REPORT FROM CHARITY DRIVE
GROUP MEMBERS: SAFWAN(IWAN) AZIZ, DARREN HO, BRYAN PAK, CHEW CHEOK YIN, NG JOYI, LIM JINQ JUNN, LEE SUE ZHUA, LUIOIIMAN HAKIM, THOMAS, WEI WEINN.
For our final project, we were tasked as a group to do a small business for charity sale.
- The “Promise Home”. This establishment is mainly a home for the orphans; no doubt it is an open house to receive all in need, their main demographic focus is towards the natives; “ The orang asli” kids. Besides it being a shelter, its purpose is to give exposure to the young ones as well as equip them with the basic needs in education for them to be better prepared in the future. Due to their low level public status, we hope while helping them financially, we can also help increase their public exposure.
We decided to contribute to this orphanage is because we as a team believe that growth and exposure starts with our children. A society that is overly-covered and distant from the present world, in time will fade into the background. Prone to be forgotten as the generations come by. For all these reasons, we are giving our funds ands profit that we have collected from our sales to this cause.
- Realistically, we are prepared to receive at most a total of a thousand in means of donations. Given the duration of this project and the traffic flow of the students available in campus. Hence, that is why we have divided our business schedule to better fit the crowd.As a charity drive, we hoped to meet the target of at least over $3000 with minimum 50% of the income comes from donation.
- Since this business is being held on university grounds, the majority of our customers will be students. And from our what we have observed based on personal experience, students primarily spend at least RM30 on just food because of the rising cost in living and expenses. This is excluding the side meals that some might chose to partake in. Culturally, we Malaysians are centralised around food; we are recognized by our food. Food is more than just a basic need, it is pleasure. University students here are just as active when it comes to trying new foods as well as their personal endeavours.
- We observed and managed to identify 2 main groups of people; the conservatives, the explorers. Conservatives would be those who keep things on the low profile, inclined to eating at familiar places and restaurants. The other would be the explorers. Individuals or groups that make it a point to try out or discover the next best item on a menu or in the market.
- We are unsure to why this occurs, but from our observation, the wants of the crowd outweighs the wants of the one. Students have the intent of following trends and familiar tasty eateries. In today’s context the main place of attraction are cafes and bistros. The youths term of a place to “chill”. As noted, students spend a minimum of RM30-50 a day. A week would be RM210-350; a month would make it at roughly RM840 – 1400. We are referring to basic meals expenses, excluding the other cost that students need.
- In the business effort, as always competition is present. And this being a program assignment, our main competitors would be the groups in the same subject; both from the same foundation program as well as neighbouring programs. Other outside rivals would be the already established cafes and restaurants in the commercial block.
- It would be difficult to keep track of the different variations in cuisine that others are offering. However the items that we noticed others are offering are:
- Student operated stalls.
- Fried oreos
- Cotton candy
- Fried chicken
- Sirap cincau
- Sparkling and fizzy drinks
- Sushi (Onigiri)
- Charm bracelets and decorative bands
- Ps4 (Paid in matches paid for a game)
- T – shirts etc.
- The Norwegian Cafe
- Coffee Bean
- OldTown White Coffee
- Mekong House
- JC Pancakes
- Matsuba Japanese restaurant
- Zhia’s Kitchen
- Penang Cafe etc.
1)Most restaurants around the campus such as Kampung Cili or Rasa are known to be expensive while there are cheaper one such as Temptation, a cafeteria style restaurant. Restaurants tend to be more expensive with the GST addition and expected bigger meal to be served. Their strengths are brand loyalty, ease of finding table to sit and dine and WiFi hotspot to do work and study.
2) There are other charity sale booths aside as much as 7, it is safe to assume that the style of products are more or less similar. All of them serve food and beverages with some business has services such as offering customers to play console games for $10. Each one has a their own main selling point such as selling fried chocolate snacks, fizzy drinks sold in plastic bag and etc. They have some weaknesses as most of the food they serve are not cheap and mostly of Western style cuisine. This could turn away customers who wanted to look for cheaper Malay traditional snacks. Other than the products, they also have aggressive strategy in looking for donations. One group has went to every classes at daily basis with a donation box(included specific details of the charity group) to obtain donations.
