Reflective Essay

Looking back at what I have learnt in this module for past 8 months, I feel happy to have chosen this module as I learnt a lot not only the business concepts but also had the opportunity of working with different people. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dali (no date) I am confident that all that I have learnt from this module will definitely help me achieve my ambition. Every person in life aspires to achieve something great in life and I am no exception. First I would like to get a reputed job in my field of business management and gain experience, then I would like to start my own business back in India and Designing a Business module has helped me a lot to understand the concepts that are important to start a business.

“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.” Dhirubhai Ambani (no date) these words are true as many people don’t build on their dream and they end up working for someone else. I don’t want to end up not achieving my future ambition. Working in this module was new at the same time exciting because I was leaning new concepts, also studying with people from different countries with different educational background in London.

The first important thing that I learnt from the module was Team Work. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (no date) teamwork is “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” When we started the module we all were given the opportunity to form our own groups also the concept of not having the people from the same country really helped. By this way I was able to make new friends and also improve my communication skill and confidence to speak to people from a different country. It is better to work as a team than as individuals as it increases the efficiency, tasks can be split among the team to finish it quicker and more tasks can be taken up. A diverse team will be able to solve complex problems compared to an individual. According to Allen Meany (2011), the benefit of team work to a business are innovative ideas, improved morale and greater flexibility. When I start a business in the future I will look to start a partnership business as it is more efficient and the work can be split among the partners to finish it sooner.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” Eleanor Roosevelt (no date). From the module I learnt that good ideas can be a successful part of the business but if not enough effort is put into the idea, it will not become a successful business. According to Ajaero Tony Martins (2014) “An average business idea with the right mindset, a strong business management team, and the right business plan will outperform an excellent million dollar idea with a poor mindset and a weak management team.” It is important to have a good idea but at the same time work hard to make the idea into a successful business. The module taught me that a number of ideas can be thought of but it is always the ideas that benefit the people the most in some way or the other, will turn out to be a successful idea. In the future when I start my own business, my ideas will be based on the benefits it will bring to the people and also the problems it will solve in the society.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Arthur Schopenhauer (no date). For an idea to be successful, I have understood that it must target the right kind of people. For a business to be successful, it must target its potential buyers. According to Mandy Porta (2010), No one can target everyone with the current state of the economy. Small business target a niche market to compete with the large companies. As the world becomes more and more competitive, it is difficult to target everyone on the planet. The lecture on tribe taught me a lot on the target market to choose for a business. From the lecture I understood that the target market can be chosen based on the product or service provided by the business, based on the competition in the market the target market of the competitors and if it is an existing business, they can choose based on the present customers of the business. Also target the buyer rather than the end consumer is very important. For example, the end user of a toy will be a child but the buyer of the toy will be the parents or relatives of that child. When starting my own business, this will very much be important to run a successful business.

Conducting market research is very important for every business. The concept of market research in the module has improved my knowledge on this topic and now I understand that doing market research will help the business find out the customers preferences towards the product. It is important to do market research because it gives the business the advantage of changing anything if the target market don’t like. This reduces the risk in the business and also helps improve the business success rate. Market research helps to communicate with the customers and receive their feedback about the product and the feedback got from the customers can be used to improve the product. According to Martin Day (2005), market research will help to communicate with customers, identify the opportunities in the market, minimize the risk in the business and measure the progress of the business by creating benchmarks. I also understood that market research can be done through online as people of different age and country use the internet. Also questionnaires can be an easy and cheap way of doing market research or the internet can be used to do the research as there are plenty of existing research. Also I understood doing a market research will be help in developing a prototype into a good final product and having a prototype will help improve the market research as it helps to explain the benefits of the product to the customers. Market research will definitely be a major aspect of my business in the future.

