Business Report on an Student Run Business, Consumer Choice, Year 9 Commerce

Essay by bubbiJunior High, 9th gradeA, March 2010

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BUSINESS NAME: The Suga MammasExecutive summary:Our group of ......., decided to call our small business the Suga Mama’s. We had all agreed on this. The name we chose was suitable, original and catchy. Our vision statement was “everything under $1.20”. This was used to attract customers, who don’t usually bring allot of money as this is the majority of our school. In the end our business turned out to be successful.

Planning/preparation:In our planning and preparation towards the big day we had to think about:What food to sell and why- in the beginning we chose to sell sweets in general, because we had heard from previous businesses that sweets sold quite well. We also heard that if we chose tho sell sweets that it was a safe option as we could sell them on hot or cold days meaning they were not weather dependent. We then thought to investigate further and conduct a survey to see what the rest of the school likes, because in the end it is up to the consumers.

How you figure out the pricing- At first we tossed and turned about how big or small each product would be which would then affect our pricing. In the end we made a group decision that we were to make each product bigger because people would feel like they were getting their moneys worth. Therefore our prices were around $0.80-$1.00. We also decided on our pricing by choosing prices that needed no change or one coin only e.g. 20₵ change not 30₵ making our prices 60₵, 80₵ and $1.

Operation:The Suga Mamas were selling outside of c block on Thursday 30th of august 2008. We sold at recess to begin with then sold the remaining at lunch.

The items made:Everyone contributed to the food madeperson 1:•Toffees•Fairy bread•Cookiesperson 2:•Rocky road•cupcakesperson 3:•cupcakes•lolly bags•iceblocksperson 4:•jelly cups•browniesWe chose to sell at recess and lunch because we figured that if we didn’t sell all our food at recess then we would have leftover which would probably mean we would make a loss but if we sold the remaining at lunch it would mean making a profit.

We also came to a conclusion we did need to hire people to help us because we only had four in a group and we thought that that wasn’t enough especially if we had a lot of customers. In the end our excellent planning showed our high profits at the end of the day.

AccountsCassie was in charge of accounts. She distributed the $20 float to use on the day as change. This was mostly in 10 cent coins and 20 cent coins but we also had other change as well. Her job was to take care of what other people paid to produce their products. She monitored our spending levels advising us only to by ingredients at a sale or when it was cheapest so that we could make more profit. She also kept a record of recepts showing and proving the price of what everyone paid.

In the accounts section we also had to take into consideration the tax we were to be charged and the rent as well because it would lessen our end profit.

(E.g. collecting receipts for proof), took care of what was spent, etc. she broughtStock controlBelow is a list of amounts of each item sold:•Muffins:-Small: 50 small muffins which costed 20 cents each-Large: 30 large muffins for 80 cents each•Toffees: 80 toffees for 30 cents each•Lolly bags: 45 lolly cups for $1.20 each•Jelly cups: 30 lolly cups for $1 each•Rocky roads: 80 rocky roads for $1 each•Ice blocks: 96 ice blocks for 80 cent each•Brownies: 35 brownies for 80 cents each•Fairy bread: 28 for 30 cents each•Cookies: 30 cookies for 80 cents eachWe were lucky because we didn’t think many people would come to our store to by things because it was a rainy day but because they looked nice and were cheap we sold everything.

Marketing strategies:In order to sell our products we had to market our products so that the school was aware that we would be selling on Thursday. To spread that we were selling on Wednesday we put up a message in the notices advertising our sales. This turned out to be very affective. On Monday Monica put up a notice for Wednesday lunchtime and Cassie put one on Tuesday and Wednesday. They made it clear that we were selling on the 22nd and that nothing was over $1.20, so that students would find our pricing affordable. Most students have small change in their pockets to buy a small sweet. At St. Ursula’s college the other best way to let students know we are selling is word of mouth. Jessica got her group to go around the playground and tell people to buy from our store and to bring money on that day.

We decided that we needed to have an attractive looking stall so we needed bright coloured thing. We went with yellow and pink for most things like the poster, table cloth, etc. We brought in the table cloth because we thought it would be tacky and dirty if we just sold on the green chairs and by throwing a table cloth over it, it would be cleaner and it might make the sweets look more attractive. We also tried to make our sweets and cakes more colourful because we found that the most attractive colours sold first. They also brought customers to the store because bright colours stand out.

