Think you've got what it takes to enter the Swans Den?

To apply, simply download the application below, complete, and send to swansden@lincolnsu.com

Applications will re-open in September 2017.

PITCHES: 28th March, 9am-12pm.
 

Things to Consider

We know that there are a lot of things to keep in mind when starting your business, especially when it comes to pitching your idea to a panel. That's why we have listed some useful considerations below that can help get your mind ticking if you're thinking of applying to enter the Swan's Den.

 

THE PRODUCT:

 

What is the product/service and its purpose?

Can you fully explain exactly what your service/product is all about? Do you have a well-rounded understanding of what you are looking to sell, and how it’ll work?

What is the name of it?

The name of a product can sometimes make the difference between a successful and a non-successful pitch. Does your name match the product? Is it outwardly bold, but with a purpose?

What is your unique selling ?

What does your idea offer that makes it special? What gap in the market does it serve? Does it fit into a niche? This is your main pulling factor when it comes to developing and selling in the future.

 

THE MARKET:

 

Who's your target market?

Are you aiming your idea at kids? The elderly? Tech-advocates? Security personal? Mums? You’ll need to know who the product/service is being aimed at, as these will comprise your select customer base and will be integral to a marketing strategy in alter development.

Where will you sell your product/service?

Is it an online business? Will it involve networking and selling to companies? Will you need an office space to operate?

How will you market your product/service?

Do you have ideas for marketing campaigns? Will you use social media, newspapers, face-to-face networking? This ties in with knowing your target audience and understanding the platforms and methods to get your product noticed.

What is your competition doing?

Have you seen if there is anything similar currently available anywhere else? How much do they charge? What’s their marketing angle? This information will be incredibly useful in helping you realise where your edge is and what you can do to make the most of your product.

 

THE MONEY:

 

How much would the product/service on sale for?

You can use similar products/services to help determine a good price to set at. Bear in mind the types of products your target audience would pay for, their limitations, and what might give you the edge over the competition.

How much profit do you make with each sale?

If you’re not going to make money, then what is the point of your business? Profit leads to flexibility in the future to grow, to expand. But you don’t want to overprice your sales for the sake of a few extra bucks. What’s the balance?

What is the cost to produce or provide that product/service?

Do you know your processes and their costs from start to finish? Have you thought of every minute detail in the production process? From planning to creating to marketing? Go through each stage step-by-step and see if there’s anything you’ve missed.

What would the investment from Swan’s Den be spent on?

This is probably one of the most important things to consider, as this will almost certainly be a question asked in the Swan’s Den. What is it about your requested amount that you need from the Swans? Where will that money be used?

How much would you need to sell to break even?

The last thing any entrepreneur wants to do is to lose money. That’s why, if you know your minimum that you need to sell to break even, then you’ll have the most realistic expectation of what you’ll need to make to be successful.

 

THE FUTURE:

 

Where do you see the business in five years?

Have you thought about your long term goals? It’s well and good having an idea of how you want to begin, but a business is a long-term investment that will need sufficient thought into the future to give targets to aim for. Do you want to have £1 million? Do you want to have a large staff base? Do you want to relocate to a new city? Make sure you have some idea of where you’re going, and you’ll be more likely to get there.

How will you get there?

Create a rough road map. It doesn’t have to be anything super specific, as a good business-owner knows that roads will change, bridges will be built, routes will be diverted. It can be something as simple as Point A to Point B to Point C. Just work out the most effective route to get there for now.

 

OPTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

 

Does it have any environmental impact?

Given the current economic climate, all businesses are going green. So whether you’re looking at using a large amount of materials that will need clean sourcing, or your product will add something that will help the environment, it’s definitely worth a consideration to the planet.

Does it have direct impact on students?

Will your product/service help students on campus? While this isn’t a mandatory consideration, it certainly could be a good angle to consider in your pitch.

How will your business operate for success?

Have you thought about systems to put in place? Branding to keep your business consistent throughout and ensure the right messages are being communicated at all levels of operation?

What investments have you sourced yourself?

Will the Swan’s Den be the first piece of financial assistance you have sourced? Have you looked at alternative sources of funding? Been successful? We’re keen to see you invested in your idea and your commitment to your cause.

Does it have social impact?

Social impact can be viewed as ‘the good that your business will create to society’. Whether that’s through creating jobs, adding value to society with your product/service, or even how you can work with other businesses to create a business that will be of value to society. Your message and vision should be clear from the off.

Would you be willing to share your story with other students?

The Swan’s Den is providing a fantastic opportunity to help students with their entrepreneurial visions. Therefore we are very keen to share success stories with our wider student community.