Wiggonby C of E School

Our initial meeting

Business Partner Kerrie Allison met with Mrs Little and the pupils of Wiggonby C of E School on 13 December to learn about their progress to date preparing and planning for the competition.

The children have decided to launch a greetings card business. They will produce their own hand crafted designs and then Jagger Designs (Mr Jagger is a parent of a pupil within the school) has agreed to scan these designs onto their digital systems and professionally print them at cost price.

The children discussed what cards would be most popular and agreed that they should do some market research visiting card shops to establish what cards are bought most frequently.

The children then intend on selling the cards to the general public. They have already utilised existing professional contacts and have agreed with Harrisons Butchers at Wigton and David Allen, Dalston that both businesses will be an outlet for card sales. In addition to this they have made contact with Dobbies Garden Centre who have agreed that they can sell them over two different weekends in the new year.

The children have also decided that shopping online is now a key market and to facilitate this they will set up their own website to sell their cards from. They are hoping to utilise PayPal for customers to make a payment.

In addition to the hand crafted cards, the children have approached local business Saunders Handcrafted Chocolates and a team of six children will visit this business, produce their own bespoke chocolates, gift wrap and tag. They have agreed that these will be purchased at cost price and then the children will sell these alongside their hand crafted cards.

If this idea works then the children were considering going on to make other complimentary gift items such as soap products.

The children have approached two local businesses with their business idea and secured investment from both. This has increased their initial monies available from £50 to £150.


The children confirmed their charity as Great North Air Ambulance Service which is also the chosen David Allen Charity of the Year which works well with their business partner.

During the remainder of this initial meeting the following was discussed: Mrs Little was appointed as Managing Director.

The children considered the different roles needed to run a successful business and discussed what each role entailed. They considered marketing, administration and finance, sales, production and stock. Team leaders will be required for each workforce. The children all decided to consider the different roles and then apply for a job in their chosen area of interest explaining their reasons why.

Once the different departments of the business are in place with designated staff, tasks will be allocated to move the business forward ready to start trading when the competition starts.

A number of logo designs and business names were suggested in a brain storming session. These designs were taken by Kerrie back to her marketing team to mock up drafts of the children's ideas for them then to decide on which one to run with.

The children have now come up with three different logo ideas, the final design is now to be considered and confirmed. From this a poster will be produced advertising the business.

The children have been busy designing and making their hand crafted cards so these are ready to go to print.

   

The website is being built this week.

We have gained two more investments into the business to date and have also written to a number of businesses. We now have a number of local outlets willing to help us sell our cards and chocolates (and soap if we expand our gift range).

We now have a director, three stocksmen, a finance department, art team and administrative team all in place.

Plans have been made to hire a minibus and visit the chocolate factory on the morning of Wednesday 1 February followed by a visit to Kerrie Allison at David Allen for a business meeting in their boardroom during the afternoon.

Parental response has been great — children are obviously very enthusiastic about the whole project!


Week 2 — Update

We have finalised our hand drawn card designs and they have been sent to Simon Jagger who has been scanning them into the computer system this week, an initial supply of these will then be printed.

We have been working on designing and setting up our new website, this has involved lots of research and discussions surrounding what should be on a website.

A business meeting has been arranged in the David Allen boardroom for Wednesday 1 February which 13 children will attend. They are very much looking forward to this. Following this meeting sub committees will meet with a marketing specialist to look at designing a poster to advertise their cards. The finance team will also meet with one of the David Allen accountants to look at how to track profit and expenditure ... a busy week ahead.


Week 3 — Update

Tha Astracards new logo is now complete, ready for the website launch next week.

Cards have been scanned and generic back of card layout complete.

Website domain purchased and holding page will be published this week.

Display stand arranged with Orton Grange Cafe shop.

Liaised with Saunders (chocolates) on stickers for packets.

Saunders Chocolate Factory, site visit Wednesday 1 February

Master chocolatiers in the making, 6 children from the team had the great opportunity to handcraft the chocolates ready to be sold, here they are learning the craft.

David Allen, Dalston office visit Wednesday 1 February

The children provided an update on the business to date, the following now well underway...

The children then broke into mini groups.

The art team met with Hannah Cundall, Marketing Senior at David Allen and they combined their ideas to produce a poster to sit alongside their cards in outlets and school to advertise their product. Hannah will email the drafts of these over once completed for the team to consider which they prefer.

Using the finalised logo the team produced a letterhead for all future letters and again Hannah will email this over.

The administrative team met Admin Supervisor Linda Moore and they talked about letter headed paper, setting out letters and using templates.

The administrative team also agreed that they would produce a tracker of all letters issued, including the date sent and who addressed to. Copies of letters will also be saved for future reference too.

The administrative team will produce a distribution outlet list for all businesses that have agreed to sell cards on behalf of the school as a log and for reference with nominated contact details on so updates can easily be sought on sales.

The finance team met with Natasha Ayre to discuss running the monetary side of the business. They agreed that they want to sell the 63 bags of chocolates (that they made earlier this morning) for £3 per bag and they produced a spreadsheet to look at the income versus costs and the current profit. A discussion was held about the pricing for cards and it was suggested as £1.99, an example spreadsheet was set up to this effect, however the children decided they wanted to see the quality and size of the print before agreeing pricing.


Week 4 — Update

The team are waiting for their greeting cards to be printed, which they will hopefully receive in time to have them on sale by half term.

Innovia factory are meeting today to discuss sponsoring the buisness and we hope to hear from them soon, please see below our letter, written on Astracards headed paper.

