Business Student Creates Business Plans for Local Flower Shop
Leder Students Bring Solutions to the City During Construction in Internal Case Competition
Our internal case competition this year focused on the loss to businesses due to city construction. We partnered with the City of Edmonton to create a case where our students could come up with solutions for the City of Edmonton and small businesses around the city to manage the loss they face when there is construction.
As a frequent small business visitor, I often see a blocked road or lots of construction and it immediately turns me in the opposite direction. Often times I don’t even bother trying to get to the final location if there is lots of construction. So, the city and small businesses wondered, how we can come up with a solution to aid small businesses who are struggling due to the lengthy construction time periods.
Seven teams were formed, and they got to work interviewing businesses, looking at other cities who have programs in place to reduce the impact on small businesses, and creating a solution. All the teams had awesome ideas, but one team truly had a good understanding of a way to mitigate the impact. Faith Carnegie, Diquita Cardinal, Jenae Charlebois, and Deserinque Ricketts, decided on creating a Construction Mitigation Program. This would involve having communication and public meetings so that construction workers, business owners, and customers could have a voice in what would help to minimize construction disruption. The program would also include free advertising around the city for particular businesses in construction zones. A few more perks to the program would be partnering with underground parkades to provide additional free parking, street art, and grants for businesses facing long term construction. Finally, the program would have program liaisons who would be in charge of communicating with the businesses to keep updated on the struggles they are facing and find ways in attempt to resolve the issues.
It is great to have the opportunity for our students to help solve, real-life and current issues. A big thank you to the City of Edmonton for partnering with us and a congrats to all the teams who came out and participated. We are looking forward to what next year’s case might bring!
Ashley Lange, originally from South Africa, is in the final year of her Bachelor of Commerce degree. Ashley completed her internship at Vida Floral Studio, an independently owned floral shop that sells both flowers and jewellery. The store is owned by a young Edmonton graduate who transformed an antique shop into Vida Floral Studio as it is today.
As an intern, Ashley created several business plans, one for the boutique's main building, and another for an original idea that needed assistance getting off the ground. In addition to making business plans, Ashley developed a marketing strategy that involved a partnership with a neighbouring coffee shop. She worked in the shop taking orders, handled customer service, and delivered flowers. Ashley was even able to create floral arrangements, adding a new skill to her resume!
While learning that theories from her textbooks never apply perfectly to real life situations, Ashley was able to expand her ability to think on her feet and work independently. The overall experience showed Ashley what she likes and doesn’t like about running a small business.
While developing a business plan and doing other tasks for Vida Floral Studio, Ashley learned how extremely important networking is. Specifically, that to be a successful business person, you need to be connected to others in a way that shows how your service is valuable to them. She elaborated by saying that the trick to networking is personalization, stepping outside of formal emails and inviting people to have coffee with you.