Lemonade Stand Turf Wars – Small Business 101

If you are currently running or thinking about starting your own small business then you could probably learn a thing or two from a five year old entrepreneur I met while she was running her lemonade stand today.  This young lady already possesses everything needed to run a massive enterprise, and undoubtedly if she spends the next sixteen years of her life further cultivating her talents, she will someday run a business like Google or Facebook.  Here are six lessons to massive success I learned from a five year old peddling lemonade.

1. Go To Where The Customers Are: I live in the suburbs of Boston and on 93 degree days, like today, it is not unusual to drive by a lemonade stand as you meander along side streets.  The problem with most lemonade booths is twofold.  First, if you set up on a side street, a car will only occasionally pass by.  Second, if you happen to live on a main thoroughfare you have to worry about safety as well as the ease in which a car can pull over to buy a drink.  The young lady I met today, avoided both of these issues all together.  She had her dad bring her to Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, a seven mile paved walking, riding, roller blading trail that snakes through several local suburban towns.  The trail is always busy with runners, skaters, and bikers, even on really hot days.  While a kid with a lemonade stand on a back street might grab 4 clients an hour, a kid hawking lemonade on the paved bike path, is more likely to grab 50 per hour.  This entrepreneur had succeeded in bringing her business to where her customers were.  Why fish in an ocean when there’s a fully stocked pond down the street?

2. Make It Easy:  The problem with lemonade stands in general is that even on a regular day, most people will not opt to get out of their car.  Put two coffee shops side by side, which one will do better?  The one with a drive-thru window.  The easier you make it for people to buy your service or product, the more sales you will have.  This young lady made it extremely easy to buy her product.  Nobody had to pull over and get out of an air-conditioned vehicle.   All of her possible clients were on bike or foot.  All they had to do was stop, and many did.

3. Free!:  What I found most ingenious about this young entrepreneur was the fact that she had a big sign taped to the front of her stand which said “FREE LEMONADE.”  There was also a tip jar overflowing with money.   This is not proven by fact, but based on what I saw, I bet that she made more money per glass for her lemonade than she would have made if she charged for it.  If she had been the one to put the price on the lemonade then she would have risked potential customers judging her price as too high and opting out of buying.  That couldn’t happen here.  Each “buyer” had to come to his or her own conclusion about value and it’s likely that the buyer would have given the drink more value than the seller would have.  The seller might have based her value on the cost for the mix and the cups, where as the buyer may have put greater value on her entrepreneurial spirit.  I gave her $10 for a glass of lemonade because I saw a little bit of me in her.  There were all sorts of kids riding their bikes along the trail, but only one was capitalizing on the opportunity.  To me, that was worth $10.  If, however, SHE had priced the lemonade at $10 then I might have passed by her all together saying, “That’s too much!”  Whatever product or service you are offering, make sure that your customer can get a FREE sample.  In many businesses that FREE sample is in the form of insight and knowledge offered as a freebie on a blog or website.  Look for opportunities to offer FREE stuff.   It’s the most popular word in the English language, and you are sure to draw additional eyeballs to your offering with those four little letters.  As well, even a client who takes you up on the freebie could quite well end up a raving fan who brings your business greater revenue than the one sale would have brought.

4. Make Sure Your Customers Can See AND Hear You:  It was quite hot out, but this young girl was standing up behind her stand and yelling, “Can I offer you a lemonade, Sir?”  She wasn’t content to assume that people would see her sign, she ensured that she was noticed by announcing herself to passers by.  Are you positive your potential clients know you are there?  Are you just sitting back hoping they see you or are you standing up and yelling out loud, “I’m right here!”

5. Gracious:  Not everyone paid a tip, yet the young girl treated everyone the same.  She recognized that by offering something for free, some people would take her up on it.  She was ok with that.  Most people chose to pay her.  The lesson here for business owners is that if you are offering something for free that must mean, “no strings attached,” which means everyone gets treated equally, even those that take you up on it.

6. Optimal Sales Situation: What is the optimal sales situation for your business?  For a lemonade stand weather plays an important role.  A 93 degree day helps sales, so a great entrepreneur jumps on that situation.  An even better sales opportunity is a 93 degree day WITH an organized community walk, like there was today.  Not only did the young owner of this stand have her regular customers, she had lots of extras because there was a walk for charity coming down the trail.

It has been said that immigrants are 10 times more likely to become millionaires in the United States because they see opportunity that those born and bred in the US can’t.  So it may be for children too, if only we could do our best not to break that entrepreneurial selling spirit as they mature.  If you are wondering, her dad was there too, coaching her from the sidelines.  This girl is going places, I’m sure of it.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Rob White – A Second Chance at Success Interview

Join me for an interview with the insightful, captivating, and amazingly brilliant, Rob White, where he will share remarkably simple ways to turn your mistakes into opportunities, and open your life to lasting confidence, happiness and success.If you have read either of Rob’s Books, A Second Chance at Success or 180-Climbing Two Ladders to Inner Strength and Outer Freedom, you know Rob offers sage wisdom on creating the life you have always dreamed of. Rob goes deep by showing you how to strip away the layers of lies that stop you from succeeding.

