Posted: June 27th, 2015

Section 2 of the report requires you to complete a critical analysis of the industry/ sector/ market & competitive positioning

Task question
You are required to produce a Strategic growth plan for Hand Made Burger Company (UK)
For the purposes of this assessment you will have to write the report based on an assumption that the organisation is actively seeking substantial growth over the next 1-5 year period. This may of course not be a realistic aspiration of the actual owner(s)/ managers but you are to assume that the long term goal is to achieve high levels of growth.
The strategic growth plan is divided into four sections for which the recommended word length of the entire plan is approximately 5,000 words. This does not include appendices to support the main report; tables/ charts/ diagrams etc and a short reflective learning experience statement having completed the module.
Section 1 of the report requires you to produce a summary of the strategic position of the organisation (10% overall grade)
Section 2 of the report requires you to complete a critical analysis of the industry/ sector/ market & competitive positioning (30% of overall grade)
Section 3 of the report requires you to produce a comprehensive growth strategy for the business. (40% of the overall grade) It is recommended that you present this in three integrated stages:
Stage one discussing/ explaining your rationale for short term strategies over the next 12 month period
Stage two from the end of year 1 to end of year 3 Stage three end of year 3 to year 5.
It is important that these growth strategies demonstrate clear connections from one stage to the next & make sense in light of the analysis given in the previous sections of your plan i.e. capitalising on what the organisation is good at, responding to market changes, looking to take advantage of new opportunities, overcoming looming threats or developing new innovative services or products..
Section 4 of the report should detail the different issues that will be involved in managing the growth (20% of overall grade)
please note the different weightings assigned to each part of the strategic growth plan. The plan will require a great deal of information gathering
Task structure
Guidelines for writing the Strategic Growth Plan for an Existing Small Business
The main body of the report is your discussion of the significance and interpretation of your analysis of the industry/ sector & business and specific strategic recommendations for the future strategic growth of the organisation.
Your own reflective learning experience statement on undertaking this module, tables/ charts etc; PEST Analysis, SWOT Analysis for example should be put into your appendices & do not count towards your word count. Do NOT just describe these analytical tools in the main body of your report, you MUST highlight the significance of the analysis, what does it mean for the company?
Remember the primary purpose of this report is to develop a holistic growth strategy for the business over the next 1- 5 years – consequently your recommended growth strategies represent 40% of the overall grade for the report.
You must provide a list of references at the end of your report (20 references).

Small Business Strategic Growth Plan
Table of contents

I. Table of contents 2
ll Organisation Strategic Position …………….………………………………….5
III. Strategic Industry/ Market Analysis/ competitor analysis ……………….……6
lV. Recommended Growth Strategies ………………………………………………8
V. Managing the Growth…………………………………………………………….. 6
Vl Appendices (Including Reflective Learning Experience Statement)……….. 9

PART 1: Organisation Strategic Position
(Suggested word count 750 – 1000 words: This represents APPROX 10% overall grade)
This section should briefly introduce the organisation & provide some analysis of the overall strategic position.
Many companies have a brief mission statement, usually in thirty words or less, explaining their reason for existence and their guiding principles. If the company has a mission statement, this is a good place to put it in the plan – you should comment on this.
Whether they have a mission statement or not you must identify the sector they compete within, who do they market their products/ services to? (Briefly here – you will do a more thorough explanation in the market analysis section).
Is it a growing business? What changes are happening in the sector and how might the company position itself to take advantage of them? Briefly Identify key competitors.
Highlight the most important company strengths/ Weaknesses of the company
What significant challenges the company faces now and in the foreseeable future.
What are the plans for the future of the business? Growth?
In your appendices you should include an appendix on some factual information on the organisation or company background. Avoid making this just a potted history of the business, but refer to; years in business, short bio of lead entrepreneur, reputation (if known) in the business community, sales and profit history (if available), number of employees.

PART 2: Strategic Industry/ Market Analysis & Competitor Analysis
(Suggested word count 1500 words: This represents APPROX 30% overall grade)
Overview & trends in the industry:
An overview of the sector/ industry & trends of the sector/ industry. Trends in target market(s) in consumer preferences, and trends/ innovations in product development. How are things changing in the sector/ industry? Who are the key markets/ customers & what do they value?
You MUST refer to industry data & market reports for this – this is important to demonstrate a proper understanding of the sector/ industry.

