This year’s Lemonade Day was another great learning experience! We learned so many new, different things.
Sour Face Lemonade Co. was very lucky to partner with Mr. Gilbert again this year and to secure a location at Sobeys Okotoks. We met with Mr. Gilbert twice. We always let him know how our business is going and we let him know we were diversifying our product. He taught us a little bit about diversifying and told us a story about how they merchandise and put bread at the front of the store because they make their biggest margins on this product and lose money on milk, which is at the back of the store. They still sell milk because people often come for milk, a product they need, but buy other items and you have to know your business well to understand how this all works. We are starting to understand this. We figured out that we make our biggest margins on our lemonade, so we were nervous that selling other products might detract from people buying our lemonade.
One of our most important things we did this year was having our first business meeting where we brainstormed new product ideas, ways to market, and set some goals. We had to all agree upon what we were willing to invest or take a risk spending, how we thought we could get the message out best to our customers to come to our stand, and what a good goal for growing our business may be.
Don’t diversify too much because your biggest margin is in your lemonade. Especially on a cold rainy day it is useful to have other stuff, like Lemon Loaf because not as many people wanted to drink lemonade on a cold day. Also, people drink so much lemonade that it is good to have something else. A catchy name helps to sell your product. We think many people were intrigued to buy our Lemon Loaf because we named it Grandma’s Secret Recipe Lemon Loaf. (It also tastes amazing though!). People who bought a lemon loaf slice came back. We also learned that it’s important to attach our business name to the name too. So for our suckers we called them Sour Face Pucker Suckers.
For marketing, we did a huge push the week before. We did some commercials to post to our Dad’s Facebook Page. We made them humorous and short so people would enjoy watching them. We made sure to include and highlight our business partner for Sobeys and sharing our charity is something important. We also did something new this year by taking little invitations to our classmates and asking our teachers if we could do a presentation. Josiah had 3 and Seth and Eva each had 7 new families that hadn’t visited our stands in previous years from doing this.....that’s over 32 new customers just from doing a presentation! We handed out free lemonade coupons to our teachers and office staff as well as families in our cul-de-sac.
We also learned how important the ask is and to share in that ask what you might be selling. Often people were ready to turn us away for lemonade, but when we asked if they’d like to try our lemonade or some lemon loaf, they would look at the loaf and buy a piece.
We were sold out of lemon loaf by 10:00am and then people who bought our loaf early in the morning were coming back for more. One man asked for a whole loaf. We had to make a decision at this point. We decided to send Eva back to Lemonade Headquarters (that’s our office at home) to make more loaves. This turned out to be a great choice. As she made 4 loaves in an hour and 30 minutes and we sold out again! We will need to make sure we highlight this item next year.....maybe a video about this product!
We had emailed Dave Gilbert earlier in the week to ask him if we could go inside if it rained and he said YES! We made our stand a little smaller when we went inside, but didn’t let the lack of sunshine change our mood. If we were still happy and friendly people still enjoyed coming to see our stand and talk to us about our charity. So we have learned that it is important to be prepared, adaptable, and always have a good attitude, even when things don’t go the way you want them to.
Each year we have bought one thing for our stand to make it cool. Last year we spent $6 on little tins to hold our gummies, lemons, and ice. This year we spent $5.25 on basket to display our new products. We learned these all add to your business and if you spend a little at a time and take care of your things, then you have them for each year and as years go by it makes your stand look more cool and professional!
Presales helped us to be successful again this year. In our initial business meeting, we set a goal for ourselves to try to raise over $1000 dollars for KidSport in three years. When we got home we added up our money and the total was just over $100 short of our goal.....we were so disappointed. The next morning we remembered that we forgot to add in our presales and as we finished unpacking our boxes we also realized we forgot our tip jar!!!! We made slightly over $150 in presales, which helped a lot! We were super excited when we discovered we had made enough! Presales do make a difference in our business.
Changes we might make for next year are first to mark down the price on our lemon sticks. We sold out on loaf and suckers and goo, but not on lemon sticks (they only cost us a few cents to make each, so we were lucky). We will also maybe share our goals with the public as a marketing idea next year possibly. We made lots of notes this year for next year to help us get the right amounts of everything. We need to do a better job of recording what we sell in terms of lemonade, as with 3 different flavours, sometimes we miss this and must base on what is left in the jug.
We had so much fun with Lemonade Day! Setting up is so exciting and then when that first customer arrives it just brings us smiles and a flutter! Making the Lemonade, serving it, meeting new people, and showing our friends our stand are all favourite parts of our day! It makes us feel proud to be able to help other kids play sports because we love sports and so Lemonade Day gives us a good feeling in our hearts.
Thank you to everyone for this opportunity! Lemonade Day connects us to people in our community, makes us learn to step outside our comfort zones and challenge ourselves to do things we otherwise wouldn’t do.