All submission of coursework will be online via Turnitin on the module's Moodle site. For formative assessment (informal feedback) you should bring them to your seminars to discuss with your seminar tutors.
The Roehampton Harvard Referencing system should be used for any resources used as part of your research.
Final summative (formally marked) submission deadline for the portfolio of tasks is 14th April 2017, 2pm. The final submission of the four tasks should be as a single MS Word file containing all four tasks, along with a title page and contents page that lists each task. Please consult the module handbook for rules and regulations regarding submissions.
Please ensure full names and student numbers of both group members are included in your document and ONLY ONE member (max 2 people) must upload the same submission to Moodle.
Note that as indicated in the marking schema, it is expected that you will use references to support your work and you will be taught about this in your English Academic Skills module. These references may be in the form of examples of similar work that you have used and based your own work on (for example another marketing plan), theory discussed in articles or text books, a relevant case study that has helped inform your answer or something else that has helped inform your answer. These references may be found in a variety of places but you are expected to use at least one non-web-based reference per task as well as any number of additional references that may be useful. These should be listed and referenced using the standard Harvard referencing system you will have been taught in your English classes but your seminar tutor will also be able to help with this. Failure to reference correctly will result in substantial loss of marks and each non-web reference (per task) is worth up to 5 marks, if it is of sufficient quality and relevance.
Introduction to Task Portfolio
In your seminar groups you will be invited to work in pairs and develop a business idea that in some way involves the university. This can be anything at all and you are encouraged to build your idea around something you are interested in and already have some understanding of – perhaps a hobby, a family business or a business sector where you have some employment experience. The business may be based anywhere (does NOT have to be sited on university premises) but you might, for example, wish to set up a business that targets students or perhaps supplies something of importance to the university. As we will be looking at expanding this business idea in the second semester it is essential that your business could, if successful, be scaled up across other universities both in this country and abroad, so avoid any ideas that truly rely on something unique about your current place of study. You are encouraged to think creatively but be realistic.
You may make any reasonable assumptions. For example, if you wanted to set up a Krispy Kreme franchise stall somewhere on the campus it would be reasonable to assume that A) you can get the franchise from Krispy Kreme and B) that the University would allow you to do so and it does not conflict with its existing catering contracts. In practice this may or may not be true but it would be acceptable for you to assume these things for the sake of carrying out this assignment. All assumptions MUST be clearly stated in your assignment submissions.
The tasks that follow all relate to this business idea and build upon each other to produce a set of outputs that form a portfolio of structured outputs that could be of some use to someone launching this business for real.
Task 1 - MANDATORY
Please note that once a business idea has been chosen, it cannot be changed. The same business ideas has to be used for all portfolio tasks that follow.
What is the business idea of your pair? Clearly state with justification the business, the sector, location, how the business is going to operate (e.g. online, high street, both). Also, briefly state the reasons you think the business is a good idea, how it is going to meet the needs of its customers in a new and innovative way that is not already met by existing businesses. Include a table that identifies some of your key competitors, explaining why you consider them competition. Note that this first part is all about justifying WHY you want to do this and should be supported with evidence wherever possible.
Word limit: 500
What are the four most important objectives for your new business?
Out of the different forms of ownership (e.g. sole trader, partner), which one is the most suitable for your business and why?
Word limit: 400
As part of portfolio task 1, you have clearly defined what your business is, its objectives and the form of ownership it will have. The next step is to complete a PESTLE analysis.
Complete a PESTLE analysis for your chosen business. For each of the PESTLE headings, three or factors that could potentially influence how your business will operate need to be identified. However, only writing a list of factors would not be acceptable, discussion regarding impact and significance that each factor could have on the organisation is needed.
Word limit: 800
This assessment builds upon the activities assigned for portfolio tasks 1 and 2, where business ideas and objectives were established and a PESTLE analysis of the external environment was carried out.
This task is concerned with the launch event of a business. This is the moment you introduce the market and the media to your business, what it does and what it has to offer. This type of event can be very expensive, however, and it is important that you keep a tight control of costs. To help achieve this it is important to establish a budget for the event.
It would be helpful for you to review the lecture and seminar on budgeting and managing cash flow. Both the lecture and seminar contain example budget templates that you could use to guide your launch event budget.
Consistency with previous portfolio tasks is needed. For example, if one of your objectives was about high quality then you should make sure that your marketing plan is consistent with this objective. It is recommended that you re-read the portfolio submissions for tasks 1 and 2 before starting this task.
