9 Benefits of Setting Goals

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flag_at_summit_4930Most Units have just completed their re-charter paperwork and hopefully had a conversation with their Unit Commissioner to see what level they qualified toward the Journey to Excellence (JTE).  Now, one must understand Journey to Excellence is an evaluation of what a Unit did last year.  However, it can also be a place to start developing goals for the next year.

This is not a time to just have ‘reasonable’ goals, but to develop what a previous Scout Executive and mentor called. ‘BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).

Recently, I was a conference where the speaker, Jamie Felber, gave 9 benefits for having Big Goals.  Here are those reasons:


Benefits of Big Goals

1. Goals focus your energy. 

Rather than going through the motions of what has always been done, goals provide a new direction with which to go.  In most people, this revitalizes the reason for participating and sends them with energy towards the new goal.


2. Goals activate your emotions.
It is said one person with passion is worth more than 100 with just a reason to achieve something.  BHAGS normally are something which has never been done before.  It brings both the doubts and excitement of actually accomplishing this new goal.


3. Goals make work more fun and help you get better at what you love to do
People like the since of accomplishment.  When breaking down big goals into smaller parts it does not seem so overwhelming.  When goals are accomplished, it bring more joy to what you are doing.


4. Goals give you a reason to celebrate
Accomplishing a goal is always a reason to celebrate.  People do not celebrate enough.  Reaching a milestone for yourself or a group is a perfect reason to reward yourselves.  The important part is to recognize those as soon as possible after reaching the goal.


5. Goals force you to ask how
There is a mind shift when a goal is written down.  People change from asking if something can be done and instead asking how it can be done.  The doubt tends to go away.


6. Goals get you living in the present not he past
New goals give you a way to start anew.  It gives you a point from which to go forward.  It does not matter what happened in the past.  Today we start over and go from here.


7. Goals provide the “Yes” that allows you the say “No”
With a specific BHAG at the forefront of your day, other assignment do not seem as important.  Always ask yourself if this new assignment, project or task helps you accomplish the BHAG.  If it does not, it gives you the opportunity to say ‘No”.


8. Goals get you up in the morning
Internal motivation is better than external motivation (paycheck, threat of being fired, etc.). Internalizing the BHAG gives you the focus, energy and drive to get it done.


9. Goals give birth to bigger goals 
When people accomplish the BHAG the glass ceiling is broken.  Now they know the goal can be accomplished and it breeds life to new goals.  These should not be just ‘an increase over last year’ but a new and different BHAG to complete.


These reasons for having Big Goals not only apply to popcorn but to everyday life.  If you want to strive for something either personally or at work, these same principles should give you the motivation to move forward. Please let me know what the BHAG is for you Unit. It does not have to be about popcorn but can be regarding anything your Unit does.  Look over the JTE as a place to start, but endeavor for more.


Good luck and strive for the BHAG.


To Price or Not to Price for Popcorn Sales

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custom_price_tag_13786This weekend, I went out and visited various Units at their Show and Sell location. Most of them followed their training and set up a striking display.  Many of the Units had a poster with pictures of activities they had done or events they wanted to do in the near future.  They had their product properly displayed.  Those Units who had tables had everything nice and neat.  However, there was one significant difference between the Units.  Half of the Units had prices either on a large price sheet or on the actual product.   The other half had no prices at all.

So what is the difference?

I spoke to all of these Units as to why they chose or chose not to display prices on the product.

For those who posted prices, the main reason was to make it easier on the Scouts. Pack leaders wanted the Cub Scouts to tell the customers what the price was.  By having the price on the packaging, the Cub Scouts did not have to remember the price as it was on the packaging.  There were a couple of Troops who had placed prices on the product as well.  When asking the Scouts why they placed prices on the product, there was one common denominator.  None of these Troops had a Popcorn Kickoff.  Most of the Scouts knew nothing about the product before they arrived at the Show and Sell location site.  In both cases, putting prices on the product made it easier for the Scouts to know their products better.

I also asked Units who did not put pricing on the product why they made decision. It most cases the decision was intentional.  Unit leaders believed they were not selling popcorn but selling Scouting.  They wanted the customer to agree to support the Scout before they chose which product to buy.  In every instance, the Unit had a formal Popcorn Kickoff and many had an activity at their Kickoff where Scouts learn about the different products and what they cost.  This made it easier when the Scouts were discussing the product options with the customer.  Now there were a few Units who did not even think about putting the price on the product.  It had never crossed their mind, but they all had an Order Form available which had the pricing in case there was a question.

One Pack did have a different idea to help their Scouts. Rather than place the actual price on the product, they placed different color stickers for the different prices of the product.  They used an Orange sticker for $10 Products, Green for $15 and Yellow for $20 Products.  All the Cub Scouts needed to remember was three prices for the three colors.  It allowed them to know the price without displaying it.

I believe prices should not be posted on the packaging. The main reason for this is more consumer psychology than anything else.  Many location sites only allow Scouts to ask for the sale as the customer exits the building.  If the price is posted, the consumer has already made the decision to buy or not before the Scout has the opportunity to ask.  This also limits the volume of Military Donations you may accumulate because the customer ‘never comes to the table’.  In addition, I agree with those leaders who say we are selling Scouting and not popcorn.  Popcorn is a commodity which can be purchased cheaper inside the grocery store.  Customers want to buy from a Scout to support the Scout.

However, let’s look at the numbers. I asked every Unit to send me a text on how much they sold at their site on that Saturday.  Each of these locations sold for 8 hours.  Of those who sent in their numbers, Units who placed prices on the product sold on average of $585 or $73/hour.  Units who did not have prices on average sold $960 or $120/hour.  This alone should make a decision for most Units.

I understand the need for wanting to help Scouts be successful and placing the price on the product may seem to do this. Nevertheless, based on the numbers, Show and Sell locations have fewer customers thus fewer containers sold if the price is prominently displayed.

Good Luck and keep selling.