Strawberry Cow – Company Report
We went through each of these ideas and thought of the pros and the cons for each. We discarded the ideas which we felt wouldn’t do very well. We decided that we wouldn’t sell coffee tables as we only had one person within the group who was already able to manufacture them and we would be wasting valuable time in teaching everyone within the group how to make them. There wasn’t really any enthusiasm within the group for selling house related goods so this too was dropped.
This left us with selling charcoal and providing an after school club. We decided not to sell charcoal as people only really want to buy it during the summer months (June – September) for barbecues and as the final date for closing our bank account was 31st July we felt that we wouldn’t be able to gain enough profit in the short space of time to justify the amount of organisation which would be required for us to be able to sell the charcoal.
We also decided that selling a product would provide us with less profit, as we would have to make or buy these items before we could sell them on. Also, as mentioned above, we would be unable to provide a secure environment; leaving us open to people attempting to steal our product. We decided that in this respect it would be better if we sold a service; you can’t steal a service. This meant that we chose to provide an after school club for children at a local school.
There were additional reasons for us choosing this service. We discussed the skills and interests that we had within our company of nine. These were creative and sport. We have all experienced clubs and groups involving these activities and thought it might be possible for us to actually run a club ourselves. From our preliminary market research we had found that there was a gap in the market for childcare, particularly during that time between the end of school and the end of work. From this we decided to run an after school club; supervised fun activities for groups of children in a safe environment.
Choosing to provide this service came at a price. We didn’t (and still don’t) have unlimited resources so by choosing to provide an after school club we were unable to provide any of the other ideas. This was our opportunity cost. There are several primary schools relatively close to our school. The next stage was to research. We had to be able to travel to the school quickly, easily and cheaply. We also had to find out which schools already ran clubs and which didn’t.
We also needed to know whether there would be an interest for the club within different schools. From this research we managed to create a shortlist of two schools. The two schools were Valley Road School and Peppard C. of E. School. Valley Road was the closets school and was very large. It was within walking distance but already had an after school club. Peppard C of E School is a short bus ride away but, after speaking to local children, parents and the head teacher we found out that they had no-one to run a club and wanted one. We had found our gap in the market.
We then addressed the problem of when to hold the club. As it was an after-school club we had to do it after school. However all of the primary schools finished 15 minutes before us and it would also take us around 15 minutes to get from Gillotts to Peppard. This meant that the children would have to wait around for half an hour on their own. We decided therefore that since we would be unable to provide a club every day we would provide a club once a week on a Friday.
As we finished an hour earlier on Fridays we would be able to get to Peppard and set up before the children had finished school. We had already decided that we would get to the school by public bus although this caused some time problems as it meant that we had to wait 10 minutes to get the bus. This led to the 15 minutes to get from Gillotts to Peppard even though it only takes 5 minutes by bus.
Having decided where the club was going to be situated we had to decide on a price. Certain members of the board (most notably the Managing Director) thought that we should charge ï¿½10 a session. However, although this was quite a good price for 2 1/2 hours, the other members of the board felt that this was not a productive pricing plan. This was because it was felt that members of the public would not pay ï¿½10. Following discussions, and information presented by the Marketing, Sales and Finance departments, we decided that ï¿½41 was a reasonable amount to charge for the club. Sales liased with marketing, who researched prices charged by other clubs.
The board of directors decided that we did not need to sell shares publicly. This was because we established enough profit from the sweet selling to provide us with enough money to spend on our first session and for subsequent sessions we would have a stash of money in our bank account. All achievers had a ï¿½10 share in the company; although each achiever put ï¿½12 into the original start-up costs.
Within the after school club we decided to offer three different areas. These were art, music and drama. On our first session we split the 19 children attending into these three areas where they took part in themed activites. On our second session we had 20 children who attended. These children got to choose where they went and then took part in different activities. However only 3 children wanted to do music and it was felt that this wasn’t enough children to run a session. These children split up and went to drama and art. In drama the children played some games, such as charades, to warm them up and then went on to perform “Little Red Riding Hood”.
This was a great success with the children thoroughly enjoying the experience. Art also had a great session creating presents for the children mothers, as that Sunday was Mothering Sunday. The children were able to paint a bottle for their mum and then put a few flowers into it. We provided the same service to Year 7’s in our own school. Following each after school club we spent 15 minutes of feedback time at our weekly meeting on a Wednesday evening. This ensured that we could continually improve our service both for the parents and for the children. One of the ideas that came out of this was to ask people to pay in advance for the forthcoming term.
This would help us by allowing us to purchase arts and crafts materials and because we would know the numbers who were going to attend. It would also help the parents, as they would not need to remember to bring money to each club when they came to collect their child. We also evaluated the activities that we were providing. Our activities did not always last long enough, or were not popular enough. To improve this we spoke to people with experience in these areas – teachers and parents.