Every year I teach Junior Achievement classes in elementary schools. It does not matter how busy I am with ‘teaching’ business owners and lending professionals. I take time out because it is the right thing to do and I hope you will, too.
It is encouraging!
These kids get it. Sometime between the common sense of a ten year old and the adult years, something gets lost.
Example: The JA book defined a Resource as something people need. One of the students, Max, suggested it should define a Resource as something people need or want. I had to agree!
Planning a business…
The students were given about five minutes to come up with a business they might start:
- Business name
- Type of business
- Good or service
- Natural resources they might need
- Human resources they might need
- Capital resources they might need
They struggled with this assignment, particularly in the short time frame. When time was up I asked if it was hard. Their discouraged faces told the story. Yes, it was hard.
I told them it should be. That starting a business is hard. That there are a lot of questions to ask before they start. But that every business started just the way they started a few minutes ago, with an idea and a start on the questions.
Time for business owners to (re)ask questions…
Perhaps business owners (and maybe their lenders) should ask questions again. The disruption of the recession calls for it.
- What business are they in?
- What has changed for their customers and what has remained the same?
- What resources do they need?
- Who can help them answer the questions?
Some business owners never asked the questions in the first place. And most of us need to ask them again.