The Kid's Lemonade Stand
The youth training program here at the Place Under The Pine believes that real life experience is one of the best ways to learn, well, real life skills. That is why a plan by the younger citizens of the PUTPs to run a lemonade stand (alongside our Yard Sale) was approved. They were given full rein of the set up, running, and profits of the stand.
Step 1 - Getting Started. The plan started with a seemingly simple trip to the grocery store. But, that is where the first lesson in business actually began. What product to buy? How much to spend? How will it influence cost?
What might seem like common money sense, to buy low and sell high, is one of those skills that must be learned. So, with very little adult advice the children decided on two cans of no-name brand pink lemonade (cost 67 cents each).
Another suggestion by the 'adult consultants' was to offer another product, in the case of a customer who does not like lemonade. A case of water (at $1.97) was also purchased.
Step 2 - A business without a sign is a sign of no business. That classic saying was all it took to motivate the two budding business-children to make up a couple of informative posters to put on the stand - "I love lem-ons. 50 cents" and "Lemonade 50 cents".
|I Love Lemons!|
Step 3 - Set up. In cooperation with two other entrepreneurial children, from the Place Under the Lilac, who provided a table and some chairs, the lemonade stand was set up. A cooler with some ice, a half dozen bottles of water and a pitcher of pink lemonade was placed nearby and the crew was ready to sell.
|Ready for business|
Step 4 - Selling techniques. Something extra was needed to sell the lemonade as the weather was cold and cloudy. It was also early morning. Not the ideal time, or weather, for a glass of ice cold lemonade. Many different approaches to selling the lemonade were attempted, and most were successful. Waving to passing cars, chanting sale slogans, and sitting patiently (using the kid cuteness factor) made sales. But, what appeared to work the best was the simple questioning of passing garage-salers - 'Would you like some lemonade or a bottle of water? 50 cents."
This method would not only draw in the lemonade/water customer, but, also the crowd that thought the stand was cute enough to 'donate' to. Many people offered up donations to reward the kids for all their hard work.
By mid morning, just as the crowds were peaking, the stand ran into one of those delightful problems for business owners - they sold out of water!
A quick call to their supplier and fifteen minutes later they were stocked up again, motivated to sell even more.
As an added bonus, Lolli, brought a nice selection of rainbow loom bracelets to sell in addition to the lemonade. At 50 cents each she had no problem selling them, in one case a single customer bought five!
Step 5 - Analysis and future plans. By the end of the day the business had racked in $13.20. A return on investment of 398.8%! An amazing result for these first time business tycoons.
This success inspired them to dream up even more elaborate businesses and ideas for future expansion. They are now looking to hire an 'adult' to BBQ hotdogs at the next sale. If you are interested please contact me and I will forward on your application. Providing your own BBQ and propane is an asset.