By Sarah Cook
A Lemonade Stand is more than just a pitcher of lemonade and a few dollars made on a hot sunny day. The lemonade stand can be a great way to teach kids about business, build their confidence, and give them life skills they will take with them forever.
#1 Smile, wave and say, “Hi” – There are lots of things you can teach your children about entrepreneurship at a lemonade stand. Two of them are: smiles are icebreakers and friendly waves catch people’s attention. Another is saying, “Hi my name is ______” followed by a leading question to start a sales conversation.
For example, “Hi my name is Susie. Have you ever heard of Berry Blue or Peachy Pink Lemonade?” If “No” then your child can say, “Great! I have a sample of each right here for you to try.” The customer loves the sample, and your child has made another sale!
If “Yes”, the response could be “Great, we have each on sale for only 50 cents. How many would you like?” Either way, your child is likely to get the sale because you have taught them to positively and politely assume the sale.
#2 Sign. What sign?” Have you ever had that conversation with your spouse? So many businesses and tourist attractions miss out on potential sales because they don’t have proper signage – don’t let your child’s lemonade stand be one of them!
The signs should be eye catching, easy to read, and posted in places where people will see them. For example, on the street corner, by the house, by the lemonade stand and even on Facebook.
Facebook? Yes – many of my closest friends are on Facebook and when my kids are selling something, I shamelessly promote the details of what they are doing. Not in an annoying sort of way, but people like to support young entrepreneurs and YOUR KIDS are included! Plus, it will show your kids that you are proud of what they are doing because you are telling others about it.
Please be warned that if you are going to post the details on the Internet, I would recommend that you DO NOT do the lemonade stand at your home.
#3 Location, Location, Location! – The best lemonade stands I have seen were held in conjunction with a garage sale, a sporting event, or in an area with lots of pedestrian traffic. There is nothing worse than setting your kids up for failure by having a lemonade stand on a Tuesday morning in the most remote part of a sub-development.
Next time your child wants to have a lemonade stand recommend to them that they scour the classifieds to find the nearest upcoming garage sale and partner with the garage sale host so that they can make the most money for the time they will be spending.
#4 Sweet or Sour Service? Think about the times you have had great customer service and the times when you haven’t. Teach your children to always remember to say things like, “Thank you”, “Have a great day”, and “Thanks for stopping by”.
Help your kids develop a positive customer service culture by teaching them to speak clearly to customers, offer plenty of napkins, have a garbage can available, and the importance of a nice table display.
#5 YOU are what makes it Unique. Teach your kids that THEY are what make their businesses unique. My oldest son’s business is all about technology. My daughter’s is about crafts and cooking and my youngest son’s is about sports and fitness. When they are able to bring their uniqueness and their passion to their entrepreneurial venture they will find joy, satisfaction and fun in making money.
If they decided to do a lemonade stand at the garage sale down the street, help them to figure out what they can do to make it UNIQUE based on what makes them unique. Will they pass out recipe cards with the best lemon sports drink on it? Will they donate part of the profits to a charity? What will their trademark be?
Whatever you do, be supportive as a parent! Encourage your kids to make their own money and to take care of their money by saving some, investing some, sharing some, and YES – spending some!
Sarah Cook, is the Founder & CEO of Raising CEO Kids. She is an in-demand speaker, business and parenting coach, and soon-to-be author. Sarah has been married for nearly 17 years and she and her husband are the parents of three young entrepreneurs. For more information you can go to http://RaisingCEOKids.com