A good product might not sell to its potential without a good marketing strategy. It is one of the most important aspects of a business. Marketing covers a number of concepts like advertising, sales, promotion and public relations. Marketing is used to introduce a product or service and promote the products or services to the targeted customers in a particular market. From the lectures on the marketing, I also learnt about consumer segmentation, they can be segmented based on behavioral, Psychographic and profile. According to Kristie Lorette (no date), Marketing can help get a word out about the product or service of the company, increase the sales of the company, improve the company reputation and bring a healthy competition to the market. A good marking strategy will definitely be a great success for the business.

Branding differentiates your product from that of your competitors. The lecture on branding was quiet interesting at the same time useful. The word branding is divided into three Brand which is everything that creates an experience for the customers, DNA which is the unique message communicated by the business and Identity which is the visual part of the company usually the logo, colors, layout etc. A good brand must always have a logo for the company which is different from its competitors, a brand message that is unique and usually easy to remember, the brand must be used in every aspects of the business, the brand must be consistent and being consistent, it maintains its promise. Also the pictures of emergency taught me how a brand should and should not be. According to Jayson DeMers (2013), the characteristics of successful brands are it should have a knowledge about its audience, it should be unique, passion towards the brand, a consistent brand, a competitive brand, exposure of the brand to the consumers and influential leaders behind a brand. In this module we had the opportunity to create our own brand and was definitely a great experience for anyone aspiring to start their own business.

Selling is a difficult aspect of a business as the customers have to be convinced that he is buying a useful product. A good sales person is required for every business. Although there are different ways to sell a product, face to face selling is still an effective way. Trade fairs which were a part of the module, were very helpful in developing my knowledge of how to sell a product through face to face communication. I also learnt that a good trade fare must first have a good presentation of the products, which will attract the customers when they see the products displayed. Even if the display of the products looks attractive, it is very difficult to sell products to consumers. So it is necessary to be able to convince the customers to buy the products by being confident in pitching about the product which is a difficult skill. Trade fairs have improved my skills of speaking to the customers about the benefits of the product.

Social media is a powerful tool in a business as it can be used to improve the sales of the business, receive orders and can be used to interact with customers of the business. “The thought that so many people get their news from social media really is scary.” Rush Limbaugh (no date). Blogs are an effective way to update about any new products being launched by the company in the market and also receive the feedback from the customers. Having a company website is very important for a business as more and more people are using the internet every day and customers are more likely to find ones product in the internet also it is not costly as less investment is required to setup a website but the gains are very high. According to Bradley James Bryant (no date), Internet has revolutionized business in a global and local level.

I feel that through the Designing a Business module, I have gained knowledge from this which will definitely be of a great use to me and also I have improved my presentation skills thanks to the Dragons Den presentations. Another important thing I have improved on is the ability to finish the work on time thanks to the tight schedule design this module has. This module has definitely given me the confidence to go out in the world and become a successful businessman.

 

 

 

 

References:

Salvador Dali (no date), Brainyquotes.com, Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/salvadorda120513.html

Dhirubhai Ambani (no date), 30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success You, Available at: http://addicted2success.com/quotes/30-famous-quotes-that-will-inspire-success-in-you/

Merriam Webster Dictionary (no date), Full Definition of Teamwork, Available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/team%20work

Allen Meany (2011), What is teamwork and how it can benefit business, Available at: http://socialteamware.com/index.php/hello-world/

Eleanor Roosevelt (no date), Brainyquotes.com, Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eleanorroo385439.html

Ajaero Tony Martins (2014), 100+ Best Small Business ideas for 2014 Startups, Available at: http://www.mytopbusinessideas.com/

Arthur Schopenhauer (no date), Brainyquotes.com, Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/arthurscho385253.html

Mandy Porta (2010), How to Define Your Target Market, Available at: http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/defining-your-target-market.html

Martin Day (2005), Why is Market Research Important? Available at: http://www.webpronews.com/why-is-market-research-important-2005-08

Kristie Lorette (no date), The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business, Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-marketing-success-business-589.html

