Reflective Journal (Pitiphong Assawaamphud K1153904)

 

Before I start writing this reflective journal, it brought back many old memories since the first day I went to class; I have met many good friends and good teacher. I really had no idea what Design Thinking & Entrepreneurship in Practice was all about until now I can hardly believe that this class is officially over. It has been 7 months already but I feel like it was a very short moment that we have had good moments as well as tough ones. Even though, this class is over but it just a very first step for me to step forward to the real world. I have learned many valuable things from this class since it is different from other classes. We had to come up with an innovative idea and transform it into the product with value. It provided me a precious opportunity to make use of relevant principles along with personal development skills such as communication skills, presentation skills, self-assertiveness and elevator pitch which will be very useful to my future career path. I would proudly say that this class is the most practical class I have ever taken.

Starting from the first week, the first task was so interesting; it was about going to the restroom with my eye closed together with one partner who would lead me through the darkness. It was quite difficult to climb up the ladder with my eyes closed or opened up the door as I had no idea where the latch was. Even worse, I had to pee with my eyes closed which I have never done in my life before. However, I and my partner successfully managed to find the restroom. At first I did not know the reason why we had to pretend as if I were blind. But after doing this, I have learned how to see things differently in different situation. It is considerable to think in different angles and thus, this would certainly help me to create new innovative ideas in the future.

Next, I have learned about observation, I formed a group of four people going to observe customers in Sainsbury’s, I started off by observing buyers when they first popped to the store and how they made decision to buy products, which product was the most popular, the expression of buyer towards service providers when they had been in the queue for too long. Reflect this to myself, It has taught me that observing people is significantly important for business in all aspects which would help you to truly understand about your customers and satisfy what they want as well as providing consistent performance in relation to products and services. Which in turn, these factors will potentially help you maintain long-term customer relationships and loyalty. According to Sasser,Jr, Heskett and Hart (1990) have also revealed the cost of retaining existing buyers is considerably lower than winning new ones.

The next class, I was studying about PERSONA, there are many firms making use of persona to tell about their products and services. Literally, it is a technique to play with audience’s emotions. It is a connection between the character in the story and the audience by using the story to create sympathy (Leiss, Kline and Jhally, 1997). It provides a much clearer image for the audience as if they were in the story and thus it would be able to attract customer attention. This class would bring lots of benefits to when I apply this tactic in my advert to promote my products or services in the future; it allows me to get customer attention effectively.

For the long term project, we had to form as a group of four people which I had never known them before. It was a bit hard for me to work with people from the different unique background. At the beginning, I was lacking of confidence to express my ideas or feelings to unfamiliar people. It takes time to get to know each other and in the end I felt comfortable to present my ideas to my group mates. This would be advantageous for me in the future as it is inevitable that I have work with many people in the organisation it would definitely help me to cope with incurring problems. The main benefits for working as a team are that we are able to share different diversity ideas, new way of thinking and harmonisation which contribute to the better outcomes. However, working as a team can sometimes create conflict to the group when we had different point of view. It is critical to be more open minded to moderate this conflict. Sometimes, we had some arguments and did not get along well with each other but I reckoned that it is usual to have problems within the group but the most important thing I have learned is that how can we find the best solution and get through the bad situation together no matter how hard the problems we faced. Besides, Baldwin and Migneault (1996) have posited that a good teamwork is a sustainable competitive advantage for a firm based on a group of people assembled together and contribute to the profit maximisation for the firm which cannot be imitated from the competitors.

We started to brainstorm some ideas to create the product; it took us almost a month to find the proper idea. Our product is known as IQR sticker; the idea was derived from the people in the current world are doing things hurriedly along with the number of smartphone users is continuously increasing. It presented huge opportunities for us to attract customers by taking benefit from this situation. Consequently, we purposedly aimed to use IQR sticker as a tool to offer convenient usage and less time consuming when people exchange their information or business card. Generally, QR code is just simple black and white color but our IQR sticker is different, it is customised to become a colorful image with distinctive design as well as it is a sticker and the buyers can stick it anywhere.

