Life gave Eliza and Adela Andrews lemons for selling lemonade.
Life in this case, however, was the National Capital Commission, the government agency that manages federally-owned lands in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.
On July 3, the two Ottawa sisters were told they had to shut down a lemonade stand they had set up to raise cash to go to summer camp. An agency officer told them they needed a permit to sell on NCC property.
Thank goodness the NCC is protecting us from the anarchy of unregulated children's lemonade stands. 1/3 https://t.co/VNn4zCbIQM
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) July 3, 2016
But now the sisters are back in business. CBC News reports the Andrews sisters have received a permit and are donating all funds raised to Camp Quality, a charitable group that provides kids with cancer free camping experiences.
"We like going to camp," Eliza told the broadcaster. "The kids that have cancer, they need help so we decided to raise money for that."
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was one of the customers at the now-officially-allowed-to-exist lemonade stand, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
"The mayor dropped a 20 (dollar bill)," the girls' dad Kurtis told the paper.
Former Tory cabinet minister Pierre Poilievre weighed in on a kids' lemonade stand shut down by the National Capital Commission. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Jupiter Images)
The NCC apologized to the girls' family after it shut down the stand. It says the junior conservation officer who saw the stand acted in good faith in enforcing federal land use rules. The agency also offered to help the girls reach their summer camp fund raising goal.
The decision to stop lemonade sales led to a wave of outrage online and off. Tory MP Pierre Poilievre and Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier called it out as an example of how government can stifle entrepreneurship.
We might as well teach our children that if they ever start a business, some busybody bureaucrats will stand in the way 3/3
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) July 3, 2016
"We might as well teach our children that if they ever start a business, some busybody bureaucrats will stand in the way," Poilievre said.
"BIG GOVERNMENT won't let those two young and entrepreneurial girls sell their lemonade," Bernier wrote on Facebook.
The rebirth of the lemonade stand isn't the only good news to come out from the story. A donor in B.C. donated $1,500 to Camp Quality after hearing about the girls' ordeal, according to the Citizen.
With files from Ryan Maloney and The Canadian Press
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These kids are ADORABLE, but their lemonade stand is in the middle of a field. For brick-and-mortar businesses, picking a highly-trafficked area in a good part of town (or your neighborhood) is key to your success. Something else to consider: making sure you have enough space to grow or expand. For B2B or online businesses, having good search engine optimization is your equivalent to a prime location. You'll want to make sure your customers can find you where they hang out the most -- online.
It's crucial to assess your operating costs as well as your competition when pricing your goods and services. It may be hard to strike a balance between pricing high enough to turn a profit but low enough to be competitive in the market. You'll have to figure out your priorities: In the lemonade stand analogy, lemons and sugar may be more laborious than using powdered mix, but there's a value in being able to market your product as "all-natural." Consider manufacturing differently or making operational changes to lower your pricing, but don't forget to consider how those changes might affect your bottom line -- and your brand's identity.
Here's a great scenario: Word has gotten out about your lemonade, and business is booming. But you seemingly can't squeeze enough lemons to keep up with demand. Time to bring in some help! As you scale your team, you might want to consider hiring for the skills you lack or areas in which you are seeing opportunities for growth. Send dispatches to trusted friends and family and post job openings online (don't forget social media!), and make sure you ask the right questions in interviews so you hire people who will stick around. See this great article in Inc. for a nitty-gritty guide to hiring.
Ok, so shouting might not be the best advertising option, but you get the picture. Find free options first, like emails, social media and flyers. Then bring out the big bucks if necessary -- online ads, newspaper ads and sponsored content (ahem) can really go a long way.
When you were a kid, Mom and Dad might have given you the supplies to start your lemonade stand, but everyone knows that in the real world, the cardinal rule of basic economics applies: there's no such thing as a free lemonade. It's important not to take on loans that will hinder your profits too much. This mistake can affect you years down the road, even after you're way clear of the start-up phase. Check out this guide to funding your nascent business, whether you choose to crowdfund, apply for an incubator, or seek venture capital.
Once you've made your profit, don't let it all go to salaries and savings accounts. Instead, pick stocks and bonds you'd like to explore and consider hiring an investment manager to help with your portfolio.
Your product or service is the lifeblood of your business. If you suddenly swap fresh lemon for powdered mix to meet a growing demand of customers and cut costs, don't be surprised if your repeat business declines. Prioritize preserving the quality of your product or services over scaling and make sure your growth plan has mechanisms in place for possible strains to your resources and manufacturing process.