Jayson DeMers (2013), The Top 7 Characteristics Of Successful Brands, Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/11/12/the-top-7-characteristics-of-successful-brands/

Rush Limbaugh (no date), Brainyquotes.com, Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/rushlimbau595529.html

Bradley James Bryant (no date), What Are the Benefits of the Internet to Business? Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-internet-business-316.html

 

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The Final Presentation

The final presentation for the module was the Dragon’s Den on the 27 March. We the members of team Memoby were preparing ourselves for  the presentation, practicing over and over again until we felt we were perfect with our presentation. We arrived an hour before our presentation was due to be made to the judges. We made final preparations and when our time came we went inside and presented.

We started the presentation by enacting a story about our product where an old man regrets that he did not collect the memories of his family and next a girls who loses some of her memorable photos when a person accidentally hits the phone when walking and the phone falls to the ground and brakes and finally a girl who collects all her important memories in her one of a kind Memoby Box.

After the story all of us presented our parts and the judges gave us a good feedback. We then waited for the results to be announced and although we didn’t win, we were happy that we presented and also that a team from our class “Le Petite Sac” won the prize money of £3000.

It was a great experience working in the module and also feel blessed to get good friends and an excellent teacher through this module. Wish u guys all the very best in your future endeavors it was a pleasure working with you guys and will miss u all.

Trade Fairs

The two trade fairs one in Kingston Business School and the other in Kingston Town Center was a good experience for all designing a business students. Before we could present the products in the trade fair, we had to get our Memoby box ready. We still had to do the laser printing on the box and the decoration inside in the box. For the Laser printing we met Mr. Alex Farnea who works in the Knights Park Campus of Kingston University. He helped us finish the laser printing on the box. The laser printing on the box was one of the major aspects of the box and we initially had problems as the machine was not working and so we had to wait for it to be fixed. Finally we had the laser printing done and we had a face of a baby printed on top of the box and our company logo on the right side of the box.

For designing the boxes interiors, we decided to use cloth with fur and stick this cloth inside the box. On both the trade fairs we used a board to display our brand name and we also used pictures and we wrote down some of the features of the box on the board. We also gave away free chocolates in order to attract people. We spoke to many people in both the trade fairs and we also gave a minute pitch about our product. Though we didn’t sell any products in the trade fair but overall it was a good learning experience and we are now confident of performing better in trade fairs in the future.

Top Business Ideas For 2014

People always have a doubt on what business to do after finishing their studies, here are some ideas that could help.

1. Microbrewery: Microbrewery business is growing in UK as people are moving away from commercially brewed beers. The UK alcohol industry is estimated to grow at  £45 billion by 2017.

2. Personal trainer: Obesity is increasing in the country and becoming a personal trainer can be a good business also as the fitness industry is worth over £3 billion.

3. Virtual assistant:  The use of internet is increasing everyday and more companies are looking for full time house assistants, virtual assistants will be a good business.

 

4. Niche price comparison website: Starting up in an established market might seem counter-intuitive but with several verticals not yet targeted, in 2014 niche price comparison sites will become big business, especially as the market has now reached the £1 billion mark.

5. Raspberry Pi accessories: The company produces credit card sized mini computers and have sold more than 2 million units and has huge press and public attention as well as Google. Selling accessories for the computer can become a successful business.

6. Independent BYOD consultant: Businesses are turning to It professionals for help them in ‘Buy Your Own Device’ (BOYD) trend. Opening a BOYD consultancy can be a good business.

7. Mobile catering: Although the mobile catering has not been a big success for a few years now, the business is expected to increase. Also the investment is less compared to restaurants and also the loss if incurred is less.

8. Cleantech business: The world population is said to increase and so there will be an increase in the use of natural resources Government is calling on entrepreneurs to help tackle this issue making an eco-friendly start-up the way forward.

