Case Study Guidelines
The purpose of this assignment is to apply franchising and small business knowledge to develop a case study about a business of your choice:
- The business should be a small retail outlet (it can be an SME or franchise outlet).
- You are required to analyse and explain a number of issues faced by the business.
- This assignment is to be completed individually and has a 1200 to 1500 word length.
Topic / Task
- To get started you will need to read the course materials, and research relevant literature especially the academic journal articles (see references from the recommended textbooks and specified readings as a starting point). From this work, you will be able to write about the topics (franchise structure, SME’s, power & conflict, legal issues, disclosure and so on) relevant to your observations. Next, you will need to observe the actual business and reflect your observations against the literature you have read (this is a critical analysis). You will then interpret your observations to help you to assess the business and develop a framework from which potential issues (conflict, power, legal, the purchase of the business and so on) can be prevented or enhanced – depending on the perspective you take.
- Identify an existing business (you should focus on a small retailer as these will be easier to observe and make assumptions about) which appears to have the potential to be purchased. The organisation you choose must be a real business. (preferably somewhere near where you live – so you find it easily accesible). Prepare a report on the issues you think relate to this organisation. You CANNOT cover every issue so PICK one (1) or two (2) issues you think are relative. For example, if some of the suppliers to the business are large organisations then what power and prospective conflict issues might be at play. Your assumptions are purely speculative so your discussions will be largely theoretical.
- Ideally you will need access to some general information about the business, such as its history and marketing mix (product or service, pricing strategy, promotion and distribution methods). It is best to select a business that is easy to observe or to which the owners have granted you access. You may include additional material in an Appendix that is summarised or referred to in the report. This information will NOT be included in the word count. However ensure that the material placed in the Appendix is relevant.
- Is this business model feasible? This assignment is very much a practical exercise where you get to put into practice some of the issues discussed in the modules. However it is also an academic exercise requiring you to understand the theory behind the practice. In this sense, you should provide theoretical support for your recommendations in your report (that is, you need to do further academic research from the readings provided so far in the course).
Structure of the Report
- Executive summary (approx. 200-300 words – maximum – executive summary not included in word-count)
- Purpose of the study
- Brief precis of business
- Summary of the most important findings
- Table of Contents (ensure TOC has appropriate numbering, sub-headings and corresponding pages)
- Introduction(approx. 150 words)
- Purpose of the study
- Limitations to the study (areas which may have impeded you from providing an accurate representation of the business)
- Brief description of the business(approx. 200-300 words)
- Describe the current business organisation:
- It’s ownership, staffing, structure (if possible)
- Location (possibly embed a floor template if a retail business, a photo or 3D visual diagram of what the business physically presents like etc.)
- The types of products and/or service
- Age and size (perhaps a guess at annual turnover)
- Distribution structure (describe some of the suppliers to the business and/or if franchised)
- Promotional methods (advertisements in the newspaper or TV, radio etc)
- Pricing strategy
- Analysis (approx. 400-600 words)
From your observations what issues do you think apply to this business (EXPLORE ONLY ONE OR TWO ISSUES)
- Is the legal structure of the business appropriate?
- What power and/or conflict issues might exist (this might manifest as limited supply of branded products)?
- Are products easily accessible for the business? (ie can the supplier restrict supply)
- Does pricing provide profitability? (this is a constant source of conflict in the pizza industry)
- Should the business consider franchising? (or if franchised should it consider an exit to an SME)
- And so on – use your own research to see if there are other prospective issues which we have covered in the course and may apply to the business of your choice
- Conclusion (approx. 100-200 words)
- ANSWER THIS QUESTION: Is the business model feasible?
- Summarise the main issues identified in the study
- Spelling, grammar, referencing throughout assignment, quality of references
- There is no minimum number of references however it would be assumed that students have at least 10 references
- Academic references (e.g., journal articles) are a must – but some references will come from websites, company reports etc.
- Please use APA referencing format
- Please ensure that you check for spelling and grammatical errors as this can impede the flow of your report which may result in miscommunication of information.