Part A Defining your Launch Event
You should write a statement that describes the launch event you intend to hold. This should include what format the event will take (e.g. what form of social gathering, will there be a business presentation and or a celebrity opening, will food be served), when (day time evening weekend) and where the event is going to take place (on site off site).
You should make sure that you justify the choices you make in the context of your business description and its objectives that you submitted in assessments 1 and 2.
You should also explain whom you intend to invite, including overall numbers, and why they should be invited.
Answers that just describe will not score high marks. It is really important that you justify your choices in relation to your proposed business.
Word limit: 500
Part B Producing a budget
The lecture on budgeting and cash flow introduced you to the concept and importance of budgeting. Using the budget templates provided to you in this lecture and its accompanying seminar, please construct a budget for your event. These templates are only a guide and you will need to modify them to make sure the budget items included are relevant to your event.
Your budget will be judged on both whether it includes all of the major cost items your event will incur together with whether the costs you include are realistic. You will need to carry out research to find realistic costs to include in your budget.
Whenever possible you should give notes at the bottom of the budget to explain and reference where your costs have come from.
For example, imagine you had a line in your budget (for a party of a hundred people) that stated
3 course luxury meal5,0001
You might then have a note at the bottom of your budget that stated:
1Food costs based on an average cost of £50 per head based on a mid-range catering firm (www.Eat Well.com/prices).
The lectures will have introduced you to marketing, marketing plans and how the marketing mix (the 4Ps and the 7Ps) could be used to drive sales. It would be helpful to review this material, particularly the exercise on building a marketing plan and the exercise on constructing a marketing mix.
In the lectures you were introduced to the key sections of a marketing plan. In this assessment you are going to develop content under some of the key headings for your proposed business.
The headings are
Marketing strategies for each target market
Below are some notes to help you with each of these headings. You should note that for all of the headings it is really important that you explain why you are making the choices you are. Answers that just state what you are doing will not score highly.
How do you intend to position your product/service in the market? Is it a luxury or a mass market offering? What are the key brand messages you want to convey to customers, e.g. quality, service, low cost, value?
You should make sure that what you write here is consistent with your business description and objectives as stated in assignments 1 and 2.
Word limit: 400 words
What are your target markets and why? Are you, for instance, targeting young people, people with a particular belief (e.g. green consumers) or is the targeting based on wealth or gender (e.g. luxury clothing for men). If you are going to be offering products that target all segments in a market then please state why.
Word limit: 400 words
Marketing strategies for each target market
For ONE of your target markets please explain your marketing strategy. How are you going to communicate with customers in your chosen market segment and why? What forms of promotion and advertising are you going to use and why? Do you need to make any specific modifications to the marketing mix to reach the customers in this segment and why?
Word limit: 400 words
For each element of the marketing mix describe what your approach is going to be. You should also explain for each element why your chosen approach is the right one.
You might find it helpful to set up a table like the one below (an example is given for place for a business selling pizzas that are delivered to your door within 15 minutes).
|Place||The business’s product is going to be sold completely on line via the company’s web site and smart phone app. There will not be a shop customers can visit.||Research shows that many customers will want to order pizzas on their way home so that the food will be waiting for them on their return. Customers will want to be able to order whilst on the move and won’t really want to stop off at a shop on their way home.|
Word limit: 600 words
The lecture on business information systems introduced you to the nature of operational, tactical and strategic decision making and the information systems available to help support each type of decision. Before tackling assessment 5 you are advised to recap on this lecture and its associated seminar activities.
In this assessment you are required to identify the following:
For each decision you need to explain why it important to the business and to detail the information needed to make the decision, together with its source and characteristics. You are then required to identify the type of business information system that is needed to provide this information and why is it is the correct system to use.
An example of a tactical decision is given below to guide you on what you need to produce.
A book store needs to make regular decisions regarding the type and quantity of books to be stocked in the shop. Every three months the book store managers should analyse a summary of book sales by type (e.g. crime novels, travel books, gardening books and so on). This is important as a summary of sales by type will help the management team to identify what is selling well and from this to plan their future procurement of books from its suppliers. This will improve stock management and reduce the risk of buying large quantities of books of a type that the store then struggles to sell or has to sell at a loss.
This section of the answer clearly states what the decision is and why it is important. It also clearly states the frequency of the decision and how the decision could enhance business performance.
This information will be in summarised form as there is no need to detail every single sale. Data will be entirely sourced from internal sources. Sales figures will be available from the sales order processing system (a transaction processing system). However, to make the information easier for management to use, it should be displayed using a management information system that has the ability to create summary reports in graphical format that can be easily interpreted. Most transaction processing systems lack sophisticated facilities to analyse and present information.
