Anne Alexander

Since 2002, Anne Alexander has provided coaching and consulting services to small business owners with five to fifty employees to help them move forward with substantial, profitable business growth, personal satisfaction, and bottom-line control. She is their confidential, strategic partner in managing and growing their business.

child, Anne AlexanderIt’s a little known fact that I was once the founder & CEO of a business conglomerate. It had nine divisions. See one of my original marketing pieces here:

marketing piece
I was 11 years old and the name, A.I.C. & M., Inc., (pronounced “ace and em” was derived from my initials, plus I knew that “Ace” had some marketing juice, at least it did back then (think Ace Hardware)!

Of course, I was the chief cook and bottle washer, the only employee. My most successful division was T.R.P. – short for “traveling rubbing parlor,” and my best and only customer of that division was my dad, who was what we now call a raving fan.

Although at that age I giggled whenever anyone tried to rub my feet, I understood that a business must deliver what its customers, not we, want.

I had already learned some key marketing lessons:

– the best form of marketing takes an educational approach (“The  Understanding Booklet”)

– offer several levels of service and pricing (I had two levels of foot  massage available)

– focus on benefits (“You are the master!” – who could resist that?)

– let people test out your products and services (“you can test us on  a few things”)

– always have a call to action (“If you have a job to do, contact us!”  â€“ a little lame, but not bad for an 11 year old)

My second most popular division did not appear on the above marketing piece. It was my candy store. I bought candy from the local grocery store (Canada mints, as I recall) and resold them at a profit to my delighted customers, my mother and sister.

Yes, entrepreneurial qualities tend to surface early in life. However, whether we start earlier or later, we all must go through much trial and error to learn the ropes of starting and running a successful business.

No matter how awkward, lame or inexpert our first attempts may be, the brilliance is in starting, and then learning, tweaking and trying some more. Not every venture will pan out, but as countless real life success stories have shown, quantity eventually leads to quality.

So whether you’re 11 years old or 91, get out there and keep throwing stuff against the wall!


© 2018 Anne Alexander. All rights reserved.

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  1. Eva Kerschbaumer February 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

    My husband would love this, I think you are his clone or something – although he is too lazy to write the understanding book. I wish that I had your (and his) ability to just do it. Thanks for the smile.


  2. Connie Hambrock February 11, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I too started young, but, all my advertising was word of mouth. I started at age 6 buying 1 cent gum and selling it at school for 2 cents each. That was very popular until the teachers found out who was selling the gum.
    My next try was when I was 9. I had learned how to knit in the summer and had made myself a drawstring coin purse out of variegated yarn. The small skeins that I used cost 10 cents so I sold my purses for 20 cents. That was good until the skeins went up in price to 20 cents, then no one wanted to pay 40 cents for it. I wasn’t blessed with enough forethought to have bought the bigger skeins before the price went up or to buy more than two sample skeins at a time. As I grew I too learned to diversify, save my money and plan ahead. I think every child should have a tiny business to run with their own money to learn and grow from. Thanks for sharing your story and letting me share some of mine, Dr. Connie Hambrock

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