Hence, we try diversify our food and beverages such as rarity one is Cheesy Nacho, served with homemade cheese and freshly heated as soon as customer orders.
As our type of business is selling the products through a booth, we have to adapt and differ to restaurants. Our main products are chosen to be cheap and affordable to compete them.
PRODUCT AND PACKAGING
a)The main theme of our products are food and beverages.
The food consisted of;
Nacho Cheese – a bowl of Cacho’s nacho pieces poured on top with warmed milky cheese.
Samosa- a fried dish filled with pieces of potatoes and onions
Currypuff chicken- baked pocket of pastry that is stuffed with chicken meat, potatoes and onions.
Fried crabsticks – processed crabsticks fried to hard crisp and eaten like casual snacks.
The drinks are of two main products;
Float Root Beer – cold root beer topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Fizzy Fruits – a cold carbonated drink Sprite mixed with pieces of honeydew and watermelon fruits.
Majority of these products are specifically chosen to be sold as they are portable and easier to eat while walking. Aside from portability, the food are also rare to be sold and cheaper to the ones served at restaurants(Syops, Norwegian Cafe etc.) Nacho cheese and fizzy fruits are unique and would attract the customers’ curiosity to try and cheaper food such as Samosa are cost at RM 1.30 compared to Rasa’s RM 1.60.
The products’ selling prices;
Nacho Cheese – RM 4
Float Root Beer – RM 4
Fizzy Fruits – RM3
Fried Crabsticks – RM 2.50
Samosa – RM 1.30
Currypuff Chicken at RM 1.30
The products’ unit cost price;
Nacho cheese at RM 2.40 per bowl (Chacho’ Nachos + milky cheese altogether)
Samosa at 30 cents
Currypuff chicken at 40 cents
Float root beer at 75 cents
Fizzy fruits at RM 1.20
Fried crabsticks at 40 cents
Our major selling products are Nacho Cheese and Fried Crabsticks, each racking up to over 30 units sold daily. The lowest selling product are the Samosa and Currypuff Chicken with less than only a dozen units sold daily. The low sales have made the necessary shift to our selling strategy; either lower the prices or give discounted price when a batch of them are sold. We experimented on the price reduction on the 2nd day of our sales and the results we had stayed the same. On the 3rd day we tried the discounted price when sold as a batch i.e. customers can get 3 currypuff chicken/samosa at RM 3 instead of the usual price RM3.90. This strategy increased the unit sales much higher at about 10%.
Our main marketing message :
- Our vision was to introduce unfamiliar food items that we can identify with but may not necessarily be available to us. And even it was, at a normal rate it would be charged at a sky high rate just because it is somewhat exotic; not locally made. So, we decided to do it but in a local budget version. To show that the similar result can be obtained from using simple home bought products. For example, the nacho cheese.
The process went relatively well, but we realized that we had to move with the demands of the public and that is to provide a variation goods. We came to the understanding that after a day or two, the people do get tired of seeing the same item, unless the particular product is specifically outstanding amongst the rest. Hence, we moved with the flow and changed our menu. Our following direction was a more traditional approach, with the intent to sell traditional finger foods such as the samosa and currypuff chicken. Something that most Malaysian can associate themselves with.
- We used a popular means of promotion that many are familiar with. Social media app used a lot by students such as instagram and whatsapp are used to spread the digital ad poster. Every time a customer buys a product we urge them to spread the positive comments about a product through their friends or lecturers. The classic ‘pasar malam style’, still proves to be effective. It is also a simpler alternative to interact with people, that way if there were to be any further inquiries about our stall or the organisation that we are giving to, we would be able to answer it in person. The other form to make our stall stand out was to give out free samples of our products. By doing so, we allow customers to test our products before purchasing it rather than having them displeased if it were to not meet their expectation.
- We know that it is a lot to complete within the span of a week. Between having to meet the mark of RM2700 and making sure that our mock business runs as smoothly as possible. Therefore, we chose to split the team into 4 parts. One team to manage the booth, another to promote our products and interact with buyers. The third team will be in charge of food preparation and the last team will be advocate donations from the public.
