How would you come up with an ingenious business idea? This is what Jenita Ferreira got stuck into during module two of the Squared Online course for digital marketers. (Her original post can be found here).
“Module 2 was to come up with an ingenious new online business idea. This was rather intimidating at first. Taking on the course I thought I was going to be trained in digital, not learn how to start a business! What soon became clear to me was that starting a business uncovers the potential of the online space and thinking about that space in a different way.
Hello Team Emu
Everyone jumped into the forums and quickly bundled together to form groups. I was part of #TeamEmu and the eight of us immediately got involved in Google Hangouts so we could get to know one another. This in itself proved a challenge at times. Being able to listen and contribute to a discussion is not always simple when you have 8 peoples opinions to consider. We opted for polls… well after we worked out how to do that on Google+.
The Big Idea
There were so many great ideas and all equally viable. We opted to go for an online baking community aimed to educate and inspire in an affordable way. Quick research showed us that this was a highly competitive market that was growing. We had to differentiate and again we turned to research to guide us. Conversation analysis showed that people love to share their baking creations with a sense of pride also that baking is best done with others… more specifically as a family activity. We decided to target parents and children where there were no other established competitors in this area. And so BakeClub was born.
Divide and Conquer
We divided into two teams – research and marketing. This was a great idea because it was time efficient and productive, but not so great because it segmented us. I formed part of the research team and I really enjoyed meeting with less people where we could have more in depth discussions. We did Google Hangouts almost every night – at times we stayed online while we worked, brushed our teeth and ate our dinner together. It was fun and we really got a lot done. The amount of research uncovered never reached the final presentation but the essentials, like the tutor research models presented in our online seminars, were key.
During all the evenings spent researching and working on our presentation we continued our Tuesday and Thursday evening seminars. This was challenging because I had very little time to myself for weeks. Not to mention I still had regular ‘life’ stuff to do like finding new house mates for my tenancy and meeting with clients etc. Let’s just say my social life took a back seat.
Disrupt and Innovate
The seminars in Module two were awesome. We discussed Disruptive Technology, recognizing that the Digital Environment has revolutionized the marketplace as well as demolish traditional business model. There was an emphasis on mobile and understanding the implications this has on consumer behaviour. We regularly watch inspirational speaker videos and my favourite in this module was by Alistair Parvin. He is an architect but he does not think in a traditional way. He made me realise that no matter what you do or specialise in you need to keep current and innovate within your industry. Alistair inspired us with his idea to make architecture accessible to 100% of the population.
Seminars swiftly changed direction and focused on Teams that Work. There were many jokes around whether our team was Forming, Storming, Norming or Performing. It did make us think about where #TeamEmu was and where we needed to be. We attempted some group discussions to touch base on where everyone was and when we needed to deliver. This helped us tremendously. We got together again to run through the presentation and make sure it all made sense. There was some very late nights indeed but I was delighted that we delivered on time without panic.
Yay and Aah
I believe that #TeamEmu presented a strong business idea which is completely viable and would be worth investing in. We produced sound research (of course i’d say that) and a well reasoned strategy. #TeamEmu had a lot of media gurus and the way the marketing and sales team rationalised how we could make money really made me believe that this business idea is absolutely profitable.
The only disappointment I felt after our submission was not spending more time on our presentation. We were all so busy focusing on the content that the design as well as selling the idea were after thoughts. I also think that our idea could have gone a longer way in terms of disrupting this industry, but all in all I’m very proud with the end result.”