Lemonade Stands – A Kid’s First Foray into Entrepreneurship – A Dad’s Perspective

By James Wang

My daughter told me her first business idea several months ago. The idea was much more complex than ye olde lemonade stand. I have her confidence, so I won’t divulge her secret juice. Instead, I came up with the idea of starting her on her quest for world dominance by guiding and helping her to fluidly become a lemonade stand entrepreneur. She is, in every sense of the word, an entrepreneur when she starts executing this project plan to squeeze cylindrical ounces of icy profits. This article focuses more on the basics of operating a profitable business in a kid’s perspective (I will try my best at this).

Marketing Materials

How will the world know about Lemonida’s (her fictitious name) lemonade stand? Signs must be made and a posted on every available tree trunk with 1.5-inch nails. (I already researched that single nails won’t harm trees: one must always be cognizant of nature). The signs must be colourful; authentically written by Lemonida with Crayola crayons, not printed by fake printers. Authenticity always grab the short attention spans of vehicle drivers.

How will lemonade sold by Lemonida be differentiated from other stands? In the past few decades, I only remember seeing a handful of lemonade stands, so I am going to err on the side of thinking that Lemonida’s stand will be the…

The only stand within a radius of 100 miles; okay, for differentiation, she will sell natural lemonade at low prices so cheap that each cup is only hundreds of pennies, just not sure how many hundreds yet, served by a very polite girl and her delightful, yet pushy/borderline polite brother.

Lemonida has already decided that she will be the CEO and her brother will be the retail lemonade clerk (no salary, just tips). I will be on her advisory board. I don’t get paid, but I do have to contribute. After much negotiating, she proffered a 1% cut on all profits over a billion dollars. She is so magnanimous.

The Location

With my help, we have already scouted possible locations. We agreed on a highly trafficked main artery that has 15 cars driving by each minute. Here are the criteria:

Must be safe so cars don’t accidentally run over my kids. Parents take note – this is very important.

Must have enough room to accommodate a two-foot by four-foot lemonade stand with eight foot clearance around all sides for safety.

Must be next to a highly trafficked road since we can’t operate in a shopping mall without proper permits, financial statements, a 1,000 page business plan, first and last months’ lease cheques, filling in CRA forms, hiring renovators, securing exclusive distribution agreements with Floridian lemon growers, etc. etc. Wow, being a Lemonade-magnate is so complicated which explains the scarcity of adult-operated lemonade-stand businesses.

Must have ample parking. Customers will come for the lemonade, but stay to chat with Lemonida (she is chatty). In the process of chatting, she will upsell on cookies. Or, perhaps, cookies will be included with the lemonade. Or… half a cookie will be included, but the other half will have to be purchased… so many choices. It boggles even the adult mind. She will upsell on cookies. Or, perhaps, cookies will be included with the lemonade.

Have some natural foliage to promote the “natural” theme of the lemonade product. Remember – Vegan. No growth hormones. All grown from natural soil.

The Extras

Being socially conscious, Lemonida will donate partial proceeds to Save the Children.

Naturally, natural lemonade will be sold in a natural environment.

Expansion plans: if it works, Lemonida will approach Save the Children to promote entrepreneurship of young kids (lemonade stand businesses).

Vancouver will be deluged with lemonade the likes of which the world has never seen.

It is with great giddiness that I will end this piece by helping Lemonida with her signage duties. Drink Naturally. Drink Lemonade.

James Wang is an MBA student at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and a Senior Digital Marketing Manager.