A lot of people are on the search for the perfect money-making idea. As a kid, I was always on the lookout for some way to get money, because our allowance wasn’t really that reliable, and our parents didn’t have a lot of money to spare. (Not that you need that much money when you’re a kid . . . you’re probably only going to spend it on candy at the “little store” or else on CPTs—Cheap Plastic Toys.)

[image: by pink.polka, creative commons license]

My sister and I were a great money-making team. She was a great salesperson, and I was the one who got the big ideas and convinced us to go for it.

The Lemonade Stand

I loved the idea of the Lemonade Stand. We had this series of books for kids that were all about different things, and one of them was called A Kid’s Guide to Managing Money (look, you can buy it for one cent on Amazon!), and it had something in it about a lemonade stand. I tried selling liquid refreshment at a stand, without much success. You know if you’re a kid and you think something’s “without much success,” you probably only made about thirty cents. We made our lemonade with RealLemon, water and sugar. What more do you need?

Sidenote: I always stop at lemonade stands when I see them. My most memorable lemonade stand was the little red-haired boy in Astoria who was raising money to buy fireworks. He was dressed like Uncle Sam complete with beard and had John Phillips Souza marches blasting from a tiny tape deck. I not only bought some lemonade, but I went and bought him some fireworks.

[image: by adwriter, creative commons license]

A Kid’s Guide to Test Marketing

Back to our childhood lemonade stand, which was a bust. I tried switching our product to iced tea, but who wants to buy iced tea at a lemonade stand? Ah, my very first experience in marketing and business failure. A week later, I opened a cardboard snack shop in my friend Christina’s driveway. We sold popcorn and cookies. I also tried lemonade again, but this time I made blue lemonade using food coloring. We attracted all the neighborhood kids, and we made about three bucks. Pretty good for a day, even after splitting the profits (and what costs? my parents were paying for all the supplies. I still hadn’t learned about pricing structures yet).

The Path to Adult Entrepreurship

The story doesn’t end there. I had many more entrepreneurial exploits as a kid, teen, and even college student. I’ll save those stories for another day. And here I am, still making money from things I create, only now my product is writing about dollar store crafts on this website!

Since you’re crafty, you might have had similar small business experiences. From these early craft-for-cash experiences, I built my confidence that I could make things, and people would pay me for them. For a kid, making things and then selling them is the ultimate in getting rich quick. As an adult, I know that making things to sell is just the beginning of the challenges of owning a small business.

Intuit’s Love a Local Business

Intuit loves local businesses, and is awarding over $1 million in grants in their Love a Local Businessprogram, which is so awesome! Do you own a local business, or do you know anyone who does? Why not nominate them to receive one of these grants?

Or, you could vote for Dollar Store Crafts!Visit Intuitand search for Dollar Store Crafts to vote for us!

Intuit is helping small businesses achieve their dreams by awarding $25,000 each month to a local business! Note – votes are like raffle tickets – the more votes a business has the more chances they have to win.

Reply to Enter to WIN an iPad 2!

It’s been very exciting starting my own business, so I’m curious to know: What dream business would you love to start? By replying you will be entered to win an iPad 2!

(You can just log in with your Facebook account to quickly and easily reply!)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit’s Love A Local Businesscompetition. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs August 10 to September 1, 2011. A random winner will be announced by September 6, 2011. Official Contest Rules