My daughter and three of her friends (7-10 year olds) had this bright idea on how they could make “lots” of pocket money by selling lemonade. Ideas are easy, however, execution needs planning! While they achieved their goal of selling lemonades, I learned a few things as well.
Write your Goals
It is amazing, how when one doesn’t focus on the constraints, goal setting becomes surprisingly simpler. In the beginning, these girls
- Did not know how to make lemonade
- Did not know the cost to make lemonade
- Did not have a target market, or where to sell it!
But they did have one goal – To sell lemonade by the side of a very busy road! When there is no focus on the constraints, there are just endless possibilities! One of them on how can they fund their our own xbox by selling lemonade?
###How does the product get made?
Now that they had their goals, they needed to make a plan. The girls knew they had to outsource the product creation. They recruited two sets of parents for making the lemonade. They promised to “pay” for the labor with free lemonade.
###Identify your Target Market
We live by the side of a busy road, where there are cyclists on any Weekend morning. The decision was made to set up the lemonade stand for the thirsty cyclists by 10 AM on a Sunday morning.
Work as a Team
Each of the girls had a part to play; they had already divided the things to do in their heads. They figured out the ingredients and made a list of things to do. They each wrote an actual plan on what is to be done.
The oldest one, lets call her “J”, she was calling the shots. She also played the major role in designing and building the lemonade stand, which was made entirely from cardboard boxes. She also had the final say when there was a conflict.
The remaining three, they had divided the tasks one each, “M” would bring the lemons, “A” would bring the sugar, and “S” would bring the ice & water.
Make your product visible
They had to figure out how the cyclists would know that there was a lemonade stand. What if they go unnoticed? They decided to make bright signboards. It will say
“Lemonade here —->”
with the arrow pointing to their stand. They took turns on working on the signboard. Oh! It did not have the price of the lemonade on it; they added it using a bright marker. They decided to recruit the little three year old “D”, to hold the stand by the side. She would look cute with it, and may be cyclists would stop when they see the little one with the signboard.
Sell your product
Now that everything is ready, the much-awaited Sunday morning was here. They had previously decided to meet at the grassy-area by 9:30 AM. They worked quickly on setting up the stand by the grassy-area right next to the road. They took turns to verbally attract the cyclists by shouting “Lemonade for 50 cents”. Everything was ready, the cyclists passed them by, and they looked at the signboard.
But then, no one was coming to their stand. What was wrong?
Handle the rejection
The problem was it was still early, and the cyclists weren’t really “thirsty” yet. But what was amazing was this did not stop the girls from trying to sell. They knew someone had to get thirsty eventually. It was only going to get hotter. They poured themselves a glass each to keep going!
First customer and servicing customers
Around 11 AM, there was a cyclist returning back, and he crossed the road to the lemonade stand and bought the first lemonade. This was a huge success in their eyes. They had their first customer. The oldest one poured out the lemonade. They checked if he needed any “free water”. A park ranger stopped by and gave them a sticker for “community service”. This just added to the fun, there was no stopping them. By 12:15 PM, all the lemonade was gone, and they had earned $13.5 by selling lemonades. The cash was stored in a “shoe-box” register safely.
This was a fun experiment for the girls during a summer weekend. They had started out with a vague idea and implemented it successfully. What was most striking was, it was about doing something different and having fun while doing it. They are now working on bigger goals for the next summer. Hopefully, the self-funding the xbox dream will become a reality soon!