Use PEST analysis for macro environmental analysis & identify the likely impact on the sector/ industry & the implications for the business ( BUT DON’T list PEST). You should include a PEST analysis table in your APPENDICES. In the main body of the report should be your analysis/ discussion of this.
Use SWOT Analysis to undertake an evaluation of the company’s strengths & weaknesses related to factors such as finance, marketing, management, production or service levels. You should also provide a clear identification & discussion of opportunities and threats present or emerging from the external environment eg: changes in legislation increasing market demand, access to new international markets, competitor activity, new distribution channels, supplier problems(BUT DON’T lis SWOT)… You should include a SWOT analysis table in your APPENDICES. In the main body of the report should be your analysis/ discussion of this.
Your discussion of the analysis part of SWOT is where you can demonstrate how you think the company might build on strengths, limit or overcome weaknesses, capitalise on opportunities & protect the company from threats.
Competitor Analysis:
List the organisations main competitors:
Do they compete with the company across the board, or just for certain products, certain customers, or in certain locations?
Compare the products/services with competition (see table below for full basis of comparison)
The Growth strategies you recommend in the next section should reflect your findings in the Industry/ market analysis & PEST/ SWOT & competitor analysis.

Use the table below on Competitive Analysis to compare the company with the three most important competitors. In the first column are the key competitive factors.
Since these vary with each market, you may want to customise the list of factors for your particular company. In the cell labelled Company, state how the company is perceived in their customers’ minds, then tick for each factor whether it is a strength or weakness.
Then analyse each major competitor. In a few words, state how you think they compare in the final column, estimate how important each competitive factor is to the customer. 1 = critical; 5 = not very important.
Competitive Analysis

FACTOR Company Strength Weakness Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Importance to Customer
Company Reputation
Sales Method
Credit Policies

Having done the competitive matrix, you are required to write a short paragraph stating the competitive advantages and disadvantages of each competitor.

PART 3: Recommended Growth Strategies
(Suggested word count 2000 words: This represents APPROX 40% overall grade)
This section of the report requires you to develop a holistic growth strategy for the business. It is recommended that you present this as three integrated stages.
Stage one discussing short term strategies over the next 12 month period
Stage two from the end of year 1 to end of year 3
Stage three end of year 3 to year 5.
In your initial overview of this part of the report, you should make reference to the basis on which the company will compete, e.g. Focused Differentiation and why you believe this is appropriate.
It is very unlikely there will be just one strategy, rather a number of strategic initiatives that work together over the 5 year period to achieve the growth. Your report should demonstrate how the different facets of strategy work together and make long term strategic sense over time. You should place particular emphasis on issues of innovation and competitiveness.
It is important that these growth strategies should make sense in light of the analysis in the previous sections of your plan i.e. capitalising on what the organisation is good at, responding to market changes, looking to take advantage of new opportunities, overcoming looming threats or developing new innovative services, products or ways of working. You should make appropriate references to your analysis in this section.
Your growth strategies will be a combination of some of the following (You must prioritise these)
Market penetration of existing markets
New Product or service Innovations
Market Development/ International Market Development
Diversification into other sectors & products (possibly related to existing business)
These may be achieved through one or a combination of:
Organic growth – Joint Ventures/ alliances – Acquisitions/ mergers with other firms
Each strategy needs to have a clear strategic rationale linked to specific strategic objectives for the company. You need to explain the strategy, why do you think these strategies are appropriate? Discuss the details of each option considering where appropriate such issues as;
Marketing implications, Development of innovative technical processes to increase competitiveness, Cost containment or reduction, Capital investment requirements, Overseas market growth, Improving supply chain management efficiencies, Quality control, Outsourcing of activities to improve cost efficiencies, Evaluation of suitable JV partners, Potential acquisitions & related benefits… The list could be much longer!

PART 4: Managing the Growth
(Suggested word count 1000 words: This represents APPROX 20% overall grade)
In light of your strategic options identified in section 4 on growth strategies you need to consider the following issues:
Timing schedule for Growth Plan: A timeline with projected completion dates of strategic objectives over the 3 stages of the plan. This should illustrate how the different strategic options “fit together” – It is best to present this in a chart format.
Projected Sources of Finance – How will the strategies be funded? Loans/ venture capital?
Leadership/ Structure – Who the key management team to manage the growth strategy will be? If a single entrepreneur, how will their management style need to change in light of the growth. Does the organisational structure need to change?
Support/ Networks – What Government initiatives/ support e.g: Business Links/ Mentoring/ Consultancy could assist in helping deliver the strategy. Will the business need to develop particular networks?
Premises – Are they big enough for the proposed growth? Where will the business relocate?
Technology – will existing systems cope? Would new software or equipment ease pressures? Improve efficiency? Quality? Customer service? Supply Chain Management?

You must include a list of references at the end of your report

Appendices (not part of the word count)
Provide a reflective learning experience statement (250 word max) on what you believe you have learnt and how you have developed in terms of
1. Understanding the processes of small business growth
2. Skills development whilst undertaking the research project.
3. Your reflections on the module as a whole, what might you do differently if you took it again?
Where available: include in your appendices details & studies used in the Plan; for example:
Industry Statistics
Market Research
SWOT Analysis
PEST Analysis
Competitor Analysis Table
(Where appropriate) Revised Organisational structural diagrams, who is responsible for key functions?
Any other materials needed to support the assumptions in this plan.

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