If you're like many of today's small business owners, your first experience as an entrepreneur was running a summer lemonade stand as a child. Thankfully, many of the lessons you learned during this formative period can help you far into your adult years.
Here are four lessons from the lemonade stand that you can apply to your small business:
The Importance of Location, Location, Location
When you're selling lemonade at just 25 cents a glass, foot traffic is key to making a profit. After all, your stand is more visible to people if you set up on a busy pedestrian street than on a dusty side road or a busy highway, where drivers can't slow down or pull over.
When trying to determine the best location for your own business, it's important to think about where your traffic comes from. After all, today's customers may be more likely to find you from a web search than seeing your name on a sign or a print advertisement.
Presentation Is Everything
Dirty glasses, illegible signs and grumpy salespeople don't make for great lemonade sales, and definitely won't attract repeat customers. In this way, one of the most essential lessons from the lemonade stand involves learning how to present yourself and your product.
Cheerful attitudes, a sparkling and welcoming environment, and attractively arranged products and advertisements can go a long way in encouraging customers to stick around, buy something and return in the future.
Pricing for Profit
Selling lemonade is often one of the first opportunities for a child to learn how to set a price in order to make a profit. After all, it costs money to obtain lemons, sugar, water, a pitcher, napkins, stir sticks, ice and paper or plastic cups. A young entrepreneur must learn how to price products in such a way that they will cover the cost of supplies and make a profit without setting prices too high, which can scare off potential customers.
Once you master this premise, the rewards can be great. After all, when happy customers see the value in a particular purchase, they are more likely to spread the word to their friends, family members and co-workers, helping you get free word-of-mouth advertising. Soon enough, they may even become regular customers.
Publicity Pays Off
Most successful lemonade stand entrepreneurs advertise with at least a few signs. Perhaps they even attract attention to their corner by displaying a few colorful balloons. When it comes to your small business, advertising is equally important. As the lemonade stand industry teaches you, the best publicity can be the free, word-of-mouth variety. After all, in today's digital world, social shares are extremely valuable to expanding your customer base.
As is the case in many industries, sometimes the best business advice is the simplest advice.
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