This week’s theme is ‘Profit’! Making a profit is obviously essential for any successful business. Without a profit, your business will not be sustainable and it won’t help you raise income for your school.
Giving something back
Making a profit isn’t just about earning money for yourself, it can also be great for your community – lots of our competitors last year used their profit to help worthwhile causes including orphanages, woman’s centres, community training and education for underprivileged students!
Top tips for making a profit!
- Plan ahead
- Making a business plan can have a huge difference to whether or not your business will be profitable in the long run. Take a look at last week’s ‘Theme’ for more reasons why a business plan is essential.
- ‘Do It Yourself’ and reuse materials!
- One of the key principles of a profitable small enterprise is – “don’t pay somebody to do something if you can do it yourself!” This means labour as well as materials.
- For example, instead of buying timber for their bee-hives, Illowala School in Tanzania used timber left over from their schools construction project.
- Become a salesman
- No matter how good your enterprise is, people won’t come to you for no reason. You have to get out there and tell the world why they need what you are selling.
- Marketing campaigns can include face-to-face promotion, adverts, posters, special events and much more!
- Find and keep a competitive edge
- Standing out from your competitors can make a difference between making a profit and losing money. Keep ahead of the competition by offering something that they do not, or providing a service that’s better, quicker or cheaper.
- Add value-added services or products
- ‘Value-added’ means offering something beyond your main product that your customers might be willing to pay for. For example, if you sell gifts and crafts, you can make custom bags to sell alongside them.
And most importantly…
- It’s no secret that dedication is the key to a successful and profitable enterprise! Commitment, passion and belief in your business – these things won’t guarantee you a profit but they definitely help.
Take a look at Indeco Community School from Zambia, winners of last years $2500 ‘Profit’ Prize for inspiration!
At Indeco Community School from Zambia students and teachers started a chicken rearing business whilst expanding their tailoring enterprise they launched in 2011.
Indeco saved money by planning ahead so they only had to buy the exact amount of each material that they needed. They also made sure that not to pay for anything they could do themselves – the rooms they used for their enterprise were within the school and they connected to the school electricity for power. They also reused everything and threw nothing away.
Indeco found out that their community lacked a reliable tailoring business – they ensured their competitive edge by filling this gap. By selling chickens as well as running their existing tailoring business, Indeco introduced a value-added product to their enterprise.
The combined businesses generated a profit of $27,000 in 2012, which has allowed the school to employ nine full-time members of staff, and employ other local people during busy periods. The students and teachers have used their experience to provide training and motivational workshops for others.
The profit that Indeco raised makes it possible for them to continue their business, and even better they plan to increase the size their enterprise and expand into new areas.
Well done Indeco School, your hard work is inspiration for us all!
Making a profit should be at the heart of your business from the beginning, so start thinking of ideas now!
Good luck everyone!