Snowday or not?
At the weekend we had the first dusting of 2016 snow here in hardy Hertfordshire! It didn’t last long. It was not enough to make it a #Snowday. No school closures and no bringing the Monday morning traffic to a halt!
The weather forecast gave us sufficient warning so we were able to prepare for a day of snowball fights. Economic forecasts should also enable us to prepare for changes; for example planning for interest rate rises. Recently Red Potato have been asked to undertake surveys for local businesses. In each case the business was keen to understand what their customer thought about their products and services. Red Potato have then helped those businesses with some simple programmes to build upon what they are good at and address the concerns raised by customers.
Good market research can’t prevent winter weather but it can help businesses adjust and take pre-emptive steps to ensure they are prepared for economic headwinds.
Back to school shout the news headlines, as children in England prepare to start a new Autumn term. But if our experience is anything to go by, many teachers and school leaders have been working throughout August. Red Potato have been working with secondary (high) schools in Hertfordshire on a follow up to the East and North Herts NHS AGM and also the next Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge -more on both these initiatives in the next few weeks.
This post is about a school consultation we conducted with Presdales School. We undertook a survey of staff at the Secondary School in Hertfordshire on behalf of the school Governors. The survey consisted of online and paper based questionnaires which were completed by members of staff. We worked with the school to make sure the questions followed a natural sequence and were not open to misinterpretation. We were pleased to have secured a near 100% response rate. Following the survey we produced Executive level reports which the school has used to inform future business strategy.
Here is what the School Governors said about this project:
“We liked the way in which Red Potato worked with us to make sure we achieved our aims and objectives. Red Potato worked with us to ensure the survey and consultation effectively contributed to the overall business strategy”.
We’d like to thank all the teachers, staff and school leadership teams who have worked with Red Potato during this summer and we wish you all good luck with next term!
FSB Hertfordshire Business Awards 2015
Red Potato are finalists in the 2015 FSB Hertfordshire Business Awards! This is a great recognition of our work!
Why are Red Potato in the “Business Innovation” awards category?
Red Potato Community Insight Animations have been nominated for the “Business Innovation” awards category! Brilliant news! The animations report upon business targets and performance in a innovative and funky style. Students from the digital animation course at The University of Hertfordshire often help us with the animations. So as you can see, we like to keep things local and in so doing we like to support our local university!
Why were Red Potato at the LGC Awards?
Red Potato were invited to attend the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2015 (LGC Awards 2015) with our partners Welwyn Hatfield Council. Welwyn Hatfield Council and Red Potato were finalists in the “Community Involvement” award category. The Council and Red Potato were recognised by the judges for delivering an innovative work experience programme. Almost uniquely this work experience programme secured the support of schools, colleges and the local small business sector.
So did you win anything?
We didn’t win the LGC Award, which is a great shame. But we are really proud of what has been achieved. The programme has led to young people securing jobs, lots of money has been raised for charities through hard graft by the students and there is better engagement between schools and local business. This programme has been a great investment in the future of the local economy. Probably most importantly, the programme has touched the lives of many young people locally.
What’s next on the awards front?
Our own awards event for the schools, businesses and charities who participated in the Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge is only two weeks away. Therefore, in conclusion we can safely say we know how it feels to all the finalists!
Well in the private sector, it would be called something like market research or customer relationship management, account based marketing or maybe all of these things and probably others I’ve missed out. The point being that the methods used are with one aim in mind – building a relationship with the customer which will lead to more business.
The public sector is different; we’re not a profit making business and I don’t think we should be run as a profit making business. That doesn’t mean that the sector shouldn’t strive to be efficient and effective.
This is where community insight comes in: by regularly checking what are the issues that are important to local people, services and priorties can be adjusted and reconfigured to meet the needs local residents.