FBLA students tackle business venture


Karina Wang, Staff Writer

Dulaney’s student-run school store opened Oct. 2 after months of careful planning. Because the Gatorade machine broke last year, Director of Athletics Rich Reed approached the Future Business Leaders of America club about running a school store in exchange for a split in the profits.

The FBLA officers agreed to take part in this operation as this would give members a hands-on experience in a real world application of business strategies. FBLA advisor and business teacher Patrick Holt describes the school store as a way for students to learn how to make sales and solve problems.

“I’m very excited. Even if [the store] doesn’t make a lot of money, it’s a very good learning opportunity for students to learn [about] retail sales,” Holt said.

The school store is run by FBLA officers and several active FBLA members. Seniors Brian McCullough and Patrick Dochat are the co-managers of the operation, in charge of training the store personnel, checking inventory, marketing, and managing the sales.

“The two biggest hurdles right now to making the school store successful are marketing and having accurate financial records,” McCullough said, “we really need to hammer that down in these coming weeks so that we have a solid foundation to build upon.”

Another challenge is maintaining the inventory. FBLA members must collaborate with Reed who is supplying the Gatorade products, as well as use the club’s own budget to buy school supplies.

“When you have a lot of inventory, it takes up space [because] it’s not being sold,” Reed said. “This is where FBLA comes into play. It’s a learning process, figuring out how to keep the school store in stock of what all 2000 students want.”

After the foundation begins to grow, McCullough and the school store team hope to add additional merchandise, such as gum, portable chargers, and Under Armour apparel. In addition to providing students with these products, the school store can serve as a fundraising method for other clubs if they want to sell their own items.

“Our biggest goal is to try and build upon what FBLA likes to call ‘a legacy.’ I think it would be a great way for people to get involved in FBLA and showcase the opportunities it can provide to the student body by running a real business,” McCullough said.

The school store can be found in a supply closet area across from the classic cafeteria. It operates every day from 7:25 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. and from 2:20 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. Currently, it is selling Gatorade products – drinks, energy bars, protein bars, and energy chews – water bottles, spirit wear and various school supplies.