Lemonade stands have a long history in the US, dating back to the late 1800’s. Having a lemonade stand for children is both early introduction to entrepreneurship and a fun rite of passage. While lemonade stands can range from simple to sophisticated, here are some tips for your kids to have the best stand in the ‘hood.
Question and answer yourself first: Before you make your first pitcher of lemonade, ask yourself important questions. Why do you want to start a business? What do you want to learn from this experience? Do you want a business partner or to work alone? Write down your answers and build your goals from that.
Figure our your costs and supplies: Determine the costs of running your business. Write a checklist of items–don’t forget lemonade and serving supplies, ice, your stand, posters, etc.–and figure out your cost per cup. Then determine how much to charge per cup. Your pricing should cover your costs and make some money on each cup, but not be so high that people will not buy. Also, finalize how you get the money to start your business–usually a loan from a friend or family member and make an agreement to pay them back after your stand.
—Set your $ goals: Set your financial goals. How much do you wish to make once your costs and loans are repaid? What will you do with your money? Lemonade Day recommends that with their earnings kids, “Save Some, Share Some (non profit) and Spend Some.”
—Location, location, location: Look for safe places with lots of vehicle or foot traffic. Or contact the managers of a local business to get permission to set up in front of their store. Wherever you locate your stand, check with your city or municipality beforehand to determine if a food permit is needed. If you’re going to be set up on a running/bike trail where people might not carry cash but have their phone with them, consider accepting Venmo or other wireless payments and listing that on your signage.
Determine what makes your stand unique and diversify your offerings: What makes your stand a step above the rest? Do you offer multiple flavors? Secret family recipe? Do you have the coldest lemonade or the warmest customer service? Will your proceeds benefit a charity? Will you offer baked goods, or free hugs or anything in addition to your lemonade? Whatever it is, make sure your customers know about it through your products, marketing and communications.
Make your stand…a stand out: Make sure your stand is functional and fabulous! Use pictures from the web, Pinterest or other sites to get inspiration for your stand. Signage should be easy to read, even from far away, and include name, pricing and important information. Decorate with props: fresh ingredients, flowers or objects that go along with your theme. Offer a free sample or something to giveaway with each cup sold. Try a 2-for-one or volume discount. Also, promote your stand ahead of time through social media or flyers in the neighborhood. Make sure people know when and where to find you!
Deliver great customer service: The most important asset to any business is its customers, so practice with your family before you go out to sell. Determine ahead of time what you both will say to people when they walk up to the stand. Make good eye contact, remember your manners and thank your customers.
Recap after the event: A good entrepreneur never stops learning. Write down what you did well with your stand, what goals you achieved, didn’t achieve and what you could improve upon in the future. Compare your results against your goals and budget. Have fun and continue to learn about and spread the love of entrepreneurship.
For additional lemonade stand resources, please visit: https://lemonadeday.org/resources
Lemonade Day is a free entrepreneurial program for children. On May 11th, in Austin, kids will set up stands all around the city in honor of Lemonade Day. Registration is still open if you’d like to take part in Lemonade Day Austin 2019! Register at: https://lemonadeday.org/austin.
Please go out and support a future entrepreneur on 5/11! A map of stands can be found at: https://lemonadeday.org/austin/stands-map