BSc (All Business Programmes) (Phase 1)
Commercial Awareness – Retake – Summative Assignment
Controlled Assessment Time-Line – 4 Phases
Phase 1.Outline of the Summative Assignment
Information on the format of the Assessment (a business plan) will be made available in the
first half of the module.
Phase 2.Week Six
The case study for the business plan will be made available in week six. You can begin to
work on the assessment from that date onwards. You should expect to complete this work
by the end of the term.
Phase 3. 21 December 2015 at 09.00 Release of Supplementary Information:
Further information will be placed on the VLE at 09.00 on the morning of 21 December 2015.
You will now need to apply this new information to your business plan, making alterations to
your existing plan where necessary. You have 3 hours in which to complete your plan with
the new information included.
Your completed assessment will need to be submitted via TurnitIn by 16.00 on 21 December
2015. (Details on how to submit your work via TurnitIn will be available to read on the VLE in
the Assessment section of this module.) It is strongly suggested that you submit your
completed plan by 13.00 so as to avoid any technical problems that could occur at the last
moment. Late submissions will be capped at 40%.
Controlled Assessment brief:
This 1,500 word assessment allows you to explore how important an effective business plan
is to the potential success of a business: how it can clarify your business idea, help to define
your long-term objectives, and how it is vital for convincing a bank or an investor to support
The assessment will test your skills in a number of ways, for instance:
Your knowledge of the syllabus
Your ability to apply those concepts in a practical situation
Your understanding of the concepts behind the development of suitable market
research and sales planning
Your ability to identify key areas for research
your ability to display good, clear professional writing skills
The Business Plan will include the following:
1. An Executive Summary (10 marks)
2. A vision and mission statement (10 marks)
3. A Market and Competitor Analysis (25 marks – maximum 600 words)
4. A Sales and Marketing Plan (25 marks – maximum 600 words)
5. A further 20 marks will be allocated for effective use of the Phase 3 Supplementary
Information that will be released on the VLE on the morning of 18 December 2015.
6. Presentation Skills: Further marks will be awarded for presentation style, use of
correct (Harvard) referencing and professional and persuasive writing skills
1. Executive Summary (10 marks)
This outlines your business proposal. Often it is the LAST section to be written, as it is a
consolidation of all the information you have put together in the plan, but it needs to go on
the first page of the business plan.
Most potential investors may be unfamiliar with your business. Your Executive Summary
needs to be clear and concise. And remember, bank managers and investors often make
provisional judgements based on the executive summary alone, so it also needs to be
The Executive Summary highlights the most important points in your plan and should sum
up six areas:
1. Your product or service and its advantages – what makes it different/unique?
2. Your opportunity in the market – where is the gap that you will fill?
3. Your track record to date – what success have you had so far?
4. Financial projections – brief summary of projections for the next couple of years – you
may need to make some assumptions around these.
5. Funding requirements and expected returns for the investor – what investment are you
looking for and what will the investor receive in return?
6. The management skills within your team – who are your management team and what is
2. Vision and Mission Statement (10 marks)
Put simply, your mission is what you do best every day, and your vision is what the future
looks like because you do that mission so exceedingly well.
Consider what would be an appropriate and inspiring vision and mission statement for this
business. You may wish to research statements from existing businesses in order to come
up with your own statement for this business.
3. Market and Competitor Analysis (25 marks)
Your business may not work unless there is a viable market and you know how you are
going to beat the competition. You must show you have undertaken the market
research needed to justify what you say in your plan and support this by use of
relevant data and statistical information.
In this section of the business plan you might focus on:
Using relevant statistics, data and numerical information to analyse the market
sector, target market and local demographics. This should include using suitable
charts, graphs and diagrams.
The segments of the markets you plan to target, for example local customers or a
particular age group. You will need to outline the key characteristics of buyers in
each segment (eg. age, gender or income)
How large each market segment is and whether it is growing or declining (you will
need to undertake some research and use data to prove this)
You will need to illustrate the important trends in the market – and the reasons
behind them – e.g. is the market growing or shrinking? Use of suitable charts/graphs
would be appropriate.
