Over the 4th of July, I was walking around an affluent neighborhood and about every block or so, there were children selling lemonade.
Lemonade Stand 1.
At the first stand, the kids were yelling from a bench about their lemonade and how much it cost. They were so loud that people were running to get away from them!
Lemonade Stand 2.
At the second stand, there was a young boy sitting behind a pitcher of lemonade with his parents next to him. But this was no ordinary stand. No. This was professional. There was a wooden structure with an awning, graphics of lemons and a special box to place your coins for the lemonade.
Obviously, the parents went out and bought a lemonade stand for their child. I don’t know if they were trying to teach him about business or if the boy requested the stand. Who knows? After all, the boy was just sitting behind the stand while his parents chatted to customers and had a ball doing all the work. He couldn’t care less and seemed aggravated by the whole ordeal.
(On a side note, I didn’t even know they made professional lemonade stands. Am I alone, or as a kid, didn’t you just pull out whatever table you could find and decorate it with a sign?)
Lemonade Stand 3.
Anyway, I continued my walk and came across another lemonade stand. This stand consisted of a simple card table with a big sign on the front. The sign stated that it was a lemonade stand and that a cup of cool, refreshing lemonade was immediately available for only fifty cents. And there stood a pitcher of lemonade that looked very enticing in the July, afternoon heat. Then, I noticed the stand’s owner.
There was a little boy in a full on, Uncle Sam costume introducing himself to potential customers and personally pitching the benefits of his products. He was a true salesperson. And it showed. He was having a great time, and passersby bought lots of lemonade and filled his tip jar with money.
Well, this whole situation got me thinking about business. How are you promoting your products? Are you catering to the needs of your customers and pitching how you can solve their problems, or are you slamming them with messages they don’t want to hear?
How about your actual, daily activities?
Do you like what you’re doing, or are investors and partners calling the shots and actually making your business less productive and fun?
These lemonade kids broke the whole business process down very simply. If you aren’t servicing your customers or doing something you actually like to do, you’re wasting time and money.
If you are unhappy with your current business, or your sales are flat, take a moment to think about the little boy with the successful lemonade stand. By changing your promotional messaging, the way you do business or looking for another career all together, you’ll be happier and more successful. After all, it takes much more than lemons to make a successful lemonade stand work!
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