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It is not easy to understand certain things until you really undergo it. Entrepreneurship is one such thing. Understanding business is not an easy task. May be education and reading about it develops your knowledge but you will never learn until you run one of your own. I gained such a wonderful experience of running a business and gaining knowledge through this course.

Learning and applying:

Being a student from Business Management for me Entrepreneurship was a testing ground to try every principles of Management I learnt in my other modules. My learning gave me a guided approach towards business. The financial resource management and marketing were two major subjects which I put into test in the entrepreneurship. The course being very practical and the investment amount being minimal it gave me courage to try new things, as the risk is minimal. Apart from this the class room group were more useful in gaining knowledge.

An effective class room structure:

Sharing the class room with the Creative economy students was an added advantage to this course. Being a Management student it was very interesting to see students developing new innovative products.  The class room itself became a forum for variety of businesses. So this provided the opportunity to learn mutually from other business. As everybody shared the same class room it was an opportunity to see everybody’s ideas transforming into products and becoming a reality. Apart from that this experience also gave an insight of demand based products in the society. It was interesting to see products with less manufacturing cost gain demand and profit from sales. Though each of the group was competitors, we gained more knowledge through sharing the experiences and seeing each other’s business experiences. I personally feel that the blend of the creative economy students with management students is a right blend to develop new businesses.

Blogging:

Blogging is another new experience which I gained through this course. I never had the previous experience of writing an open professional blog .This has helped me develop my writing skills. Apart from that the blog writing has enhanced my thought processes. The ideas and thoughts which are conceived in mind are developed when we write it out. Moreover I believe that this blogging experience would stay as a document of my first business experience.

Personality Development

Above all the most I gained is my personality development. This course has helped me develop my confidence and communication skills. The opportunity to meet different people develops one’s character and behaviour. The market sales experience helped me reach out to different type of customer’s .A true entrepreneur is one who is able to convince others about his idea. In that way communication plays a major role(Sai,2011). I took use of the opportunity to speak to as many customers I could reach.

Working on Ideas:

Businesses always are born on ideas. As a student interested in management naturally I was always interested in knowing the business models and the functional advantage of businesses. Despite this running my own business has always been an idea at a distant. But having this experience of running your own business it has triggered me to work on any business idea and do a feasibility study. Feasibility study for any business is crucial and this entrepreneurship experience has given a wide lesson on that area.

A new innovative idea in any existing business can make a wide change. This can be seen in history in development of new products(Ellie,2012) Most products now available in the market are part of evolution than stating it as new development. They evolve from the existing product or can be a merger or two or three existing ideas or placing one idea at new place or replacing the existing idea with others. Development of Dyson Vacuum cleaners can be an example. But for all these the essential thing that is required is to develop your ideas and to work on demands.

Demands are mostly hidden and until a product comes into existence certain demands can never be realised. Until iphones were released we never realised that a cell phone would replace laptops. This entrepreneurship experience helps me realise that.

Managing your money

For any business to run successfully managing the cash flow is very crucial. The cash flow forecast is very necessary to determine the company’s performance .This also helps to develop the business model. Pre determining of such factors is essential for any successful business. I gained the experience of developing the business revenue model, finance model and do the cash flow analysis. Determining the revenue model and counter checking the model at the end of the business was very practical and helped to know about the factors which shouldn’t be pre determined and factors which are independent of time.(Sai,2011)

Pricing Factors

Pricing your product is a critical factor for your products success. Any product which is over charged might lose its customers. And its the same when it comes to the case of under charging the product. The danger in under charging the product is that the product loses it prestige and people start doubting the quality of the product. This might contradict with the sales offers which come up at very reduced price and attract large number of people(sai,2011). The reason behind that success is that these products have once proved that they are of high cost and having a lessened price would attract more customers .The major pricing factors are determined using the manufacturing cost,competeitor,supplier(Sharan,2001)

1. Manufacturing Cost:The first way to determine the basic pricing is to determine the cost involved in manufacturing. By not taking this in to account, any product under sold this price would end up in loss. This should be set as the minimum price for any product.

