Retail Operations Director was not my first choice role for the business as I felt I would be better at a more creative role such as Marketing Director. However, after discussing with the group I felt like I could handle and execute this role well. Looking back, I am glad I took this role as I have been allowed to use theories to help me with this role whilst being creative at the same time. I usually also like to take a role that was mostly in control such as Managing Director, however, I am glad I didn't push myself for that role as I have enjoyed being able to allow someone else to be in-control.
The first obstacle we came across was the chains and pendant for the necklace. We spent a long time deciding on which materials to purchase as it was coming from China meaning that we wouldn't be able to easily return it if they were wrong. Upon receiving the components we decided that we weren't happy with the pendants at all. We considered different options such as selling these pendants one Etsy, to make some money back, and then re-purchase new ones. However, we didn't have the time to wait for another load to come from China. In the end we decided to stay with the originally ones and thankfully this worked in our favour as the products came out much better than we thought they would.
Something we struggled with as a group was deciding on the engraving process. To start with we thought we would be able to engrave the pendants ourselves and consequently purchased small hand engravers online. However, when this failed to work we couldn't agree on how to proceed. Looking online we found O'Connell engravers and decided to take the pendants there. Luckily this worked for us and I think this was definitely the best option as the engraving came out really well. The company also gave us a really good deal on the engravings, allowing us to pay £30 once ten had been engraved followed by an extra £3 per engraving.
Our biggest failure was crowdfunding as we not only failed to meet our target, we failed to receive any funding. I believe that this was because we didn't speak to family and friends for their support and we didn't share this crowdfunding page on any of our social media sites. However, the process of us making our video for the camping brought us together as a group which I think was very valuable as from this point onwards we seemed to work better together.
In general, as a business, we thought we were going to sell a lot more units than we actually did. Because of this we ended up purchasing more necklaces and pendants than required and have a few left over. However, despite the over purchasing, we still managed to recieve a profit of £103.
The following figure shows Gibbs Reflective Cycle.
(Bassot, B. 2015)
According to Gibbs, this cycle is a model that helps to "process our feelings" enabling us to understand and learn from this. The most important decision that was made throughout the business was having our necklaces engraved. Throughout the process I was very stressed as I thought it could end with us having to change our product or worse, ending up without a product. In the end, going through the process of having to find a good engravers that we could trust, as well as get a good deal for the product turned out to be a good lesson with life experience as we had to deal with real time businesses. The fourth stage of the model discusses analysis, I think this was a very stressful time as no one was taking control and therefore we couldn't move onto other more important aspects of the business like marketing the product. Our conclusions was what our final product turned out to be, by using O'Connell engravers. If this were to happen again, I would find an engravers from the very start, this would mean we could get on with the engraving process and allow more time for other elements of the business. In turn, this would save everyone in the business less stress.
Bassot, B. (2015) The Reflective Practice Guide : An Interdisciplinary Approach to Critical Reflection. Routledge.