Before you decide on running a lemonade stand, talk to your parents. A responsible adult should always been within eye contact. Also, never go up to a car to deliver lemonade – let the buyer come to you.
Location, Location, Location
It’s an old rule but true. Lemonade stands rely on passersby for business, so you’ll want to choose a spot that has a decent amount of people passing by, whether it’s walkers, cyclists or vehicles. If you’re counting on car traffic, make sure that there is a place for thirsty drivers to pull over and be able to get out.
Also, don’t forget to make signs directing people to your stand – people will go out of there way for a cup of lemonade on a hot day, but only if they know it’s there.
Do your market research – not sure of the best spot? Pick a couple of spots and do a count – stay at each spot for certain length of time and count the number of people/cars that pass by. When checking on different spots, try to do it at the same time of day and with the same weather. Pick the most heavily-trafficked spot.
Who’s it for?
Are you doing this for yourself or for charity> If you’re doing a lemonade stand for charity be sure to advertise that fact. If you’re doing it for yourself, then make sure you’re honest about that to – in fact if you’re doing it for something specific, like a new bike, you might want to let people know that you’re raising money for a goal.
Combine the 2 – You can run a lemonade stand for good and profit. You can sell lemonade and donate a portion (a percent) of your sales to a charity – make sure you tell people about it and make sure you actually donate some money.
A great charity is Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Started in 2000 by a little girl with cancer named, Alex, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand program has raised millions of dollars to fight pediatric cancer.
Or if you’re feeling a little competitive, check out Inc Magazine’s Lemonade Stand contest.
It doesn’t take much – you don’t have to build a fancy stand – just a card table, a nice tablecloth, some cups & the lemonade. Don’t forget to dress neatly and smile. Also have change on hand (get help from Mom or Dad with this) and have a calculator handy.
Making Money, Honey
You’re running a business, not a charity, even if you’re raising money for a charity. Don’t give your lemonade away for free. You’ll want to determine how much it costs to make a cup of lemonade (including the ice, the cup, etc) and then set your price higher than that. You’ll want to look around and see what other lemonade stands are charging so you’re in line (or competitive). Charge too much and no one will come to you. Charge too little and you won’t make any money.
Want Fries With That?
Notice how they always ask you that at a fast food restaurant? It’s so you’ll buy the fries you didn’t even know you wanted and spend more money. Consider selling some other items with the lemonade. Can you make a great chocolate chip cookie? Or perhaps you have access to one of those warehouse clubs where you could buy pre-packaged snacks (chips, cookies, candy bars, bottled water) and re-sell it.
Juicing the Juice
Sometimes people will pay a lot more for the same thing. You may able to charge more for a cup of homemade (really homemade) lemonade than something made from mix. In fact it could be your stand’s signature – “Authentic, homemade lemonade”. Just be sure you know what it costs and how to price it – and that it really is better than everyone else’s.
Staying in the Game
If you’re committed to running your stand week after were you can make more money than if you just do it once. Why? For one thing, you’ll become a community fixture – people will expect you to be there – if they weren’t thirsty one day they might be the other. If you do a good job and have great lemonade and cookies, then your customers will tell other customers, and so on – you just need to be there.