spoke to the group. Commissioner Wilson said he has been involved in business for over 40 years. He started working at his father’s business, BKs Stop-n-Shop in Huntington when he was young. He now owns and runs the business with the help of his wife and employees.
When BKs opened it was the first convenience store in Emery and Carbon County. Now it seems every town in America has a convenience store.
Commissioner Wilson asked the young entrepreneurs why they wanted to start a business? Money was the top answer. He said money is a great reason to work because you want to support your family and you need a place to live. He said, there are a few more reasons people get into business. One reason is people see a need for the community. Business owners often start a business based on the needs of the community.
Another reason people start businesses is because they have an interest in something. If you love pets, you can open a pet store. You have to love what you do if you own a business.
Locally owned businesses also generate tax dollars for the community. They employ local people and support things like baseball, basketball and other community events. The corporate owned stores often employ people but have little community involvement and support.
Commissioner Wilson also told the audience you have to treat your customers and employees nice. When people come into your business they are not going to buy things if you or your employees are not nice to them.
Commissioner Wilson was excited to see so many young people interested in entrepreneurship. He is looking forward to the county fair and seeing the young business people present and sell their products and services.
Jordan Leonard, Emery County economic development spoke to the group about having passion for what they do in business. If you don’t have a passion for what you do, you probably won’t do a very good job. I love to play golf, so I used my passion for golf to work at the Millsite Golf Course. If you have a passion for something turn that passion into a business idea.
Amanda Leonard announced at the Emery County Fair everyone will have the opportunity to set up a booth to sell their goods and services. This will take place on Aug. 2. Amanda led the young entrepreneurs in a brainstorming session.
After the brainstorming session Amanda asked the kids to share their business ideas. Some ideas included: a pet store, handmade cat toys, a cat store, homemade jewelry, hair bows, roping lessons, boot cleaning, baked goods, lawn moving services and DIY kits to name a few. Working in groups and sharing ideas was encouraged because it is difficult to have a successful business without help.
Mindi Luke owns her own company. She is the owner of Tine Designs. She designs handmade jewelry from beads and shed antlers. Mindi said, she never thought in a million years she would be in front of a group speaking. In college I had the opportunity to travel all over and compete in business competitions. I took something I was passionate about, jewelery and turned it into a business.
When you are in business you will need help. Take advantage of people who offer to help you. You can’t make it in business without help. Find mentors and learn from them. I had the opportunity to go on an African safari because of my mentors. I also had the chance to showcase my jewelry at the Western Hunting Expo. I could never afford to have a booth there. The Girls with Guns clothing company allowed me to share a booth with them. I am so thankful for that.
Ryan Murray spoke about advertising and marketing. He said in order to sell your products or services people need to know what you have to offer. He used his first business venture as an example. When he was 13 he wanted to make money. He wanted to sell chocolate, but was convinced suckers would be a more enterprising venture. He made several suckers and had a booth at a local event. At the end of the day he made around $50. For some people that would be a lot of money, but I lost $150.
Murray told the group about the importance of advertising and marketing your products. At my sucker booth I only had one poster. I didn’t advertise I was going to be there and people didn’t know who I was. If people don’t know who you are and what you are selling they won’t buy your product. He said social media is a good way to advertise your products and services. You can also have a website. There are many ways to advertise your product you have to take the time to do it.
Murray had some of the children do a mock booth at the county fair. He said you need to know the product or the service you are selling. You need to have your items priced correctly. If things are too cheap people might think they are not a quality product. If things are too expensive people won’t buy them. You need to be enthusiastic about what you are selling. Be nice to your customers and tell them about your product.
Ethan Migliori presented on customer service. Customer service is very important. You should greet all of your customers with a smile. Be kind to your customers. Ask if you can help them with anything and be prepared to answer questions. If you don’t give customers good customer service they will remember this.
You can have the best product in the world, but your customer service will determine if a person buys your product.
The boot camp concluded with a pizza lunch for all of the attendees. Don’t forget to come to the Emery County Fair on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. to see what business ideas and products these young entrepreneurs have come up with. They are the future and a shining light for Emery County.
The young entrepreneurs will have another workshop on July 18 in conjunction with the Emery County Business Chamber.