The following is a suggested study program for students sitting the 2014 Preliminary Business Studies exam.
The Nature of Business
Focus on business structures and the advantages of each legal structure (such as sole trader, private company etc). Look at influences on choosing a legal structure such as the size of the business, the need for initial capital etc.
Also look at business goals – what are they – distinguish between the internal and external influences on business goals. For example, internal influences include ownership desires to maximise profits and growing the business, while external influences include government regulations the business must meet and social responsibilities.
Review the SMART acronym
Understand the business life cycle and actions a business can take to extend the life cycle of a product such as making changes to a product so that it continues to meet consumer needs.
Review the Garry’s Gas Guzzler example we did in one of the example exam questions.
Understand why businesses need a business plan.
Explain the importance of a situational analysis (swot) and sources of information that can included in a situation analysis.
Who might use a business plan apart from managers of the business (eg banks in assessing finance applications or governments in assessing applications for relevant licences, environmental groups in assessing the impact of a businesses plans on the environment, potential investors in deciding on whether or not to invest) ?
What does the marketing section of a business plan set out? Why is it important for a business to define who their target market is and how their product meets the needs of the target market?
Classical (management is CLOP – controlling, leading, organizing and planning) and (multi-layered “tall”) structures – top down approach to management
Behavioural – (management is leading, motivating and communicating) flatter management strategies – especially relevant to smaller businesses – team building approach to management - collegiate, participative.
Contingency – management makes decisions based on the current set of circumstances and may therefore use a combination of management structures and approaches. Management needs to make adjustments to business processes to maximise progress. Sometimes use COP – sometimes use more participative and collegiate style of management.
Key business functions
Management process focuses on aligning all aspects of the business with the wants and needs of the business’s clients.
Management process attempts improve processes in the four key business functions.
Managing the interdependence of functions – communication, team building
Objective is the efficient (ie achieving maximum output from available resources) and effective (meeting business objectives) operation of the business.
Managing Change Effectively by
Identifying the need for change
Setting achievable goals
Creating a culture of change
Overcoming resistance to change
Implementing change effectively – perhaps using management consultants
Management processes are applied to a range of business circumstances and objectives to ensure that the four key business functions operate interdependently to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of stakeholders. This may involve having flexible business structures and approaches to meet the needs of the business given changing business circumstances.
Make sure you have a couple of case studies you can use as examples for any of the issues mentioned above.
Queanbeyan Gardening Suppliers Pty Ltd (QGS) is a family owned business that has been in operation for over fifty years. The current General Manager of QGS,