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Unit 33 Small Business Enterprise


The aim of this unit is to give learners the opportunity to focus on the processes involved, through change management, of reviewing and improving the performance of a small business enterprise.

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Unit abstract

This unit is designed primarily for learners who are interested in small business enterprises and looks at the development and expansion of these businesses. The unit will be particularly appropriate for learners currently working in a small business enterprise. The unit is also appropriate for learners who have had work placements or work experience in small businesses and for learners who wish to pursue careers in the small business sector of the economy. The unit draws together many of the topics covered in other units and allows learners to practise the business skills needed in reviewing and managing the performance of a small enterprise.

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

LO1 Be able to investigate the performance of a selected small business enterprise

LO2 Be able to propose changes to improve management and business performance

LO3 Be able to revise business objectives and plans to incorporate proposed changes

LO4 Be able to examine the impact of change management on the operations of the business.

LINKS to other HND Modules:

This Small Business Enterprise module is synoptic and as suchideal prerequisite modules include: Organisations and Behaviour, Managing Financial Resources and Decisions and any module involving Marketing.
Unit content

1 Be able to investigate the performance of a selected small business enterprise

Business profile: components of the business, objectives of the business, internal and external factors affecting business performance, performance measures, constraints and restrictions on business, responsibilities and liabilities of owner-manager Comparative measures of performance: comparisons with other similar-sized businesses in same geographical area, comparisons with businesses in same or similar industry, comparisons with industry averages; comparisons should cover all areas (financial, production, marketing, sales, human resources, use of technology) Analysis of business information: analysis of past and current business information (financial, marketing information, sales, production, human resource efficiency, management effectiveness) using ratios, budget information, market research results, SWOT analysis, business reports eg production efficiency

2 Be able to propose changes to improve management and business performance

Overcoming weaknesses: problem-solving strategies, sources and availability of professional advice in appropriate areas, finding solutions and alternatives, availability and use of outsourcing for specific functions eg payroll, debt collection Maintaining and strengthening existing business: maintaining appropriate performance records, building on business strengths, maintaining market share/position, importance of good customer/supplier/adviser relationships New opportunities: identifying areas for expansion eg niche markets and export opportunities where appropriate, research techniques, evaluating projects, assessing project requirements, costing and finding finance for new projects, risk assessment Evaluation of management and personnel: skills audit, self-evaluation, development of self and associated personnel, assessing costs and benefits of self and staff development

3 Be able to revise business objectives and plans to incorporate proposed changes

Business objectives: structure of business objectives, assessment of business objectives in the light of current performance, making changes to business objectives, impact of changes on business plans Business plans: structure of integrated business plans (financial, sales and marketing, production/output, personnel), use of business plans, evaluation of plans against business objectives, incorporating changes to plans, budgeting for changes, preparation of business forecasts Action plans: plans to implement changes, systems to manage, monitor and evaluate changes, performance measures, milestones, setting deadlines

4 Be able to examine the impact of change management on the operations of a business

Impact of change: effects of change on all areas of business (finance, workloads, morale, job roles, physical aspects eg office space, production methods); use of technology, anticipating possible obstacles/problems Management of change: monitoring effects of change, maintaining systems and records to evaluate impact of change, appropriate revision of plans in response to actual results

Course Assignment

This assignment is based on an in-depth case-study of WESTWARD WATER SOLUTIONS LTD, which is heavily based on a real Oxfordshire business. The case-study will be handed to you at the start of term, and is available on GOOGLE Sites as well.You need to complete all 4 Tasks below, including each and every sub-task.

Task 1

1.1          Provide an outline of your chosen small business including key relevant facts and figures.

                What business is it in? What are its main aims? What is its essential strategy? In particular,

                identify its Strengths and Weaknesses. [At least 3 of each.]

1.2          Analyse the performance of your chosen business by comparing it using the same measures for

at least one comparable business.

Task 2    This should be in the style of an email or short report to the Managing Director.

2.1          Identify, explain and recommend possible appropriate actions which the management could reasonably take in order to overcome or offset the Weaknesses you identified above.

2.2          Identify, explain and recommend how the present performance of the business can be

                maintained and improved, by building on existing strengths.

2.3          Identify and analyse a range of alternative possible new directions the business could expand into,

toselect ONE preferred new direction for the business.

Task 3

3.1          Assess the existing objectives, strategy and operational plans of your chosen business.

                [It makes sense to do this BEFORE Task 2. It makes sense to do this at the same time as doing    1.2, in fact, and to place it immediately after section 1.2 in your report.]

3.2          Revise the existing business plans so as to incorporate the recommendations you have already made in Task 2.

3.3          Prepare a more detailed operational action-plan (as you would for managing a Project) to implement your recommendations.

Task 4

4.1          Report on the effect of your proposed revised plans in terms of the financing of the business and onthe people who work in the business.

4.2          Put forward a plan for monitoring and controlling progress in implementing your revised              plans.

4.3          Design a set of performance measures which will be able to indicate the effect of your revised

                plans, once they have been implemented.

Assignment Format and Deadline

The word limit is 6,000 words, and it is likely that a good piece of work covering all 4 Tasks will be at least 3,000 words long.The deadline is the Friday 18th March 2016.

Scheme of Work: Unit 33: Small Business Enterprise