Starting young in business, youngster learns a thing or two
Lynne Cope Hummell
Sofie Beth Jackson can't spell the word "entrepreneur." But she is one.
The 7-year-old second grader at Okatie Elementary has started her own business, appropriately called Finders Keepers, from her home in Rose Hill.
Conveniently for the business, Sofie Beth lives with her family on the golf course. For some time, when she and her sister have found errant golf balls in their yard, they have kept them.
Recently, as her stint of selling Girl Scout cookies for her troop was coming to an end, Sofie Beth said "I wanted to keep selling something - and I had all these golf balls."
The benefit of selling something you already have, she has learned, is that there is more profit. That's right. She understands expenses and the cost of doing business.
The golf balls she and her family find are free, cleaning them is mostly free, and the egg cartons in which they are packaged were saved from the family's own use and others were donated by friends. "I just thought that was creative," Sofie Beth said. "We use a lot of eggs."
There was minimal cost of a couple of sheets of notebook paper to make hand-printed labels.
Packaged by the dozen, and separated by brand, the gently lost golf balls sell for $10 per carton. Titleist and Slazenger seem to be high among those that are lost.
Though this interview was conducted on her second day of doing business, Sofie Beth had already made $20 - sheer profit.
One of the first things Sofie Beth learned is "A good salesperson is someone who has helpers they don't have to pay," she said.
She has enlisted the help of her younger sister, Gloria. "The reason I wanted her is because she's cute," she said. When this writer noted that she is also cute, Sofie Beth said, "Yeah, but she's 3."
Indeed, when asked what her job is, Gloria replied, "To be cute."
Sofie Beth and Gloria sometimes sit on the covered back patio ("My mom doesn't want us to get hit in the head by golf balls," she said) with the golf balls on a table. When they hear golfers approaching, They run out the door and ask if they'd like to buy some. That's when Gloria turns on the charm.
Of the four people they approached on the first day of business, two said "no" and two said "yes." Sofie Beth is learning to never stop selling.
She hopes to someday be able to be allowed to go to the nearby clubhouse and sell her wares there. "I could probably walk there," she reasoned.
There is a plan in place for the money the girls make, something she has discussed with her parents. "I want financial peace," she said.
That's right. She has attended Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes with her parents, Brian and Holly Bounds Jackson.
She is learning about budgets and saving. "You have to save more money and sell stuff," Sofie Beth said. "And go out to eat only once a week."
Her dad is pleased that his daughter is interested in learning more. "We talk about it, and she sees what we're doing," he said. "We're her role models."
The plan for profits is that 10% goes to the church (called a "tithe"), 40% goes to the family, and the remaining 50% goes to Sofie Beth and Gloria. "But, I do a little more work than she does, so I get a little more," she said.
With her portion, Sofie Beth said she is going to save 80% for college, use 1% for giving to someone else, and save 1% for an emergency. She intends the spend the rest.
If Sofie Beth can divide her time, she will also have some income from another enterprise she and her dad started a while ago. Together, they bake birthday cakes and decorate them in various themes. They made $40 for the last one they made.
Baking is her passion, Brian said. "Since she was 3, she has been fascinated by baking. She watches baking shows and videos on YouTube all the time." He said his daughter wants to start her own YouTube channel and teach others.
For now, though, Sofie Beth is focused on the Finders Keepers business. She is accepting donations of gently used, not dented, golf balls, as well as empty egg cartons, dozen size only.
For more information, email her mom at firstname.lastname@example.org.