If you’re a fan of the Dragon’s Den TV show, then you would enjoy an experience like this one. We had a panel comprising of two dragons. We were divided into groups and tasked with creating a business from a list on a sheet or picking our own idea.
The ‘Dragons’ shared years of experience between them and conducting this task under their supervision is daunting and gave the project an air of realism. We were told that they would provide feedback on our business and then would ask questions based on the business and our plans for it. The Dragons and their roles included;
Lowri Owen – Enterprise Projects Manager at Bangor University
Emlyn Williams – Economic Development and FE education professional
Now firstly, I think I should mention my goal of opening a Pet Shop in the future so as you can imagine, I was very excited to begin this assessment.
I was elected leader of the group and fortunately my idea for a Pet Shop with added features was chosen. The workshop was designed to aid in our understanding of planning a business and what a business requires to be able to function in real world situations. A sheet with several segments regarding the necessities for beginning to plan a business was given to each group, this is called a business model canvas.
We decided on what our business should be called, ‘EduPet’.
After all the segments, had been filled in on the canvas we had to create an ‘elevator pitch’ for our plan. This involved making a 20 second video describing our business and our goals for the business within a 45-minute period. As I was the leader I had to delegate roles and responsibilities evenly throughout the group. I have only lead a couple of projects prior to this so it was good to use my previous skills and to improve on them. The video involved drawing and writing on 4 pieces of paper and creating a script to talk along with the pictures in the video. In short, we had created a 20 second advertisement that we could proudly say we created in such a short space of time.
We then had to give a business preposition which involved performing a presentation on our business to the ‘Dragons’, as the leader of the project, it was quite nerve wrecking and I remember trying to look for the flaws in our business before the presentation so we could iron them out and be prepared for any incoming questions. Fortunately, my group and I were well-spoken, informative and enthusiastic. At the end of our presentation the dragons could only come up with 2 questions for us and we kept our cool and answered them to the best of our ability.
I thoroughly enjoyed this assessment centre and it has led to me making a contact with a business consultant. I have gained a lot from this centre as I got to practice a variety of skills and apply them to the project we were working on. I was very proud of my team’s performance and the concept we had created. If I could have improved anything it would have been financial information, when we were planning our business, we were unaware of the scale of our shop and the costs of beginning a venture of this magnitude. It led to imbalances in the cost structure and unrealistic ambitions.
Hopefully, I will reflect on this day in the future when owning my business and see it as the day I finally knew what I wanted and where it all started.
Thanks for reading,