By Gene Marks / The Washington Post
For many, entrepreneurism starts at an early age and there’s no better organization that teaches these principles than the Girls Scouts.
Their delicious cookies, which have been sold since 1917, generate more than $600 million annually, according to one research site. This is no easy feat and to do this the organization relies on the skills of their very young sales team. Selling cookies requires hard work, ingenuity, communication, perseverance and a working knowledge of math — all necessary skills for any future business owner.
But even though there’s nothing as delicious as a box of Thin Mints, today’s customers have different expectations than in the past. The good news is that the Girls Scouts are adapting — and changing their philosophy.
“We’re really in the age of instant gratification,” Director of Marketing and Communications Jordan King said in a report from Fresno, California’s KFSN-TV. “People do not want to sit and wait for their Thin Mints to arrive in town, they really want to order them and have them within two seconds.”
To meet these challenges, the organization of approximately 2.8 million girls is encouraging its members to take advantage of technology. Boxes of cookies can now be purchased using their “cookie finder” app which directs the customer to the nearest seller. The organization is giving their young salespeople the ability to create their own Web pages so that their fans, friends and relatives can buy their products from wherever in the world they’re located. Many of the young scouts are also using social media to spread the word. And of course, email continues to be a vital tool for outbound marketing.
All of this technology is teaching them to do the one thing that every business must do: sell. “They’re really learning strategies that as a business owner today you have to have during high school, middle school, elementary school,” King told KFSN.
This change in attitude is not without its challenges, such as the scout who raised eyebrows this week after setting up shop outside of a marijuana dispensary.
Innovation is also an important entrepreneurial skill, right?