It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Girl Scout Cookie Season. The $700 million Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. As the parent of a motivated entrepreneur/Girl Scout, I’ve guided my daughter as she’s worked toward her goals and achieved success. I’ve learned a few things along the way that apply to any business endeavor. Here are 6 Tips from a Girl Scout Cookie CEO who’s learning how to run a business, one box of Thin Mints at a time.
1. Make a Plan
Every business has a goal (or goals), but chances are you won’t succeed without a plan. Girl Scout Cookie Season is a short one, so every day counts. A busy Girl Scout is like any other overscheduled business person – she needs to set her priorities, decide what steps to take to achieve her goal, and carve out time to complete those steps (in addition to the many other tasks on her to-do list). Work the plan. The plan works.
2. Build Partnerships
When you’re running a business, you can’t go it alone. For a Girl Scout, a partnership might mean Mom or Dad taking the cookie order form to work, her future filmmaker older brother directing her latest sales pitch video for social media, or the local grocery store allowing the troop to set up a booth and sell cookies to their customers for two hours. No matter your industry or business, building partnerships is key.
3. Deliver a Message that Matters
Whether you’re offering products, services, or both, your message matters. What’s your story? Why should your customers buy from you and not the Daisy down the street? How and where you tell your story impact the effectiveness of the message, too. Be prepared, be creative, and sell a good story.
4. Pick Up the Phone
In today’s fast-paced world, snapping a photo and uploading it to Facebook is an easy way to get the word out. Sometimes, though, you’ve got to pick up the phone. A personal phone call – to new or returning customers – can make a big difference.
5. Play to Your Strengths
If there’s one thing I’ve learned at the many cookie booths I’ve supervised, it’s this: Not every Girl Scout is like my daughter, excited to approach strangers and ask if they’d like to buy cookies. Everyone has different strengths and skills. While we want our Girl Scouts to step outside their comfort zones, sometimes you’ve got to sit back and let the extroverts do the talking. Surround yourself with a well-rounded team and let them do what they do best.
6. Make Someone’s Day
A small gesture of gratitude can go a long way. At a recent cookie booth at our local grocery store, the cashier closest to our table enthusiastically sent customers our way. My daughter waited for a break in his line and asked him which cookie was his favorite (Thanks-A-Lots, as it turned out). She bought him a package and thanked him for helping her troop reach their goal. A few minutes later, he came over to the booth and bought five more boxes, including a box for his manager. Day made – for the cashier, the manager, and my daughter, who saw how a simple act of kindness impacted her business.
Whether you’re selling cookies or custom cabinetry, the experienced team at Prime Advertising & Design offers clients a unique blend of business savvy, the latest technology, and marketing expertise to help you meet your goals. We approach every project with energy and creativity as we help you sell your story. Contact us to get started today.