Enthusiasm stirred in my mind as my daughter asked her dad and I if she could operate a lemonade stand this summer. Images of a picturesque lemonade stand popped in my mind. The thought of how valuable this experience would be for our young entrepreneur flooded my mind. What a great opportunity we were embarking on with this little request from our sweet seven-year-old!
Oh, the joy in her little face, as we agree to support her endeavor. She expressed how excited she was to make money and get the chance to spend time together making treats and decorations.
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Lemonade stand planning
Moments later, her dad sits with her and explains loans. Her eyes seem to glaze over a bit but the goal of obtaining her lemonade stand is in sight so she pays attention as best she can. He then explains that the money she makes will need to cover the cost of the lemons, sugar, cups, ect. I also explain that she will be responsible for helping make the cookies and lemonade if she expects to get paid.
Over the next few days, we chat about the details and planning of the stand. I teach her about the importance of quality ingredients and presentation of the items we are selling. We also discuss customer service skills, profits, costs, recipes, decorations, and more. Let’s go over these things in more detail so that you can also teach your kids how to run their own business this summer!
Knowing your audience
Something to think about is who are you selling too? This may seem obvious as it is a lemonade stand and you are selling to anyone who is willing to stop by and support your cute kids, but let’s help our kids drive in more business by getting creative.
Host a lemonade stand with another event.
- Set up at a farmers’ market. This is a perfect location to sell to an audience that is willing to support local, cute kids. Besides, who isn’t thirsty at a market on a hot summer day!
- Run a lemonade stand at your home while simultaneously doing a garage sale. Not only will people be coming to peruse your stuff, but they are already in the mindset to spend money and will likely be thirsty and willing to support your kids’ lemonade stand!
- Get permission to set up at a local youth sports event.
- Or, ask for permission to sell at a pool or recreation center.
Getting more creative about where you set up and who your audience is will increase the chances of your kids having a successful lemonade stand! Brainstorm with your kids and include them in the process. We were turned down at several locations. Then my husband found the perfect spot – a local farmers market a town over. We only had to pay a $2 fee for the space, and this eliminated having to make flyers or advertise for ourselves since the customers were already showing up!
Items for sale
A good tip is to sell items other than lemonade. A variety of foods allow people options and will increase the chances of more sales. Some ideas could be
I’m a big fan of selling home baked goods rather than buying store bought treats. I personally like teaching the kids how to make things from scratch because it tastes better, it’s healthier, and it instills work ethic while having fun together. This is way more valuable than having mom and dad buy it all and enjoy the rewards of the profit without putting in the time or effort.
Another reason this is important is because I believe this justifies the cost of your items for sale at the stand. If you put more time into creating baked goods, people are willing to pay a little extra for that service, compared to a store bought item that is being sold for a higher cost.
If you’re looking for a great lemonade recipe that has been successful at our lemonade stand, try this one! Also, don’t forget to download this free lemonade stand planner! Teach your kids the details for running a lemonade stand this summer!
Presentation of the lemonade stand
I get excited about this part and sometimes want to take over. However, as parents it’s important to shape their experience with support. Remembering to not always take the position of leader, but instead mentor. Your kids have good ideas, after all, they did come from you! Include your kids in the layout and decorations of the stand. By letting them get involved in this creative part and allowing them the autonomy to lead, it will help boost their creativity and confidence as they grow up.
Another part of presentation is how your kids look and act. Teach them that a smile goes a long way when greeting customers and a happy disposition is contagious. More than likely, people aren’t stopping by because they are craving lemonade but instead want to support your cute kid’s lemonade business. So be sure to teach your kids the importance of promoting a positive atmosphere for their small business. No one wants to be around rude or grumpy salesmen!
Other items to include on your table
These things are optional but highly recommended for improving aesthetics.
- Tip jar
- Decorations such as flowers
- Table cloth
Teaching kids about customer service
It’s important to rehearse with your kids how to talk with strangers prior to the day you will be selling lemonade. Some things to cover are:
- Greet people that approach your stand with “Hello, how can I help you?” or “Welcome, how may I serve you?”
2. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them.
3. Speak clearly and loud enough to be heard.
4. Explain what you are selling and how much the items are. Example “We have lemonade for $1.50 and cookies for $1.
5. Thank the customer for their purchase.
My oldest is pretty shy. Rehearsing this with her while we were making the baked goods was great practice and gave her the confidence she needed when strangers approached the stand. Taking the time to build your child’s confidence in this area will help them not only in their lemonade stand but, also as they grow up and get jobs in any profession they choose.
Tips for parents tagging along with the kids
Since we set up our lemonade stand at our local farmers market, I have put together some items that I recommend you don’t leave at home if you too are setting up at a location away from home. However, if you’re setting up in your drive way you can obviously run in and grab whatever you need. Here is what I suggest you bring with you:
- Bring enough chairs for everyone to sit on.
- If you have littles bring a stroller or double stroller for them to rest in or take a nap.
- Bring a canopy for shade or to cover from rain.
- Bring your own snacks and drinks for yourself and your little kids so that you aren’t taking away from the older kid’s opportunity to make sales.
- Baby carrier – if you are in the same season of life as me, this is a must have!
- Coloring book or activities for the little kids. The older kids will be excited and anxious to help new customers coming. That being said, the littles won’t care so much and will get bored. Bring something for them to enjoy like a coloring book, picture books, or a favorite toy they can play with (my three-year-old loves cars). This will help you to manage your crew in peace!
Have fun and enjoy the lemonade stand experience
If you’re like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the desire to make it a huge success and get hyper-focused on the details. But the experience, and going through the motions with your kids will leave them with the best memories. They won’t remember how much money they made when they are grown up, but they will remember that they got to spend the time with mom and dad on something that was meaningful to them. That is the most important take away in all this!
All the planning can’t prepare you for some things
We were having a great time during our first lemonade stand set up of the summer. My daughter and son had a solid understanding on running the business and were super excited and ready! We were all excited and hopeful for a successful day.
Things started out great! People loved coming over to see the cute kids and business was booming. Then about half way into the market, it started to rain, thankfully we had a cover and our merchandise was safe. Customers continued to stop by despite the sprinkle and sales were still great.
Then the rain passed and my five and three-year-old sons were anxious to move and run around, so they played with some other kids at the market. I was worried – the kids were more than twice my sons’ ages. Well, in that short time of considering if they should stop, my sweet five-year-old fell and broke his nose.
It was immediately evident that it was a break. With the farmers market only being half finished we quickly packed up our things and drove our son to the hospital. There it was confirmed that he had a broken nose. Thankfully it was a straight break and it would heal correctly without putting him through surgery.
So, despite all our planning and teaching, life took us another direction.
An update on his nose: It has healed so beautifully! The day that it happened I applied Arnica Gel a couple of times each day for a week. It reduced the swelling significantly and the bruising was gone! If you’d like to read more about this awesome homeopathic medicine, check out my article about it here.
How have your lemonade stand experiences gone? Let me know in the comments what worked or didn’t work for your kids!
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
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Are you feeling frustrated or burned out in your homeschool? How to have a Positive Homeschool experience to alleviate some of your overwhelm!