We planned to get a few of our friends to stand at our store to begin with because it would look like we had more customers implying to others that we might be selling some god stuff influencing g them to come to check out our store. In the end we decided against it because they would be distracting and would be taking up room were other customers could be standing.

There was also some planning and preparation that went into our poster. We decided to use publisher for it because it was easy and because you can do some really affective thing on it which would make the poster look more attractive. We used bright colours so it would catch people’s attentions. These included pink, purple, yellow, green, etc. we also put pictures on it to make the food look appetizing and to try to convince people to come and by our food. In the poster we also included where we were to be located, when we were selling and what things we were selling. In the end our posters turned out to be an effective method of advertising because we ended up having many customers.

FinanceRevenue StatementSales (money received – tax = $365.85 - $33.26): $332.60Cost of goods sold: $146Gross Profit: $186.60Less Expenses:Rent: $5Petty Cash: $20Total Expenses: $25Net Profit: $161.60Cash Flow StatementCash Inflows:Sales: $365.85Total Cash inflows: $365.85Cash Outflows:Stock purchased: $146Rent: $5Tax: $33.26Petty Cash: $20Total Cash Inflows: $204.26Cash Balance: $161.59Business meetingsMinutes of the meeting:1st meeting: 3rd of SeptemberPresent: (all) Stephanie, Jessica, Monica, CassieApologies: (all people present)Agenda:1.make a decision on what range of products to sell2.decide and agree on an inventive and creative name for our small business3.produce a surveyOn the 3rd September we came to a conclusion that we were most likely to sell food items for our store after conducting research and obtaining information especially from previous groups that food is more likely to sell at St. Ursula’s more than any other items. We also came to an agreement that our name was to be the Suga Mammas because it was creative and had potential.

Next meeting: 5/9/082nd meeting: 15th of SeptemberPresent: allApologies: all people presentAgenda:1.Discuss different target markets2.discuss who will be surveying who3.conducting the surveyOn the 15th of September we finished creating our survey and we started it conduct it receiving relevant information we could analyse to help use with our specific product choices. It included questions on location, cost and food preferences of the students at this school. We also decided which separate age group we would be surveying and decided Jessica was to survey year 8, Monica was year 11, Cassie was year 7 and Stephanie was year 10 and all would do year 9.

Next meeting: 9/9/083rd meeting: 19th of SeptemberPresent: allApologies: all people presentAgenda:1.Analyse the information we received after conducting the surveys e.g. best ways to advertise, items to sell, weekday selling, etc.

2.Discuss the food we should sell, now that the survey results have come back. See if our opinions of what we should sell are still the same or if our preferences have altered.

3.Discuss the date, time and location of the store and if where we have chosen to sell is appropriate.

4.Examine and investigate the quantity of food going to be sold, taking into consideration weather and if we are selling at recess or lunchOn the 19th of September we analysed our survey results. Chose a suitable range of food products to be sold. We determined the date in which we will sell; on Wednesday the /10/08 at recess.

Next meeting: 22nd of September4th meeting: 22nd of SeptemberPresent: allApologies: all people presentAgenda:1.discuss if we kneed any help on skills- if it is to be computer or hand written3.discuss date out if we are to have a catchy phrase and if so what it will beOn the 22nd we discussed having helper but decided against it. We decided to make our posters computerised instead of hand drawn because it was easier and less time consuming. We also discussed a date and decided on the 22nd of October.

Next meeting: 24th of September5th meeting: 24th of SeptemberPresent: allApologies: all people presentAgenda:1.discuss marketing skills2.who is bringing in items e.g. table cloth and what colour it will be3.negotiating how much time we will need to get out of classOn the 24th we agreed that we would each create our own posters therefore there would be a variety but that each poster was to have the same things on it like date, time, place, name and what we were selling. We agreed that Stephanie would bring in the table clothes because she already had them so we wouldn’t have to spend money buying some. Monica is to bring the serviettes. We also established that we were to leave 10-15 minutes early from class.

