Vivienne Harr isn’t your typical 10-year old with a lemonade stand. Vivienne is the founder of the charitable lemonade company Make A Stand and was a presenter at the National Small Business Week event in San Francisco last month. Yes, you read that correctly. She is a 10 year old business owner who spoke to a large public audience about business strategies and goals.
It all started 2 years ago when she setup a lemonade stand like every other kid in the neighborhood but she her lemonade wasn’t 50 cents or a dollar. She was charging “whatever’s in your heart” and donated every penny to charities that fought against child slavery. Her next stand, with approval by NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, was in Times Square where she raised over $100k for her cause.
The next step was to create a real company and that company is Make A Stand.
Here’s 5 very wise tips from the 10 year old entrepreneur that all business owners, of all ages, should listen to.
- “Thinking like a kid” can help you overcome setbacks.
“Kids don’t see a lot of the obstacles in the world,” Harr says. She thinks that more adults could benefit from the idealistic optimism that comes with being a child. Failure has never once crossed her mind as she and her family worked to turn a lemonade stand into a real company. And her dad said it’s her unwavering optimism that inspired him to leave his job and work towards realizing her vision.
- Social media provides a great way to build trust with your customers.
Leave it a 10-year-old to harness the power of social-media marketing. Harr’s successful outreach to celebrities and activists on Twitter introduced her to a national audience. She says that social media provides her and her parents with a tool to reach out to customers, and that these interactions build trust because they show that her enthusiasm for the movement is genuine. When you’ve personally convinced people to support your company, they become brand ambassadors.
- If you grow too fast, you can forget why you started
Harr wants her business to become successful, but she doesn’t want to let too many people join and turn it into just another big company. She wants to keep her team small enough so that she still has influence over the overall direction of the company. She says every owner has a responsibility to his or her company to “keep it pure.”
- Giving back is a win-win situation.
Harr doesn’t expect every business owner to dedicate so much of their business to charity the way she does, but she thinks that it’s a great idea to give your company some charitable aspect. There’s the good you’re doing, and in practical terms, “it makes more people want your product,” she says.She thinks that the charitable business model compels more people to give to charities, and since buying these products makes people feel good, sustains itself.
- You have a shot at success if you “start with your heart.”
As a final piece of advice, Harr says that the only way entrepreneurs have a chance of being successful is if they start a business because they’re following their passion.
Source: Business Insider