Coming up with a Business Idea and creating a Business Plan is fun, challenging and educational all at the same time. However, the true value in the School Enterprise Challenge lies in setting up a real School Enterprise that is run by students and generates income for the school.
With our Sunday 30th October 2016 deadline for Final Reports approaching we have put together a list of our top 4 tips to help you put theory into practice and successfully launch your school business.
Play to your students’ strengths
How you manage your school business team will play a crucial role in launching your business. Assigning clear roles to all of your students, based on their strengths and interest, will empower them to really take ownership of the business and ensure it runs smoothly.
Students are known to be more focused and perform their duties better when they are clear about what these are. We recommend you think about what skills each team member already has as well as the skills they would like to develop and distribute roles accordingly. Once the business is successfully up and running you can rotate teams, giving students new responsibilities, as a way of increasing their learning experience while keeping things new and interesting for them.
Make sure you watch our YouTube video for more detailed information on how to effectively manage your school business team.
Hold a launch event
Holding a launch event is a great way to raise awareness and create excitement surrounding your product or service.
Although it can require quite a lot of planning, the long-term benefits of having a launch event are undeniable. Not only will you be able to advertise your business and make those initial sales to get you going, you will also get the opportunity to meet your customers and get to know them personally. You can take this chance to get feedback on your business to better tailor it to the needs of your consumers, which will hopefully lead to more profit in the future!
Student motivation and the success of your school business are directly linked… Fact. Teachers always tell us that motivated students are more enthusiastic, more cooperative and contribute more than their less motivated peers. So, how can you keep your teams motivated? Well, the truth is there isn’t a single correct answer. Different students react to different kinds of motivation. Below are some of our favourite motivation methods we have seen SEC teachers use in recent years:
- Use praise: Praising students, either in a one-on-one conversation or mentioning them during an all-school assembly is a great way to let them know that they are doing a great job. It will make them feel proud and make them hungry for more success.
- Use rewards: Rewarding students with small items such as certificates or stickers is another great way to keep them motivated. Star Performer and Salesperson of the Week are just two types of reward certificates you could hand out… Be creative!
- Appoint champions: Motivation is contagious so assigning your most enthusiastic students as chief motivators could have a fantastic effect on the morale of their peers.
Of course, there are many more things you can do. We encourage you to be as creative as possible. Remember that if the teacher is motivated, the students are more likely to be motivated, so make sure you set a good example by being enthusiastic throughout!
Don’t let a lack of capital hold you back
Schools often tell us they can’t launch their business because they don’t have the necessary funds to start. We want to remind you that the beauty of the School Enterprise Challenge is that it teaches students to do the best they can with what they already have at their disposal. In the past, schools have used a wide range of methods ranging from starting micro-versions of their business to selling shares in exchange for investment in order to raise the money they needed. You can read all about them in our handy guide, Raising Your Startup Capital.
Well there you have it, our top 4 tips on a successful launch. Do you have any advice you would like to share with us?
How do you split your students into teams? Have you had a successful launch event? Have you got a great way of motivating your students? Did you launch a business without any starting capital?
We want to hear your story! We’d love to hear any interesting tips that you have so please share them with us and the rest of the School Enterprise Challenge Community in the comments section below.
This article was written by our new Programme Support Officer, Christophe. If you’d like to welcome him to the School Enterprise Challenge community or give him some feedback on the article, please don’t hesitate to send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – he’ll be happy to hear from you!