All I want for Christmas is a lemonade stand! At six years old, Mimi has a business plan.

Red Tape Awareness Week 2017  is wrapping up and, as in previous years, we celebrate by announcing the Golden Scissors award winners (awarded each year to a public servant or elected official who did the most to cut small business free from the tangled web of red tape restraining innovation, job creation and economic growth across this nation). On CFIB’s My Startup blog, however, we concentrating on another good news story!

We published a story on Wednesday about two young Ottawa-area girls who set up a lemonade stand beside the Rideau Canal only to be tangled up in government red tape. Now, our business counsellor extraordinaire, Cesar Gomez, will tell us about his niece’s foray into the business world via lemons and lemonade!

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cesar-lemonade-stand-resizedIt was a balmy October, day when the Gomezs got together to have our annual Thanksgiving dinner. After having an amazing meal, our conversation turned towards Christmas and what Santa might bring the children.

My six year old niece whispered into her mother’s ear what it was she wanted most: a lemonade stand.

It was a proud moment for me. I love the spirit of entrepreneurship and it warmed my hear to hear my six-year-old niece was already thinking of her first business..

A week later, I talked to my niece about her next steps Here’s how she broke it down for me:

  • She gave me exact details of what her business card should look like
  • What colours her logo and overall design should be
  • She set the price for the lemonade stand
  • She would get started by selling to family
  • She named grandma as her business partner, since she had tasted her lemonade before
  • loyalty-card-with-captionShe knew she wanted to have a loyalty program, in her words: “Just like some cafes that you get a stamp and every 4th coffee is free… I want my customers to have that as well.”
  • She made plans to have security cameras in the future to ensure her staff is safe; and,
  • We would launch her business on Christmas, at the family dinner

She thought she would get a side table, where she could promote and offer her lemonade. We surprised her by giving her a real lemonade stand. We also provided her with a branded apron, along with posters, business cards and cups.

It was another important business lesson: surround yourself with people that believe in you!

And the result?

Never underestimate a small idea. She made $34.00 in one night, thanks to some pretty impressed customers. It was hard not to be. The marketing was on point: excellent promotion, attractive posters and this a six year old with big vision and a big heart.

Where do we go from here?

“Next time lets have a basket of cookies for our customers,” said my niece already thinking ahead .

From a lemonade stand to a restaurant, from a farm to a factory. We can all be entrepreneurs.

All it takes is an idea and the drive to follow through. You can achieve only what you believe you can.

Happy New Year!

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CesarCesar Gomez-Garcia has been with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for six years. His current role at the CFIB is helping members with their questions on compliance. These questions can range from employment standards to health and safety, as well as complicated red tape situations that small businesses face. His passion is reading and writing about entrepreneurship. Learn more about Cesar via LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @josuegomezg.

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