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The summer is full of excitement for kids like having no school, time at the pool, and more family time. With all the spare time kids have during this time, they might not have enough to keep them busy.
One good way to keep them occupied and get them to start learning about entrepreneurship and making money as a kid is starting a lemonade stand. In this article, we’ll talk all about how to start a lemonade stand with your kid to help them earn money while having fun as a small business owner.
How to start a lemonade stand or lemonade business
There is nothing like an ice-cold lemonade on a hot day to cool you off. It’s no wonder that many kids have had success with selling lemonade for decades. To get your budding entrepreneur starting on their business journey, here are six steps to take to start a lemonade stand business:
1. Create a business plan
This doesn’t need to be overly complicated and you can find simple templates online. The plan should include details like the type of lemonade that you intend to sell, pricing, where the lemonade stand will be located, and how it’ll be marketed.
2. Build or purchase a lemonade stand
It could be as simple as a folding table, but make sure they consider things like counter space needed, storage, and refrigeration. It’s also ideal to make a sign and price list for your stand.
3. Purchase all the supplies
To make and sell lemonade, you’ll need supplies like an ice chest, paper cups, and ingredients to make the lemonade.
4. Contact your city or county
Some cities or counties may require some paperwork or permits to be paid for, so find out about whether you need a business permit for your stand to be on the safe side.
5. Determine a good location for your stand
Help your child decide whether they want to set up the lemonade stand in the driveway or in another high-traffic location.
6. Start marketing
Get the word out about your kid’s new business! Help them advertise it through social media like Facebook or Nextdoor. They might even put up flyers around the neighborhood.
These steps are general actions that you’ll need to help your kid make to start a lemonade stand. Let’s go into some more details about what you should know before deciding a lemonade stand is the right thing for your kid to ensure its success.
What you need to know before starting your lemonade stand business
It’s a proud parent moment to have a kid that’s interested in starting a lemonade stand. There are a ton of lessons they will learn about money, running a business, and a good work ethic. Planning is the most critical aspect of starting a lemonade stand.
Sit down with your kid and ask them important questions about their plans for a lemonade stand like:
When will the lemonade business be open? Will they be running it on weekends, weekdays, etc.? Have them think about what hours they want to run the lemonade business.
Who will help with the lemonade stand? Ask them if they have friends, neighbors, or siblings that want to get involved. They can split up the work or take turns doing different jobs.
What will be sold? Your kid might want to start with just selling lemonade or could expand to offer other items. Fruit juice, bottled water, and cookies are other offerings that could bring in more potential customers or increase profits.
How long will the lemonade stand run? If your kid has other summer activities or there are family vacations planned, the stand might need to revolve around those.
Do you need a permit for a lemonade stand?
Check your state, city, and local government offices to determine whether your kid will need a business permit for their lemonade stand. This is an important step to take before opening a lemonade stand as they can be shut down without one.
How to get a permit for a lemonade stand
The process, type of permits required, and costs all vary by where you live. Permit requirements are based on state and local laws. In some cases, you will only need a vender’s permit. Other areas might require a business license or health inspection.
To get a permit, the best place to start is to check your local or state government websites. It will outline the requirements and have contact information on who to talk to with questions.
Other requirements for running a lemonade stand
There are a lot of things involved with running a stand. The startup costs for supplies are a big investment in a lemonade stand. Here is a list of supplies that your kid will likely need to get to open their business:
- Table or stand – This could be a regular folding table, something you build, or bought from a store.
- Lemonade ingredients – Includes lemons, sugar, water, lemonade mix, or frozen lemonade.
- Cups – You’ll need disposable cups to put lemonade in for customers.
- Signs and decorations – To attract the attention of people, having homemade or store bought signs will help increase the chance of sales.
- Ice – To keep the lemonade cold or serve with lemonade to customers.
- Pitcher or container – To hold the lemonade, you’ll need a pitcher or something like a spouted cooler.
- Napkins, lids, straws – Other items that you might need to have handy to serve lemonade or other food and beverages.
- Long Spoon – For stirring the lemonade and keeping it fresh.
