Overview of the learning journey in Business Studies
Students will commence Component 1 - Exploring Enterprise, which is broken into three distinct assignments. Here they will be able to identify a different business types, such as sole traders, partnerships and corporations and will develop skills that will enable them to explain how they work and their associated benefits and drawbacks. They will also learn about other business characteristics including how business size is measured, location as well as the difference between products and services. The students will choose two local enterprises and for their first assignment will analyse these types of business characteristics.
Assignment 2 is based around the concept of market research and the different types, these being primary and secondary along with quantitative and qualitative data. Students will consider how market research is used in order to improve business profitability and efficiency and will apply their learning to their two chosen businesses.
Assignment 3 will follow the same two chosen businesses but will consider how both internal and external factors, whether these be political, economic etc. will impact on the success of these businesses. This will also include conducting two types of situational analysis on one of their chosen businesses, these being a SWOT analysis and a PEST analysis.
Students will commence the exam unit, this being Component 3 - Promotion and Finance for Enterprise.
Here the students will consider the different aspects of the promotional mix, such as sales promotions and public relations, will consider the different types of each, including their associated advantages and disadvantages of each. This theme will continue with looking at different types of market, such as B2B and B2C as well as Market Segmentation, including Demographic, Geographic, Psychographic and behavioural segmentation methods. This theory will be taught through case study and learning will be applied to different enterprise contexts.
Moving on from promotion, the students will develop skills in finance. This will include learning about the different sources of finance, methods of payment as well as being introduced to the concept of accounting, such as through Statements of Financial position and Statements of Comprehensive Income as well as Cash Flow Forecasting. In addition the students will be introduced to the concept of Break Even, how to calculate this and how to construct and analyse Break Even charts. Finally the students will consider how businesses can improve their financial position and the different types of action that can be taken. Again this learning will be applied through case study and practice exam questions.
Students will commence their final coursework assignment, this being Component 2 - Planning for and Running an Enterprise. This will involve introducing students to the concept of business planning.
Assignment 1 will encourage the students to research three viable business ideas, considering their associated benefits and drawbacks. They will then select one of these ideas and develop it into a full blown business plan, which will require the undertaking of market research in terms of developing the associated functional areas of their marketing mix, production/operations, finance and HR. This business plan will be written as a comprehensive report, divided into multiple sections, reviewing the research completed and turning their findings into a plan of action.
Assignment 2 and 3 are inextricably linked in that they will need to produce a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch based upon their plan of action as set out in their business plan. To support this they will need to produce an appropriate presentation summary, be prepared to answer a variety of questions based upon their work and will have the option of providing samples of their work and related promotional material. Assignment 3 will follow on from this and will be a comprehensive review of their pitch in terms of what went well and what they could improve upon, thinking about their presentation style, interpersonal skills and props etc.