This section of the answer states where the information is coming from and its nature and the type of information system that should be used and why.
Word limit: a limit of 250 words for each decision: operational, tactical and strategic (so a maximum of 750 words in total)
As a result of completing assessments 1 to 5 your business ideas will be starting to develop. You should have a clear idea of what your business is going to offer and its external environment, together with its objectives. You will also have established how you intend to launch the business and the cost the launch event, together with developing key elements of a marketing plan.
The supply chain suggestions must be compatible with your business objectives and business plan. Before tackling assessment 6 you are advised to recap on this lecture and its associated seminar activities.
By now you have a really good idea of your what your business is to offer, together with the marketing plan you would use to generate interest and ultimately sales. At this point, however, the details of the supply chain to support your business remain undefined.
In the lecture and seminar on supply chains you were introduced to the concept of the supply chain from raw materials to delivered product/service. In addition the seminar discussions explored some of your different business ideas and the types of suppliers they require.
For assessment 5 you are required to identify the main categories/types of supplier and how your business intends to develop each element of the supply chain.
E.g. From where do you intend to source your products or raw materials and why?
E.g. What information could you and the supplier share to enable them to support you better?
E.g. How are you going to support your customers post sale?
For each element of the supply chain you need to explain what you are intending to do and why it is the best option for your business.
It would be helpful for you to set up a table similar to the one below. The first row is filled in with an example to illustrate the kind of answer you need to produce.
|Element of the supply chain||How is this going to be addressed in the business||Why is this the correct way to operate?|
Suppliers of books
|A good supply of second hand books is essential to keep the store stocked. These might be sourced by setting up a web site offering to buy second hand books for individuals. In addition the business will establish links with schools, libraries and publishers who might be clearing out old stock or have excess books to sell.||It is important for the book store to establish a reliable supply of books. This can be achieved by establishing a wide range of suppliers (the general public) in addition to buying old books from bulk suppliers. The general public are more likely to supply copies of more recent books which will be complemented by larger suppliers of older texts from bulk suppliers. Bulk supplies will be cost effective to collect by van and private sellers will bear the cost and time of parcelling up books to send to the shop.|
It is worth noting that the most important column in this table is column three where you are required to explain why a particular choice has been made.
Word limit: 600-700 words.
The necessity of some elements is the major determinate behind the success of the organisational function. During the starting of a business, it is necessary to have the basic idea regarding the company. In fact, these ideas are related to the internal and external analysis. On the other hand, the development of the planning and idea is also necessary to set the business objectives, places, application if the ownership, and finally the development of the most suitable budget for the business. For the growing companies like Amazon UK, therefore, analysis of all these factors is needed in order to implement their new business based on the selling of wood watches in the UK basis.
Amazon is a global company that uses to deliver different kinds of products to different parts of the world through only digital media (Amazon.co.uk, 2017). The growing popularity of this company has been inspiring the management to implement new strategies as well as the selling of new products. The main reasons behind this activity are to attract the customer attention as well as to satisfy them through fulfilling their expectations. Nowadays, Insta Watches aims to start the selling of wood watches through Amazon by using its popularity all over the UK. Due to this, this company has selected to perform as a private company that would follow all the governmental tax policies and financial profit as well.
On the other hand, as per their structure and functional features, this company wants to serve through only the online delivery facilities by avoiding the maintenance of stores. It is quite a clear fact that as the modern generation is well habituated and comfortable with the technological media for purchasing the preferable products, online business and selling would help them to satisfy their customers (Merrin, 2016). Even, as this also reduces the time of going to retail shops for purchasing the products, the opportunity to earn the expected profit is also high.
According to Williams (2015), with the recognition and popularity of a company, it is helpful for them to implement new strategies and innovation for the development of their business. In fact, with the change of time, the expectation and preferences of the customers also change noticeably. Therefore, the idea of Insta Watchesto start selling wood watches seems to be a good idea for increasing their acceptability. It can be noticed that the demand for the wooden watches of the companies like Zalando, Paul Ven is quite high in the UK retail watch market (Paulven.co.uk, 2017). Therefore, there is a huge market for Insta Watchesto sell the products through Amazon
Four most important objectives of Insta Watches UK for this new business:
The objectives of any business and marketing set the target and benchmark towards which the entire functional processes will proceed (Ritala et al. 2014). Even in order to start selling a new product to the customers, there are some essential factors those are needed to be concerned. All these are associated with the business objectives of the company. For Insta watches, there are also some specific objectives during the starting of their selling of wood watches in the UK market as follow:
The most suitable ownership for this business with justification:
The ownership of the business matters for a company regarding the fact that this factor sets the advantages as well as the limitations of the business organisation. Karjoth (2015) has stated that there is basically sole trader, partnership ownership as well as the private and public limited company.
