Just the other day, my adorable kid neighbors across the street put out a lemonade stand. I thought it was cute, but another part of me wondered how I could improve upon the lemonade stand idea when it came to my own kids.
After all, the lemonade stand has been done many, many times before when it comes to teaching kids about business. Is there something better out there? Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it and it does teach kids to handle money. However, I want to go deeper into the idea of entrepreneurship when I teach my kids about running a business. I want them to do more than re-use an idea someone else had.
Why the Lemonade Stand is Flawed
The lemonade stand operates under the assumption that if you build it, they will come. In today’s marketing centered world, this is just unrealistic.
You have to build the business and then make sure people come, both before, during, and after you launch. So, it’s not enough to put a lemonade stand on the street. As with any business, you have to drum up some marketing and excitement ahead of time and keep your customers coming back for more. The lemonade stand but it’s very nature is set up to be temporary, only up for an hour or two preferably in higher trafficked areas. So, how can kids learn how to do and be more as little entrepreneurs?
Buy Low and Sell High
One of the oldest lessons when it comes to becoming wealthy is to buy low and sell high. This is a great lesson to teach children, especially when it comes to starting a business. For example, you can bring your kids to a garage sale and teach them how to assess the quality of an item. They can re-sell games, furniture, and even clothes both locally and globally if they set up an eBay or Amazon account online.
The benefit of this is that they get numerous business lessons in one. They negotiate payments with sellers, learn how to describe and market an item, use technology to upload it, and practice excellent customer service. Not only that, but they can make a great income this way, far better than at the lemonade stand.
The last lesson you can teach kids about business is how to slowly scale one. This is a tough one for adult entrepreneurs, especially because we have the option to borrow money to start or expand our businesses. Since kids don’t have access to capital outside of their own parents’ wallets, they can learn what it takes to slowly scale something over time.
Show them what it means to create one product and sell it, making enough to then invest in making another one. Or, teach them what it means to get one customer for their grass cutting or babysitting service and then add to their client base over time.
The lessons above are absolutely invaluable and in an age where many kids play video games and have many things in life handed to them, teaching them the value of good old fashioned hard work, honesty, and basic business principles can set them up for a life of incredible success.