The next step is that we had to transform this idea to the product with value. Another thing I have learned is that it would be pointless no matter you came up with an excellent idea but could not utilised your idea to become a product. Hence, we allocated each part to each teammate accordingly. Fortunately, it was pretty easy for us to create the items according to the nature of the product, the materials being used is quite cheap, all we had to do is creating distinctive design into the product.

The next step was how to attract customers; we initially started by introducing products to friends and from friends their friends and become a network. Another channel that we used is online channel. It is a very useful channel to attract customers globally, it allows the website owner to provide comprehensive information about its products and services, relatively low cost compared to other channels, interact with customers instantly and see the feedback of customers towards products or services immediately (Palmer, 2009). Therefore, we have utilised Facebook and Twitter as main channels to attract more customers and also provide detailed information about the products as well as providing images of products. It was convenient to interact with potential buyers and we had more customers after utilising online channel. In terms of future trend, online channel is expected to increase and traditional channel structure will be moderated, thus this practice would be effective for me when I have my own business and try to expand customer base in the future (Voortman, 2004).

According to the guest speaker this year, he gave me an encouragement to continue writing this blog; he said that just keep on updating your blog and then you will find out that you have enough people to do the business with. It was easier for you to find your potential customers from the users who keep on following your blog. At first, I was totally doubtful about what would I get from writing blog but now it is obvious that if I continue updating my blog it would benefit me to have more opportunity to work or exchange ideas with many people (Gunelius, 2009).

For the final task, we had to hand in the report and present our business to four judges, this event is also known as Dragons’ Den. I was responsible for financial part. It was extremely difficult for me to get it done because I am not good at finance or numbers at all. I had to calculate the income statement and cash flow starting from November 2011 until April 2012 as well as the price setting. In terms of finance, I have learned that it is a significant factor for the company’s success. For example, the advantage of cash flow is to identify the movement of cash in and out in specific period, it is used to show a clear picture of the firm’s financial health, ability to plan in the future as well as dealing with financial crisis effectively (Baron and Shane, 2005). In terms of price, we are relatively new to this business, so we based our price on penetration strategy in order to gain market share from the competitors quickly, maximise sales volume and be able to attract new buyers (Reece, 2010). Moreover, we have planned to raise the price when we have solid customer base. Setting up the price is crucial for the firm’s profits there are many factors involved in pricing decision such as a number of competitors, a number of buyers and nature of the products. It is considerable to apply these applicable theories in my future business.

For the last day of presentation, we spent lots of time to practise about presentation; we rather used tables or pictures to present our idea as English is not our first language. Furthermore, we had to present our elevator pitch. Elevator pitch is regarded as an overall idea of your products or services and delivers it to the audience with a limit time of the elevator ride (Lindegaard, 2010). This acquired skill would be useful when I apply for a job or present my business. After presenting, the overall feedback from judges was pretty good but the concerning thing was how we will protect this idea. It was so valuable recommendation since if this were in real business our idea would have been stolen already. Thus, we need to patent our product idea to prevent imitation or using or selling our idea (DeMatteis, 2005).

In conclusion, looking back what I have done during this course; it has given me precious opportunities to increase my potential and personal development skills to compete with other people in the real world business. I would honestly say I have done many mistakes but the important thing is how much I can learn from them and reflect this to my real life.

Word count: 1836 words

References

Baldwin, D.A. and Magneault, R.L. (1996) Humanistic Management by Teamwork: An Organizational and Administrative Alternative for Academic Libraries. USA: Library Unlimited, INC.

Baron, R.A. and Shane, S.A. (2005) Entrepreneurship: A Process Perspective. 2nd edn. USA: Thomas Higher Education.

DeMatteis, B. (2005) From Patent to Profit: Secrets and Strategies for the Successful Innovator. New York: Square One Publishers.

Gunelius, S. (2009) Google Blogger for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Leiss, W., Kline, S. and Jhally, S. (1997) Social Communication in Advertising: Persons, Products & Images of Well-being. New York: Routledge.