2. Competitor pricing:Competitor pricing is another crucial factor. At most cases many seller will avoid selling under the manufacturing price. And analyzing the competitor pricing is also one way to understand the markets.

3. Demand based pricing:Pricing factor most commonly depends on the demand. The demand can be studied by market surveys and questioners. Apart from that we can determine the demand by learning the sales volume of the competitor products.

Business Pitching:

Pitching one’s own idea plays an important role grabbing others attention on the business. The workshop on Business pitching helped develop my ideas and post it in a way the key factors are communicated .I also learnt that the key factors are not only important it is also crucial to post it a very innovative and engaging way. The dragons den experience was a good experience.There are three models in business pitching. They are Murder Investigation Strategy, Slowly, Slowly Catchy Monkey and Middle-Distance Racing.(Philips,2011)

Developing a Business Report

Writing a business Report is as crucial as the business pitch. By writing up the business report for a business we had run it gave me knowledge on factors that has to be mentioned in the business report. Moreover it also gave me learn about the factors on which any investor would focus on. Projecting the finance part was very important to catch any investor’s eye, as it describes the business all in one word. The documenting part of the entire business has helped us realise and identify the mistakes made in the business. For example in our business the mistakes we realised was that the investment made on prototyping was more  and quality of products used for prototyping was high which involved huge costs.

Group Work:

A very important quality for a business person is to learn to work with different people in an effective way(Kevin,2011). In this way I have had my experience through this course. A good manager is a person who learns to work under constraints and make efficient use of the resources available. Entrepreneurship at Kingston is a similar scenario. With the limitation on money to be invested and with the group mates all set and the environment known it was the best to make out of it. Leadership quality is acquired ,developed and used widely only while working in groups(Charry,2009)

Future Prospect:

As a future plan the course has helped me realise the entrepreneur in me. Apart from that it has helped me develop all the skills required for an entrepreneur. Experience is a good lesson for everybody to learn from. And Entrepreneurship has given me the best experience of my course. I intend to set up my own social enterprise in the future. Through my experiences on working on ideas in the course I think this will help me analyse the need and come up with the best business model which will benefit the society through its service .Group working has given me a good experience in working with different people and I hope this would be helpful in my future business. The business pitching workshop has helped to develop my pitching skills and I hope to get significant funding for my business through this.

Thus in one word I would say that this is a life time Experience and I appreciate myself on choosing this course .Thanks to my fellow class mates and our module leader for making my experience wonderful.

 

 

 

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Pricing your product is a critical factor for your products success. Any product which is over charged might lose its customers.And its the same when it comes to the case of under charging the product.The danger in under charging the product is that the product loses it prestige and people start doubting the quality of the product. This might contradict with the sales offers which come up at very reduced price and attract large number of people. The reason behind that success is that these product have once proved  that they are of high cost and having a lessened price would attract more customers.

Of course there are situations  where products which were charged cheaper and later due to demand the prices go up.This commonly occurs with the case of flight tickets.Some times demand pushes the price of the products.These price push is mostly virtual and are not actual .Real estate demands and pricing is one common example we see in our day to day life.

With my experience of handy cleaning I realised the need for pricing.When the handy cleaning was made our first pricing was 7 pounds which was quite more for a normal pair of gloves.From my experience the three crucial factors in determing the price is

Pricing Factors

1.Manufacturing Cost:

The first way to determine the basic pricing is to determine the cost involved in manufacturing. By not taking this in to account ,any product under sold this price would end up in loss.This should be set as the minimum price for any product.

2.Competitor pricing:

Competitor pricing is another crucial factor.At most cases many seller will avoid selling under the manufacturing price. And analyzing the competitor pricing is also one way to understand the markets.

3.Demand based pricing:

Pricing factor most commonly depends on the demand.The demand can be studied by market surveys and questioners.Apart from that we can determine the demand by learning the sales volume of the competitor products.

Having all these key factors we set the pricing for gloves taking the average of all the above three factors.This step made the pricing reasonable.

