Teach Business Today #3

BLM, retail sales, and communicating a message


I hope you’re all keeping well.

In Manitoba, we are finishing our school year back in the classroom. We are lucky to be a “flyover” province with few international flights departing and arriving from our airport. This lead to a low active case number of COVID-19, meaning a lot of restrictions have been lifted.

I’ve been grateful to connect with a few students, but it is not the same as it should be.

Before I get into some of the things I found this week, I want to share with you a conversation I had with another business teacher, Mike Macfadden.

Mike is a passionate educator who I’ve connected with through Twitter. We did a deep dive into both of our entrepreneurial classes and the use of social media.

If you’re interested in learning more about me or putting a face to the newsletter, you can do so here.

The Best Biz Takeaways This Week

Reebok Cuts Ties with Crossfit

Twitter is a powerful tool.

A lot of individuals and businesses are under scrutiny for their social media activity. That has ramped up in the past couple weeks surrounding the death of George Floyd and the BLM movement.

Greg Glassman’s tweet may have been considered harmless, but major brands will separate themselves from others who post insensitive content.

In this case, it became impactful for Crossfit through all profit channels as Reebok has been their major sponsor for the past 10 years.

This can be a great article to analyze the impact of social media and how your actions online can affect your personal and professional brand.

Additionally, students could look at it from a PR perspective and build a response for Greg Glassman to try to repair the damage he did with one tweet.

Bikes are the New Toilet Paper

It seems like every month there is a new retail craze. Now that the sun’s out, bikes appear to be the fad.

Seeing individuals take on a healthier hobby is amazing. However, it can lead to these items being purchased as an impulse or to try to resell.

Students have a lot of opportunities to explore the retail industry through the spikes and dips for certain products. Some topics that can be discussed with this are:

  • Ways to identify a product becoming a trend before it does

  • Retail market strategy when a product becomes trendy

  • How to meet supply and demand for a product

  • What to do before or when the product no longer becomes popular

This can be a great teaching tool for the product life cycle or through a marketing/advertising course or unit.

Why Your About Me/Us Page Matters

The About Me page is one of the hardest to write on a website.

People have difficulty talking about themselves. I see it enough through the common “tell me about yourself” question in interviews.

The beauty of an About Me page is it allows you to spend a ton of time to ponder this question.

It’s important to think about this page as an opportunity to sell the most unique attribute about you or your business…and that is YOU. This page will be unique on every site, but it’s key to engage your audience within the first few sentences to keep them on there.

This is a great resource to get your students to develop their own about me pages. Even if these will never go on a website or blog, it can help students learn how to write engaging content and be able to sell themselves.

You can also include visual elements to spice up their About Me pages. My favourite tool to do this is Canva for Education, which a lot of my students use for their own personal or business social media pages.

Sephora Converts Reward Points to Donation Money

Even if you’re feeling a need to donate, there are a lot of us who don’t have the financial means to do so. Sephora has been creative in finding alternative ways to allow their customers to contribute to worthwhile causes.

I know Sephora isn’t the first company to do this. However, I believe the reward system Sephora offers will encourage a lot of their customers to take advantage of this.

This can also open up more opportunities for businesses to find ways to do the same. I know I would be happy to convert some of my PC Optimum or Cineplex Scene points to charitable donations if I had the choice.

Students could get pretty creative looking at this article. They could do a case study on existing companies to increase their philanthropic efforts. An even better approach would be getting students to pitch these ideas to local business owners looking to make a difference.

I’ve had students present case studies to local businesses in the past. You’ll be surprised at how innovative your students can be, and how their ideas could be implemented within the business in a short period of time.

Being a Black Business Owner in Today’s Society

It’s interesting to read the perspective of a Black business owner during nationwide protests.

It’s hard to separate the business fueled by a love of the product versus support due to the cause.

It’s even more difficult trying to impress the latter to ensure they are repeat customers.

The piece regarding investors really caught me off guard. As a Black business owner, how do you deny someone you sought out in the past when they’re willing to help you?

There are so many different ways students can look at this from a racial and business perspective. Developing strategies to maximize profit and exposure without looking like you’re taking advantage of a global perspective would be tough.

I imagine you could create some wide-ranging conversations with this one.

I hope you've been able to find some things of value this week. All issues (along with any new ones) will be accessible for you when you return to the new school year to reference back to.

Please leave a comment or send me an email at sean@seanhopps.com with any feedback you have.

If you’re looking to connect further, feel free to give me a follow and send me a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, or my website.

Take care! Until next week,