Lindegaard, S. (2010) The Open Innovation Revolution: Essentials Roadblocks and Leadership Skills. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Palmer, A. (2009) Introduction to Marketing.2nd edn. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.

Reece, M. (2010) Real-Time Marketing for Business growth: How to Use Social Media, Measure Marketing and Create a Culture of Execution. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Sasser,Jr., W,E., Heskett, J.L. and Hart, C.W. (1990) ‘The Profitable Art of Service Recovery’, Harvard Business Review, July, pp. 147-156.

Voortman C. (2004) Global Logistics Management. Cape Town: Juta and Co. Ltd.

 

Advertisements

Our advertising !!

This advertisement has purposely launched to indicate the usefulness of out IQR sticker. Literally, it is easy to use in any kinds of situation along with distinctive design. Hope everyone loves this advertisement and please feel free to give any comments. 🙂

http://vimeo.com/41393897

 

It’s finally done ^^

 

It was a hectic day, indeed. Everything we had practiced was purposedly for today. The final project or known as Dragons’ Den. We were the second selected group to be presented in front of four judges. We appointed at 2.00 pm to do some more practices; we had rehearsed many times to deliver a good presentation to them.  We tried to make it concise and spend time within 8 minutes. Everything seemed to be working well after trying so hard. We went to the presentation room slightly before the time. When the time came, we threw away all the fear and panic and started presenting what we had done but unfortunately, the time was less than what we thought and one of my group mates had no chance to mention about her part all we could do was just flipped through those prepared slides T____T.  We had to answer some questions in relation to our products and we were able to provide clear-cut answers as well as some suggestions from them. It was such a valuable suggestion such as how to protect your creative idea since the nature of our product would be easy to imitate and how to patent the idea. It will be certainly useful in the real business. Gladly, we were chosen to do an elevator pitch which means we have done it very well from my own thought. Elevator pitch appears to be a crucial thing in the business as we had to quickly summarise and define our products and its value to the audiences. Just hope that we could win some award in return after having a very hard time to get through this.

Thank you for spending your time to read my blog : )

Final presentation lolzzz

 

It has been a long night for me and going to be a long day for tomorrow as well. We are having a final presentation tomorrow so me and my team mates spent most of the day preparing for the final report and did some practice for presentation. As English is not our first language, we have to work harder than others. In order to create mutual understanding with the audiences, we decided to use advert, pictures and chart rather than speaking to present our ideas as well as grabbing audience attention. We are planning to use iPad as an advanced tool to present our work and also printed out the document in case of iPad does not work with the visualiser. To be straightforward, I am not good at presenting things at all, kind of panic and stressed out. But we will make it through together, we have to have guts !! and do what we have practised today. Don’t really have to care what the result will turn out to be just do my best. Keep your fingers crossed for me please please 🙂

 

Finance !!

Admittedly, I really hate everything about finance or numbers !! but I am responsible for the financial part (sob sob) because I have learned about finance before but it doesn’t mean that I am good at it. It was so difficult for me to understand profit & loss or cash flow. For the final project, I have to calculate the movement of money both income and expense for the past six months. I spent more than two days to get it done. Calculating VAT is way too difficult for me, Let’s hope that I have done it correctly. I was a bit surprised as it showed that we do not break even yet and we will break even in this October, it takes to 2 years in total to reach break even point. We invested 80 pounds but it takes 2 years to get it back, what kind of business are we doing ?? haha. But never mind, this is my very first time to do business and we have learned some valuable thing and it will be useful when I run my own business. It has clearly shown that inance is fundamentally important to the firm’s success, it indicates the flow of money and we are able plan ahead as well as coping with the financial crisis. This is what I have learned from doing it.

Thank you for your time ^____^ 

Teamwork lol

Lecture today was all about how to work as a team. It’s referred to an action performed by team with more than one person to achieve the goal. However, it can bring both advantages and drawbacks to the team, allocating the right people to the right positions can enhance performance in the team.

