BY STEVEN GORDON, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Mark Cuban, American business owner, investor and owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks shares this great advice to business leaders – “Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don't do it.”
I thought I’d let you hear from Lemonade Day youth entrepreneurs on their favorite tips for success. You’ll see that these tips are not only very helpful to those embarking on their Lemonade Day entrepreneurial journey, they also represent simple and straight-forward business tips for everyone – not just kids. So, “in their own words,” I’ll let them share their best tips.
- Put together a to-do list and a team to help you accomplish your business goals.
- Do research - look up recipes.
- Find investors and/or ask for donations (consider in-kind partnerships).
- Brand your business – mine is called The Lemon Bar.
- Advertise with posters and flyers.
“Participating in Lemonade Day not only gave me a small glimpse of what running a business is like, but it inspired me to take the plunge and open my very own FOOD TRUCK!”
Karlos and Paisley, Florida
- Have an idea that you are passionate about and tie in a philanthropic aspect to give back from your success.
- We sold lemonade to help buy school supplies for ourselves and for kids less fortunate. We partnered with Coach’s Closet, a non-profit organization with the sole purpose to aid families in need.
- Find a mentor, especially someone who runs their own business. We picked our mom.
- Call on family and friends to help get everything up and running (a smart businessperson knows you’re only as good as your team).
- Set a marketing budget - pass out flyers, post on Facebook and Instagram, and run an ad on the farmer’s market page
- Come up with other sales opportunity - we even sold virtual lemonade for those who couldn’t make it to the stand but still wanted to donate to a great cause.
- Pay back your investor(s)
- Offer different price points so you can offer something to everyone.
- Take risks and add new products to improve profitability.
- Innovate - find sponsors who agree to match your “share” donation.
- Be enthusiastic.
“I do Lemonade Day to learn about business, to be my own entrepreneur and make customers happy, make some money and donate lots to the Burkhart Center for Autism.”
Solene, Summer and Vienna McCracken, Alberta Canada
- Embrace technology or find someone who is good at it - set up your own website and social media pages. You can visit lemonaidforwildlife.wordpress.com for an example.
- Research, visit and monitor locations to find the best place(s) to set up your business. For us, we looked at factors such as: plenty of children, near other food establishments (think hungry people looking for quality food), places that would have tons of thirsty and hot people (fitness centers, exercise parks, tennis centers, etc.).
- Learn to move outside of your comfort zone. Feel comfortable going up and asking people if they wanted to try your product; don’t just hide behind your stand. Practice if you have to by having small stands in your driveway and ask your neighbors to come by.
- Don’t minimize your advertising efforts. One thing we could have done differently is to do more advertising about the fact that we were using natural and organic ingredients.
- Some things we have learned this year are:
- Buy smaller packages of cups and supplies so that you can return the ones you don't use.
- Offer more snacks than just lemonade, especially if you are near other lemonade stands or other food and beverage sources. It's good to have other options for them.
- Making that much fresh-squeezed artisanal lemonade and popcorn takes all day, so don't leave anything else to accomplish on the day before Lemonade Day!
Josiah, Eva and Seth – Alberta, Canada
- Set 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.
- Don’t diversify too much because your biggest margin is in your lemonade.
- We did some commercials to post to our Dad’s Facebook Page. We made them humorous and short so people would enjoy watching them. Make sure to include and highlight your business partner and charity you are going to share profits with.
- Spend some money for display of products – baskets, tins, etc. 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!
- A change we might make for future endeavors is to mark down products that didn’t sell as well, especially if there is a good profit margin at the marked down price.
“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.”
If you are looking for more tips, check out this article from Entrepreneur as well as this article from Business.com. At Lemonade Day, our lessons are designed to help kids be successful in life and to learn the basics of business, budgeting, and most importantly saving some of your profits, sharing some profits with a cause that is important to you, and spending some of your hard earned money as a reward for your hard work and achievements! I believe we can all agree that “out of the mouths of babes” we can receive great advice.
Please share this blog with your friends, family members, and co-workers. All of us at Lemonade Day National Headquarters appreciate your support!
I welcome your comments and suggestions any time. Please email me at Steven@LemonadeDay.org.
For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit lemonadeday.org.