I home business school my kid

We have a persimmon tree in our backyard. My mom loves persimmons like unicorns love bacon, but unfortunately she lives on the other side of the country. If you've never had a persimmon, they taste like an unripe tomato crossed with a papaya. Papaya tastes like corpse. This is why I dislike persimmons. Fury and Lisa also hold them in similar disdain. So every year, I have the same problem: what to do with these persimmons. Sometimes I get some social media traction with them, sometimes I give them away, and sometimes I simply let them rot on the tree (this is how I discovered the abomination of evolution that are yard rats).

This year, I did something different: I incorporated them into the BusyDad curriculum of life skills. Today's class: starting a business.

Lesson 1: Hammer out a supplier arrangement

Fury and I struck a deal. In exchange for providing him with high value product (the street value, i.e. price at Pavilions Supermarket, of a Fuyu Persimmon is $2.49 each), Fury would pay me a commission of 25% of gross sales.

Lesson 2: Philanthropy sells

I told Fury that I would donate my 25% cut to my Movember Team. This way, he could tell customers that part of the proceeds went to charity.

Lesson 3: Don't put anything in permanent writing

Market sentiment and demand fluctuate constantly. Never commit fully to signage that cannot be adjusted accordingly. Dry erase boards are highly recommended.

Lesson 3.5: Slam your competitors a little bit

In case 4th grade penmanship isn't your forte, the bottom reads: don't buy smaller ones for $2.49 each at Pavilions.

Lesson 4: Put the product into your customers' hands

Also, make sure there's always plenty of beer around to keep your supplier happy and willing to cut up fruit samples for you.

Lesson 4: Lift with your legs, not your back

Or, always have your chiropractor on speed dial.

Lesson 5: Tend to your shop

Patience is a virtue, but your iPod touch kills boredom dead (as soon as it's done recharging, which leads me to a bonus lesson: always keep your gadgets charged).

Lesson 6: Provide security

Those dogs will slobber the hell out of anyone who tries to jack Fury for his fruit.

Lesson 7: Woo high dollar customers

You know you've tapped the right market when your first customer rolls up in a pimped out Mercedes.

Lesson 8: Utilize partnerships to leverage resources

Your neighbor has a table, Sour Patch Kids and a box full of Pop Chips? Expand your storefront and diversify your product line!

Lesson 9: Don't get high on your own supply

Your baby sister, however, gets the friends and family discount (turns out she loves persimmons).

Lesson 10: Take advantage of the holiday shopping rush to boost sales

This is one week after the first stand. You can't really pass up the opportunity to have a Black Friday sale, and you might as well also sell your extra Lego set while you're at it.

Lesson 11: Hire professionals, and barter services to help with cashflow

The sign above was created by a professional whiteboard artist. In return, Fury agreed to help that artist make one last push for Movember donations by making him look really badass. Fury actually had an app for that (and his iPod was fully charged).

Side note: Today is the FINAL day of Movember!! My team has raised more than $12,000 dollars for men's cancer awareness, treatment and education. That is frikkin incredible!! Every dollar counts. If you'd like to donate to the cause, click to go to my Movember page.

Lesson 12: Money does grow on trees

You just have to exploit the right ones.

Copyright © 2007-2014, James Lin. All rights reserved.