Lemonade Stand

This last weekend our neighborhood hosted a garage sale and somehow our kids got the idea of doing a lemonade stand. I wasn’t too excited about it but as the saying goes, “when life give you lemons…make a lemonade stand.” At least that’s how the saying goes for entrepreneurs. So, off we went. We started by having them watch their cousin Kelsy’s video.

Here is a snippet from the day:

Here are some of the lessons that our kids learned about business and finances from this, (mostly) fun and simple, experience

  • The importance of and how to chose a location
  • The importance of customer service – saying “thank you” when people support your business because there are many other places they can get there beverages (in this case the other neighbor was selling capri suns)
  • Of course,  there were basic math with money calculations
  • Why companies offer 100% satisfaction guarantees with full return policies and how they work. It’s not really just a community service.
  • The importance of advertising and standing out. We were given the idea from Kelsey’s video in which she says to have your younger brothers and sisters waved signs to approaching cars. I haven’t gotten a hold of all the sales docs yet, but it would appear that profits literally doubled and tripled in direct correlation to Seven’s volume level. At one point Dove decided that it should be Seven who shouted “FRESH SQUEEZED LEMONADE” instead of the role as otter pop advertiser because of the difference in profit margin (otter pops were only 25¢). The second day the kids dressed up in costumes to stand out.
  • We learned about how to find a correct price point. $1 seemed too high. We also thought you could get more than 50¢ so we settled on 75¢.  As in many service based industries, we also learned that many people don’t really want the 25¢ back if they pay a dollar. ha.
  • We learned about (more) proper food handling skills when dealing with customers. This came up when Dove gave a little girl a glass that was only 3/4 full of lemonade. After the little girl left I told Dove that we need to fill the glasses all the way. She explained that the glass was full but Seven and Memory had both drunken out of it.  Hmmm….I hope that girl’s mom does not read this.
  • We learned that a successful business is one that makes more money than it spends. At the end of the day, the kids paid us back $3 for the cups and $3 for the lemonade supplies. Of course, we didn’t need the $6 from them, but I think the lesson they learned about how expenses work is far more valuable than the Polly Pockets they would have invested the $6 in.
  • We learned that running a business is big responsibility. An hour into it all of the kids were ready to bail. We made them stick it out for another 2 hours since they had spent so much time in preparation.
  • AND in the two days they made 52 BUCKS! BAM!

They want to put the money towards plane tickets to visit grandparents in Kentucky. All in all, a pretty valuable experience for a hot summer day in Seattle.

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4 thoughts

  1. Love this info! Glad they tried it, made money and learned. My kids did the same last summer and used the money for spend money at Disneyland! Very smart you guys were about the .75 cents and getting a $1 some of the time! 🙂

  2. Sounds like they learned more than I did getting my MBA. I would also like to add that you could have taught them a lot about differentiation and competitive advantages by encouraging something besides normal, boring lemonade.

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