We had a successful morning with the Grow Programme students of Callahan College in Newcastle on Thursday. We went through all the amazing things the online shop and related software can do and the students selected their business roles.

We discussed the importance of market research and understanding customer needs as well as developing a value proposition. We also talked about validating assumptions about our potential marketplace. Things are moving along well with students growing in confidence and beginning to think about their areas of interest and how their skills and abilities can apply to business.
Our next step is to focus on analysing data collated from the market research exercises and begin to look at how we can meet the needs of customers and gain further insight into our market demographics.

Key points here

Understanding our customers – are they professionals? are they stay at home mums? are they sporting people? Metaphorically – What does our customer look like? Where does he or she spend their money? Are they too busy to purchase at a shop? Are they Tech Savvy? Are they interested in the environment and sustainability? What is going to motivate them to purchase? Would they be happy to support our school? Is this going to be an emotive purchase?

The more we understand our customers the better we are at meeting their needs and competing with other businesses in the same market. For example, if we are going to sell a reusable bag -how and why does our bag differ from that of a bag from say Woolworths? Would our customers prefer to support our school rather than Woolworths? – how can we set our product apart – is it that we can have a unique design on ours?

From this point we can develop a mission statement. By doing this we can remain focussed on our core business in all the activities our departments undertake.