It's summertime and lemonade stands run by elementary school entrepreneurs have popped up all over town. When I was that age I didn't have a lemonade stand but I did find things to make, put in a Inc sponsored lemonade stand contest for kids ages 5-12.bag and sell door to door whenever I needed money. It is that same risk taking spirit that has inspired the
In a recent article outlining the details of the contest, veteran business owner and Inc. magazine columnist Norm Brodsky offers kids these tips for building a great lemonade stand:
* Read "Tom Sawyer." Pay attention to the part about painting the fence. Hint: You don't have to do all the work yourself.
* Use your age advantage in creating the stand. Make a deal with the best architect in town: If he designs a great lemonade stand for you for free — and you win the contest — you'll make sure he gets recognition on national TV.
* Find a niche. A niche differentiates your stand from your competitors' stands. One idea: Hook up with a good cause and pledge a percentage of the profit to it.
* Be nice to your parents. You'll need capital to build your stand and buy ingredients. Unless you have savings, you'll have to find sympathetic outside investors, namely, your parents.
* Location, location, location. Set up your stand in front of your house only if you happen to live next door to the biggest mall in town. Look for a place with a lot of foot traffic. The more people who pass by you, the more sales you'll make.
* Don't skimp on quality. Buy the best ingredients — and let your customers know about it.
* Charge a lot. You're a kid; you have the highest quality lemonade; and you need the money. If you're supporting a good cause, that's another reason people should be willing to pay more.
For the rest of the ideas check out the complete 10 tips for the coolest lemonade stand.
Just like Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, these business tips work for all small businesses.
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Writer, Door to door saleswoman