Entrepreneur Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

For the past couple of weekends there have been a group of girls running a lemonade stand on the corner (great location!) in my neighborhod. It seems whenever I am running back and forth to soccer games or a tennis match those girls are out there raising money for various charities and running their enterprise.

As I kept making trips in and out of the neighborhood, I loved the progression I saw. Much like our own businesses - I saw their endeavor evolve. First they had a table, then chairs and then more chairs and then the awning. Just like us they had to add more support, supplies and structures to help them do what they set out to accomplish.

On one of my trips up to the grocery store and dry cleaners (and yet another class of lemonade - pink this time), I saw a group of boys running down the front yard of a neighboring house, laughing and carrying a table and a waving a sign that said "Air " - I just had to laugh! Competition! They knew a good thing when they saw it and went for the trendy item (air). Since I was driving by in a convertible - I had plenty, but I stopped anyway just to support my local entrepreneurship. Notice in the photo at the lemonade stand - the blue table was from the "air stand" - they didn't last too long and I imagine the girls convinced them to add it to their "shop". Another wise business move - having your business look big!

I love the Lemonade Stand sign. A true testimony to how our businesses change....we add some products/services...we run out...we substitue others...we test things...we keep on with our business even though we are no longer selling "lemonade" at our "lemonade stand". We listen to what our customer wants along with what we can offer (or what we have in our pantry, so to speak!)

It takes vision, creativity, courage, and a willingness to let go and see what happens!

The next weekend the girls were at their Lemonade Stand again. I stopped by for a sip of my favorite sweet pink treat along with a homemade chocolate chip cookie ( a new addition to the product offerings). One of their fathers rode by on the lawn mower and yelled something to his daughter...I heard him say..."she'll want to see it." I couldn't believe my entrepreneur eyes...they took out graphs and charts!! These creative business women knew the power of watching sales and determining what was selling and what wasn't. I don't know if you can see this graph but it's obvious from the numbers that the lemonade, cookies and Gatorade are the big winners. While the pudding was creative it didn't sell as well.

They also understood at the tender ages of 10 - 12, the power of a pie chart to tell a story. They showed me a pie chart of several charities where ALL the money from their lemon-inspired business was going to. My heart was engaged. I bought another cookie!

Lemonade Stand Donations

Support Your Neighborhood Lemonade Stand!

(You never know - you could be impacting the lives of these creative young women (and men)...they could be the future Bill Gates, Oprah, and Richard Bransons...)


If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog please feel free to do as long as you include our credit information: Written by Laura Howard West, Center for Joyful Business (www.joyfulbusiness.com). I would also appreciate it if you'd send us a copy for our media files.

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Laura West is an award-winning entrepreneur, and president and founder of the Center for Joyful Business. As a certified business coach, author and speaker, she helps thousands of women entrepreneurs create successful businesses filled with passion, purpose and prosperity. She is known for making marketing simple and fun for passion-based business owners. She is also the author and creator of Joyful Business Guide™ Home Study System, and she is author of the upcoming book, Awakening Your Inner Business Goddess. She is also the Fresh Entrepreneur Expert at Ladies Who Launch.com and creator of their Fresh Entrepreneur workshop and workbook program.

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