By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN Dassel-Cokato High School students in Kelly Kosloski’s small business management course learn what it takes to run a small business by working at the newly expanded Charger Closet.
The Charger Closet, which sells school apparel and novelties, has been able to increase its inventory now that it has its very own room, located in Room 202, just past the media center.
Prior to this year, the school store was in tight quarters shared with the snacks and beverages inside the common area concession stand.
Customers can now walk into the store during hours of business and browse the selection of items offered.
Students in Kosloski’s small business management class take the content they’ve learned from a textbook and apply it in a real life small business setting.
To conduct the day-to-day operations of a small business, students are separated into three teams representing three critical aspects for operating the school store including management, marketing, and purchasing.
Team A is in charge of management and the human resources side of business.
The members are responsible for making team work schedules and verifying employee time sheets.
They also have the task of supervising employees and giving student evaluations midway through the semester, according to Abbey Wuollet, Team A member.
Customers of the Charger Closet are encouraged to give feedback, which Team A will read for consideration.
Team B is responsible for promoting the Charger Closet.
This includes the current promotion of getting 5 percent off for every $25 spent at the store in the month of October.
This team is also in charge of advertising including producing a weekly DCTV commercial for the store.
It is also in charge of the design and updating of the Charger Closet web site, www.dc.k12.mn.us/teacher_websites/activities/charger_closet.
One of the primary responsibilities of Team C is ordering products.
Students in Team C pick out products to order, based on surveys and research including demographics, market segment, and customer feedback.
The students then give a proposal to both Kosloski and Dean Jennissen, high school principal, for their approval.
The students in Team C are also in charge of pricing, tagging, and tracking each team’s sales.
The team that reaches its sales goal gets to order pizza for lunch and receives a discount on Charger apparel. Teams get this opportunity twice during a trimester.
“It’s a challenging class, but in the long run if you want to go into business management it’s a good class to take,” said Ben Ingle of Team C.
For Tyler Nelson, whose plans include opening his own automotive mechanic shop, this class has been extremely beneficial.
“You learn how stores are run from the small-town stores to the large retail stores,” Nelson said.
Cody Olson agreed with his fellow teammate.
“It’s a good learning experience,” Olson said.
Profits from the Charger Closet go toward two $500 scholarships for seniors pursuing a degree in business.
Charger Closet hours of operation
The Charger Closet is open before and after school, during the lunch hours, and before and during school events.
Regular hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 to 8 a.m, 10:45 to 12:30 p.m., and 3:05 to 4 p.m.; and Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 10:45 to 12:30 p.m.