Consider: are there any ethical or cultural considerations that may affect the market.
These could be things like environmental concerns or providing for different religious
or cultural beliefs
You may wish to mention what customers you already have and any sales you have
Show you understand who your competition is and what their products are – what
makes you better and how will you beat them?
Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, consider using a
SWOT analysis to analyse this
Explain why people will move from established competitors and buy from you instead
4. Sales and Marketing Plan (25 marks)
This section is crucial as it often gives an indication of the business’s chances of success.
Here in the business plan you might show:
How the marketing mix (4 P’s) can be used to increase sales
How your product or service will meet your customers’ specific needs – what features
and benefits does it provide?
How you will position your product – is it a luxury item for one-off purchases, or is it
an every-day item that will be bought frequently?
Show how your price, quality and service will compare with competitors. If you are
positioned as a luxury product, how will this impact your price?
List the key sales points for your product or service – why would people buy it from
you at the price you charge?
Consider how you might brand your business – what logo, slogan and image would
you choose and why?
Will you be able to make repeat sales and how will you build relationships with
customers? How could you encourage loyalty from your customers?
What techniques and approaches will you use to promote and sell your product Eg.
using advertising, PR, direct mail or via email and a website, or considering digital
marketing or social media
Outline the core messages you will use – what will you say to people about why they
should buy your product/service?
5. Supplementary Information (20 Marks)
A further 20 marks will be allocated for good use of the Phase 3 Supplementary Information
which will be released at 9am on the morning of 18 December 2015.
When incorporating the supplementary information into your plan, it is important to consider
the implications. What impact will a particular piece of information have on the business?
Will it be positive or negative and why? How should the business deal with any issues
6. Presentation Skills (10 Marks)
You are expected to present your work in a business-like way, using the correct referencing
techniques and language that is appropriate to the audience that you are addressing.
Using headings, sub-headings, sentences and paragraphs is expected. It is good practice to
include a title page (in addition to the standard BPP cover page) and a contents page.
Ensure you understand and use Harvard referencing correctly.
A minimum of 40% must be secured in order to pass this assessment.
Additional Guidance Information
The Case Study will be made available in week five of your course. You can begin to work
on the assessment from that date onwards. At 09.00 on the morning of the controlled
assessment (18 December 2015) further information regarding this case will be made
available. You are expected to consider this supplementary information and to include it in
your final submission. The completed assessment must be uploaded onto Turnitin by 16.00
at the latest on the day of the controlled assessment.
Explanation of the assessment criteria and how the marking scheme works
Your assignment will be marked according to the Assessment Criteria for Level 4. The
criteria are designed to test your knowledge of concepts i.e. your understanding of relevant
terms, ideas, theories, notions and principles and your ability to apply those concepts in a
practical situation. You will also need to show your understanding of what elements should
be included in an effective business plan.
Word count policy
The maximum word count for the report is 1,500 words – any work which exceeds this limit
will not be marked. Please note that title page, contents page, headings, references and
appendices are excluded from the word count. Appendices may add to the professionalism
of your report, but will not be marked, so you must ensure that your report includes all the
relevant information and is within the word count.
Candidates should show how many words they have used on the front of their assignment.
Referencing and the Harvard system
During the course of writing an essay, a report or an assignment, you would normally
support your points and your arguments by referring to the published works of others. For
the purposes of this assessment these references may be from work presented in journal or
newspaper articles, government reports, books or specific chapters of books, or material
from credible sources on the Internet (Wikipedia is not a credible academic source)
Giving a reference is the practice of referring to the work of other authors in the text of your
own piece of work. Within your assignment, each time you use the work of others it needs to
be referenced back to the ‘Bibliography’ at the end of the work: this gives the full details of
the source item and should enable it to be traced. Referring accurately to such source
materials is part of sound academic practice and a skill that should be mastered – it’s
important to give credit to others whose ideas you have used.
