Filled with delightfully simple business ideas, Better than a Lemonade Stand! is a fun guide packed with creative ideas that show how to start a business with little or no start-up costs, attract and retain customers, develop negotiating skills, and more.
Originally written and published when the author was only fifteen years old, Better than a Lemonade Stand! has already helped thousands of kids start their own profitable small businesses. Now an adult and father himself, Daryl Bernstein has polished and expanded his book for a new generation of budding entrepreneurs.
This indispensable resource includes more than fifty, fun, simple business ideas—complete with tips about supplies, time needed, what to charge, and how to advertise—all completely updated with strategies based on Bernstein’s own experience as a successful entrepreneur and father.
About the Author
Daryl is the author of The Venture Adventure and Better Than a Lemonade Stand, both originally written when Daryl was just a teenager. He is now the founder and CEO of RightSignature, a software-as-a-service company providing the easiest, fastest way to get documents signed. His entrepreneurial ventures have been featured on CNN, CBS, NPR, and the BBC, and in Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.
Read an Excerpt
Better than a Lemonade Stand!
While your sitters take care of kids,
you’ll take care of business!
You arrange babysitting services for parents in your neighborhood. You act as a babysitting broker by hiring other kids to babysit.
You will need a phone or computer and advertising.
To start up, you need to find a few responsible babysitters who have good references, and you need to find some parents looking for reliable babysitting services. When you are ready to start, allow time to communicate with parents seeking babysitters, contact other kids to babysit, check on babysitters while they are working, and follow up with parents to make sure they are satisfied. You may have to babysit when one of your babysitters gets sick or doesn’t show up at the scheduled time. Make yourself available on babysitting nights for such occurrences.
WHAT TO CHARGE
Bill the parents $12 per hour. Pay the babysitter $10 per hour. You make $2 per hour. That may not sound like a lot, but if the babysitter works for three hours, you make $6. If you have five babysitters working one evening, you make $30 and don’t even leave your house!
HOW TO ADVERTISE
As soon as you have parents who are using your service, ask them for a quote about your business to include in your advertising. Ask neighborhood coffee shops, grocery stores, and libraries if you can post flyers or business cards on their community bulletin boards. Advertise in your school’s, club’s, team’s, and community or religious center’s newsletters. Talk about your business on your website and by commenting in other people’s online discussions. Explain that a reliable, friendly babysitter will be available on the night parents request. Emphasize that parents should contact you at least three days before the requested time to arrange for a sitter, and mention that you take calls and answer emails only in the evening, because you attend school. Don’t forget to tell your friends’ parents in person when you go over to their house.
You might consider offering higher “last-minute” prices for people who have sudden need for a babysitter and can’t give advance notice.
Tell older kids in your area that you would like to find them babysitting work. If they want to participate, have them write their name, address, phone number, and email address on a list. Be sure to pick responsible kids. Find kids who will show up for work and be kind and attentive to young children. Create and sign a detailed agreement with your sitters.
Also create and sign a detailed agreement with your parent clients, especially noting what they need to pay if they cancel at the last minute. When parents call you, write down the date and time the sitter is needed, the address of the house, and the ages of the children. Call a babysitter on your list and convey the necessary information. Notify the parents to tell them the name of, and something about, the babysitter you have scheduled.
On the day of the appointment, call the babysitter to be sure that person doesn’t forget! Remind babysitters to note the number of hours they babysit but not to collect any money. You will bill parents and pay the babysitter.
To be successful in this business, you must please parents. Follow up babysitting sessions with a phone call or email. This business requires paperwork and phone calls, but you can make money without leaving your home.
INSPIRATION FROM KID
ENTREPRENEURS JUST LIKE YOU!
NAME: Farrhad Acidwalla
TITLE: entrepreneur, CEO
WHAT: Farrhad is all things PR, founding and running Rockstah Media, which helps corporations strengthen their online and offline presence.
HOW: From $10 borrowed from his parents four years ago to now, Farrhad has become an internet mogul, buying, developing, and then selling for a profit several websites. With these as stepping stones to ever bigger success, Farrhad founded Rockstah. And he still finds time to study, as a student at H. R. College of Commerce & Economics.
FUN FACT: Rockstah Media’s one goal, according to its website: “Creating Awesomeness.” Awesome.
What People are Saying About This
An entrepreneur from an early age, Bernstein offers clear and practical advice for young people wanting to raise some extra cash or begin their own entrepreneurial careers.
Bernstein wrote this guide in 1992 when he was 15. Now updated with information on Internet-based jobs and using social media, the volume is attractive in its spacious design and cartoon illustrations, a format that makes it eminently accessible to young readers. Open anywhere and begin browsing to find ideas for jobs: babysitting broker, curb-address painter, face painter, house checker, newspaper mover, snow shoveler and jewelry maker. Fifty-five short chapters, each on a different business idea, suggest a world of options for kids, many of whom are too young to apply for jobs at restaurants, car washes and the like. Here they will learn how to create their own jobs according to their own interests and enthusiasms, and besides making money, they will learn to take responsibility for their finances. Each section includes such advice as what to charge, what types of supplies are needed, how to advertise and other helpful hints. The writing is clear and matter-of-fact, and the backmatter includes further guidance on online fundraising, child-labor laws and social-media resources.
A handy reference for libraries and parents to have on hand when children start needing extra money in their pockets.
—Kikrus Reviews, April 1, 2012