Figure 1: Types of business ownership
(Source: Kranz, 2016, p.64)
Sole trader refers to the existence of one single person as the figurehead of the company who operate the organisational activities through many staffs. However, it is one of the most noticeable ownership forms across the UK industry. Through identifying the customer needs, this type of companies provide specialist services and this majorly makes the owner profited. On the other hand, there are many business owners who equally take part in the organisational decision-making process. Although profit is shared, this process makes the company benefitted through segregating the responsibilities and risk-taking management. Kranz (2016) has stated that the private and public limited companies are occupied by the shareholders and the directors as well as the staffs are employed by them. However, the loss of this type of organisations is only measured through the investments.
For Insta WatchesUK, the application of the sole trader ownership concept can be the best during their selling of wood watches. Through this, the company owner can able to keep all the profit achieved from the business. On the other hand, the financial profit will also help in controlling the price of this particular product that is effective enough to increase the number of customers through attracting their attention without less external influences. Although Casson (2016) has mentioned that it is quite challenging and problematic for the owners of the sole traders to enrich the financial base and continue the business single-handedly in critical times, for only one particular product the application of this ownership strategy is helpful.
Table 2: PESTEL analysis of Amazon UK
(Source: Salam, 2016, p.116)
There is a stable political condition within the UK that helps the business companies like Amazon to maintain and operate their functional roles quite effectively. Even in order to continue the online business and delivery system in different parts of the country, this political stability is beneficial. On the other hand, with the growth of the digital marketing, the UK government have also become quite conscious about the security of the customer information and they also have been supporting the method of e-commerce. Due to this, the scopes and opportunities for Amazon have been increasing. Even, the UK economy has also been going through gradual growth.
Figure 2: UK Economic Growth
(Source: Tradingeconomics.com, 2017)
The above-mentioned statistics discloses supports the growth of the UK economy as it can be noticed that since January 2014, the economic condition of the UK has gone through several ups and downs in different times (Tradingeconomics.com, 2017). However, in January 2017, it merely differs from that of January 2014 and most importantly; it has developed rapidly since last six month.
On the other side, the young generation and office goers as well have greatly accepted the online purchase system as this saves time a lot. This is an opportunity for Insta Watches UK to earn a profit from the market through selling wood watches. However, at the same time, it is also a fact that some traditional people do not have full faith in the online purchasing system and more significantly, some of them do not even enough idea regarding the online payment system. Due to this, they suffer a lot. This is a challenge for Insta watches. It is a satisfactory fact that the UK government has taken necessary steps in order to keep customer information as secure and confidential for online purchasing companies and the application of the Smartphone apps is also another strong influence for this company (Salam, 2016). Even the eco-friendly products of Insta Watchesare also impressive. In addition, the UK government is enough flexible regarding the import and export of the products and the impact of the EU tactics also help them to maintain a free delivery process inside any part of the country.
Operational decisions have a short-term prospect as they are made correspondingly. Hence, the operational decision for Insta Watches must be related to its day-to-day business activities. The manager at the lower level of Insta Watchesis responsible for taking such decision. In order to gather information needed for making an operational decision, the information system must be concerned with the managerial decision-making process (Guffey and Loewy, 2012). This would be helpful in taking a well-informed and rational decision. Insta Watchesmust take such an operational decision, where employees follow the legislations made by UK government related to online selling. It is important for the business to operate successfully in UK market as an online retailer would help the firm to avoid any kind of ethical or legal issues.
As Insta Watchesis focused on selling wood watch via Amazon e-commerce in the UK, hence, the company must comply with rules and regulations related online selling. Therefore, the manager must follow all the rules and observe employees' activities that whether they are succeeding the rules properly or not in daily operations. In order to make this operational decision, the manager of the company would need information pertaining to legislations and regulations related online transaction imposed by UK Government. There are some new regulations related to online selling that can be learned from the internet. These regulations include e-commerce regulations, electronic signature regulations, and distance selling regulations derived from the EU Directives. All these legal requirements must be communicated with the salespersons on a regular basis so that they can aware of doing mistakes and performing their tasks with least errors.
