Byron Perry's Kids, Inc.
"Because kids need money too."
Byron Perry, Founder of Kids, Inc. is becoming a favorite among the youth when it comes to money matters. Mr. Perry’s slogan, “because kids need to make money too,” undoubtedly resonates with the youth and as a result, they flock to him during his workshops and seminars to learn money generating strategies in a fun and interactive environment. Byron W. Perry brings 30 years of knowledge and expertise to the community and making children aware of their financial options has been his focus for many years. But the buck does not stop there for this master of versatility. Byron Perry brings his expertise to working professionals, business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, college students and stay-at-home-moms, equipping them with the skills they need to become savvy business professionals with a competitive advantage. Mr. Perry took time out to share some of his business insight with BSN:
BSN: Good afternoon, Mr. Perry. Thank you for joining us.
BP: The pleasure is mine, Brenda. Thank you for having me.
BSN: Let me start, Mr. Perry, by asking you, how you first discovered this niche for educating children about entrepreneurship?
BP: At some of the adult workshops I facilitated in the past, I spotted children in the audience who really seemed to be interested in what I was saying. That is when I realized that children have a need to learn economics also. Some children get an allowance – and some do not. They are at a point in their lives where they cannot get hired because of child labor laws. I decided to teach them how to do entrepreneurial things to create an income for themselves in order to be self-empowered and more independent. That is where I saw a need to speak to children directly. I have spoken in five branches of the Brooklyn Public Library on children’s entrepreneurship, five branches in Queens, and for the Queens Public Park Association. It’s a very powerful workshop.
BSN: Please share with us a bit about the experience working with children on this subject.
BP: The general age range is between 8 and 14. I give workshops on “Too Young to Get Hired? Hire Yourself,” “Buy Your Own Bicycle,” “Don’t Eat Cookies – Sell Them.” I open with a question to get them engaged. I ask them, “Who wants to make money?” All of their hands go up. They become focused and interested. I talk about how to set up their business; I talk to them about advertising and promotions on their level, business cards; I give them ideas about various businesses they can get into from shoveling snow, in the wintertime to cutting the grass in the summertime, setting up a lemonade stand and selling lemonade and cookies; selling merchandise at flea markets; different things that are age-appropriate for their needs. I also stress that they must let their parents or guardians know what they’re doing because they’re still minors.
I once facilitated a series of workshops at Langston Hughes Library in Queens, and the children really absorbed my information to the point that they applied it to a festival they participated in. They made lemonade and cookies, sold them at the festival and made money.
BSN: That is very interesting. Tell me, Mr. Perry – how do you go about teaching a child marketing strategies?
BP: Firstly, I tell them they have to be organized, they must be on time and they have to be professional even at their young age. Once that is established, I tell them about having a flyer and a business card and knowing where and how to place their fliers. For example, they must decide, depending on what product or service they provide, whether the flyer is best distributed or placed on bulletin boards in supermarkets, etc. I explain that they need to determine who would most likely use their products or services, find out where those people tend to go or congregate and then target that area. I help them establish who their ideal customer is and how to reach those people, and I teach them how to determine a good price for their products and services, packaging, customer relations, how to be courteous and respectful, how to take criticism, I even teach them how to hire people and how to let them go, if necessary. The children engage with great enthusiasm. They enjoy it. That is because, when I speak, I speak to people – not at them. I make sure they understand what I mean by making it an interactive experience. I ask them questions, they ask me questions, I show them examples and they embrace what I say in a wonderful way. They take notes and they use what they learn. I also teach them financial literacy. Managing your money is very important.
BSN: What is the outreach process? How do you reach the youth and get them to come to your workshops?
BP: The libraries do a wonderful job at promotion and I usually have a great turnout.
BSN: What workshops do you have available for adults?
BP: I speak to adults about topics relating to their business interests. I keep myself very informed about current business trends in order to keep my audience well-versed. Some aspire to be in business, some are already in business, some are advanced. I talk about raising capital. For example, it is very important for businesses to know how to raise money. You can’t always get money from a bank, but there are other alternative financial sources. I also discuss marketing, advertising, sales, customer relations, and I answer their questions and concerns. I have spoken at York College Small Business Development Center on three separate occasions on the topic of home-based businesses. You can have a lucrative business working at home.
BSN: Please give us some examples of lucrative home-based businesses.
BP: Mail order, import-export, journalist, painter, accounting service, daycare services, a lot of things. Things that don’t require too much traffic.
BSN: What is your advice on how to recession-proof a business?
BP: I suggest people recession-proof themselves – not just their business. Create entrepreneurial products or projects to create additional income. People must create multiple revenue streams. A lot of people have day jobs, but there’s a concept called the “side-hustle.” Develop more ways to make money than just one.
BSN: What’s next for you, Mr. Perry? Where do you go from here?
BP: On April 30th starting at 3:30 PM, I will be facilitating a seminar on "How To Start a Small Business" at the Marcy Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, located at 617 Dekalb Avenue, off Nostrand Avenue. I encourage everyone to join me. It will be a very educational and empowering experience. Come out, take notes and get ideas for your own business. I have previously published a series of columns on entrepreneurship and I’m thinking about coming out with an e-book. I’m also considering getting into teleseminars and webinars.
Byron Perry is also the Founder of Campus CEO -- a program that teaches college students how to earn money while making their way through college.
To learn more about motivational speaker and business coach, Byron Perry, logon to http://www.thepowerofperry.com
Brenda Jeanne Wyche is Managing Editor for Harlem Business News. If you have a solution, contact Brenda@blackstarnews.com . Maybe we’ll talk.
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