- Change and cash box – The amount of change will depend on how much the lemonade costs. Ideally, you’ll want a roll of quarters, $1s, $5s, and $10s to break change.
How to make a lemonade stand
You don’t need anything fancy to set up a lemonade stand other than a solid table. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold the pitcher, cups, and other items.
If your kid wants to get a little more creative, they can build their lemonade stand from a few materials. Using wooden crates, some paint, with some nails, you can build a stand in short order. Make it more fun by adding streamers, balloons, or other decorations. Here is an article on how to build a lemonade stand that’s portable.
Another option is to buy a pre-made lemonade stand. Amazon, Etsy, and Wayfair are all good places to find these. But fresh lemonade made with real lemons is a huge selling point. Here is a lemonade recipe that uses fresh lemons.
- 1 ½ cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 5 cups of cold water
- 2 lemons, sliced for garnish
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
Directions to make lemonade
In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, water, and sugar. Keep stirring it until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices to top it off. Add ice. You can also use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon too.
Alternatively, you can make simple syrup for the lemonade. This will avoid the possibility of a sugary grit. Simply add the sugar and 1 cup of water to a pot and put them over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon juice and the rest of the water.
What is the best lemonade press?
Squeezing lemons by hand can be a lot of work. It’s also not the most efficient way to get that freshness. A lemon press works by placing a part of the lemon in the machine. Then you pull down a level to extract the juice into a container.
The best lemonade press for your kid to use to make lemonade is the one that they can use most comfortably and easily. Look for ones that yield a good amount of juice and minimizes the effort that’s expended to squeeze lemons.
Our favorite is the Zulay Professional Citrus Juicer, which is a heavy duty manual juicer that doesn’t require electricity which could be difficult for you outside.
How to choose a location for your lemonade stand
Like any business, location is a factor that greatly contributes to its success. A lemonade stand in front of your home might be good if your location has a lot of good foot traffic. But otherwise, it’s a good idea to venture out further. You may need a permit or permission from surrounding businesses for some of these locations.
Some good places to consider include:
- Near shopping plazas
- Entrances of a local grocery store
- Parks and beaches
- Near golf courses or pools
- Your neighborhood or in front of your house
Your kid might also consider setting up their lemonade stand for different community events, flea markets, or farmer’s markets. You’ll want to get permission and also check if a certain location would require a certain type of permit to sell.
Starting a lemonade stand business FAQs
Who is your target market when selling lemonade?
Choosing the type of customer to appeal to your lemonade stand will help ensure its success. For example, if you’re targeting people who are driving by a plaza then your lemonade might need to be sold In cups with lids.
What are the initial costs to start a lemonade stand?
The costs of starting a lemonade stand depend on all the supplies you’ll need and how sophisticated you want to get. If your kid is just using a spare table and chair and just needs lemonade ingredients, they could start the stand with as little as $20. On the high end, if they purchase a lemonade stand, expensive lemonade press, and use premium ingredients, it could be as high as a $100-200.
What are the ongoing costs for operating a lemonade stand?
The main ongoing costs of a lemonade business are the ingredients (lemons, sugar, water, etc.), location costs, and permits.
What is the best price to charge for lemonade to be profitable?
The price of your lemonade should cover the costs of buying all your supplies like cups, napkins, lemons, etc. You could charge $1 to $1.50 per cup for fresh lemonade. Smaller cups of lemonade from a powered mix should be sold for less.
How do you accept payments from customers?
Cash is the most cost-effective way to accept payments. You should have plenty of quarters and $1s available. In case you need to break change, keep a few $5 and $10s around as well.
How can you promote your lemonade stand?
A good location and signage are good building blocks to promote your stand. Another option is to decorate some white printer paper or construction paper to advertise the business around the neighborhood. You can help your kid advertise their lemonade stand by posting about it on social media websites to get the word out.
Should you name your lemonade stand business?
Having a personalized name for the lemonade business will help it attract attention. Choose a memorable, catchy, or relatable name to make it stand out.
Hopefully this guide helps with everything you need to start a lemonade stand business with your kid and be on your way to making money and learning lessons of hard work along the way.