Why you should always support the local lemonade stand

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It’s 100 degrees outside…what’s better than a refreshing glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade? Not much, especially considering your support of this lemonade stand is introducing a child to a real world experience of starting their own business for the first time. These budding entrepreneurs have decided to organize and manage an enterprise and although it may seem small, it takes a considerable amount of initiative and risk. If you are tempted to drive by without thinking twice about supporting your local lemonade stand, I challenge you to reconsider for the following three reasons.

Reason 1: Lemonade Stands Build Social Skills

Just like most retail and restaurant operations, customer service is key in establishing repeat customers and the same goes for the local lemonade stand. Providing young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to interact and sell their product is a great introduction into crafting a sales pitch and understanding how to provide top notch customer service.

Reason 2: Lemonade Stands Instill A Strong Work Ethic

It takes effort and hard work for a first time entrepreneur to put together a lemonade stand with all of the necessary supplies and decorations to run a successful operation. Those stands opting to provide a fresh squeezed product get bonus points for their extra effort. Put yourself in the shoes of these small business owners – think of all of the other things they could be doing with their time but instead they have decided to be an entrepreneur. Work ethic isn’t an easy skill to teach in a classroom but a lemonade stand serves as a great example of the hard work that is required to be a successful entrepreneur.

Reason 3: Lemonade Stands Provide Experiential Learning Opportunities

As the saying goes… when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Unfortunately, even lemonade stands don’t always end up as successful as hoped. Tough love is one way to describe the lessons learned while operating a lemonade stand. Not every business succeeds and lemonade stands are no different. These young entrepreneurs are learning that their business choices may have grave impact on their success. For example, the lemonade stand owner who doesn’t purchase enough product to meet customer demand or vice versa. These are hard lessons learned by new and established businesses in the real world every single day. Our local lemonade stand entrepreneurs can learn these same lessons with your help and support.

I challenge you the next time you see a lemonade stand during your travels to stop and take the opportunity to help teach these young entrepreneurs what you know about operating a business. Ask them questions, provide them with feedback and help them to make the most of their first business venture. These kids have taken the initiative to make a little extra cash and are willing to take the risk of breaking even or even losing money to take a stab at being an entrepreneur. Submit photos of our local entrepreneurs in action to the Franklin Business Center’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/franklinbusinesscenterva/) and be sure to check out the resources the Franklin Business Center offers to young and mature entrepreneurs alike by stopping in to tour the facility. And remember to support your local lemonade stand and help instill an entrepreneurial spirit in our local youth!

MALLORY B. TAYLOR is the business development manager for Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Her email address is mtaylor@franklinsouthamptonva.com.