Part 2: Small Business Analysis
Arrange a personal visit with a small business owner to discuss several of the concepts studied throughout the course and analyze how these are applied to their business. If you are not able to meet with a small business owner in person, you may communicate with them through email or by phone. Be sure to discuss the following topics in your paper (but feel free to include anything you found interesting beyond what is listed below):
Business description – Manufacturer or service organization? Do they export their products/services? How long have they been in business? Etc.
Competitive advantage – What is their niche that allows them to be competitive?
Business plan – Did they have one? Was it brief or comprehensive? How was it useful? Do employees, suppliers, or others have access to the plan as well?
Marketing plan – Do they have one? What are some of their strategies? Do they collect marketing data?
Organizational structure of the business – What legal form of organization are they (i.e.; sole proprietor, partnership, corporation)? Do they have a mission statement? If so, are employees aware of it?
Financial forecasting – How do they approach it? Are profits expected to increase, decrease, or stay the same? What statistical methodology is used (i.e.; break even/ratio analysis)?
Customer relations – How do they reach out to customers?
Advertising and promotions – What forms of advertising and promotions do they use?
Risk management – How in-depth is that process? Are employees (safety) included in that plan?
Human resources – How do they approach issues like hiring, training, diversity, continuous improvement initiatives, globalization?
Go beyond a description for each of the above areas and provide some analysis. How is the business doing? Do you see areas that could be improved? Also, be sure to discuss what makes this entrepreneur successful. What are they doing right? What could they do better?
Support your points with information from your course materials and outside sources, and be sure to cite and document sources of reference. If your discussion with the business owner indicates that certain concepts from the above list do not apply, be sure to discuss that within your paper. Assure the owner that you will protect their confidentiality and do not post any sensitive information online.
Your final analysis should be 17 pages, not including a cover page and references, and should be formatted using MLA.
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