The second fair Experience was a very different one. The previous trade fair experience in the penrhyn road was inside the university and most customers were students.But this trade fair being  in the Kingston central the experiences were lot different. It was hard to determine your customers. Any one who walks to Kingston central can  be your customer and it is your duty to make them to our stall. The first thing I noticed is most people were paranoid of sales people .Despite the fact that most people were curious about the product ,most people didn’t bother to stand to ask about the product.The reason is most people thought that it is a waste of time or they might be worried that we would pursue them to open their wallet. It was quite hard to digest when people gave weird look at us. Personally I was happy to get all these kind of reactions from people mainly for the fact I understand that its a response for being noticeable.And I self encouraged myself for being able to reach to that extent.Apart from these there were really kind people who were interested in the product and appreciated the efforts.Some people who crossed the stall at first time hardly noticing the stall came back later to see whats really happening. The thing is one or the other way our other fellow team mates were our competitors.Some people who had just spent in the stall just before you might think twice before doing the next purchase. Though we were having products of different kind we posed as a threat to each other. But trade fairs are very good experience. If one should learn to do business then I would suggest that he should start it from the markets.If you want to be a good seller you should be a very tolerable person.Last but not the least Handy cleaning won the best product prize and we had our break even on the very same day!!! Yes that was yet another day to rejoice.

Kingston central trade fair

Coming from an Engineering background where all my communication were with my colleagues and computers and I never really have imagined that I would be selling products in the market.This going to be a real new experience for me I was very excited.We all had a group goal of selling the maximum we could and getting the maximum coverage in the hall.But I was there with yet another secret goal as well..I wanted to develop my personality and communication skill.I personally felt that I am not a good speaker and I lack the ability to convince others . Moreover I was quite shy to talk to strangers(:-() .So I took up this opportunity to overcome all these. I should say that the trade fair helped me gain confidence.I was able to reach to people and convince them to listen to me about the product.It was a very good experience. I gained confidence.This confidence was not only about my initiative  the credit goes very much to our gloves as well.The product attratced many people towards it. As it was new of the kind most people wanted to know what the product is and its usage.

I would say that this trade fair was very exciting because we had a good sales number and to our surprise we won the prize for the best sales team.That was one of the enthusiastic day in my university experience.I also realized a good entrepreneur is not only the  one who comes up with innovative ideas but also should be a pleasant communicator to convince others about your product.My first trade fair experience was a good lesson for me!!

 

After the dragons den which did not turn out to be very positive for our group due to the negative critics received for our product we had a series of group meeting to finalize with the product plan.It was unanimously decided to stick on to the Handy Cleaning gloves.

After finalizing with the product we had three major works to take care of

1.Production side

2.Marketing

3.Sales

Production side:

For beginning  with production we started looking for quality gloves at cheap rate and also with minimal number of supply.We got reasonable options outside EU but since we were supposed to source products inside EU we were looking for products inside EU and luckily we got a supplier for gloves who agreed with the small number we asked for. As we had already tested the type of glue we need for the gloves we started our manufacturing as group work .We decided to do it in the university .This helped us reach to many university students and it was kind of indirect marketing .We calculated the manufacturing capacity as 5 gloves per hour.

Handy Cleaning- post manufacturing

Being the finance manager I kept track of the expenses .

Marketing  was taken care by our colleague Elodie,who was the marketing manager .She helped develop the video advert which was very practical in explaining the product itself.Major factors in marketing  are the advert should be well explaining the product and should also be quite entertaining.

for the sales aspect we decided to stick with trade fairs and also posted the product on online.Apart from that we received many product requests through Facebook as well.With all these well set HAndy clening was ready to launch the product for sales in the market.

Developing a Revenue Model

When the Dragons den was approaching having the position of finance director one responsibility for me was developing a revenue model.the revenue model should consider

1.target customers

2.the initial Investment

3.the planned operations procedure.

4.Future company/product Enhancements.

target Customer

For developing a revenue model the target customer study is important as it says the consumer behaviour and gives an estimate of sales for each month/quaterly period.