9. Regional coworking office: Start-up clusters are emerging across the UK, not just in Londo. With areas such as Manchester, Newcastle and Brighton increasingly becoming key areas of tech innovation cowork offices in locations further afield makes for an attractive proposition for 2014.

10. Boutique care home : One thing is certain in the world and that is people becoming old, boutique care homes can definitely be a good business to start this year. It will also be an antidote to existing retirement living options.

Reference:

Dawn Murden (2014), The 14 best business ideas for 2014,  Available at: http://talkbusinessmagazine.co.uk/14-best-business-ideas-for-2014/.

How to Create an Advertisement

An advertisement says ever thing about your brand’s smart, innovative and distinguished nature. Here are a few steps that help in creating an advertisement.

Writing an Advertisement:

1. Come up with catchy phrases that will grab the customers attention. What ever the catchy phrase maybe try and keep it short and easy to understand. A catchy phrase can contain rhyme, humor, a play on words, creative imagery, metaphor, alliteration, a personal pledge, dry understatement.

2. Avoid using the same old words like for example, “new and improved,” “guaranteed,” or “free gift” and try using creative words as people are tired of listening to the same kind of words. Make the reader to pay attention and always maintain a balance between controversial and entertaining. 

3. Use persuasive techniques like  challenging the consumers think  of a good reason why not to buy the product or service, making the consumer laugh, thereby making yourself more likable and memorable, repeating the key elements so that it sticks into the minds of the consumers, limited time only offers, fire sales will convince the customers that time is essence.

4. The advertisement must appeal to the target audience. Keep your target audience in mind when writing an advertisement it needs to appeal to the target audience as much as possible and must avoid offending them.

5. The ad should be a bridge between what your dream consumer wants or needs and your product, also focus on the most appealing aspect of your product.

6. Make sure your advertisement will age well and not make consumers look shocked at your ad contents after 10 years.

7. Make sure all the relevant information is included, if your consumer has to know the details of the company in order to have access to the product, provide this information somewhere in the ad.

8. If you’re advertising for an event, start promoting it at least 6 to 8 weeks beforehand if it’s going to accommodate more than 100 people; if it’s less than that, start advertising 3 to 4 weeks ahead. Make sure to decide where and when to advertise.

Designing an Advertisement:

1. For a good advertisement design, choose a memorable image that will stick in the minds of the people which is often the simple and the best route to take.

2. Distinguish yourself from your competitors and use your ad to highlight your products advantage over that of your competitors.

3. An advertisement doesn’t necessarily be in text a good logo can be effective enough. Try to develop a simple, appealing logo that will stick in the minds of viewers.

4. Find a software or technique to create your advertisement. Try using different software for different type of advertisement like if you’re making a small-scale print ad try using a program such as Adobe InDesign or Photoshop.

Testing an Advertisement:

1. Provide customers with the option of calling your establishment in response of your advertisement and this is a free way to track which ads are bringing people in and which aren’t.

2. Set up your website to have a different landing page for each ad you’re testing, then track how many people go to which. Again, this is a simple, unobtrusive way to see which strategies draw the most people.

3. If coupons are a part of your ad strategy, make sure each ad has a different color coupon so that you can tally them separately.

4. Evaluate how well your first effort went and take a lesson for next time.

 

Reference:

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Advertisement

 

5 Questions that will Help You Choose the Best Business to Start

1. What is your level of preparedness?

This is the first important thing to ask yourself to help start a business because the success of the business starts from you. A person looking to start a business must be prepared to face the business challenges, prepared to handle business failures, know his or her risk risk bearing capacity and their perception towards making mistakes in business and life. All these show their mental preparedness to start a business.

2. How much Capital do you have?

The amount of capital with a person will determine the type of business to start. If a person has a million dollars as capital to start a business, he will have a different business opportunity compared to the person having a thousand dollars. The person with the million dollar can start a business in a larger scale compared to the person with the thousand dollars. Hence capital is an important factor in deciding what business to start.

