This is a scaled down version of a “Shark Tank” learning cycle I do. It gives you the outline without getting into the specifics. Having done this several times with students, there are a lot of different ways it could go, depending on your timelines. I will often drift into politics, capitalism vs. socialism – which leads into conversations about current events (increase in minimum wage, housing boom, wants vs. needs).
- Discuss the difference between “Goods” & “Services”
- Discuss “Supply & Demand”
- revenue (gross) vs profit (net),
- With the goal of selling something in the student’s home school, think of a good or service that they could sell for an upcoming event (e.g, Christmas, valentine’s day, graduation).
- List as many ideas as you can. Split them into goods and services
- Some samples of what my students have come up with E.g., hot chocolate, open gym, candy canes, valentine’s, school merchandise, movie in library, Stationary Supply in each homeroom available for purchase from teacher. Proceeds go to school.
When you start a business, you need to look at the market in which you are entering. Your task for this element is to analyze your industry (school demographics).
- Can use SCAMPERto discuss what has been done before, whats worked or hasn’t worked and then tweak to fit the desired event.
- Supply & Demand: This depends on many factors
- Demand considerations: E.g., Age, Sex, Local. others?
- Local (Time and space): TIME: E.g,. In winter, what types of events would be in higher demand (e.g., indoor events, hot chocolate). SPACE/Location: what is in scarcer supply in school? Junk food? Computers? Free time?
- Sex/Gender: Raffle tickets for a video game might be in higher demand for boys.
- Age: E.g., Fidget toys might be more popular with kids than teachers.
How much will each individual item cost? What will you sell it for? How many will you sell? What is your projected revenue? Profit? Costs?
||profit per item
What might your Shark ask?
If the Principal is your “Shark” invite them in to discuss all of their considerations: safety, chaos, mess, teacher time, hall congestion, health, permission forms, etc…The principal will likely ask where the money will be going to (field trips, technology, etc..)
Create a Business Plan
Now that you know what you’re selling, a successful business needs a plan to follow. Develop a business plan that outlines what your business will do, your staffing needs (labor), your sales and marketing approach and how much start-up financing you will need (how much $$ to start everything). Once you have your business plan, you can follow it to create your successful business and use your business plan to interest investors in your company (aka the “Sharks”)
Questions to answer
- Company name
- Product name
- Product: Are you providing goods or a services?
- Who is your target audience (don’t say everybody!)
- What words would you associate with your brand?
- What would you pay for your product?
- Where/how would you sell your product?
- What would be some of your expenses as a business (what do you need to buy before you can sell? Would you need a loan from the school?)
- Who would you need to hire (set up crew, clean up crew, money counters, teacher supervisor)?
In this case, keep your Principal in mind. What would they consider most important (safety, staffing, lack of chaos, not disrupting the school day, etc…)
How will you get people to know your business exists, how will you market your product/service and advertise it to your target audience? This could be part of your business plan but if it is not you MUST include some marketing and advertising strategies in this project.
- Signs, announcements, school Twitter or Facebook pages, school website?
- How will you make your product seem attractive? Research successful sales techniques and try to implement them (catch phrase, make it seem cool, limited time only, bargain, etc…)
Your Business Proposal (the Pitch)
You and your group will be creating a business proposal. In this proposal you will include all of the elements listed above. Research what makes a successful business proposal (body language, key phrases, being prepared, enthusiasm, etc…). Be creative & good luck!
Resources (some places to start)