Business 101: Lemonade Stands

August 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

By the end of our first hour as lemonade stand entrepreneurs, we were ready to give away our wares for free. We just wanted one runner or one biker or one driver to stop by and taste what we had to offer.

A week ago, Pakou, our friend Mary, and I decided to host a lemonade stand. We bought lemonade and made cookies, gathered tables and plastic cups, and Pakou created a pretty banner as part of her monthly crafts project. We set up along the bike path and waited.

Though we joked about doing this for laundry money, grad school funds, middle school donations, or a post-stand ice cream venture, really we just wanted to be part of our community, enjoy a summer day and each other, and tackle a project we’d only done as kids. But although we got a few smiles, no one stopped. We sampled our products, just to make sure they were still good.

They were.

Finally, we moved our location to a park that may not have had as much traffic, but certainly had more dog-walkers, loiterers, and loungers. And KIDS. Business 101: give away free food to kids in summer programs. When their parents pick them up, these kids will drag them back for more. And this time, they’ll pay.

It really was a lovely afternoon. Below is our first customer, whose dog did tricks for us, and a friend who stopped by and took his order with him.

The kids in the park put on a short angry birds simulation for us and we met a lady who talked about her visits to France. She had a fabulous hat. I was too shy to take her picture.

We also learned about another lemonade stand whose owners (far younger than us – “a different kind of cute,” as our customer put it) advertised 10 cents a cup. As you went up, it was actually 10 cents for a small cup and 25 cents for a regular cup. Very savvy, those girls. We are still learning our business strategy. But I think the day was a success.

What’s on your summer to-do list?

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