We will be making some bookmarks this week. We now have a holding page for our website which should be up and running soon...

http://wiggonbykids-astracards.co.uk/


Week 5 — Update

The team now have all the cards ready for sale. 2,400 in total which have been professionally printed and look fantastic.

These will be sold at Orton Grange, Wellington Inn, Great Orton and other local outlets. We have already sold £22 worth of cards in the first day.

In order to have all the cards ready to be sold, the team worked together to complete the task. Here they are busy packaging up the cards and proudly showing off their completed chocolates.

David Allen have collected some cards, chocolates and bookmarks to sell at their Dalston office and we hope, along with the other outlets our £22 will grow into a great amount to add to our running total.

Let the selling commence...


Week 6 — Update

We are thrilled in the first two weeks of selling Astracards we have raised a total of £300.

We now have around 12 local outlets selling our cards and the website is due to go live Monday 6 March. This has taken time to establish — organising Paypal as a means of payment for customers to purchase their cards online, as well as factoring in postage and packing costs for UK and other countries. This has been a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Our business partner David Allen held a charity fashion show on Thursday 2 March and sold Astracards to their guests, both in support of the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

The children are still busy frantically packing the cards, which they really enjoy doing. The teachers rewarded the students by 'paying' them with points. The pupil of the week last week was the quickest packer in the KS2 business.

We are delighted to have gained another sponsor. Innovia Films in Wigton have kindly donated £100 to our business start up. We now have a total of £250 sponsorship (including our original £50 from Bright Stars).

Mr Simon Jagger has kindly given his time for free and helped us to set up our website and Absolute Digital Print Ltd in Kendal printed our cards for free! We have been so lucky to have gained such great support!

Saunders Handcrafted Chocolates only charged cost price for the ingredients of the chocolates, leaving plenty of money in the pot to keep our business going for the foreseeable future.

We have organised for the NatWest bank's van to call at school on Monday 6 March, to discuss our business plan and future development further.

One thing for sure it's very hard running a business, but we are learning lots!

Here's our letter to the NatWest...


Week 7 — Update

We are very proud of the new website and it is now live and up and running, it has already allowed us to increase our total sales to £400 — http://wiggonbykids-astracards.co.uk/

The Natwest van visited the children Monday 6 March, they really enjoyed the day.


Week 8 — Update (Final week)

We can't quite believe it is already the final week of the competition, but our business will continue to trade beyond this week. It has taken a lot of time and effort to set up our business and it has always been our intention to keep trading. As we still have a good stock of cards and plenty of sponsorship money to allow us to expand our brand, we are planning to make soap very soon.

Our cards are on sale at Orton Grange and Rickerby's Show...

Our website went live on Monday 6th March, since that point we have had 4 orders from Wales, Lancaster, Australia and South Africa — so we are now selling cards worldwide!

http://wiggonbykids-astracards.co.uk/

On Friday 10 March, three children went to sell Astracards at the Co-op in nearby Wigton with Mrs Walsh. This had been arranged with the manager in advance. They set up the table in the foyer and put up our school banner, then arranged the cards on the table by theme.

Devon and Molly did a great job at getting people's attention and asking if they wanted to buy cards, whilst Reece explained our project and where the money would go. The children were polite and friendly, but also had a good sales pitch! They also helped people to choose which cards would be best for a particular occasion. Most people who went passed stopped to buy, and although they were only there for an hour and a quarter, they managed to raise a whopping £86.80! The feedback was very positive, and people were very impressed by the quality of the cards.

The children also went to the post office in Wigton to post off orders that had been placed on our website. They were destined for Australia, South Africa, Lancaster and Wales! We are now selling cards worldwide!

We also completed our spreadsheet showing our profit and what our business is now worth.

We will be having a special assembly to present a cheque to the Great North Air Ambulance. This has been a great challenge / business venture which we will always remember!


Meet the Team

Business Director
Jos Batey

I am the director of 'Wiggonby Astra Cards'. Our team has regular meetings to discuss how things are going and what we should do next. My responsibilities include, keeping a check on the quality of our products and encouraging all of our team so we can produce excellent products to a high standard. I found our visit to Saunder's Chocolate Factory was extremely helpful in me fulfilling my role.

Finance team
Courtney Benson, Rory Thomlinson, Erin Collins, Jonathan, Philip Benson, Reece Miller, Luke Irving and Summer

As a team, we keep a record of our sponsorship money, costs and income. We also calculate our profit. We record our income and expenditure on a spreadsheet. Natasha at David Allen gave us lots of help and advice to make sure we knew how to run the financial department of our business effectively.

Secretaries
Lilly Salisbury and Ruby Graham

We write the letters to gain sponsorship and to thank our sponsors. It is our responsibility to produce an agenda for our meetings. Our visit to David Allen was very interesting. We found out how to produce letters using templates helping our business to look professional. We designed a letter heading and compliment slips.

Stocks and Distribution team
Max Hines, Stephen Taylor and Hayden

We keep a check of how many cards and chocolates have been sent to our local outlets and how many we have still in stock. We are also aware of how many cards we need to pack. This also means we need to check that we have enough envelopes and cellophane bags — ordering more stock when necessary. We have packed our cards and chocolates very carefully so that all of our products are well presented. We have taken a lot of pride in ensuring we have a smooth flow of stock therefore not delaying any of the production process.

Art and design Department
Sharna Benson, Devon Irving, Molly Lomas and Courtney Guardhouse

We designed the cards with the help of Mrs Morrey (teaching assistant). She advised us to use good quality equipment and materials so we would have good quality cards. Hannah at David Allen helped us to design our poster using software on her computer. The whole business team discussed and decided on the final 24 card designs.


Please visit our website at http://wiggonbykids-astracards.co.uk/


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