In a world full of complications sometimes we overlook the simple things in life. We are so busy trying to work out the twisted problems that we miss out on the simple secrets to success. The same can be said of our businesses. We get caught up in endless problems when all we really need to do is to step back and see the simple alternatives, that will lead us to success. Sometimes we need to think about the simplicity of a child.
Not so long ago, Summer holidays (vacation) in the USA meant the rebirth of the Lemonade Empire. Enterprising children of about 10 years and up set up their lemonade stands and earned themselves some holiday money. A note to all who do not live in the USA, schoolchildren in the USA have a 3-month vacation in the summer, allowing them a great deal of free time. This was before the year-round schools that have tried to cut down the long summer vacation. The Lemonade era was in full swing in these ‘good old days.’
The Lemonade King/Queen, who would earn the most money by the end of the vacation, depended on individual factors. Being children they did not have any complicated “think tanks” or secret board meetings, they relied on simple business skills and techniques. Let me explain these few points.
There was a need/market: Hot thirsty people, (most of the USA has hot Summers) A proven hot selling product: Cold Lemonade is the ultimate drink for a hot summer day. Cheap premises, simple set up and low overhead: A stand with supplies at the curb( side of the road) would not be too expensive.
However there was hot competition, many children on vacation, and this is where simple business tactics came into play. Just 3 examples:
One child was selling Lemonade for 10c Another for 15c A third for 25c
All had simple stands with a whiteboard saying Lemonade 10c/15c/25c. They had stands that stood alone, with no related service.
Each Lemonade Stand owner vied for the best traffic location, some got lucky others not. All fair in the Lemonade game. Then came:
The Ultimate Marketer: A small girl was selling lemonade for 30c and she was the talk of the neighborhood. She was selling more and charging more, how could that be? Here were her simple secrets.
Her notice did not just say Lemonade 30c. It said “Freshly Squeezed Lemonade, Made Just For You” She greeted all her customers personally. She took obvious pride in her wares and stand. Her stand was simply and nicely decorated and spotlessly clean. However, she did not stop here. She set up her stand next door to the most popular Hot Dog/snack stand. This vender was well known throughout the neighborhood for his great food and service. He had a great location near many offices on a busy street and he was not just seasonal he was there all year round so everybody knew him. He was the perfect complement to the little girl’s lemonade stand. Plus he was a friendly fellow and always recommended his customers to have some delicious lemonade with their lunch/snacks. Of course, she also returned the favor.
Now we can all learn from the simple business principles that made this small entrepreneur the talk of the town. To recap:
She had the market (thirsty people) The product: Great tasting lemonade She improved her ad copy, her notice was better than her competitors. She treated all her customers well, going out of her way to make them feel comfortable. Added value. Happy customers=repeat customers, good service = word of mouth marketing, a very powerful form of promotion. A clean, attractive, and professional stand attracted more customers. Her strong link with a large popular seller helped her to sell more. Because of all these factors and the added value of customer service she could charge a premium price.
All these simple business tactics can be applied to your business and not only help you get ahead of the competition but make more money with less fuss. No need for, time-consuming think tanks, and board meetings. These simple principles are right under our noses, we just have to apply them. Think with the simplicity of a child and your business will run more smoothly, be more efficient, and ultimately make you more money.