Nottingham University

University of Nottingham’s Student Union | Commercial Opportunities

  • Universities & Student Unions

Challenge: To grow the commercial capabilities of the student union by recommending improvements to existing enterprises and guiding thinking as to new revenue sources

Approach: A two stage project was undertaken, the first being built on the analysis of existing operations through mystery visits, qualitative research and key stakeholder interviews with executives, non-executives and student officers. From this base a series of initial recommendations were developed referencing the activity of other student unions, universities and most importantly retailers from the broader marketplace.

The second stage of the project started with consultation of the company board and student representatives on the type of new commercial activity that would be welcomed. A series of suggested routes were developed with three concepts being approved for full review and modelling.

Results: Tactical and strategic recommendations from stage one were implemented over the next twelve months resulting in considerable like for like growth across commercial enterprises and a bumper year in terms of commercial return to the student union from the operating company. New commercial activities reviewed resulted in the signing of a franchise agreement for the SU retail sites and the development of a commercial model for selling research services.

Testimonial: Elliotts took the time to understand our complex organisation, providing invaluable support and advice to enable the union to widen its commercial activities and increase its income. The recommendations were concise and mapped to organisational strategic goals. This work has enabled us to move forward significantly across our multiple commercial operations.
– Philip Smith, Director of Commercial Development