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Turning fun into profits

Posted: December 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Benjamin Haslam, co-owner of Furiously Fast Flyers, hurtles his way down a street delivering flyers for AMS Fulfillment on Saturday.

 

Last August Santa Clarita Valley entrepreneurs, Alex and Benjamin Haslam, ages 11 and 9, decided to parlay a favorite activity into their own business distributing flyers door to door for local businesses.

“We like riding around on our roller blades and thought passing out flyers would be a good idea. We could do it extra fast,” said Alex. “So we mixed the two ideas.”

And thus, Furiously Fast Flyers was born.

Dad Ryan, a financial planner, doesn’t pay the boys very much to do work around the home, Ryan said.

“I told them to pick something they like doing and start a business,” Ryan said. “So they figured out a way to make skating their job.”

Young Alex and Benjamin got busy planning their business. Ben invented the belly packs both wear to hold the flyers and his grandmother sewed them, Ben said. His Aunt Amy also designed the company logo and their business cards.

Next the two made their first sales pitch to Chris Evans with Centennial Realty. Impressed, Evans invited them to his networking meeting for Realtors to pitch their services.

“They did a great job and impressed everyone,” Evans said. “The boys wore shirts and ties and gave a great presentation. They hit a home run.”

The boys excitedly posted on their Facebook page they “got exactly our goal of five orders for flyer delivery” at the meeting.

“It’s the first time we started a business,” Benjamin said. “I enjoy it. It’s pretty fun. The best part of the job is the roller skating.”

Evans has used Furiously Fast Flyers himself for three months and said he plans to continue using them. They’re professional, they return emails, they put their money where their mouth was and delivered, he said.

“Those two are going to be something great one day,” Evans said.

AMS Fulfillment decided to give the boys a job by distributing 4,000 flyers to announce their upcoming warehouse

sale.
Steven Helmle, vice president of integration for AMS, said he knows the flyers went out as ordered because he got calls from them – and, he just happened to live in one of the neighborhoods Furiously Fast Flyers was distributing in.

“I’m absolutely satisfied,” Helmle said. “They followed up with me as to where they went, what they did and what balance they had left. It was pretty impressive. I’ve referred them to a couple other places.”

Alex and Benjamin held a business meeting with Gloria Mercado-Fortine about a month ago to pitch flyers for her city council campaign. Alex believes the company will get the job during winter break from school, he said.

Asked how many jobs they’ve received in total, Alex said he’s lost count.

To support the boys, mom or dad drives them to the locations and points out the streets Alex and Benjamin need to blanket with flyers.

But once they get their roller blade skates on – they’re fast. Furiously fast.

“At one point Benjamin actually met up with another flyer delivery guy on foot,” dad Ryan said. “The boys just flew right by him.”

Dad turns the experience into business lessons for his sons as well. Alex uses the Algebra he learned in school, he’s learned to figure out pricing and how to create spreadsheets using Excel, Ryan said.

“They use the spreadsheet to figure out if one of their customers hasn’t paid them yet.

It’s really neat to see them keep track of that.” Ryan said. “And for Scouting, they’re earning their finance merit badges with this business.”

Keeping the business running is a little hard to do with school, admitted Alex. They usually schedule jobs for

Thursdays when they get out of school early at Old Orchard elementary, or weekends.

The Furiously Fast Flyers owners save most of their money, but spend a little bit of their fortune on stuff like hockey equipment, a game the whole family plays, Alex said.

As for growing the business, Ben said he plans to keep delivering flyers for a while.

Sheepishly, he even admitted to preferring his job over homework.

Most likely, mom and dad aren’t planning to let the homework slide though.

“We do homework, even if it’s on the way to the delivery site,” Ben said.

Some four months after launch, the business is going well enough that Alex thinks he and his brother will be opening a bank account soon, he said.

Alex and Benjamin can be reached at fast.flyers@yahoo.com or by calling 661-222-7754.

jana@signalscv.com
661-287-5599

 

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