We are trying to teach our 6 year old the value of work. We are hopeful to raise a young man with a strong work ethic and desire to succeed. It’s much easier said than done. So when I offered him the job of cleaning up some lawn debris for cash that he could use to buy Pokemon videos (or whatever else he wanted), I wasn’t really surprised at his disinterest. Truth is, he was a bad employee. He dawdled about and filled about a quarter of a brown paper lunch sac with stuff before he started to moan.
Then he suggested he open a lemonade stand. Like most entrepreneurs, a regular job wasn’t that appealing, but I was happy to know it wasn’t the idea of work that deterred him; it was the type of work that didn’t appeal to him.
So I started helping him work through the Ten Steps to Opening a Business , and it went something like this:
MOM: What is your life plan?
DAN: I want to watch Pokemon from 5 to 5:30.
MOM: How are you going to set up your lemonade stand — What is your business model?
DAN: In the driveway, but not too close to the street
MOM: Do you have a business plan?
DAN: You are going to help me make the lemonade and I am going to sell it.
MOM: How are you going to buy the ingredients for the lemonade? Where will you get the funding?
DAN: We have them in the refrigerator and the pantry.
MOM: Do you have a secret recipe for the lemonade? That would be a key asset for your business.
DAN: Mom, you are going to make the lemonade and I am going to sell it.
MOM: Are you going to hire any helpers?
DAN: No. Except you, of course.
MOM: I have bad news; we don’t have enough lemons, how about Limeade: It can help you establish your brand. It will differentiate you from your competitors.
MOM: How will you get customers? What is the marketing plan?
DAN: We can make a sign that I will hold near the street when cars go by.
MOM: What will the sign say?
DAN: THIRSTY? STOP FOR AN ICE COLD CUP OF LIMEADE.
And there it was, he was in business. It was a great success. Most of the customers gave him a tip in addition to the cost of the drink. He made five dollars in less than an hour. And he charged his father for a cup when he pulled into the driveway (demonstrating that he is no a push over! When you look at it this way, it doesn’t seem so difficult to startup your own small business now, does it?