Who’s really running your child’s lemonade stand? You or your child? The lemonade stand is one of the classic rituals of summer, and it can be an excellent hands-on way for kids to learn some business basics — if you let them!
Unfortunately, many parents inadvertently rob their kids of a golden educational opportunity by handling or hiding some of the basic business mechanics along the way. Instead, take a step back. Let the kids plan and run the business themselves. Let them know you’re available for advice (and seed capital), but otherwise they are in charge.
Here are three simple steps to get rolling on a summer lemonade venture while letting your child experience and learn the business basics of planning, budgeting, and pricing along the way:
Have your child propose a checklist of all the things she’ll need to do to run her lemonade stand. Review the list together. Forget anything? What will you have to buy and what items do you already have around the house? See the sample checklist in this screenshot for some ideas.
Build a Budget
Have your child build a simple budget containing all of the ingredients that he’ll have to buy. How many cups does he think he can sell? How much will all the ingredients and supplies cost? See the sample budget in this screenshot.
Pick a Price
Have your child propose a reasonable price for each cup of lemonade. Will her business turn a profit or suffer a loss? Tune the price and/or the budget until it matches her desired business outcome. Adjust her expectations if necessary. Update your budget to show the bottom line as in this screenshot.
OK, your little entrepreneur should be ready to roll. Time to execute.
P.S. You and your child can use a spread sheet program or even just pencil and paper to do your lemonade stand planning, but if you’d like to try a fun, collaborative online approach, check out FamZoo here.