My research has found that teachers are interested in my product and that my prototype, after beta testing appeals to them as some thing that they would be happy to use.
Unfortunately for me having developed a product is not enough. To actually sell my product I have begun to develop a business plan, discover who my audience is and the best ways which I could reach out to them. It is also important for me to keep track on whether the systems that I put in place are effective in reaching out to the right people.
Conducting a quick Facebook check using it’s very useful advertising tool I found that there are 1,037,424 people on Facebook alone who ‘Have expressed an in interest in or like pages related to Educational technology’ and thats people on Facebook alone. Thats 1 in 4 people, 1,23 billion users out of a population of 7.046 billion as of 3 days ago according to expanded ramblings and trusty old google. Thats a massive audience, and also a massive deal of competition.
So how can I make my business stand out amongst the competition?
The interactive whiteboard was first developed in 1991 and by 2004, 26% of British primary classrooms had interactive whiteboards.
Although this was below the expected revenue of a predicted 1 in 7 classrooms within the whole world, the expansion in the use of interactive whiteboards globally has been vast with becta_2010_htss_report indicated that 98% of secondary and 100% of primary schools had IWBs by 2010.
So today, a product made solely for use on an interactive whiteboard is essentially aimed at every if not all schools.
This also means that the use of technology within the classroom is generally accepted, which is positive in that it makes the prospect of my business less daunting to my target audience but it also means that I am not the only business to take advantage of the acceptance of technology in this way.
However on my side is the niche, the specific use of marker technology to bring interactivity to PSHE that I have incorporated into my product and to help that sell for the fun and proven to be powerful tool that it is I have begun to put together a structured business plan working closely with the creative futures department of my university.
Through working with creative futures I have learnt that, there are 2 different types of business plans. A ‘formal document is often a necessity for securing external funding and may include supporting appendix references to increase the likelihood of this ‘whilst an informal business plan is a personal guide for the owner to plan the intended route for their business.’
For now, with the help of creative futures I have begun to develop a formal business plan based on the principles of Nesta, a resource for business newbies intended to ‘Make Innovation Flourish’,-
On the detailed completion of my business plan my intention is to then create an informal one to try and get external funding via my university with the creative futures team, if there is sellable intellectual property of which I actually own the rights to.
As my resource is an educational aid it is some thing which investors within the university tend to look favourably on.
In the event of developing my product to the point of selling it would be important to use an advertising technique which reflects the type of product that it is.
The business experience show community blog states that “Innovative marketing is important for making the most of what you already have.”
And so to practice my innovative marketing skills, using mozilla editing software I have taken an existing interactive poster and played around with the css code using the available tutorials.
And this is the final product. An advertising campaign which is interactive, just as is the software.
This module has taught me a great deal about every stage of innovation and the importance of research in developing. I have learnt that, through interaction with educational software advertising agency TeachersWithApps that developing an innovative idea, with enough research, can be hugely beneficial.
After asking for feedback on my product via Twitter, I caught the interest of TeachersWithApps. They are currently reviewing the potential for my idea in the market to give me a rough idea of where I am at and whatever happens I will most definitely, whatever happens keep developing my innovative ideas from now on through thorough research and reflection rather than on a whim. This way I will never stop learning.
Gregory,A. (2014). How to write a simple business plan. Available: http://sbinformation.about.com/od/businessplans/ht/how-to-write-a-simple-business-plan.htm. Last accessed 5th March 2014.