Noah (16) talks about launching his candyfloss business, Sheep-On-A-Stick, at the Guildford Children’s Business Fair.
How did you get started?
I was told about the Children’s Business Fair and thought it might be a good way to earn money. I’d been looking for a job, but couldn’t find one as I was too young.
What research did you do for your business?
I thought about tons of ideas. One idea was to carbonate fruit. I did loads of experiments to see if it could work. It was fun, but eventually I realised it wasn’t possible to serve more than one person at a time and also it was too expensive.
I then thought about what people would like at the fair. I love candyfloss and thought there’d be plenty of people who love candyfloss too – so that’s what I decided to do.
I spent a long time researching which candyfloss machine to buy. Some were cheap – but could only produce a little at a time. I found some professional ones, but those were hundreds of pounds. My parents lent me the money for a mid-price machine (£150).
What was your business plan?
I realised that the costs of making the candyfloss is really low, as it’s just sugar. I had to buy sticks and bags, but otherwise my profit margin from each serving was 95%.
To pay off the cost of the machine, I’d worked out I’d have to sell around 80 sticks. The main issue was that the fair wasn’t long enough to make that many. So, I pre-prepared lots of bags of candyfloss the night before. We sold out on the day – so I kind of wish I had made more.
Is making candyfloss easy?
It is easy, but only after practice. There’s a video of my first attempt. It’s pretty funny – but now I’m quite good making it. And I also really enjoy it. (See Noah’s video below)
How much money did you make at the fair?
I made £96 which I was really happy with. I need to pay my parents back in full for the machine – but after that, it’s all money for me!
What advice would you give potential participants?
Come up with an idea that you love and that you think other people will love. Keep your costs down. Also don’t be afraid of going up to people to sell your products. If they say no, there’s always someone else you can sell to.
Are you going to continue to develop your business?
Since the fair, I’ve made more money by selling candy floss to my friends. I need money right now for the holidays, so I’m going to do another fair.