We had to list out what teamwork has contributed to, for example, it may contribute to the wider ideas, better solutions, new way of thinking, harmony, diversity and so on but in the same time it would create conflict between the members with in the group when they come up with different ideas. Its quite improtant to be more open-minded to moderate this barrier. I’ve found out that this lecture is very useful to me and my groupmates, we can also improve our contribution in the group towards the goal. But it would be more useful if this lecture is set  in the very first time when we formed as a group.

Happy New Year lol

Someone might be confused about the title posted but please let me clarify.I would say today is officially traditional Thai New year, it is being held between 13-15 of April which is considered as the hottest time of the year in Thailand, it is also national holiday. Thai people would go out to celebrate standing on the side of the road to throw the water to each other by using bowls or water guns to quench the hotness, as we believe water can wash away the bad things and also powder people’s faces that seems to be so much fun for me lol. Moreover, there are some more other activities such as young people will visit and pay respect to their elders or monks also contest to try out the most beautiful girl with talents regradless the nationality on this day. There may be some concerns about the a number of road accidents happening frequently, along with the fighting between people on the street, the main reason is from alcohol that should be lessen or the government should curb this behaviour. If you have a chance to come to Thailand this period would be the best time to visit Thailand 🙂

2nd Trade Fair ^0^

This trade fair was held at open market located in Kingston. We were aiming to sell more products than the previous one as there would be many people around in the town supposedly. As in England, the weather is so capricious, the rain would be a big concern for us as we have to move to another place where the space is quite limit. Fortunately, there was no rain that day but the wind was blowing so strong, it was rather difficult for us to display our products on the table, however we made it through. We had to pay 10 pounds for register fee and 2 hours to sell our products starting from 3.30 – 5.30 pm. We sold a few products which was far below than our expectation. The main reason is that most of the potential buyers are aged people, they didnt know or understand what our product is all about, even worse, they did not use smart phones as its our requirement for using QR code stickers. We ended up selling only 5 ea and didnt get any prize from the contest again which is sad but we will make an effort to sell more items in the future to make it worthwhile for moneywe’ve spent.

 

1st Trade Fair

This is the first time that our products were sold, this event was held on Penrhyn Road Campus.

We had prepared lots of things in order that we are able to sell our products consistently of expected demand.

We decided to provide our product straight after the transaction is made but still, the nature of our products (QR code stickers) makes the preparation quite difficult because they were many things need to be provided. We used iPad to demonstrate in a video clip showing what our product is, laptop to customise the product and printer to print out the customised stickers. We were able to sell products more than what we expected, business card was given when the transaction was made to expand a number of customers and for further order.

At the end, this trade fair was like a contest, rewards were given afterwards, unfortunately we didnt win any prize but deep down inside i felt it was a good experience and we had a great moment together, it was so much fun indeed. We were also looking forward to the upcoming trade fair and some arisen problems that needed to be fixed. Wish me luck 🙂

 

 

Dragon’s den

Today was the last day of the class in 2011, we had a big event today which is known as “Dragon’s den”.  It’s like an audition, we have to present and describe out our products in front of the referees. We have rehearesd many times for presentation but the thing is how we are going to cope with the situation where we have to present under pressure. Once I entered into a room, I saw five referees were sitting on the front row  which made me quite panic. Fortunately, our group were the last for the presentation but not least ( I hope). While other groups presented their products, why they choosed these products as a long term projectm, what are the problems, the benefits of the products and get feedback from the referees , I was trying to fucus on the way they think and the improvement that could be which are very useful to me in the future. Finally, It’s our turn to present our product which is IQR stickers. We started with how this works, why people need it, pricing products and what does QR stand for. They were impressed about our little idea and gave us a feedback saying that this is a very interesting idea, you should protect your intellectual property which we have never thought about idea protection before. It was such a precious feedback and broaden our idea in a different way. We need to amend something and stay focused on selling our products. Hope we will make it through together in the end.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.