Tactical decisions are linked to the application strategic decision. Such decisions are taken at the middle management level (Abramowicz et al. 2012). According to the present requirement, Insta Watchesshould focus on maintaining its stock of wood watches. Therefore, the sales manager should check the selling statistic on the interval of every two months so that an idea regarding the selling amount can be developed. Based on this, the manager can improve the quality of stock management. The risk of stocking a lot of wood watches can be decreased. This may increase the efficiency of selling and reduce the risk of loss.
The information of a number of sales of wood watches can be gathered from the order processing system. To make it easier for the manager to track the record, an effective system should be there that would provide a graphical representation of the sales figure along with statistic data. This would help the manager to track the sales amount simply and thus, decisions can be made promptly. The sales figure of every two months should be summarised for calculating the average sales figure and demand within customers. This would enable the manager to take the appropriate decision regarding stock management. It would increase the overall sales performance and profitability of the organisation.
Strategic decisions are major decisions that may influence the whole business organisation. These types of decisions are taken by high-level managers. The managers of Insta Watchesmust take such a strategic decision after analysing the internal and external business environment accurately, as this decision directly contributes to the attainment of shared goals of the organisation. The external business environment cannot be controlled by the company as it is ever changing (Ebert et al. 2014). Hence, to enhance its brand image as a socially responsible company, Insta Watchesshould focus on carrying out a campaign related to increasing awareness about environmental safety. The company is already selling eco-friendly product wood watches. Through this campaign, the firm can promote their product to more target audience and make them purchase the watch.
Information related to environmental safety and security is available over the internet, which is a rich source of information. As UK is an industrial country, therefore, the country has to face several environmental issues related to carbon emission, industrial waste and so on. Hence, to decrease environmental impact, the company can encourage people to use and buy eco-friendly products so that organisations thrive to manufacture such products rather producing goods, those are not environment-friendly. Such campaigns can be held in every six months in different regions of UK. This would not only enhance the brand image of UK but also increase the sales of wood watch significantly.
|Element of the supply chain||How is this going to be addressed in the business||Why is this correct way to operate|
|Inbound logistics||Inbound logistics defines the factors that are input as per the organisational requirements (Douglas, 2016). In fact, these are processed and finally transformed into the outbound logistics. The primary information, raw materials, and effort of the staffs are under this category.||Through the inbound logistics, the necessary elements can be provided as the input for the business. Without these raw elements, the management of Insta Watchescannot be able to manufacture the products that are one of the great barriers to organisational success.|
|Operations||Operations are the internal process of the organisation that consists of the transformation of inbound logistics to the outbound logistics. Through this, the value is added to the products. The production, development, and delivery of the products are included in this process.||Through the successful functional operations, it is possible for the company to transfer their inbound logistics to outbound logistics. The customers are majorly satisfied with the quality of the products and services that cannot be possible without suitable operations (Zacharia et al. 2014).|
|Outbound logistics||Transformation of the inbound logistics through functional operations is considered as the outbound logistics. This is, in fact, the outcome of the investment that signifies the organisational revenue. People can get this through the form of products and services by direct interact with the company or distributors.||Outbound logistics is the ultimate determinate of the organisational offerings. Therefore, in order to sell wood watches profitably, the focus on the outbound logistics is necessary.|
|Sales and marketing||The process to execute the products and services in the marketplace is considered as the sales and marketing. Arnett and Wittmann (2014) have stated that the processes of sales and marketing are advertising and promotion as well. This is, in fact, the main way to direct communicate with the target audience. ||After the manufacture of the products, it is necessary to promote and exhibit the products of the companies and the way through which the creating connection between the products and the customers is the marketing. Therefore, in order to make the target audience aware of the product and services, the impact of sales and marketing is huge.|
|Servicing ||Servicing is the customer responses and their satisfaction levels with the support of the products and the services. The customers are satisfied with the guarantee provided by the companies after purchasing that makes them benefitted.||The servicing is depended on all the above-mentioned process. Most importantly, through the servicing and satisfaction of the customers, the management of Insta Watchesenables to flourish in their future activities with new strategies and revenue.|
Table 3: Supply chain
(Source: Douglas, 2016, p.71)
Finally, it can be stated that the in order to start the business with a new product the business objectives help in the defining the way to follow. On the other hand, the analysis of the functional activities and market position of the competitors also helps in understanding the strategies that can provide them necessary suggestion to achieve the expected profit through beating them. Even, analysis of the impact of external factors also provides confidence to them. As Insta WatchesUK aims to sell wood watches among the UK customers, all these analysis and strategies would help them to attract the customers and earn profit from the market effectively.