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Posts Tagged ‘young enterprise’

Not a subject line you’d initially think of as being a problem, but the opportunities to help others seems to be taking up an inordinate amount of time lately…

It’s currently gone midnight and I’ve just finished reading the YE (young enterprise) submissions I’m helping judge tomorrow evening over in East Grinstead. The YE scheme is absolutely great at encouraging young people to look at business in a slightly different way and I commend HSBC for their involvement and commitment to this noble CSR initiative; it’s only when you’ve experienced something that you’re actually ‘qualified’ to comment on it and YE allows students to understand a little more about how business and an economy works – or doesn’t work as the case may be.

I’m still following up on the opportunities uncovered Monday during my customer tasting session at Planet Organic in Torrington Place. It was the first time I’d been there during their busy lunch time rush and I do mean ‘rush’. There seemed to be lots of connections though and encouraging e-mails always make positive reading. I’ve another demo at their store in Westbourne Grove on Friday, so it will be interesting to compare the customer responses from the different parts of town.

Today has been pretty encouraging all round really, as it started with a positive meeting with our Brighton distributor Infinity Foods, followed by a session with the Sussex University School of Engineering and Design. The second year students are working on a fresh feel for Aquapax, following customer feedback that the eco-credentials of our paper carton aren’t immediately obvious to people seeing an Aquapax for the first time.

It’s interesting how people either get it and love it, or put up real resistance and want to share their reasons why they’re resistant. In a sales context, this is great, as people are mostly engaging with us at one of the two levels. It’s the customers who listen to the proposition, ask the questions and then buy the cheap bottled water full of nitrates that confuse me – I question the rationale of buying ‘organic food’ because it hasn’t been contaminated by pesticides, only to buy bottled water which declares their presence on the label.  Remember ‘think inside the box’ – or at least try to.

Back to the student designs earlier – some of them show real design promise and you can see they’re in their correct profession already – one had a great big picture of a baby on the front – to signifiy Aquapax mineral water is suitable for babies. Everyone laughed initially, but the more I think about its beautiful simplicity, the more appealing it becomes. I am too close though, so I’m hoping to work with one of the supermarket buyers to refine the next iteration Aquapax design before moving to a production version.

A quick glance at e-mails and the website before bed shows we’ve had a few rather nice enquiries in today which I probably would have been better off concentrating on this evening rather than ploughing my way through the student reports. Life is like this sometimes; the opportunity to help others doesn’t present itself every day – it just seems to happen at the busy times, when there’s also lots of opportunities to help yourself pulling at your energy reserves…  Good idea to get some sleep now though – at least I can tackle my own opportunities in the morning.  Sleep tight (whatever that means)…zzz

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