It’s summer! … and nothing says summer like Lemonade. In fact, I’m blogging from my back deck and I have a nice tall glass chilling beside me (have you tried lemonade with a cinnamon stick? You’ve just got to!)
I was a feverish lemonade stand entrepreneur in my childhood. I found great satisfaction in making my own money… and I had very kind (or very thirsty) neighbours. I spent a lot of time at the end of my driveway with my baby sister on my lap looking cute and rolling in the dough.
While reminiscing about lemonade stands, both my own and the ones I now encounter as an adult, it became quite apparent that piano teachers can learn a great deal from these tiny titans of business
4 lessons piano teachers can learn from a lemonade stand…
1. Success on a Desolate Road
Trevor and I suffer from Real Estate-itis… and we spend a long time driving around looking at homes for sale (often with no real intention of buying one!) It was on one of these Real Estate tours that we ended up driving an aptly named “Mountain Road” that was not paved and serviced approximately 15 houses over a 15 mile stretch of road. Remote is not a strong enough word. So we certainly did a double take when we turned a corner and saw a cheerful lemonade stand at the end of one of the steep gravel driveways.
What were they thinking… a lemonade stand out here?!
Actually – it turned out they were on to something. We, of course, stopped for a lemonade. How could you not? These two sweet little girls with their sunny yellow sign seemed so out of place in the depths of the boonies. We asked “How’s biz?” and they were modest with their response… but on our way out of the back country they actually had a line up (albeit a small one) for lemonade.
Piano teaching lesson? Choose where you advertise. Don’t always place your piano lesson advertising in “to be expected” areas like bulletin boards, newspapers, or telephone poles. By placing your advertising in unexpected places you will get noticed!
2. In Your Face.. and Proud!
Most lemonade stand entrepreneurs have no inhibitions about advertising their product. They wave at cars, hold large signs, and shout at each passerby like a sideshow barker. And it works. People notice them.. they sell lemonade.
Piano teaching lesson? Don’t be shy about advertising your piano teaching studio. I’m not saying you should bark at passerbys, but you certainly should find every opportunity to market yourself and be bold and confident when pursuing new clientele.
3. Don’t Talk Money
A marketing study done by Stanford Business School found that lemonade stands that did not mention price made more money than those that were blatant about the cost to the customer. And in fact, the lemonade stand that didn’t mention money (but instead mentioned customer enjoyment) actually received more dollars per glass than the ones who had the mention of money in the forefront.
Piano Teaching Lesson: Market your piano studio based on what you will offer to your students, not how much (or how little) it will cost them.
Lemonade stands do one thing very well… sell lemonade. You’ll notice they don’t also offer espresso, paninis and enchiladas. They sell lemonade because, for a young child, it’s easy to make and easy to serve. They choose one product and sell it well.
Piano Teaching Lesson: Be an expert in one area of the piano teaching world. Market to people who will appreciate your expertise in that area and keep it simple. You may be able to teach ages 3 to 93, but I’ll bet there’s one particular age group where you are simply the best. Market your services to a select group (based on age, musical style etc.) and you’ll knock it out of the park. Just don’t spread yourself to thin! You’ll dilute both your quality and your appeal…
…and with that unintentional pun I’m off to finish my cinnamon lemonade. And I’ll leave you with our favourite “lemonade stand” youtube video that Lexi (our oldest daughter) watches over and over and over… Cheers!