My kids are not some super-savvy, genius kiddos that dream up business plans during nap time. Any parent that lays claim to their kid being a budding entrepreneur since baby-dom is a fucking liar. Your kids don’t come out of the womb wanting to work. Their minds aren’t in making money mode. Kids that age can’t even wipe their own asses. Pah-lease.
Kids are mostly selfish little assholes. They’re swayed and inspired by their parent’s suggestions. Your kid didn’t just think up a multi-million dollar design, or operation, or mission to save llamas.
I’m not gonna dumb-down my kids – but it was I who suggested the lemonade stand idea one early pre-summer morning. It was selfish really. I wanted to fill my own cup. My thirst for nostalgia.
We’re all so desperate to recreate those 1970’s summers of our youth. Everyone wants that old school feeling back. No structured sports, no pizazzed playdates doing Pinterest crafts, no ridiculous recreation that requires an Excel spreadsheet.
Here are 8 reasons your kids need to have a lemonade stand.
Marketing. How to market and sales pitch. How to entice, but not be pushy. The art of selling.
“If you don’t have money, that’s OKAAAAAYYYY!!”
That was my 5-year old’s big selling pitch. She belted it out to any runner, dog walker, graduation party-guest, garage-sale attendee. Anyone within 100 feet from the driveway, she hollered at – beckoning for their business.
It’s probably the best pitch on the planet.
“If you don’t have money, that’s okay.”
Gets ‘em every time.
Because once people heard that, they stopped, walked over, got some lemonade, and left triple the amount we were charging for a cup of lemonade.
Which leads me to…..
Economics: counting money, profit, loss.
My kids charged 25 cents a cup.
But, because we told potential customers they could have it for free if they wanted – we tripled our profits. People were leaving 5 spots in the jar, for a 25-cent cup of lemonade.
My kids knew that $5 was too much for the cup – and asked if the person wanted change.
Admittedly, we didn’t make a whole lotta change, because people were just happy to give (the proceeds were slated for charity).
The ingredients for a successful lemonade – don’t have to be organic, shmorganic, non GMO, whatever the hell, health-kick nonsense.
Good ‘ol chemical crap in powder form creates culinary magic. I saved some to make a mommy cocktail, I should know.
Okay, okay, now that your mouth is watering with thoughts of a refreshing cocktail, let’s get back to the virgin version.
You grab your chemical concoction - throw in a few a freshly cut lemons, add some ice, and pour into a plastic pitcher. Voila!
There’s your recipe folks.
We built our stand out of cardboard boxes. We didn't order those fancy shmancy, assembly-required bonified booths from some outrageous online store (but I can't lie, those things are fucking cute). We decorated our own boxes. The kids went to town with Sharpies. They drew some pictures, “25 cents” in big letters and wrote their names.
We set a mason jar of freshly cut Peonies and Hydrangeas from the backyard, on top of the cardboard boxes. It's all about the decor, amiright?
We served frosted, sugar cookies on the side.
They woman-ed the stand all day long. They learned what it was like to have a busy business day, and a slow business day.
We had a full-blown operation.
Beyond the beverages – I wanted them to bond with the experience and their neighbors.
My kids learned importance of building relationships with their neighbors, their customers and the community at large. Even if someone didn’t buy a cup of lemonade – it was an opportunity to talk to others and really get to know them.
Confidence – to your brand, be proud of your product and talk to people about it.
I wanted my kids to feel the same joys I had selling lemonade to strangers and neighbors. As a kid, you feel special when someone buys your lemonade. You feel accomplished and confident when someone gives you money, for something you worked hard on. It’s the same in our adult jobs. In all, being confident in your work, and seeing the payoffs are rewarding.
We asked our customers if they liked ice in their lemonade. If they’d like a cookie on the side. We didn’t have too many special requests - light on the ice, or no frosting – or returns - but if we did – it would’ve been an opportunity to teach customer service.
My kids, didn’t once, consider keeping the money for themselves. I totally thought they were gonna ask to take their lemonade bucks and go ape-shit at the local arcade. But they didn’t.
I’m not saying my kids are philanthropic.
They’re selfish little a-holes.
However, I do think they understand that their parents have money, their needs are met, and they don’t have a use for money of their own right now.
I mentioned, “Maybe we oughta give the money to kids that don’t have that many toys?”
“Or a church?”
“A homeless shelter?”
We batted around a few charitable options. We decided to give the money to the burn unit of children’s hospital in my hometown.
I tried explaining that the money was going to sick kids who have to stay in the hospital. They’ve never seen child that exhibits physically sick characteristics externally, so I’m unsure if my children even understand the concept of where their contribution is going.
We’re going to donate the money in person at the hospital – which I am so grateful for. I don’t want the recognition. But, I do want my kids to see where their donation goes just a little bit, and feel the joy and gratitude from people when you give.
When charitable giving is at the heart of your brand, customers recognize this – and become loyal for life.
Have you set up a lemonade stand with your kids? Challenges? What was your lemonade stand like as a kid?
Share in the comments section below.
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