Year 10 Young Enterprise Trek to Banbury Saturday 4th March 2017
The Market Place, Banbury
Our intrepid band of entrepreneurs made off to Banbury at the weekend on the next Young Enterprise sales outing. About half the team boarded the School minibus along with their wares (about 50 hand-crafted vinyl clocks) to promote their business and makes heavy sales. We decided to split the team with the other half attending the event in Stratford on Saturday 11th March. March is a busy month for the team with Ruby’s Vintage & Retro Fair, at OLA, quickly following Stratford on 25th March.
It was an early start from OLA for all (thank you parents!) and it had to be, if we were to be in good time for registration in the market by 8:30 am and pick out a stall with a good vantage point. The team was in excellent spirits and, to be honest, a little anxious to do well. This was in fact our third sales outing but this time it would be different as we would meet our direct competition. Yes, the other local area Young Enterprise teams from neighbouring schools would be exhibiting their products and services. It was a real opportunity to square up and compare our efforts and ideas against the best of the rest.
The weather forecast was for cold and slightly windy weather with chances of rain in the later afternoon. And so it proved to be albeit with a little more sunshine than anticipated. The team skipped off the bus on our arrival, with one team member running ahead to pick out a good location. The merchandise, signage and other supporting materials followed and the they set about dressing the stall. The Young Enterprise stalls were located very close to the main under-roof shopping mall so we had all of the necessary social amenities on hand; there would be no problem getting ample supplies of coffee and muffins or indeed other appetising delights (who says that a team does not march on its stomach!). By 9:00 am we were up and running. The stall was big enough to provide the necessary space to layout the goodies and also afforded protection from the worst of the elements. The clouds cleared, the Sun broke through and the spirits rose accordingly. We were going to have a good day come what may.
The rota for manning being pre-arranged the first watch was tentatively on the lookout for customers. Other members of the team scouted around to see what was on offer from the other teams. A number of stalls were mightily impressive - they would make us work hard for custom that day. Undeterred, the team put on their happy and warm sales faces and ventured out into the unknown. As the hours ticked by the footfall increased and potential customers gathered around our stall to engage us in conversation. They did not always buy but they took a real interest in what we were trying to do and gave encouragement. With each change in watch the team members became a little more daring and even began venturing away from the mothership (untethered) to engage with “the people” as they walked innocently by. Max Smith was a worthy proponent of this activity! The sales were slow but affirming, and the sense of accomplishment rose. This was a competition after all. Prizes were at stake and we thought we had a good chance of taking home something other than cash at the end of day. Judging began around 3:15 pm just as the clouds thickened and the winds drew stronger (one or two stalls had parts of their display blown over – though not ours) and the rain began to fall heavily. The crowds dispersed and the selling phase of the operation was almost replete. There was really only the award ceremony left. We gathered around the Young Enterprise Officials stall to hear the results still in hope of some official recognition of the team’s fine efforts. We were to be disappointed on this occasion, but not at all downhearted. We had experienced a very fine day where so much had gone right. The team had gelled well, the product was well received and we had a very positive outlook going forward. As we returned to OLA our thoughts were of a happy time with even better times ahead as we began to think of further opportunities ahead in the busy month of March. Stratford here we come.