Biz4Kids Summer Business Contest 2005
Welcome to the Biz4Kids Summer Business Contest 2005 Winner's Page.
Billy enjoys farming and working outside. How could he turn his interest into a business? Well, he started growing more than he could eat and sold the produce at a local farmer's market. That's great! Creating sales channels is always difficult so it is wonderful that Billy found a place to sell. Billy plans to stay in business. Good luck!
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Sola Fide Farms
Type of business: Produce & Daylily Plant Sales
Watch Billy on Internet TV as he is interviewed by Biz4Kids founder Christian Erickson - The program is "Selling Face-to-Face"
Why did you decide on this type of business? I love to work the soil, to see plants spring forth, and to savor the wonderful taste of fresh organic vegetables.
How you will market your business? I will pass out my business card to potential customers then and at other times during the week. The Covington Square Farmer's Market has volunteer opportunities for me to help with the promotion of the Market, which I plan to utilize.
What goals you have for this business/yourself? I would like this to be the beginning of my career in farming. This exposure to sales will show me if I really enjoy the selling aspects of direct marketing, or if I simply prefer the production aspects of farming.
I want to plant the seeds, so to speak, for my future market gardens by becoming "Certified Organic".
Finally, I want to meet new friends at the market and form lasting connections with the other sustainable farmers in the area.
Summary of the Business: I wanted to explore farming as a career and discover if I would enjoy selling my produce directly to the consumer. I have always enjoyed growing things since I was very small, and I knew I could grow enough to sell. I wanted to explore the realities of selling to the public - harvesting, getting up early, and standing in one place for hours in the hot sun. It is hard work, but I truly enjoyed every moment. Not only did I make money selling my own products, I was able to connect with other organic farmers in the area and sell their produce on commission. I carefully planned what I grew so my produce did not compete with what I was selling for them. I also volunteered my time to help the market with set-up and teardown and place advertisement signs on the Square.
Your goals: I worked hard in my garden all summer. I grew crops that the other farmers did not have so I was able to offer our customers more variety than they would have had otherwise. I was the only vendor at the market with flower plants on a consistent basis, which required me to prepare the plants several days in advance. I talked at length with people about organics, and I now know what it takes for me to become "certified organic". I would like to be able to offer even more quantity with the same variety next year.
What else did you learn? I learned that I love to work with other people. I knew that the "real" farmers were taking a chance on me and I had to do my best every day to sell their items. I also found that I love to teach customers about eating good foods grown responsibly.
Will you stay in business now since summer is almost over? I will continue to sell at the Farmer's Market through the last market October 29. I strongly desire to have a larger garden next year and sell even more plants and produce. I will use what my customers and the other farmers have taught me to be an even better market gardener next year!
COMMENTS FROM READERS
* To create a farming business is especially difficult, because of the physical and financial demands, and to go organic requires even more effort, and shows a commitment to quality over anything else. To see a 14 year old taking these steps and putting in that much effort during a school vacation should be an inspiration for us all.
* ...it's difficult to find a business nobler than organic farming. Organic farming is extremely important to the survival of society and yet if you ask a child in an urban or suburban area what they want to be when they grow up, it is doubtful that they will want to be part of this profession.
* We are fellow organic farmers, who met him at the Covington Square Market. He is very knowledgeable about the crops he and the other farmers grow. He is amazing the business skills he has at such a young age. He is always willing to help at the market and to assist other farmers in setting up and taking down their booths.
* Billy is truly an exemplary industrious young man with a brilliant future because of his diligence, determination, and integrity. While so many young people are playing video games, Billy is "plowing his fields." Move over Lee Iacoca and Donald Trump!
* Billy worked very hard in his business and offered a variety that many other businesses did not offer. Along with vegetables in his garden, he also offered flowering plants. This required an extra effort and the variety made his business stand out from the others!
* I definitely believe that Billy should win this contest. He has very lucidly described his business plan, which is realistic and far-reaching.
* Billy has done a really good job with his business and has been able to learn how to become a better business man by talking to those more experienced than he and gained the trust of other farmers (to sell their produce for them). He also planned ahead to make sure that he did not have much competition and sold items that other farmers were not selling.
* Billy worked hard, planned ahead, got other business to advertise his business in addition to himself, secured the trust of other farmers to sell their produce, got advise for those wiser than himself, making connections for the new growing season, and not only is he selling his produce (and others) he is growing food that is better for people than the vegetables with all the pesticides on them.
* I think it takes a lot of initiative and hard work to do what Billy is doing with his organic gardening business. He has to work with people in a collaborative way to get his product to market, and he has to work independently every day to make his product the best it can be. Finally, he has to be able to communicate to his customers in an effective manner to enable him to be able to do a good business. His business is an inspiration!
* I believe that Billy's organic gardening business is the right business for the right time. After my recent move to Durango Colorado, I have been exposed to the benefits of organic foods and flowers, and am convinced of the goodness of it for me, and for our world. That a youngster of Billy's age is already cognizant of the need to educate others of the benefits of his kind of produce leads me to believe that his project should win this contest.
* Billy has more business sense at 14 than most people do when they are 50. He has studied the market to find a "niche". He then focused on capitalizing on this niche. This is the most important part of building a successful business. His farm is a true money making entity and not just a summer project. This is no lemonade stand, it's a genuine organic, multiple acre farm which he has worked very hard to build over his young life. This young man can and will succeed at anything he put his mind to, however, he has chosen the "field" that he truly enjoys.
* Billy's hard work with his farming has impressed me very much. He manages his farm well, and has a high standard of excellence for his products as well as a strong work ethic. His honesty to the other farmers has established in his business. Also, he has gained the skills of selling to the customer. One note: his daylilies, which he himself breeds, are beautiful, and of high quality!
* Sola Fide Farms is my choice for the winning business. I found he learned many skills needed to be a success. He helped people get what they wanted, so that he could get what he wanted. That is one the most famous success principles Zig Ziglar talks about. He went out of his way to be helpful to the farmers market by volunteering his time to set up,etc. and he voluntarily put the other people produce before his own need, since he said he grew things to be different yet complimentary to the other farmers that used his skills of selling. He also used his time wisely as he sold other people things at the same time he sold his things. This young person found that putting other persons needs above his own will win friends and business. He learned how to deal with other farmers, the businessmen at the farmers market, and the customers and came away from the experience still excited about what he was doing. His enthusiasm is catching. As a farmer he sacrificed many hours of his time to build this business and it looks like it will be a success, because now he knows what it takes to succeed and is willing to do it.
* What a great business idea. He has done a great job and growing organic vegetables is hard. He developed a great plan and worked with not against other farmers. How intelligent and thoughtful.
* Billy has my vote for his marketing strategy. There is a LOT of prep work for farming and yet he knew to grow what others wouldn't be growing.
* The 14 year old boy obviously put a great deal of effort into this business, and received much in return. Not only did he profit financially, but also he seemed to learn a great deal about organic farming.
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