Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rules of the Beverage Business

Back in the day I was a member of The Private Bush Club (TPBC), which I should probably not be divulging on the internet because it was private (obvi) and exclusive (there were four of us and we weren’t letting anyone else in damnit…not that anyone else ever asked…but not like anyone could because we didn’t tell anyone, duh). I may have been the Vice President because I was the second oldest. But we erased our memories as to never reveal the interworkings of the TPBC. But I do remember that we sold lip-smackingly good cookies. And lemonade. And CRAFTS!

Boy, did those crafts bring in the big bucks. I think we each went home with $12 that Saturday. For only 3 hours of work. That’s like $4 an hour and it was sweet. And I stuffed my face with Mrs. Denk’s chocolate chip cookies when I was alone at the table and everyone else was off taking a bathroom break or making more lemonade. Bonus!

But those were the days when I was making the big bucks. My first lemonade stand was not as profitable. A kindergarten friend and I set up a stand after school one day in the middle of winter—the only person that came was my mom. And she was pretending to be a customer. She didn’t drive up. She didn’t even bring out her purse. Just her wallet. Man, was I crushed.

That day I learned a very important lesson about selling beverages, you have to know your market— and McLeaners just aren’t going to buy lemonade at dusk in the middle of winter. Then, you have to come up with a rocking advertising campaign, as in fliers and signs that look damn good with bubble lettering.

I mean I practiced bubble lettering like it was my job—in my room after school, during school, but never during recess (Hey, we all need a break now and then!). Because presentation is EVERYTHING.

And that’s a principle I carry to this day. I will never allow an blurry image with a glamour shots back drop EVER be printed in a magazine. Sorry lady. I don’t care if you get your clients to send me a smaller image. I don’t care if you drop off a 5x7 you printed off your computer. When I say 300 dpi, I mean 300 dpi, even if you have to look it up in “Computers for Dummies.” Don’t assume that an actual photograph will cure the image’s blurriness. It will not. But hey, thanks anyway—I now have a little shrine to your product in my cube, a little decoration with a little cork off the top.


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