3. Who is on your Team?

The type of people you have on your team will have affect your decision on what business to start. If you have competent people in your team, then to start a big business will not be a problem and will also be a big boost to the success of the business. If you are a solo entrepreneur, then your best business opportunity will be different compared to a team business.

4. How Strong is your Business Plan?

A business with a strong business plan will always have a successful business. If you have the right plan, the right team and the right mindset, then you can start big business. The kind of business you start will depend on your business plan and your extensiveness of your personal.

5. What Business idea do you have in mind?

            The best business to start depends on the idea in the minds of the entrepreneurs and also their circumstances. The best business to start in UK might not be the suitable one for in India. Local trend, passion, hobby, skill, geographical location, demographics, demand, supply, economic policy etc. are factors to take into consideration before the idea becomes the business.

A good business idea with the right mindset, a strong business management team, and the right business plan will outperform an excellent million dollar idea with a poor mindset and a weak management team. Make sure to do a proper research and see to that the right combinations are in place before starting a business.

Reference

Ajaero Tony Martins (2014), Top Small Business Ideas List For Beginners To Start 2014, Available at: http://www.mytopbusinessideas.com/.

20 Creative Advertisements

Here are some creative adverts which don’t need anyone to explain it.

1. FedEx Kinkos- Office products now at fedexkinkos.com

2. Nothing can replace a tree

3. Australia Post – If you really want to touch someone, send them a letter.

4. Starwars III – Return of the Sith

5. The Fitness Company

6. Sprite Ice Blue

7.  Clorets – Eliminate bad breath

8.  3M – 3M security Glass

9. Denver Water – Use only what you need.

10. Bergmann funeral service – Come a litle closer.

11. Pepsi Twist

12. Orion telescope

13. WMF knives – Cutting board

14. World No Tobacco Day – Non Smoking Area

15. Duracell Escalator

16. Sony PSP – Handcuffed

17. Snickers – 50% Extra!

18. Volkswagen Beetle – The new beetle

19. Freshlife – Start a fresh life.

 20. The Naval Museum of Alberta

 Reference:

Hongkiat Lim (no date), 70 Creative Advertisements That Make You Look Twice, Available at: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/70-creative-advertisements-that-makes-you-look-twice/.

Ten Trade Fair Best Practices

Here are some Trade Fair exhibit best practices. 

Pick an unrelated show: Sometimes picking on an unrelated show can benefit the product. One good example was the Nordic track  which became a big success in dental trade shows than in gym and fitness shows. Unrelated shows must be chose based on the correct demographics.

Avoid Trade Show Company Hype: Companies running the show may over-hype their event so it is best to talk to the businesses who have attended several trade shows and this information can be used to guide your trade show exhibit attendance decision.

Avoid New Trade Fares:  New trade fairs should be avoided as these are untested venues. New fairs might lack the popularity among the people and for small businesses they cannot afford to waste their time and money on these kind of fairs. It is always best to invest in regular and proven shows. 

Target Market: Focus on shows that will attract your target market and invest in these shows to improve the success rate of your exhibits. 

Create a buzz: Use the months prior to the trade show to create a buzz among the people. Inform your existing customers about the trade fair and also the target market. These kind of buzz will be the perfect platform to launch a new product or service. 

Be an attendee-not an exhibitor: If the budget is tight this year, don’t spend on trade show exhibits. Capitalize on the trade show by being a speaker or a panel expert. This will add credibility to your business and attract potential leads.

Partner with the trade show`s management team: Organizers of trade shows will want you to return to their trade shows the next year as well so they will surely want your business to have success. Contacting the management team will be an advantage to your business as they will help develop an appealing booth, staff scheduling, and marketing campaigning, before the event starts.

Train your trade show team: Trade fairs provide the business with limited time to convince customers to buy their product. The businesses should train their trade team to convince the customers to buy the product.  

Call them while they’re hot. Sales staff frequently make the mistake of contacting trade show leads, months after the show. Make sure your sales staff have extra time and incentive to follow-up with all leads within weeks of your trade show exhibit.

