NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.

There are reasons why a business idea becomes a classic – it’s a good one! Making a profit with a lemonade stand is not difficult. You can also consider selling warm drinks such as coffee or lemonade in cool weather.

— A great way to learn the basics about running a business
— A fun way to earn money

— You’re at the mercy of the weather: rain, extreme heat/humidity, etc.
— It’s a seasonal job. Spring is the best time to run a lemonade stand in most places across the U.S. Summer and fall may also work, depending on what area of the country you live in.

How to Get Started:

Pick the location of the stand wisely. If your stand is in front of your house, only a few of your neighbors will see you. Try picking an area that gets a lot of walking traffic. Parks and beaches are good spots for a lemonade stand. Of you’re selling coffee or hot chocolate, look for a sport where people will be spending a lot of time outside, like a sledding hill or an ice-skating rink.

Keep an eye out for local events. Set up your lemonade or coffee stand near street festivals or sporting events.

Choose a spot in the shade, whether you’re at a park or an event.

Get the right equipment. At the very least, you need to have a sturdy table and chair. Neatly arrange pitchers, cups, napkins, and straws, etc. Be sure to have the right equipment to keep cold drinks cold (e.g. a cooler) or hot drinks hit (e.g. a thermos).

Make yourself comfortable. Stay well hydrated and have a lot of water on hand. Place a soft cushion on your chair. Use a battery-powered fan. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen in the spring or summer, and warm clothing in the fall and winter.

Also, make sure that you keep some extra money, so that you can make change for customers paying will larger bills. You don’t have to accept any bills larger than $20, but have some $10s, $5s, $1s, and quarters.

How Much to Charge:

About 75 cents or a dollar per glass of lemonade or cup of coffee or hot chocolate is a good price to charge. You can also have deals for your customers, such as ” Buy 2 Get 1 Free!” Consider keeping a tip box or jar on hand to earn extra money, as well.

Be sure that your cost covers the price of your ingredients. If you have created a business plan, you will have a goal for how you plan to sell each day, how much ingredients you need to make that much lemonade (or coffee or hot chocolate) and how much to charge to cover those costs. If you had to buy equipment (e.g. a cooler), factor in a little bit extra to your price so you can gradually pay yourself back for that expense.

Taking it to the next level:

Ready to upgrade your lemonade or coffee stand business? Here are some tips.

  • Consider offering a variety of products. Lemonade is the star of your business. But you can also provide other drinks such as bottled water, and other flavors of lemonade. You might also sell snacks. If you’re selling coffee and/or hot chocolate, try adding something fancier like lattes or espresso.
  • Take on partners who can go home and make more lemonade or coffee and bring it to you when you run out.


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