Initial Investment

BAsed on the sales study initial investment can be estimated .If he market group is larger the investment can be proportionate to it.Since our company is new and making a new entry our first month period was planned to be a trial period.

Planned operations procedure.

this is more critical in the model as it gives a clear idea of how your company is going to operate and where are the cost involved in running the company.the cost involved in advertising ,branding etc should be considered here.

By considering all the above the break even point can be calculated.

Future company /product enhancements

Later with the break even point the plans can be developed for usage of profit obtained from the company,and various points involved in new investments of the company can be formulated

 

Behind every success and failure  of the team there lies the contribution of group members.A group can be successful when the ideas  and opinions of every members is considered  or atleast to a least extent listened.

Main ideas for a good team working is

1.Every member should avoid the superiority sense

2.Planned board meeting

3.Proper communication channels.

4Effective management to co ordinate the working of every groups.

5.Clear definition of each ones task.

It generally happens that most ideas are taken into consideration just because it sounds good.A clear and an elobarate study on every idea is essential for a healthy team work.this gives confidence to the team member.It is the duty of the team lead to take into considerations the opinions of every members and then analyse it with the team members.

When the idea gets rejecved without consideration it leads to unwanted distress in the team.

Democratic cordination of ideas is widely essential.

 

 

 

 

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When the idea of product was finalized and when we started working on product development the one question which was running in our mind was…How do we call the product??

We wanted the name to stand clear stating its purpouse.

So we sorted the issue in the following way.the task was divided in to two categories.

First we decided on what purpouse does the product serve?

then in what way it differs from the existing product?

When these aspects are highlighted the brand name itself will talk for the product.

In case of our product 1.Cleaning was the main purpose

2.But it differed from the existing one by replacing the sponges and gloves,making cleaning handyyy…

SOOOOO now we christened our product HANDY CLEANING!!

Branding is very important for any product.I tested the name with few friends who had no idea about the product we were working on.Most people identified it as a cleaning tool etc but the point which was not made clear was ,it serves mostly for dishwashing. As we have an idea of enhancing our product for general cleaning purposes we left the name to serve a generic purpouse.

When our group had a group meeting to decide upon the idea of the product we had ideas from different sector.Some ideas were designing a crushed garbage bag,usb food warmer,and a modified dish washing gloves. though each idea was innovative in its own way we all decided to go with the idea of gloves.We made small analysis on the product and how it will be received in the market.

the main aspect which made us consider the gloves was

1.it addresses the everyday needs of people.

2.Mass market available for the product.Almost every household has a kitchen and dish washing is mandatory.

3.the sales doesnt saturate at one point as it is a normal requirement for people to change the gloves when worn out and other major reason being the hygiene involved in it.

But the challenges involved are

1.Introducing a modification involves the need to emphasise the benefits of the product.

2.Should be durable

3.Should be equally cheaper as the gloves and sponge available in the market.

4Should prove the product is hygienic.

5.Should prove the product is more flexible than the existing sponge usage.

With all these in consideration,the product design should be done effectively  to address these issues.

 

The dragons den is the first of a kind experience in my life.We had initial fears about how the event is going to be and made more nervous when it was said that one of the dragon from the bbc is there as well..The initial fear was gone when the dragons made a friendly introduction of themselves .We had a third perspective of all our business ideas.

My observation from dragons den are

1.they looked for a long term aspect of the product.for example they looked for future enhancements for certain kind of products.This is really a good thing to think about.

2.They offered ideas of other possible market segments.

3they were least interested in the finance plans like how many products are we planning to start for initial launch and the expected break even aspects.

4.the advices on product modifications were highly valuable.

5.Certain ideas which was highly appreciated in our friends circle was not dealt the same way with the dragons.

But apart from this one simple question which bothers me is If some product does not look appealing to the dragons does it mean that its really difficult to market the product and make profit out of it?? I personally would challenge this  and take the valuable advices from the dragon and try making the product a success.

The overall experience of being in the dragons den was a memorable one.It was interesting to see the different presentations of products.It gave me an idea of  giving an effective presentation for selling your ideas in the market,

THANK YOU DRAGONS!!