Police close lemonade stand

Is Your Lemonade Stand Illegal?

Police close lemonade stand

Police officer closing down the lemonade stand

This week it was Jerry Seinfeld’s kids lemonade stand getting closed down by police due to neighbors complaining about parking and not having a permit. I have been hearing about a stand getting closed down almost every week some place in the U.S. this summer – what do you think this does to kids who are testing the waters for entrepreneurship? Most of the time, the kids who start the lemonade stand are raising money for a good cause or they may be saving up for a larger purpose (not to mention all the learning they are doing). What better way than to start a lemonade stand?

So what is up with the neighbors who are complaining and basically getting the kids ticketed, fined and closing their businesses? I’m wondering is the lemonade stand on a hot summer day really causing them a problem? Do they not have enough to keep their selves busy? Another reason for shutting down the stands is that they are competing with a local business – I’m wondering how much business a young entrepreneur lemonade stand takes away from an established business. I have learned that is more important to focus on your own business and do the best you can then to worry about the business next door! And what about our police force – don’t they have more important things to do then to visit a kid’s lemonade stand to close it down? I’m frankly quite disappointed that we are even spending resources on this! I’ve even read

Okay, so there may be arguments that the kids should get a business license. But really can’t we make kids first taste at business more positive? How about if municipalities create a Lemonade Law and allow kids up to 5 different days to run lemonade stands during the year. If the kids want to sell more days, then the formal process of applying for the permit would need to take place. A website page could be added for kids to register the dates of lemonade stands and print out a permit that they can display at their stand so when their neighbor wants to report them they can easily see that the young entrepreneur has taken care of the permit. One simple webpage set up can eliminate the phone call to the police, the police having to investigate and break the young entrepreneur’s heart!

If you know of any municipalities have come up with a good system to remedy this issue, please share maybe others can learn from what has already worked! We definitely need to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to try out their business ideas – if we don’t change the way we treat them we may have less and less young entrepreneurs which will translate in less small businesses in the future (more on that in my next blog post)!

If you would like free tips and resources to cultivate youth entrepreneurs (or to run lemonade stands) – sign up for our free e-newsletter at eseedling.com or purchase More Than a Lemonade Stand at eseedling.com or your favorite online book store.

Business idea

I have a business idea – 5 steps young entrepreneurs can start with!

Business idea

I have a business idea

In the last 2 blog posts I included ideas for how young entrepreneurs might come up with a business idea, an overview of the steps to get started and 10 ideas that work. Now that the business idea is starting to be developed, here is some more detail on what to do next.
Here are 5 steps to get going in the right direction:
1) Calculate how much the unit (or direct) costs are. What is needed to create the product or service? For example, if you are making jewelry, you will need to know how much wire, beads, and other supplies are needed to create one unit (bracelet, ring, earring, etc.) and then figure out the total cost. There may also be costs for equipment or supplies that is necessary to make the product or provide the service so that also needs to be taken into account (these are indirect costs). The same is true for a service, how much do you want to get paid for the service and are any supplies needed to provide the service.
2) Pricing the product or service – after the costs are calculated, figure out how much you want to make per product or unit of service. This can do this by using an accounting equation (a simple math problem); Income-Expenses = Profit. You have already calculated the costs and the profit is how much you want to make (such as $2.00 per bracelet). You can then back into the income which is the sales price for the item or service. Also make sure to account for indirect costs.
3) Get the word out. You need to figure out how you are going to get the word out to potential customers. Once you know who your customers are (neighbors, friends, family, school mates, etc.), you can figure out how to communicate what they are selling to them (this is marketing). This may be by making posters, business cards, flyers, or posting on social media. The key is to find out where your customers are and what the most cost effective way of communicating your message to them is.
4) Follow the rules. Make sure to check with your city, town or school about any rules they have for selling items. You want to make sure they obey the laws and rules so they don’t end up with fines or other issues.
5) Keep good records, make sure you keep track of what you are selling how much you are making and keep it separate from your personal money such as allowance or other non-business funds. This is a good habit to get in right away as it is very important if your business grows to keep business and personal funds separate. If your business takes off – you may need to consult with an accountant or attorney about any taxes you might need to pay.
These 5 steps will get them going in the right direction with a new business. Watch for future posts as they will focus in more detail about the different concepts of running a business as a young entrepreneur.
If you would like additional information on youth entrepreneurship or teaching youth entrepreneurs sign up for my e-newsletter and free tips at http://eseedling.com/

