Friday, July 24, 2015

Lemonade, Sweet Tea, and Arnold Palmer's

Last week, Aidan tells us that he wants to buy a snorkel and some flippers. We tell him that he better get busy on doing some chores. Then he has the best idea of his life. He asks if he can open a lemonade stand.  We spent some time talking with him about how he would need to buy his supplies, learn how to make some drinks, and find a place to sell them. So, our little business man comes up with the idea of using the money he had saved so far to buy supplies, using some old fence material to build a lemonade stand, and having mom and dad post some pics of his stand in our neighborhood Facebook group. For a six year old, that's a pretty solid business plan!
Step 1: Recycle some old wood from our fence to create a storefront. Yes, dad did a lot of the work- especially with the saw. But, there wasn't a piece of the build that Aidan didn't help with in some way. He helped hold the wood steady for the saw, he ran the drill, and painted the letters that mom traced.

 It was dad's job to make sure we had a little store front, and mom's job to teach Aidan a thing or two about presentation. We did teach him to make an Arnold Palmer- which he decided was super awesome.

 The younger two had to be close to the whole enterprise. They were under Aidan's feet the whole way. They were also Aidan's first customers. Ryla got things started with a lemonade. Aidan over-filled the cup a bit, and without thinking, he took a gulp off the top. We had a little chat with him about not doing gross things to people's drinks....

 Between the great friends we have in the neighborhood, and the the supportive neighbors, opening night was a great experience for Aidan. Over the course of about 2 hours, he had a steady flow of customers. Everyone was extremely generous, encouraging, and supportive. He really loved being able to do something that people enjoyed.

 We tried to help Aidan learn about as many aspects of business as we could. Everything from price points and margins, to investors and overhead. At the end of the day, the thing he learned most clearly is that if you work hard, treat people well, and make a good product, things usually work out ok. This lesson was reinforced when he did his end of night accounting and realized he had made $35 bucks in two hours. We had to remind him that he needed to subtract the cost of supplies. He wasn't super excited about this, but he was really excited that, after covering expenses, he still made enough to get a new wallet, a snorkel, and his flippers!

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