Okay boys and girls, this is the exciting bit. Finding out what you sell and how to sell it.
If you missed the Modern Entrepreneurship Series, maybe read first about Where to Start, finding your Idea, and finding support and overcoming competition. Today we’re talking about the fun bit – going to market and selling your product/services aka Trading.
This is what we’re currently doing as a company, expanding and looking for new clients (and being picky about it, too). We started trading with a trial year at Nottingham University Business School, which is a great first step.
Due to this, we now know what we sell. It’s not a cool sleek website that works (they expect that much). Nor is it a well-run blog discussing student problems (that’s just an added extra). What we sell isn’t even an easy software solution to something out of date. No, we sell student engagement, retention and satisfaction.
One of the biggest concerns academic institutions have is that their students aren’t settling in when they first arrive. This is even more common with international students, for obvious reasons. So we help them here by giving the community an online home. Concerns like, “what if i don’t fit in and/or there’s nobody there like me” are removed by flicking through our Mentor page.
Studies have shown that 89% of students said peer mentoring helped them settle in to University. As we make peer mentoring widely available to everybody at any time, this is one thing we can sell. Inclusion and safety.
Another problem that can be solved by helping people settle in and feel more academically secure is Student Retention. Again, Universities want to keep as many students at University as possible. Personally I believe that if University is the right place for somebody, we should do everything to help them stay. Given the rise in mental health awareness, it’s important that people in need of more support don’t drop out all together. Similarly, the societal factors that encourage some people to get a higher education and some people not to, need to stop existing too. We have a full article on why University is a great experience and why you shouldn’t drop out.
In the above mentioned article, we talk about how graduation affects your Job prospects. At Tyfy, through the review system primarily, we enable students to graduate with a portfolio of reviews. These can range from their particular expert area (every undergrad has areas they’re strong on and areas they’re not so strong on), to more personable things like how organised you are etc.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if a potential employer has a choice between taking seeing evidence that you’re really smart and will help people, or just-taking-your-word-for-it, she’s going to choose the latter.
So this is another thing we can sell about our cool sleek website with the interesting blog. “We help your students get a job” is a huge claim that we’re able to make.
So this has been a short and sweet article on going to the market. The point is this – know what you sell, and what you don’t.
I’m not selling anybody the miracle fix to Students leaving university. We wont change a University’s position in the league tables, we cant appeal to students who don’t want to learn, and we cant encourage younger people to go to University in the first place. What we do sell is a fairly cheap and easy way of updating your peer mentoring process to fit with the modern times, and we’re really good at it.