Posted tagged ‘marketing’

Creative Thinking

May 18, 2009

ideabulbsThinking outside the box is probably one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do. I’m taking a marketing class, and as a final project I have to make a marketing plan on my business idea (which I don’t have). For me, this exercise is going to need a ton of creative thinking. I need to think up a way to make money doing or selling something that I’m passionate about. I had an idea last quarter, if you read my posts you’ve heard of it, but I found that its flaws. My idea was to start a German pastry café chain; I wanted to do the same thing Starbucks with coffee, only with the European pastry. The Idea had two huge problems:

1)      Coffee is addictive, pastries are not.

2)      People drink coffee every day, and justify it with antioxidants. People can only eat so many pastries

So, it’s back to the drawing board for me. I’m a big believer in method, if I can find a way to come up with ideas one after another it’s just a matter of time before I find the right one. If you have any ideas on how to come up with ideas, please comment!! Right now I’m going to focus on a market, and find what they want most. Then I’ll just fill the need, but if you have a better way of going about finding ideas, I’d love to hear them!!

CleanBubbles.com

February 17, 2009

Wednesday, February 11 2009 marked a significant day for the CleanBubbles.com business. Junior business students Justin Wilga, Chris Lane, Collin Clark, and I underwent the discernment assessment of whether or not to launch our full-service laundry business with delivery. CleanBubbles.com is a website portal in where people log-on to register a laundry pick-up day – we then pick-up, wash, dry, fold and deliver the customers’ laundry the next day to their front door. On Wednesday, business student Collin Clark and I went around Legacy Apartment complex putting up door-tags in an attempt to directly advertise to potential customers. The door–tag color scheme depicts a clean blue and soft orange with an ad statement that reads “Can’t Do Your Laundry This Week? We Can!” quickly followed with customer instructions on how to receive a free trial valued at $25.

It took roughly a month to complete the door-tags, and by applying marketing skills we learned in class, we felt confident regarding our marketing strategy. Putting up the door-tags was a thrilling experience – taking the next big step in trying to get our business idea off the ground by offering a free-trial offer to determine whether people respond to our full-service laundry business, marked a unique real-world learning experience. That’s one of the unique advantages of going to John Paul the Great Catholic University. At JP Catholic homework assignments are intertwined with launching your business. Unlike other schools where you read off business books, JP Catholic courses are laced with launching your business, so that instead of learning by reading, you learn by doing.

My business team feels confident about our business idea and knows it has huge potential. However, due to the current economic downturn the service business industry is greatly suffering – people are beginning to do things on their own to save money. Nevertheless, we recognize the current economic crisis but are not completely discouraged by it. With the data we collect from running this free-trial offer we will decide whether or not to continue with this business idea or put it on hold, for now.

Built by the skills we learned in our Website Design and Build class, feel free to check out our up and running website: CleanBubbles.com.

Pizza Hut and LaunchPads

February 4, 2009

We did a Creative Advertising class this past summer. It was a fascinating overview, but we had the whole subject in only one quarter, so it was pretty much just a ‘table of contents’ approach. I was pretty sure nothing in would actually stick. You learn the pieces, you’re able to talk about them for awhile, pass the tests, but since none of us are looking at a career in advertising, we’ll never actually use this information, right?

So, that’s what I thought, until I was getting back from school the other day and saw the cover of a pizza box. Pizza Hut. Not too scary, right? It had a flyer on top about new pasta dishes they’re making. An advertisement.

It was very much a moment of “What has college done to me?” My first thought upon seeing it was: “Oh, they’re advertising a differentiated approach because it’s a mature industry!” (Disclaimer: that may have been my second thought, right after “mmmm, pizza…” but it’s hard to tell). There was one class about the connection between an industry’s life cycle and the advertising strategy for each stage. The fact that it had sunk that deep into my brain was pretty darn cool, if you ask me. It was kinda like ‘Porter’s 5 Forces,’ which we studied in the launchpad class. Just another way of looking at an industry, just a structure to hang information on, but it’s amazing just how much easier it is understand how businesses interact with each other. I had no clue about it 3 months ago. Eh, I guess there is something to this whole ‘business degree’ thing.

Testing Ground

February 3, 2009

Its week two of Communications II class for us business freshmen. This week, we really focused on presenting business ideas as a story through a presentation. This class has become my testing ground. All the business ideas that I have are being filtered, so that I can research, present, and test my favorite one. We are taking our ideas through the process of creating a business plan, from researching financial structure to creating marketing approach. My objective is to be comfortable with presenting an idea for criticism by the end of the quarter. This class is a great opportunity to test an idea and find if it will be profitable in the future. This week’s homework is to create an excel spread sheet for a sales projection, profit and loss statement, and a cash flow statement. We get to use a simple template with example numbers, so it’s not that hard. It’s kind of fun to mess with the financial possibilities of an idea.