It’s summer! The leaves have turned green, school is out, and nature’s thermostat has been set to maximum. What better time for your kids to set up a lemonade stand?
To some, a lemonade stand is a one-off event, a nice way for kids to pass the time and maybe earn a few cents. How short-sighted! A lemonade stand has the potential to be the kind of profit-making machine that could allow your kids to retire by the age of 10.
It won’t be easy. Your kids will need to be extremely motivated and hard working to pull this off. Here are some tips for making a profitable lemonade stand. Print this out for your kids.
Hey kids! Congratulations on choosing a lemonade stand as your summer activity. Follow my guidelines and soon you will have enough money to buy that new toy you want so darn much. Let’s begin.
Choose an Identity
What do you want you lemonade stand to say? What do you want your lemonade stand to be?
Let’s start with ingredients. Any kid can make a pitcher of lemonade with a low quality, store bought mix. Is that what you want to be known for? To make real money, you will need real lemonade.
You will need water, sugar, and lemons. Toss in a little finely grated lemon rind for that extra special je ne sais quoi. It’s easy but it seems like you’ve put in a ton of extra effort. That will keep your customers coming back for more.
Now you can promote yourself as a “REAL Lemonade stand.” And don’t forget to mention that the competition is using a mix.
Location, Location, Location
Typically, a lemonade stand is set up on your front lawn, right near the sidewalk. Is that the right location for you? Sit on your porch for an hour and record foot traffic.
If a decent number of people walk by, great! If not, it’s time to seek out new real estate. Maybe your grandparents live on a busier street or you have a relative near a public transportation stop. Maximize your business by maximizing your walk-ups.
It’s important to know the sales laws of your municipality. Some cities and towns require permits for simple things like garage sales or lemonade stands. Find out the person responsible for issuing permits whether it’s your city councilperson or director of finance. This is the person you have to develop a relationship with. (“Develop a relationship with” is business-speak for “bribe.”)
Advertising and Promotion
There is only so much walk-up traffic passing your stand everyday. Now it’s time to broaden your customer base with advertising. Start small with a flyer on the light poles or stops signs at either end of your block. That should bring in an extra 10-15 people a day.
Next, increase your flyering area. Hit the sparsely populated commercial districts. Put a few up along the interstate. Since drivers sit on the left, run into the median a put a few up there.
Now you’re ready for the big guns – billboard, print, radio, and television. This will market your lemonade stand to millions of people. Try getting a minor celebrity for your ads. American Idol semi-finalists are always available and affordable.
You now own the most successful lemonade stand in the history of your hometown. It’s time to expand. You can’t be everywhere at once so you must find other people to run new locations. These people are called “franchisees.”
Once you have found the right franchisees, you must set up their lemonade stands. You supply the stand, ingredients, advertising, and brand name. In return, they give you a set rate of their profits. This rate is for you to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to intimidate.
Remember to always inspect your franchises. Check if they are following the proper recipes and treating the customers properly. Never trust a franchisee! If they had the proper business skills, they would have thought up their own business. Make sure the franchisee is following your business plan to the letter. Don’t be afraid to intimidate.
You’re a Success!
Congratulations. After years of hard work, you have probably made millions of dollars running your system of franchised lemonade stands. And you’re only 10 years old! You can now retire to the good life.
There is no need for school. What can those teachers teach you, anyway? They only make like $25,000 a year. You’re rich. You can probably teach them a thing or two.
Buy a gaming system and a comfortable chair and spend the rest of your days blowing up zombies or whatever it is that happens in that video game you want so darn much.