Nothing says summer like an icy cold glass of lemonade on a sizzling summer day. When the days turn longer and the temperatures go up, kids of all ages break out their lemonade stands ready to make a killing while keeping the neighborhood cool. This all-American tradition is one of the best ways for young ones to earn money over the break and learn about entrepreneurship in a fun, no-pressure environment. Here are all the reasons why you should support your child when they ask to open their own lemonade stand this summer.
Learn how a business works
Lemonade stands have all the basic elements of a small business. From production to marketing and accounting, your child will learn the ins and outs of a profitable business model. Keep it age-appropriate at all times, but point out every step of their business endeavor to show your support and help them take their lemonade stand seriously:
Getting the business off the ground
Take your child to the store to purchase the raw ingredients of their lemonade and use this opportunity to teach them about what is needed to make lemonade. If they don’t have the money to buy the ingredients, you can loan them some money to get their business off the ground. There’s no better way to teach your child about how startups are funded and what this means.
Once you have the ingredients, it’s time to market the product. For your child, this could mean making signs, posting on social media or calling friends. You can also choose to do all three for a great lesson on marketing and sales!
For safety, you should help your child and supervise them while they work in the kitchen. Once the lemonade is ready, it’s time to hit the sidewalk. Soon enough, the neighbors will start rolling in, and your little one will get into the operations side of the business. Watch your child’s eyes light up as the customers roll in and cash starts going in their box.
When the day ends or the lemonade runs out, your child will be thrilled to return home and count their earnings. Remember to point out the initial loan that you made them to teach them about profitability in business. What better way to sharpen their math skills during summer vacation?
As you can see from all the steps above, this is quite a bit for a child to handle, especially if they’re on the younger side. If your child is OK with it, you should feel free to invite neighbors or siblings to join in the fun.
Of course, this means that your child will have to split the revenues with other kids who help out with the lemonade stand. Explain to your little one how the division of labor works and why it’s a good idea to work together as a team. It makes the workload lighter on them and allows them to make more lemonade (and more money).
With older kids, you can take it a step further and discuss the difference between a partnership and employees. However, it’s important to establish how the money will be split among the participants from the beginning to avoid disappointments and make sure all the children involved are on the same page.
Develop problem-solving skills
As with any business, problems are sure to arise along the way. But this is no reason to turn your child’s back on entrepreneurship! On the contrary, it’s another opportunity for your young founder to learn the importance of problem-solving, creativity and resourcefulness.
Gain customer service skills
The interaction with customers is key to any child’s lemonade stand. While some kids are more outgoing than others, it’s a good idea to take a step back while your child runs their lemonade stand and serves customers. We recommend you accompany them for safety, but let them do most of the talking. Besides teaching them how to deal with clients, the interactions with adults will also wonders for their self-esteem.
Understand the value of money
Once your child has worked so hard to earn money, they will gain a deeper understanding of the value of work. If your child is saving to buy a special toy or to have spending money, you can be sure that they will value their cash more than ever before. After all that hard work, don’t be surprised if your child decides not to spend their money on a toy and saves it instead.
This is another opportunity to talk to your child about reinvesting their money. If the first lemonade stand goes well and is profitable, why not use some of that cash to make another lemonade stand? Suggest making this a summer-long business and running a weekly lemonade stand. More likely than not, your child will have recurring customers who will be happy to support them in this adventure.
Raise money for a good cause
If your child wants to make a difference, you can bring up the idea of adding a social component to their lemonade stand. This is a wonderful way to share their earnings with those who need it most and understand the impact that a business can have in the community. It’s also a great way to earn more customers and supporters of your child’s endeavor.
Once the accounting has been done, see if your child would like to make a donation to a local organization of their choice. If possible, take them to deliver the donation in person so your child can see the effects of their generosity.
A lemonade stand is one of the best opportunities to teach your child valuable business and life lessons. Whether your little one becomes the next “Shark Tank” extraordinaire or grows up to be an artist, they will always have unforgettable memories of their summer business and will treasure them forever.
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