Start an Awesome Business

10 Awesome Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

Start an Awesome Business

Start an Awesome Business now

In my last blog post I talked about how kids can use their talents and passion to guide them into a business idea. But how do you know if that idea will work?  Here are 9 business ideas that have a high chance of success for young entrepreneurs (and some helpful hints for each one):

  1. Make jewelry – if you love jewelry – and like making things with your hands – try making jewelry. Start by making bracelets for your friends and family (both girls and boys wear bracelets if they are with larger beads). Then remember to keep track of all of the supply costs and your time so that you price them fairly and for you to make some money.
  2. Babysit – Okay so there are a lot of kids who do this. But think of what you can add to your service that makes you different and better than others. Could you include doing crafts with them or helping with their school work or a sport or dance. Then propose that to the parents and see if they might pay a little more for that service.
  3. Tutor- if you are one of those kids who is really good in a specific subject, then think about how you can help others increase their knowledge in that subject. You could print some worksheets (or better yet create some) and help kids complete the work. Remember to make sure it is not too hard for the student but is just hard enough to challenge them. Also, make sure you communicate how much you are charging and what is included.
  4. Mow lawns – if you have experience mowing lawns, this may be a good option as a business. You can either provide the lawn mower and gas (in which you want to charge a higher price) or use theirs. This is a good service to provide within your neighborhood. Neighbors may also need other services such as trimming, weeding, changing light bulbs, raking, etc. So ask them what they need and charge them for your services.
  5. Make video game tutorials – if you love playing video games and you are good at it- why not make video tutorials. You can post them on YouTube and if your views get high enough then you may earn revenue with sponsorships. If you want to post them on your website you can charge a subscription fee to your members (the startup costs may be a bit higher).
  6. Make fashion and make-up videos. If you are into fashion and/or make-up then you can film videos and post them on YouTube. You may find sponsors to pay you for each view or you can create a membership site that your fans subscribe to for your tips.
  7. Create an E-Zine. If you have some great content to share with the world, create a subscription based online magazine with unique content. Something that you can give hints and tips for, videos on a subject, interviews with experts or cooking foods would be great topics to get subscribers.
  8. Teach sports, dance or music. If you have an expertise that you can teach, this is a great way to share it and help others. Remember to keep track of all expenses and your time so you can charge enough to make it worthwhile.
  9. Make something. If you have a product you can make such as t-shirts, candles, fishing lures, etc. You can sell them to your friends and family and then have customers post their use of them on social media to help get the word out and expand your business.
  10. Care for Pets. If you love animals then help out your neighbors by taking care of their pets while they are on vacation or busy at work. You can walk their dog, play with their cat, or feed their fish. You will love what you do and your neighbors will love that they don’t have to rush home to take care of their pets!

Remember you have a few weeks of summer left so it is a great time to get your business idea going! Always remember to ask your parents before starting up a business endeavor! Visit eseedling.com for more resources and information on youth entrepreneurship.

Parents helping kids start a business

Avoid Summer Brain Drain – Help your kids start a business!

Parents helping kids start a business

Parents helping kids start a business

There is still a month left of summer vacation and the kids are getting bored! Why not have them start a business? Starting a small business is a good way to keep the brain drain away and keep the kids busy, learn responsibility, earn money and build their resume!

Here are 6 things to help your kids get started as entrepreneurs.

  1. Have them write down what they are good at, what they like to do in their spare time and what they have knowledge in. This helps them realize their talents and passions. It is much more fun to start a business doing something you love!
  2. Once the kids have narrowed down their idea, have them think about what problems they can solve with those skills and talents (maybe it’s teaching a musical instrument, academic subject, dance or a sport or maybe it’s doing outside work such as lawn mowing, leaf raking or snow shoveling).
  3. Once they have an idea – they need to put together a list of what is needed to start and the costs (they may need to research costs online or go to the store). Once the list is ready – have them make a proposal to you and discuss the idea. If you approve they may also need to check with a municipality to see if there are any special permits necessary.
  4. Have the kids come up with a price for their product or service. They should check out if they have any competition, what they are charging and what their strengths and weaknesses are so they know how to sell against them. They will also want to think about how much they want to make in order to figure out what they charge the customer.
  5. Have the kids come up with a schedule to work on the business and be reliable for their customers. If kids do this their business will grow with word of mouth.
  6. Help them find a mentor – if you have business knowledge you may be able to help, if not see if there is another adult who may be able to help them with business questions as they come up.

These starting steps will help kids get started learning about running a business and give them a taste of entrepreneurship! Want more information on youth entrepreneurship – visit www.eseedling.com.