Over summer, my daughter Riley came to me and asked if she could have a lemonade stand. I said yes and decided to take the opportunity to teach her about business. She earns money by doing chores and helping around the house, so I had her gather up her earnings…This was her first lesson in business; Investing. She had a total of $28.00 to put towards the product and equipment. I explained to her how she will be using her money to invest in her idea or business of having a lemonade stand.
She was able to pay for the ingredients to make the lemonade, ingredients to make healthy treats, and the straws. This left her with a few more things she needed to move forward with her business but no money. Again, I approached the term investing. This time I explained to her that you can have other people or businesses invest in her lemonade stand. I had her present her idea to me and her dad and we made to decision to invest in her lemonade stand with the contingency we get a return on said investment. We invested an additional $17.00 and she was on her way to a full functioning business.
Her next business move was where to open up shop… This is an important factor when having a store front. You want to have an accommodating space for what you offer. She was ready to sell a lot of lemonade….We needed a BIG corner. We found a great spot that had plenty of parking space, sidewalk,and was next to a 4-way stop sign. The Stop sign was an awesome bonus to her location. It slowed down traffic and created the opportunity for people driving by to actually pull over and get out of the car to purchase instead of just zooming by and saying,”oh that was so cute, a lemonade stand.” and going on about their day. They already had to stop so we accounted that the people approaching a stop sign would be 3 times as likely to pull over and purchase then on a main fast traffic street. This created the space to potentially increase profits.
After choosing her prime location we approached the term marketing. In short, it was a crash course on marketing and advertising and how people need to know about you or the service you are providing. We talked to her about using different methods of advertising such as social media, and created a sort of flyer together and posted it on my Instagram. I told her this will let people know when, where, what you provide, and a little about who you are. Word of mouth and networking is one of the most effective tools to use when you have a business or service you provide.
Opening day was here, and Riley was ready to serve her guests! Her dad and I helped her set up, and before she got started we had another “business talk” on customer service. We explained to her how it’s important to provide good service to her customers and how the better the experience for the guest, the better the outcome with the potential of a returning customer, creating a loyal client base. Now, I know all of this was way over her head or for any 5 year old….But kids especially, absorb everything. Just because they might not understand it doesn’t mean you should’t introduce it. Talking to her for 5 minutes about owning a business, introducing to her at a young age that its possible, and then having her actually create an idea and turn it into a business whether it is for an afternoon or it gets picked up by whole foods…. That introduction can make all the difference.
Once she was all set up, it did’t take long to start getting customers. She was a busy bee, and did an amazing job serving everyone by herself…..Mom and dad helped with giving the correct change of course…. She was out there for about 2 hours worked her tail off, served all her lemonade and healthy treats, and cleaned that corner out! We cleaned up and headed home to calculate profit and loss. We added all the money she made from selling lemonade, subtracted her expenses and the investment she owed us, and told her the remaining was her profit or how much money she made. After all that she had tripled her initial investments she put into the lemonade stand and if you ask me, turning a profit on opening day is unheard of…. She killed it. Share your knowledge with your kids, even if they don’t fully understand.