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/

Young Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand

The Aha Moment that I’m sticking too!

Have you ever been someplace and all of sudden that light bulb goes – you know it – that ‘aha’ moment. When I was at Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy last fall – I was working in a small group and explaining the youth entrepreneur camps I’m working on  by using the words, “it’s More Than a Lemonade Stand” and someone in our group said “that would be a great name”. I thought to myself, wow, she’s right – and the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps and Training were born.  One thing that Brendon told us, that really stuck in my head, was to pick one thing and stick with it for two years.  I do have to say that was really good advice – I for one have no lack of ideas so it will definitely be a challenge- but I think what it does for me is help me stay focused on what my goal is. This has actually helped me move toward it faster than I ever imagined possible. Sometimes it feels like it’s moving a bit fast, I just signed my first book publishing agreement with Morgan James publishing and I am learning so much about the publishing industry, editing, and publicity all while writing my book (and working full-time so I can actually afford to do all of this)!  I’m so grateful that I’ve been fortunate to learn so much in a short time from experts in the industry and hope to continue on my journey in the next 2 years (and beyond).

Lemon

Have you Organized your Stuff Yet?

Whenever I get back from any conference, and Author 101 University is no exception, I have a pile of notes, handouts, marketing materials, business cards, and emails to deal with. I usually pull the stuff out of my bag and put it on the table; being a bit overwhelmed it just sits there for a day or two (or more) – Sound familiar?!

So since I’m a Franklin Covey Facilitator I thought I should practice what I preach!  So I set up a system to organize all my stuff from the conference.  I thought this might help others so I thought I would share my step-by-step process (if’s always easier to break it down)!

author101-folders1) Gather empty file folders and labels and label them with the different speakers or programs or subjects for instance I have folders for each of the speakers (or their subject title which ever works best for you).  So I have a folder for: Starley Murray, Tom Antion, Move People to Action, Morgan James, Right Book Right Now and so on.  Then I just put the papers in the folder (from my pile) that they go with.  I also have a folder for my Website, my book, and my products where I put ideas, content, etc. into. Then I put them in a folder organizer (not sure what these are called so I included a picture) next to be desk – since I’m a visual person, I like to see them!

2) Set up the same folders in your emails. Use the same categories you have for paper as you do for emails – it will be so much easier to find them!  Then move your emails from you in box and your sent box into the associated folder. If you don’t know how to do this – email me at juliewood@eseedling.com and I can help you out!

3) Go through your notes and file in the appropriate folders (or you can scan and save them electronically). You probably have pages of notes to organize (if you’re anything like me) so you may need to sift a little before filing.  One thing I try to do when I’m at a conference is keep my note pages so that I only have one speaker on a page so I can easily organize when I get home.

4) Go through your pile of business cards and enter them in your email software (hopefully have one such as mail chimp, constant contact, aweber, infusionsoft).  If you don’t have one – get one now! If you are using a true CRM system – enter any pertinent information you want to keep track of (you won’t remember it a month from now)!

5) Make a Master To Do List and prioritize!  Either as you are organizing or after you’ve organized make a Master list with all the things you want to do.  Then go back and prioritize.  Once prioritized, assign deadlines and measures (goals) so that you stay on track.

I hope that helps get you going!  I would love to hear your comments and what tips you have that work well for you!  Julie Wood, chief cultivator, seedling, llc

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon

Are you building your platform?

I’ve been back a week from Author 101 University and I finally sifted through all the materials and started getting to work on the 3 things I wrote down to focus on: 1) Build my platform (more on that in a moment), 2) Finish writing my book, 3) Follow up and write thanks with contacts.  If there is one thing I learned at Author 101 University (besides you must have a book proposal if you writing a non-fiction book) is you need a platform!  Basically, if you want someone to publish your book, you must have a following (a platform).  We learned at Author 101 that there are many ways to go about building your platform.  We learned that you need to get out and share your expertise either in person or online (or both)!  Free content is a good way to start building your credibility, making an impact and building your platform.  So, in addition to writing the book (thankfully, I already finished the book proposal), I will be putting together some free content to help others with entrepreneurship.  I also have a few ideas for a kindle book which we also learned could help build your platform.  So, what are you doing to make an impact and build your platform?

Lemon

Throwing a Wrench in the Works

From what all the experts say, writing a book is the number #1 way to build your credibility.  When I was thinking about starting a youth entrepreneur camp business, it never occurred to me that I would be writing a book.  Then I went to Experts Academy with Brendon Burchard, he brought to the stage Rick Frishman from Morgan James publishing telling us that the number #1 way to build credibility was to publish a book.  Talk about throwing a wrench in the works; did I need to stop working on my business and write a book?  The really funny thing is when I woke up the next morning, there I was at my computer writing (a book).

I remember looking back about 6 years ago when I was going to go back to school after leaving corporate America. I wanted to get recertified in elementary education so I could go back into teaching. An advisor at UW-Madison said to me, “you should think about graduate school.”  Mind you, I was 47 years old; another wrench in the works?!  Okay that was a bit of a regression but I do have a point here.

Anyway, I have been working on my book (really my book proposal which is what you have to do first), and it is not only interesting and challenging but doing the research for it will definitely make my business idea better in the end.  In the book proposal, you have to look at competitive books, how you are going to market your book, and who you are going to market to.  These are very important in business and researching them for the book will definitely help me in the long run.

Now, back to my earlier point – maybe sometimes we need to have a wrench thrown in the works to get us looking at things from another perspective and help us move forward!