My husband makes it a point to try and never pass up a child-run lemonade stand. It’s his way of supporting the “smallest” of small businesses. He likes to hear their sales pitch and enjoys seeing their determination in making a sale.
Chances are good that you were likely a “small business entrepreneur” back in the day when you were a mere youth. After all, something must have sparked your desire to get into this field.
But back to the lemonade stand we most recently visited. We were spending a couple of days in a charming seaside town. Lots of sand, but very limited options when it came to places for a quick, refreshing drink. Hence, the plethora of lemonade stands.
And these kids were clever!
Placing their wares on a small, red wagon, their store was mobile, giving them the ability to follow the crowd. Hot day on the beach? They set up right as you came off the sand. Morning foot and bike traffic heading for the town? Lemonade awaited customers at key intersections. Lazy mid-afternoon? Set ups were at corners where walkers, joggers, and tennis players crossed paths.
And, of course, who can resist a child who knows how to look a potential customer in the eye and earnestly ask if you were thirsty and would like something cool to drink? Selling merchandise effectively is truly a skill that can be cultivated at a young age.
The lesson(s) here? Many!
- Recapture yesteryear. Embrace your small business calling enthusiastically every day. These kids sure were excited about their business. You should be, too. Smiles cost nothing, neither do cheerful greetings.
- Know your audience. Beach town lemonade stands (almost always under supervision) have their regulars and their visitors. All were treated with the same basic courtesies, including kindness and good manners.
- Price accordingly. These youngsters already had a firm grasp of supply and demand. “Homemade Lemonade $1.00” seemed a little expensive to us, but upon inquiry it truly was genuine pulp and juice (although no points were lost for powder mixes if sold with the same enthusiasm!). Your time and effort also is very much to be considered when pricing fairly.
Recall the promise of your first lemonade stand or paper route or babysitting service and be sure to support your community’s future small business colleagues. And you never know – the young entrepreneurs of today can be colleagues (or competition) in the future.