Our physical and digital poster menu for advertising on the booth and in social media.
- To fund our project we inquired sponsors from close relatives and known personal contacts. Our team member; Lukman, got his father to donate in the form of food products. in the event we are not able to make back for our expenses
- The reason we asked the
- Most of the sponsors gave in the form of cash. Although some did give in the form of products and items. We are grateful for their generous giving as we were able to keep our cost low.
- For most we approached them face-to-face because it was easier to meet them as per normal circumstances. No doubt there are some that prefer us to perform as much as professionals. For instance, when we visited the company of a fellow member’s relative. And so, we submitted our petitions in written proposals upon making appointments with the sponsors. Some were unable to meet us in person so we were met by their representative
- The transportation process for our products to the stall was an aspect that we underestimated. As we did not look into the finer details. For example, our means of transport, the time taken, and who amongst the team is willing to open their home for the preparation. Nevertheless, for every problem there is a solution.
- Time as usual was the main factor so we cut down the duration by half. Firstly by having a member host the business operation at his home in Senza. Secondly, we send over freshly fried and baked products using a motorcycle because at most, it would take 3 mins for the food to reach the stall. At times we do run out of food so we inform our customers beforehand that it will take awhile if we see that we are running low on supply. That being so, we try our best to refill our containers with new batches within half an hour.
- Sad to say that a majority of the customers were not interested in buying snacks. It was evident that other groups managing their stalls faced this problem because either after or during lunch time, we see that people look for things that are more substantial as a meal. Fortunately, we were more than able to make up for the products due to the donations we received. It is encouraging to see that although some students were not keen on purchasing our food, they were more than willing to donate for charity.
- Is our product available online and for delivery? We are able to provide phone call preorder services but not online enquiries. I say this is because it is a small operating business. To expand and reach out to the possible demands through online communication would stretch out the team to more than we are able to handle. As of the moment we struggled to maintain our pace as business operation is a field that is still unfamiliar to us. We lack in experience so it is more logical to remain and improve at the current flaws. However, if it were to be long term, then we would consider it.
- We tried to make our form of distribution as environmentally friendly as we can. By using biodegradable materials. We put effort to not wasting by reusing materials that can be recycled, while keeping in mind the standard that we uphold. Whether be it in our food or packaging.
- The packaging most for of our products are plastic and styrofoam as there are the best materials to contain our food. While these are not environmentally friendly compared to biodegradable paper bag, we made sure our booth is placed near recycling trash bins for customers to easily find.
- On reducing the consumption of resources such as water and electricity, we made sure to only use one electrical appliance for serving warm food e.g. we used microwave to heat the cheese for Nacho and samosa/currypuff instead of oil frying it again.
HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING
The type of organizational structure our team is coordinated is in Functional Structure.
Our leader, Darren Ho chosen as he has more experience as a leader compared to the rest of the team with extra role in organizing the overall operation of the charity drive. Safwan Aziz as our designer, in making ad posters digitally and physically as he has background in graphic design. In the marketing department are Bryan, Cheok Yin and Joyi as they are very sociable and able to explain the purpose of charity drive with details of Promise Home. Lim Jinq Juinn as our accountant to handle the income and report our progression. Lukman and Sue Zhua to supply products for our business as they have connections that can find and trade products. Jae Yun and Wei Wenn to expose and distribute products around the campus.
EVALUATION OF RESULT
Below is the income report from our business sales.
The profit gained from our products sales is $1086 while the donation and sponsorship has grossed over $2500. Loss expenses from printing and goods sold are $223. We have reached our goal which was targeting at least $3000 from the business.
Personally, the business was much tougher than I thought. It was definitely a learning curve through adapting of competitive environment that makes it fun and challenging. While the business is simple and small, it definitely gives the basic guide of how in the real world business works.There are ups and downs among the team that makes the work complicated but in the end it became a good thing as it keeps the team much closer together.
Together for the greater good. Please support Promise Home with more information can be found here.