Make your business newsworthy: Use drama and flair to have your small business stand above the competition.

 

Reference:

Darrell Zahorsky (2013), Ten Trade Show Exhibit Best Practices, Available at: http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/sales/a/tradeshow.htm. 

Tips for a successful trade fair.

Trade shows can be a useful way for promoting and selling products, at the same tie it can also be a difficult time for the companies who are preparing for it. Here are some useful tips to help prepare for a trade fair.

1. First consult the organizers of the event and ask them about the people who are going to attend the event and the area available for displaying the products. Also ask about the table size available for display and also if any plug points are available near the display area.

2. To make the display more attractive make sure to have a table cloth which has the logo of the business or a similar color to the image of the company. This will help improve the display of the product in the trade and also attract customers.

3. If the organizers allow a stand-alone presentation board, it can be used to show the benefits of using the product. In order to make it attractive, pictures and designs can be used to make it look creative and also the name and the logo of the company should be included in it.

4.If there is a wall space in the trade fair, use templates to display on the wall. If the budget is minimal, use your computer to create a template of your company name and use it on cardboard or foam to display it on the wall. 

5. To make your display in the trade fair look attractive, display the smaller items at front and the bigger and taller items at the back and also arrange the table in level.

6. A power point presentation about your product can be used and displayed using a laptop in the trade fair. This will help attract customers and also help customers have a better understanding about the product.

7. Trade fair giveaways can be a successful way to attract customers. Business cards, brochures, pens etc. can be used a giveaways. Food can also be an effective giveaways and also find a way to have your company contact information on it.

8. Another effective giveaway method can be the use of gift vouchers. Offering gift vouchers for some of your products will help enhance your product in the customers mind and they will come back for more.

9. Offer prizes to customers that will compliment the product and at the same time be appealing to your customers. Have customers fill a form or drop their business cards in order to win the prize. The information that the customers submit can be used to contact them some other time.

10.  Other important points to remember are to have some assistance so you can take a break. Try to start conversation with customers and have an introductory speech on the product ready. Most importantly be friendly with the customers.

 

Reference:

Janice Byer (no date), Tips For A Successful Trade Show, Available at: http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/marketing/a/tradeshowsjb.htm 

Dragons Den

The first week of December was really busy why? Because we had the Dragons’ Den. All the teams were well prepared for the day. My team ‘Memoby’  had planned for a meeting in the library around 2 ‘o’ clock. We came to the library and made our final preparation for the presentations. After our preparations we moved to room number 336 in the business school building. The Dragons’ Den in our university is almost the same as the Dragons’ Den series in BBC. We had to present our business ideas to the Dragons (judges). I was really excited as this was my first presentation in the university. I have presented before but that was back home in India which was not that serious and exciting as this one.

All the other groups had also arrived and they all looked confident and excited as our group. There were a total of seven groups who had to present namely ‘Helping Hand’, ‘Le Petit Sac’, ‘Memoby’, ‘Loo La La’, ‘Hero’, ‘Sheeny Nail Pen’ and ‘Bag Boy’. Dr. Corrine Beaumont introduced the Dragons to us and gave us instructions on what we had to do. Each team had to present their business idea twice to judges sitting in two different rooms. We were the third to present in one room and seventh to present in another room. After the presentations were over, all the teams had refreshments and were waiting for the results to be announced. Before the results for the best presentations and best business idea were to be announced, all the judge introduced themselves.

Then it was 5 ‘o’ clock and it was time for the winners to be announced by Dr. Corrine Beaumont. ‘Le Petit Sac’ was judged the best team presentation and ‘Sheeny Nail Pen’ was judged the best business idea. All the teams had good ideas and presented their ideas well. All the team received the feedback and after that had better view on their ideas. After Dragons’ Den all the teams are ready to move from prototype to designing their product.