The next day Mrs. Goode brought home a few different kinds of fruit. She brought some apples, some oranges, some cranberry juice and of course…lemons. Frank and his mother tried a few different combinations of juices until they had created the perfect tasting lemonade. It was lemonade with a splash of cranberry and apple juice, and it was fantastic.
With the new recipe Frank went back out to his lemonade stand and sat down. He had made a new sign that talked about his ‘special’ lemonade. Still no one came. A number of people passed by and Frank offered them a drink but none stopped and again he sat alone wondering when his business would get started. After about an hour and a half, right as he was about to give up, an older man from across the street came over and asked for some lemonade. Frank could hardly contain his excitement. He had his first customer.
“Here you are sir,” said Frank as he handed the man a glass of his juice, “it’s the best lemonade in the world!”
“Well that is a very big claim you have made there. Let’s taste it and find out,” said the old man. And it was. The old man stepped back and looked at the glass after taking a sip. “Well, that is just about the best tasting lemonade I’ve ever had, is that your recipe?”
“Yes, it is,” said Frank. “My mom and I worked all night last night trying to come up with the perfect tasting lemonade.”
“Well you have succeeded,” he said as he sipped some more. “So how is business?”
“Not too good. You’re my first customer,” said Frank.
“Well,” said the old man, “have you tried to advertise?”
“I’m not sure how to do that,” said Frank.
“It’s easy,” the old man said as he took another sip. “This is really good, by the way. Anyway, all you have to do is call the newspaper and ask them if they could run an advertisement in their next edition, but it will cost you a few dollars.”
Frank sighed, “I don’t have that kind of money.”
“Well, I will tell you what,” said the old man. “I like your product so much that I am going to invest in your business.”
“Invest?” asked Frank.
“That means I’m going to give you some money to buy the advertisement, but you have to pay me back later by letting me have some of your profits.” The old man had been a banker before he retired and had invested in many businesses. Some had succeeded and some had failed. “
What happens if it doesn’t work out and I close my lemonade stand?”
“If that happens,” said the banker, “then I lose my money. That’s the difference between an investment and a loan. If it’s a loan you have to pay me back with interest, which means with extra money over time whether your business works or not. An investment means that I share the risk with you. If you succeed, I succeed; if you don’t then I lose too.
“I’ll have to talk it over with my parents before I can give you an answer,” Frank said. Frank explained to his parents what the old banker wanted to do, but his parents were a little uncomfortable with a stranger offering their son money. So Mr. Goode went to meet with the banker, and after some negotiating, came back with a plan. Instead of an investment, the banker would simply loan Frank the money. Frank would have to pay the banker back using his profits fromm the lemonade stand. If the lemonade stand closed, Frank would have to pay the banker back by mowing his lawn for a month.
Frank called the newspaper and came up with a simple ad inviting people to try the ‘best lemonade ever.’ He even offered them their money back if they didn’t like it. It was risky to make that offer, but Frank was confident that his lemonade was the best in town.
He also asked permission from the pastor of his church to talk to the congregation after the church service was done to invite them to come visit his lemonade stand as well. It worked. That weekend there were dozens of people at his lemonade stand and they all agreed it was the best lemonade they had ever tried. Some people even asked if Frank could make an entire jug just for their family! Frank had his work cut out for him, but he was making very good progress…
Follow Frank’s journey from the beginning!