Notes:

In the attached excel file the companies construction/renovation/property rental portfolio is included.

I have also included some issues the owner is facing, his current strategy and a few strategies he can implement. You can use those ideas and explain more for the paper. Also, we might have to make up a few issues and ideas to support the essay more.

IMPORTANT: The owner did not share information on marketing, management, and organization. Therefore, we need to make up information to satisfy the paper.

Ajax business case is also attached to answer the question.

REFERENCES are key. All outside resources need to be cited

Question:

Adviser to a Small Business Owner or Manager

Your ultimate mission is to identify two or three major issues facing the owner or manager of a small or medium size business and recommend a practical course of action that addresses these issues or problems.

You need to start this by interviewing the owner or manager of a small business. It may be someone you already know, such as a friend or family member, or a contact discovered by networking. Ideally this individual will be working in an industry or business type that is of interest to you. High priority should be given to identifying a business that is beyond Stage 1 of the Churchill and Lewis framework. That is, this assignment works best if the business you identify has employees, is beyond survival and, if a retail enterprise, has more than one location.

Specifically:

In the course of your probing questions, learn what the business is and work at identifying two or three issues facing the owner. They may be problems the subject knows he or she has or it may be problems that you see to which the subject may be unaware. In rare cases, the business may be running well, but there is always something that could be done better, more efficiently or even eliminated.
Your analysis should discuss how the owner has been addressing these issues to date. What is working and what is not?
As an adviser to the owner, what would you recommend: What should XYZ Company do? (Or ask the question about a specific manager: What should Mr./Ms. X do?). And, of course, Why. Always, Why!
Words of advice: The “problems” are often not what the owner or manager thinks they are. They may just be symptoms. Review Mr. Roberts in the Ajax case.

The interview can take place over the phone or in person. You should probe areas of finance, marketing, management and organization. The name and title of the person as well as the name, address, and phone number of the organization with whom they are affiliated should also be included in the report final report.

Getting good financial information is almost always the most challenging. You can assure your subject that the information never goes further than the instructors. If helpful, pseudonyms could be used in the paper, so long as you separately, in an email, alert the instructor to the actual name of the business. Obtaining full financials is not always necessary. Asking about relevant financial numbers could be sufficient. But probe: e.g., do expenses include a salary for the owner (if actively involved in management)? Do revenues include long outstanding receivables?

Furthermore, don’t take everything at face value. For example, if the owner of a chain of five coffee shops says that 80% of revenue comes from coffee sales and the average sale is $3 and you’re told revenue for the chain is about $100,000 per week that would mean about 5300 coffee sales weekly per store (or more than one cup every minute, 7 days a week, 12 hours per day). Does that seem reasonable?

There is no minimum length, but the write-up should not be more than 2100 words, plus any useful exhibits, tables, etc.

Course Project Rubric

Identified a real financial, marketing or organizational/management issue facing a small business: 20%
Present the relevant background, supporting data, and context: 20%
Offers an analysis that draws on the relevant parts of the course that supports your recommendation of “What should XYZ Company or Manager A do and why?”: 50%
Use of proper grammar, spelling, citations: 10%