In Texas, where the average summertime temperature hovers somewhere between “crematorium” and “molten lava,” it’s nice to know residents’ thirsts can now be quenched by lemonade.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed what he referred to as a “common sense” bill, allowing kids throughout the state to set up lemonade stands, and sell the beverage, without vendor permits or health inspections. The bill was inspired by an incident in Overton, Texas, where police did, in fact, shut down a stand run by two 8-year-old sisters. That incident occurred in 2015, in case you’re wondering how long it takes the Texas government to apply common sense.
I’m not sure what the laws are in Illinois, my place of residence, but I’m afraid to start snooping around. The kids across the street usually set up a stand at least twice during summer vacation; and I’m always their first customer, despite the exorbitantly high price of $1 for a single glass. Hey, supply and demand, right?
But kids, now that summer is in full swing, and you are looking to make it profitable, may I suggest other goods and services that can be hawked curbside? Wares that will cause cars to come to screeching halts by your driveways, but don’t require filling out paperwork containing confusing terminology like “dry storage” and “three-compartment sink.” By summer’s end you should have enough money to afford a day trip to an amusement park or, quite possibly, your first year of college tuition.
1. Cellphone battery life.
If you are older than 6, you now realize the only thing Americans care about is having a fully charged mobile device. We value this more than world peace, clean drinking water and an emergency supply of toilet paper.
If President Trump inadvertently bombed Nebraska tomorrow, most Americans, upon hearing the news, would glance at their phones and say, “I’m down to 18 percent here. Let me find an outlet and then you can send me all those photos showing what’s left of Omaha.”
So set up a charging station on your driveway and make sure it’s compatible with Apple and Android devices. Charge $10 for a 15 percent power boost. And remember, your customers will be standing around while their phones return to life. Increase your profits by offering them cold, refreshing glasses of lemonade.
2. “All natural” anything.
For reasons I will never be able to explain, slapping the phrase “all natural” on any product will result in immediate sales. Normally you only see this phrase on food labels, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply it to other items.
Clean out your old sports equipment and announce you are selling all-natural soccer balls and baseball gloves. I guarantee a health-conscious Little League mom will buy out your entire lot.
3. Sleep remedies.
Kids, you probably haven’t noticed this since it’s summer vacation and you can arise whenever you like. But America is severely overtired. Just look at your parents.
Mom is probably nodding off as she makes you breakfast, and Dad seems to be turning out his bedroom light earlier every night. So set up a folding table containing sleep masks, melatonin (the all-natural kind) and CDs containing .mp3 files of gentle surf or evening crickets. Operate your business in the morning and early afternoon hours. You will see a sharp decline in customer traffic after 4 p.m. because, by then, everybody will be too tired to shop.
4. Social media tutorials.
Are you proficient in GroupMe? WhatsApp? TikTok? Make a sign offering five-minute lessons in each. Parents will pay top dollar just so they have a basic grasp of the apps their children will be using nonstop throughout the summer. Again, double dip by serving lemonade.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get a cash drawer, open a Square account and head out to your curb. And, if police come by and start asking questions, record the encounter on your phone and announce that you will be posting it to TikTok. Offer a free TikTok tutorial in exchange for leniency.