Sloan’s Savvy Drink Stand Business Model

I wanted to offer a quick first grade “business model” if anyone is interested…

All summer, Sloan has been asking to do a lemonade stand. She sees them set up across the street from my parents’ house at the neighborhood park and has become a little obsessed. I loved doing lemonade (Kool-Aid) stands as a kid and I think I learned a lot too. However, my thought was that Sloan is still a little too young.

You see, my anxiety was at work again. Will she have the coordination to pour lemonade from a large pitcher into a cup? Probably not. Will she keep the stand organized and sanitary? Doubtful. Will she be able to accept bills, calculate change, and then distribute it correctly? Sloan is smart, but her development isn’t at the point yet to perform those tasks.

Weighing Sloan’s strong desire to do a lemonade stand with the reality that this is the last week of summer vacation, I tried to think of something that would give her a quasi-lemonade stand experience. An idea finally came to me yesterday morning at the gym.

We did a creative spin on the typical lemonade stand.

After my workout, I hustled over to Safeway and purchased cheap soda, bottled water, ice, and poster board. Back at home, I packed a cooler and Sidney wrote a sign. Later that morning, I set Sloan up in the front of our house. I gave her a chair and placed the cooler beside it. I put a bin in front of her that “displayed” the product she had to offer.

Sloan was in charge of her own complimentary soda stand. To bypass the concerns of her spilling lemonade all over the place, I totally removed the need for a pitcher. Sloan would just hand out canned soft drinks and bottled water. As for the possibly chaotic situation of Sloan making change? This business model didn’t charge customers for the refreshments. That’s right, we had a large sign that said, “FREE DRINKS.”

Our target audience was the many workers who are on our street each day building houses, installing lawns, painting walls, and performing every single other activity you would associate with erecting a brand new neighborhood. We figured these folks would appreciate a small reward for their hard work. We explained to Sloan that she was presiding over her first stand as a service to those making our neighborhood beautiful.

However, customers of Sloan felt compelled to leave “donations.” So even though Sloan didn’t go to work expecting to make money, she clocked out with plenty of cash in a plastic cup.

If you have a first grader who wants to do something fun with the last days of summer, I recommend our drink stand model. Provide pre-packaged drinks free of charge and you won’t have to worry about spills, messes, or change. The only thing you might have to worry about is your child becoming money hungry as those donations roll in. Don’t Blink.

2 thoughts on “Sloan’s Savvy Drink Stand Business Model

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