Business Rx: Here’s a problem for a No. 2 pencil. This propagandize supply start-up …

May 21, 2015 - School Supplies

From a left, The Krensky girls: Natalie, age 9, afterwards Leah age 5, Ava age 13, and Chloe age 9.From a left, The Krensky girls: Natalie, age 9, afterwards Leah age 5, Ava age 13, and Chloe age 9. (SchoolSupplyFly)

This week, a family-run propagandize supply business looks for assistance handling a possess supplies. 

The entrepreneur

While many kids are counting down a days until propagandize is out for a summer, Ava Krensky, 13, is gearing adult for her company’s bustling season. She will be operative tough this summer, fulfilling orders for her propagandize supply business, SchoolSupplyFly.

Two years ago, Ava’s father helped her start a business. With 3 younger sisters, Ava satisfied other families contingency feel a same disappointment of carrying to run around to several opposite stores to accumulate a countless equipment on propagandize supply lists for a new propagandize year.

Now Ava and her sisters are creation it easy for parents: They do a shopping, arrange orders, and broach them to schools.

The pitch

Ava Krensky, founder, SchoolSupplyFly

“The initial year, we over orders during my facile school, Kensington Parkwood [ in Montgomery County] and one other facile school. This propagandize year we are serving seven schools.

“Parents can sequence online or use a paper sequence forms we yield to schools. Then we get all a reserve – possibly grouping in bulk online or selling during stores. My sisters, my father and we arrange a orders. We try to keep it simple. Then we put them in bags and broach them to a schools.

“We let schools select how they wish to work with SchoolSupplyFly. If they wish to offer it as a use to parents, we don’t symbol adult a reserve as much. If they wish it as fundraiser, we symbol it adult a small bit some-more and afterwards we give half of a increase behind to a schools.

“My idea is to present $50,000 dollars behind to a village by a time we connoisseur high school. Since we started a business dual years ago, I’ve donated $3,000 dollars behind to a village ($1,000 dollars to Team River Runner – they learn bleeding veterans how to kayak; $1,500 dollars to a Kensington Parkwood PTA; $300 dollars to a Wyngate PTA; and $200 dollars to a Leukemia Society).

“One of a biggest hurdles is handling a growth. Right now, we store all of a reserve in a basement. Sometimes we like to take advantage of sales when we see them via a year and build a register of supplies. But we’d like to keep flourishing to some-more schools. We could demeanour during renting a storage space or regulating room space a family crony has available.”

The advice

Elana Fine, handling director, a Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship during a University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

“You are unequivocally faced with a scaling doubt and how fast we wish to expand. You can cruise about scaling to some-more schools, or removing some-more business within any propagandize that we already work with. Consider 3 strategies:

“One, we could cruise about a single-market entrance plan to spend some-more time building some-more recognition during any of a 7 schools with a idea to grow by 15-20 percent any year in that school, for example. You could confirm not to enhance to an additional propagandize until we have jam-packed a marketplace during your stream schools.

“Two, we could only go after as many schools as possible. Every year you’ll try to supplement some-more schools and figure your sum series of business will grow accordingly. With this strategy, any new propagandize equals additional selling losses and time spent operative with PTAs and administrators.

“Option three: Employ a broader plan where we work with incomparable partners, maybe even a whole county propagandize system. Then we don’t have to go propagandize by propagandize to grow. For example, if we done a understanding with Montgomery County Public Schools, they could pull we out to all a schools.

“Once we establish how we should scale, you’ll be means to solve your storage problems with comparatively inexpensive storage space. Put it in your losses that we will need storage space. Then we will be means to figure out how many orders and schools we need to clear holding over some-more storage space. You can also weigh a economics of register and storage costs and cruise shopping final year’s propagandize reserve in bulk on sale, afterwards storing them until subsequent year.

“If we do get room space, we competence wish to also cruise about other organizations that could use your service. For example, some free organizations give bags of propagandize reserve out to homeless shelters and others once a year. They competence be meddlesome in operative with we to sequence a reserve and put together a bags for them.”

Looking for some recommendation on a new business, or need assistance regulating an existent one? Capital Business and a experts during a University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at a Robert H. Smith School of Business are prepared to assist. Contact us at

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