About Rob:
Rob White is an author, storyteller & a motivational coach with a purpose. Rob created RobWhiteMedia.com as a way to provide individuals with all the resources they need to wake up to the power of WOW. Rob has dedicated his life to inspire individuals to realize and accomplish their own life goals by providing seminars, workshops, videos, articles, blogs, books and original animation shorts.

Rob is the author of 180, a guide to achieving “inner strength and outer freedom”, and A Second Chance at Success: Remarkably Simple Ways to Open Your life to Opportunities and Turn Past Mistakes Into Lasting Confidence, Happiness and Success. Rob is regularly featured on the Huffington Post and his original articles are published in dozens of print and online publications.

From his modest beginnings in a small town in Western Massachusetts, he built a multi-million dollar bi-coastal real estate business and went on to become a successful restaurateur. Rob is an expert in the fields of personal and professional growth. Drawing on 30 years of experience researching and testing myriad methods and tools for success, he has developed a concise and enriching program that unlocks the true power of human potential.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

3 Keys to Great Rejection

If there is such thing as a key to success in any sales business, that key would most definitely be rejection.  Great salespeople are total losers!  By losers, of course I mean that they are really good at getting rejected a lot.  The more losses you stack up, the more wins you have coming.  Here are three things you need to know about rejection to make the most of your career.

1.      Track Your Stats: Rejection is a whole lot easier when you know that there is a win coming.  If you knew that you have a 1 in 10 conversion rate, would it not be easier to make 10 prospecting calls each day, or even 100?  Track your stats for the next two weeks and calculate your win rate.  Then, moving forward know that every call you make, every rejection you take, is bringing you just one step closer to your win.

2.      Aim for High Level Rejection: Not every rejection is the same.  They all offer different value, correct?  If you have the choice of prospecting for high level sales (for example a $25,000 commission rather than a $5,000 commission) then why wouldn’t you spend a majority of your prospecting time going after those high level rejections?  When you do get your win, which you always will if you stick in there long enough, wouldn’t you rather the big catch?  If you enjoy fishing, you could spend an entire day fishing in a pond of minnows or fishing in an ocean of swordfish.  Either way, you’ll catch a fish if you hang in there for the day, so do you want the minnow or the swordfish?

3.      Rejection is Temporary – Appreciation is Forever: Never forget to follow up and appreciate those that rejected you.  If you are making twenty prospecting calls a day, you will likely be rejected by most.  Make sure to appreciate all of your prospects, the ones that say YES and the ones that say NOT NOW.  Make sure that you, or your assistant, send a polite thank you note, appreciating the prospect for their time, after every single call.  For the cost of a card and postage, you keep the door of opportunity open for next time.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Recipe for Failure – Hope & A Back Up Plan

You are excited, ecstatic, and totally through the roof psyched.  You are about to start your brand new business.  This dream has been in the works forever.  You are going to kill it!  Right? Well, maybe.  Hopefully.  You are praying that you are going to be one of those few, the two out of seven that will still be in business in five years. 

Why do so many businesses fail?

The colossal gaffe new business owners make is that they set themselves up for failure with a loser’s mindset.  Let’s take a look at some examples.

“If I can just make one sale a day, I’ll have enough to cover my rent for my new space.”

“Worst case, I have $xxx in savings so if I have to I can always draw from that.”

“I can always sell my house if I need to and that will get me buy for a year or two.”

“At least if I fail, I can say I gave it my all.”

“I pray that I can keep my doors open.”

“Hopefully, I can get a client base interested in my business.”

This might startle you, but you need to hear it if you are going into business for yourself.  There’s no such thing as a good or bad business, there are only good or bad business people.  A great entrepreneur is one who has an undying conviction and belief in his business.  He is unstoppable!  He knows his business is going to thrive no matter what.  These are the entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg or Steve Jobs.  They didn’t start their ventures with hope and a back-up plan, because such measures would have surely landed them in bankruptcy.  No, they started with pure conviction that they were onto something great.  I’m sure they had naysayers, whom they positively didn’t listen to.  I’m sure they had tiny little hints of doubt in their own minds, which they squashed like an ant at a picnic.  To achieve your dream, and to be one of the few businesses that thrives, you must know that you are in it not just to survive….not just to get by….not just to barely make your rent payment each month.  You must know unequivocally that your business as well as your commitment are so strong and unshakeable, that flourishing is the only option.

Your brain is your hard drive. It is the main CPU (central processing unit) that will be running your enterprise.  Bad programming like “At least if I fail, I can say I gave it my all,” is a death nail in your business that might have otherwise made it big.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.