Business, Marketing, and Life Lessons Learned From My First Job: Paperboy

Business, Marketing, and Life Lessons Learned From My First Job Paperboy

I was so excited until I turned eleven. The moment I turned eleven was a big deal. It was a requirement for at least eleven years old to be a paperboy. My first paperboy job taught me a lot about marketing, business, and life.

Business Lessons Learned

Getting Paid Is Difficult –

We were required to Collect Money directly from our customers. We were required to collect each month. It was not our favorite thing to do for us. Usually, the boys would say, “I need to go out and purchase some comics, but I must go collect.” No collecting = no money. Sometimes, I’d encounter customers who refused to pay. We can talk with them about it or employ our “nuclear” option: stop delivery.

It Takes Supplies to Get the Job Done –

You needed to make sure that you had sufficient plastic bags and rubber bands available in case of bad weather. Rain could be a catastrophe for the paperboy. Luckily, the paper bags and rubber bands were not expensive.

Risk is always present in any business.

I had to be content with a dog (Dogs hate paperboys), rain and ice, hills, and even accidents. In one instance, I fell unconscious after the straps of my bag fell off and were twisted over the wheel on my bicycle’s front. This took me off into the air without a helmet. I then awoke in a mess of twisted pieces with my bike stuck in the dirt on the other side. I was left with an egg on top of my head.

Do it Right The First Time –

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We were paid $1 for every complaint received from someone who couldn’t locate their paper or when the paper was damp or in the trunk or was not delivered. Each paper I threw was a $1 risk attached to it. If I was to throw the paper slightly off, I needed to stop and rectify it. I didn’t have the money to complain.

Marketing Lessons Learned

Marketing has a profound impact on the world.

Advertising in the Sunday newspaper was delivered to my house on Friday. All ads were sold. We just had to wait until the following Sunday to receive the actual news section, which had always been smaller than advertising. Ads were extremely significant.

Perks can be a fantastic reward.

Every job comes with its benefits. My mom received coupons the first time, and our group of paperboys was rewarded with pizza parties due to having a low number of complaints. The most rewarding reward is a People Tip for a job done well. We were able to meet our clients face-to-face every month as we collected cash. When you had done a decent job, you probably received a tip. The time of Christmas was the ideal opportunity to collect. In the holiday season, there are always gifts, tips, and sweets.

You Need Data to Make Decisions-

Every day we get an update of the latest subscribers to the newspaper as well as those who want to be removed from the paper service. The list also included the complaints customers have submitted to the newspaper. I had a highly important list before me. It lists the names of my “difficult” clients and also the new clients that I had to impress. The most important thing is the listing of the clients who were looking to be removed from the listing. I was aware of the ones I had not served well and the reason they had quit the newspaper. It was an eye-opener to know that my earnings were dependent on how satisfied I made my customers.

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How to Assess a Deal –

The trash collection took place twice each week. We would be the first to take a look at the garbage people were disposing of. One man’s trash is an entirely different man’s treasure. There are always treasures to be discovered that people toss out as garbage. Certain such treasures included “Fools Gold” and were really worthy of being thrown away. But, there were other treasures that were a joy to discover.

Work is Work –

Newspapers are dirty. Your hands and paper bag are always dirty from the ink. The ink was able to get onto your clothes, too. It was not easy to work.

Deadlines are crucial Deadlines. Are important.

All papers must be handed over by 6 am. There were no exceptions.

Life Lessons Learned

People Do Bad Things –

When I was 11 years old, I was aware of the dark human condition. I’ve seen neighbors next door get the paper from their neighbors. They would tell me that the paper wasn’t delivered, even though I knew that I had placed one in their drive. I’ve always had one troublesome person who would continually beg for free newspapers or a reduction for their monthly subscription. Larry, my paper dealer to whom I handed over my collection funds and who would bring the newspapers on my front door every day, eventually stole all the money we, as a group of paperboys, gathered and then walked out of the town.

Know when to request assistance –

Sunday papers were a nightmare for the paperboys. It was a blessing that Dad was willing to take me out of the city on Sundays. This made life simpler for me. Sometimes, the paper was too big on Sundays that I needed to carry two loads to finish the entire route. My Dad loved helping. He believed that working hard was good for me. The man was correct. I am thankful to my dad for the many occasion he would walk into the front door of our house when I was asleep in the morning, putting papers together to awaken me.

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Work is a Fraternity –

My friends with paper routes had them completed by 6 am when the sun rose up. We would gather on Saturdays at the convenience store to enjoy a healthy breakfast of chili-cheese hotdogs as we played arcade video games and read comics of the moment. We could pay for it. We were self-employed micro-business owners, and we had plenty of cash since we were always to the bank on Fridays because everyone knows that Friday is payday.