The students of Washington County Community College’s business entrepreneur class have completed the majority of their studies for the semester, prompting instructor Rhonda French to task them with putting their knowledge to practical use. Students were divided into three groups, each of which was given the assignment of coming up with the most successful lemonade stand based on net sales.
“It gives students the opportunity to explore various aspects of starting up a business, including advertising, price pointing, location, and any other forms of competitive advantage they can acquire,” French explained of the project.
The students were given a few guidelines to work within during the four weeks of planning. Stands could only sell lemonade, they had to be located in the halls of WCCC, and they had to operate on a startup budget of $30. Any of the initial funds that were spent counted as expenses, which were subtracted from their total profit. The competition was held for a two hour duration on Tuesday, December 8th.
The strategies employed by the three groups were numerous and creative. The Pucker Up Lemonade stand was located in the front entryway of the college, and its seasonally-festooned table and purveyors offered passersby hot or cold lemonade. Fliers for Pucker Up could be seen all over the campus well in advance of the competition, including coupons and a reduced rate for children. The Lovely Lemonade stand took a tropical approach, playing relaxing music and offering its patrons the option of raspberry pureed lemonade in addition to the traditional mix. The Maine Squeeze, located just outside the President’s office, had a relatively simplistic display—a deficit easily offset by a low start-up cost and the novel tactic of offering free delivery.
By the end of the competition, Maine Squeeze proved ultimately successful with its $1 price point, netting a total of $53.76 in profits. As a result of their winning tactics, the students—Cam Gordon, Tyler Hurlbert, Jake Levesque, and Brian Reed—will be able to select where the total amount collected of $96.91 will be donated. All of the students that participated will be writing reflective papers on what they learned from the experience.