How I Sold Paper To Middle Schoolers | Teen Ink

How I Sold Paper To Middle Schoolers

October 31, 2019
By yeetus420 BRONZE, Sherborn, Massachusetts
yeetus420 BRONZE, Sherborn, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

This is me, I bet you're wondering how I got here, it’s a long story. Please remember popcorn and drinks aren't complementary to this story. Thanks for your inconvenience. Let me introduce myself: I’m Andy and this is how I sold the paper to middle school students.

It all started during science class on October 1st, 2010. Mr.Hudson was teaching us how to fold our paper for the notes homework. Being the observant sixth grader I was I saw a golden opportunity to make some money. Because I was unemployed at the time I was desperate for every bit of money I could get. I was good at folding paper, in elementary school I used to make paper airplanes all the time. So it came naturally to me, and this brings me to my first client Creed. 


I went over and said, “hey Creed, need some help?” he stared at me blankly for a moment as if I asked him it in Russian. Which is, “Эй, Крид, нужна помощь?”

He then responded, “oh, I guess I could use some”. And then I made a deal with him.


I then said, “How about this, I'll make you a deal. Five dollars and I will fold the rest of your papers for the year.” This was the first sale in company history. Now I bet your thinking, “how could this go anywhere?” you are probably thinking right, but trust me, it eventually got out of control. Creed started to tell people about our deal, and sure enough, more people want me to pre-column their papers for them.

It was about a week later from the deal with Creed and I have about 10 clients now. I started to turn a corner of my room into an office for this gig. On one side of the desk, I had a stack of paper, lined and blank, a ruler, and a pen. On the other side, I had a cell phone stand, a lamp, and a list of all the clients. At this point, my friend Jack has offered to deliver the paper to people. Soon after Jack’s friend Kevin did too.

It’s now December 2010 and business increased rapidly and I hired my friend Jim to help out. He is a serious athlete and has been that way since Kindergarten. He’s tall enough to reach the top cabinets and strong enough to carry large amounts of paper around. Business went down a bit for the holidays because people are away from school. But it was nice to have a break.

It is now March 12, 2011, We made our biggest sale today. Mr.Hudson purchased 50 dollars worth of paper for his classroom. It took Jim and me four hours to set up 500 sheets of paper for two-column notes. These 50 dollars put the company ahead in sales. Right now we charge 10 dollars for 100 sheets. If you do the math it’s a dollar for 10 sheets. We were hoping for at least 30 dollars this spring. This sale put us 20 dollars over. Soon after Mr.Hudson bought from us, Mrs.Bratton bought 100 dollars worth of paper. This time it took Jim and me seven hours to complete the paper.

It’s now April 1st and with the extra 120 dollars, we decided to upgrade our office space. First, we bought a small printer that we could use to make it all digital, that was about 70 dollars, then we bought 30 dollars worth of paper, it was on sale so we got 1000 sheets of lined paper and a small simple calculator for working with numbers. 

A week later from purchasing the new supplies another one of Jim and I’s friends join the company. Michael, Jim and I decided to name the company A Head Start because we set up paper for students. We met in my basement every day after school to work on the business.

About two and a half months later when school is wrapping up for the year, Mr.Hudson and Mrs.Bratton both ordered 100 dollars worth of paper for their students next year. These sales built up the budget for this summer because as we predicted, we had no business all summer long.

Over the summer we each spent a lot of time doing chores for business money. A week before school started we had saved up 543 dollars to spend on supplies. With the money, we ordered 40 reams of paper which is roughly 20,000 sheets. This cost us about 500 dollars and we bought a business desk phone with the other 40. 

Now the three of us are starting seventh grade and business has been improving the first few weeks of school. We had clients in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Even the principal Mr.Herring has even sent us an email about our work and he is permitting us to advertise in the school hallways. We immediately took to this invitation and began working on posters to promote our business. The posters we came up with had a nice simple but sleek business look to them. They said Ahead Start at the top and our prices at the bottom. We also put out a help wanted poster because we could use a few more hands. This is how we hired our salesman Amy. She goes and asks students if they would like our services and works out prices with them. 

Shortly after we hired Amy we started to sell the paper in bulk. Buyers had the option of how much and what setup they needed. A basic order would be around ten sheets of two-column and ten sheets of boxes. Selling paper like this helped to expand the business school-wide because it made it so easy to purchase paper. Even the school administration started to buy large amounts of paper from us because it made it easier for them to buy paper with boxes than print paper.

Four months after the posters business has been on fire recently. Over the fall we made 74 sales and made a profit of 1640 dollars. Over winter break we plan to do a restocking of all the paper.

Over winter break we spent 1000 dollars on new paper which is 50,000 sheets. My mom yelled at me because we turned her basement into a paper winter wonderland. She made us make a path through all the reams so she could do the laundry. With one hundred reams of paper in the small basement, things got a bit crowded. 

After we went back to school for the spring business got easier after we bought three computers to use for work. It was easy to manage sales and clients and order more paper. We never had to go get one hundred reams from the store again. 


We just finished the third quarter of school and we got another email from the principal Mr.Herring. He wanted us to speak at the end of the year meeting. To me, this when we officially became successful. We all quickly wrote it down in our calendars. None of us got any sleep the night before. I couldn’t tell whether I was happy or scared. I had no idea what he was going to say.

Fast forward to June 19th, assembly day. We all make ourselves look presentable that morning. We were prepared for anything to happen during the assembly.

Mr.Herring called us up onto the stage, he said a few words about how much we helped everyone in the school. He continued about how different this school would be without us. Then he goes behind the stage to get our company’s “present” from the staff. We had no idea what it could be, we thought it could be anything from a table lamp to a thank you card. He comes back out carrying an enormous piece of poster board. For a hot second, we were all confused until he turned it around. He proceeded to walk towards us with the 5000 dollar check as a grant for our business. I’m pretty sure Michael and I both turned ghost white. As he handed us the check the whole audience screamed “Thank you!” at us.

After the assembly when everyone was leaving for summer vacation, we had a long talk about what to do with the money. We agreed that we will open a checking account at the bank and keep it safe until we knew what to do with it.

During our eighth-grade year business stayed steady. We lost a lot of clients because they all went to high school. We were doing good at the moment, we had plenty of money for the company, a lot of clients, and enough paper to last us a lifetime.

At the end of eighth grade, we had an important decision to make, what will happen to the business. We all came up with a few options. Our best few so far are to continue it in high school, sell it, or break it up altogether. Our final decision was none of these. We decided to hand the business off to Amy and her friends so they can continue what we started.

After our graduation party, it was time to tell Amy. We had been holding it in for months and now it was finally time to spill the beans. We called Amy to meet us outside after the party. After we told her the smile on her face was so pure and she was so excited and to me, this was the best moment of my middle school business career. 



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This article has 4 comments.

HappyMonkey said...
on Dec. 16 2019 at 6:38 pm
HappyMonkey, Sherborn, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Nice job @yeetus420!!

samma said...
on Dec. 16 2019 at 2:08 pm
samma, Sherborn, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Congratulations! @yeetus420

DSMSMcKee said...
on Dec. 16 2019 at 2:02 pm
DSMSMcKee, Dover, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I love your sense of humor. This is fun read, @yeetus420.

on Dec. 16 2019 at 2:01 pm
yeetus420 BRONZE, Sherborn, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
Love this story