Next meeting: 7th of October7th meeting: 7th of OctoberPresent: allApologies: all people presentAgenda:1.will we make them on the weekend or on the night before2.mark up (by how much will we mark them up by)3.discuss storage- where we are to store the food for the first two needed to acquire6.location- somewhere everyone is familiar costing and all the donations everyone madeOn the 7th of October we discussed all of these topics. That we will make items that taste nicer fresher on the night before but ones that list awhile we would make on the weekend. We also talked about taking into account that it might be our first time making products so we need time to make mistakes and practice. We also discussed and decided the mark-up for each individual item. We also arranged to have our items stored in the DT rooms because they were large and would fit our stuff and also weren’t being heavily used at that particular moment. We also discussed health regulations and who was going to be handling money and who was going to handle the food. We also talked about location and came to the conclusion of outside of c-block because it is under cover and because everyone is familiar with it. We also acknowledged all the donations everyone made like inc for example. It was a very satisfying lesion for we discussed a lot a did the final preparations before our actual selling day.

Product mixEverything was easy to make and easy to store except 4 rocky road, ice blocks and jelly which we had to be stored in the fridges in the D.T rooms. Because we had some that needed to put them in separately- ice blocks in freezer jelly in fridge. It also took a bit of time to get the food out of the D.T. and the Garda room because they were both locked. So that took up some of our time running around which could have been spent on setting up.

We also had limited time especially at recess because it took about 5 minutes to set up because we were running late and 5 minutes at the end we had to clean up all the rubbish before we went to class. We didn’t think it would take as long as it did to clean up that we ended up going over the bell by a few minutes. Lunch wasn’t so bad because we didn’t have as many things to pack up and because we had sold everything we didn’t have to worry about storing everything away.

We also discussed our return and profitability. We realised that not everything could get marked up by a fixed price because then some items may seem over priced e.g. the rocky roads wouldn’t sell if the price was too high. Therefore we had to mark each product up individually which took up at least one business meeting because we first all had to estimate how much the ingredients would cost and then the profit we would want to make which overall decided our mark up prices. Our surveys also helped us to decide our prices and mark up because people put down what they were willing to spend. In the end we made a good profit even after all the expenses were deducted.

As a group we discussed the pros and cons of seeling sweets. To begin with we considered selling meat products but when we made a list of negatives and positives the negatives was much longer. First of all there is the problem of storing meat because meat has to be specially stored or it will go off. Then there was the problem that it had to fresh which costed a lot to by fresh meat, which didn’t go well with our tight budget. Then there was also the fact that if someone got sick because of our meat products then we or the school could be liable. In the end we decided against meat and went with something more simple which turned out to be sweets and cakes.

From conducting and analysing research we realised that it was easier to sell our products in larger numbers than it was in smaller quantities. Although by doing this we ran the risk of having excess food and making a loss we compared it with selling all our items and making a large profit. We were still juggling between the two and in the end we decided to go in the middle and not sell and excess amount but still enough so that it wouldn’t run out in a few minutes.

There were also some school constraints and guidelines which we had to follow. For meat the school preferred us not so sell it that was why the BBQ was not permitted. This was a health and hygiene issue that we needed to take into a consideration. Another health issue was hand and wearing gloves. It was made clear to us that if we were handling food we were to wear glove and if we were handling money we weren’t supposed to handle the food. A fine would apply if we did. There was also the limitation that we were to store our food (especially meat if we decided to sell it) were it best be store like a fridge, freezer or even just a cool room. There were many thing were needed to take into consideration and these are just a few.

Overall, we found that sweets sold quite well as we each got $40.40 profit. However at first we were a bit concerned about the cost of the food, but we managed to keep the selling prices low but still good enough to cover the cost of the food. We also were worried a bit about refrigerating some of the food but we were lucky and were able to use the DT fridges. We weren’t really organized before recess getting all our food, but we had gotten everything ready before there was a huge queue.

Though it was a great learning experience and if we could do it again we would probably change a few things like selling more of the big cupcakes and brownies because they went really fast. We also learnt that you shouldn’t really have weather-dependant foods like ice-blocks and that sweets are more of the way to go.

In general, we learnt so many things about running a small business and that sweets are a favourite amongst high school students and that if the food is presented well, all colourful and bright, then it will sell very quickly.