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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Website: pulsemarketingagency.com

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Business lessons from an 8-year-old

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Those who know me personally have heard a lot about my child - my pride and joy, and the source of many of my stories. This spring, I signed her up for Lemonade Day, a program that teaches kids basic business skills through running a lemonade stand. Unfortunately, due to a loss in our family, my daughter was unable to set up her lemonade stand on the designated day in June. Although time had passed since we read the Lemonade Day program book and filled out the forms, she kept the information in her mind during the summer.

My daughter came up to me last Friday with a business plan. Her ultimate goal is to buy an iPad, and as a smart kiddo who knows her math, she'd realized that she would not raise enough money with her lemonade stand alone. She had some ideas in mind to make her stand extra special by offering fresh, homemade lemonade and chocolate chip cookies for $0.50 each. 'With a dollar, you can have one of each,' she said, 'and most people have a dollar, right Mamma?' I was astonished at her grasp of how she should price her products, and her understanding that by making them affordable, she would attract more customers (in this case, our neighbors).

My husband and I agreed to help her out, and went out to buy fresh lemons and chocolate chip cookie ingredients. My daughter spent hours making flyers inviting neighbors to come by our driveway, then hand delivered them the day before her grand opening.

Well that's cute, you may think, but my kids did the same thing at her age. And I would agree with you. What really impressed me the most was what came up later as a surprise to my husband and me.

As she provided her customers with outstanding customer service (her most polite words and her dazzling smile), my daughter closed every single sale by announcing that she would be available to rake leaves in the fall 'in case anyone needs an extra hand.' That simple statement opened up new conversations with our neighbors, and gave my daughter opportunities to tell them more about her plan to buy an iPad. My husband and I were amazed! Our little one was networking and marketing her services in the neighborhood all on her own!

My daughter not only made $27.11 in sales and tips from her lemonade and cookie stand, but she also gathered some interest from neighbors who might hire her to rake their yards in the fall she is filling up her business pipeline! I have no doubt that she will reach her goal. She understands that it will take time, but as long as she keeps her eyes on the prize, continues to make her offerings extra special and affordable and treats her customers well, she'll get there. Way to go, kiddo. Mamma is super proud of you!

Cntia Miranda is the president of Pulse Marketing Agency. Learn more about her work at www.pulsemarketingagency.com.

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