The Harvard referencing is the mandatory approach and a full explanation as to how this
system works is available in the Assessment section of the VLE. The Module Leader will
also deliver a webinar specifically on this topic, to ensure you understand the requirements
Advice on plagiarism and collusion
Copying material i.e. plagiarism, from a third party source is a serious offence and may
result in your work not being accepted. Plagiarism involves presenting work as though it
were your own or using ideas of another author without acknowledging the fact. Collusion
takes place when two or more students submit work that is too similar i.e. similar in words,
content and style, such as might be put down to coincidence. Make sure that the work you
submit is your own or is appropriately referenced. If in doubt you should speak to your tutor.
Writing your report
The Business Plan should be presented in a professional manner. The writing should be
clear, concise and persuasive. The report should be well structured and the tone used
should be business-like.
Please use Headings and Sub-Headings throughout the report to provide the reader with a
logical flow of content. You may use presentation aids such as colour and diagrams to
support the text where appropriate.
Candidates are advised to use a professional format for their work e.g. Arial font type, font
size 11 or 12 and 1.5 line spacing to provide an overall proportion of 25% white space.
Student Marking Guidance
You are expected to use models and theories to support your argument and analysis. To
pass you will need to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the subject and
evidence of some critical awareness. For a higher grade you will need to demonstrate a
deep knowledge of the subject and critical argument and analysis.
Section Question Marks Approach
(Mission and vision
(Sales and marketing
6 Presentation, use of
released on 18
relevant structure and
Harvard referencing your paper, using titles, subtitles and a
BSc Business Management
BSc Professional Accounting
Commercial Awareness – Summative Assignment Phase 2
Released in week six
Phase 2 – Controlled Assessment Case Study
Based on the information included in the Case Study below you need to write a Business Plan
suitable for presentation to a potential investor.
The Business Plan should include the following:
1. An Executive Summary (10 marks)
2. A vision and mission statement (10 marks)
3. A Market and Competitor Analysis (25 marks)
4. A Sales and Marketing Plan (25 marks)
5. A further 20 marks will be allocated for effective use of the Phase 3 Supplementary
Information which will be released on the VLE at 9am on the morning of 18 December
6. Presentation Skills: Further marks will be awarded for presentation style, use of correct
referencing and professional and persuasive writing skills (10 marks)
Francis Jones and his business partner, Tony Payne, set up ‘Franco’s Pizza Takeaway’
eighteen months ago. It is a Pizza takeaway business serving pizza, fries, burgers and desserts
in the busy London suburb of Richmond.
Francis and Tony both have experience in the hospitality sector – Francis has worked as a chef
in a large contract catering restaurant chain and Tony as Hospitality Manager of a local hotel.
They both decided to set up the pizza takeaway following redundancy from their respective
employments. Their redundancy money has provided the start-up capital for the business
Francis and Tony have each contributed £50,000, which secured the 15 year lease on a shop
and some working capital to ensure they can pay suppliers and have enough stock. They
would now like further finance of £120,000 as either a share of their equity in the business or a
business loan from a bank or business angel. This would be to open another outlet and also to
promote the business more in the local community. The existing outlet has recently broken
even and sales revenue is growing strongly.
In their current outlet they have two full-time members of staff to cover the long hours that the
takeaway is open. They also sometimes have some casual staff on call to cover periods that
the takeaway is very busy. During the week the takeaway is less busy and it is these nights
that the promotional effort would be targeted at. The weekends tend to be very busy due to the
proximity to local bars that open late at weekends.
The location of the takeaway is on a road close to other takeaways such as fish and chip shops,
burger bars and other late night takeaways. It’s also close to tube stations and on a bus route.
There are shops in the immediate proximity and within walking distance to a university. The
main circuit of pubs and bars features on the same road as Franco’s and other adjoining streets.
The mix of customers that Franco’s appeals to tends to vary on whether it is weekday or
weekend and on whether it is lunchtime, early evening or late night. During the day the
takeaway can attract workers in the area; in the early evening customers can be families,
students or workers on their way home. The late night clientele tends to be students and people
leaving late night bars. Francis and Tony think they offer a very friendly service, a good quality
product and at a low price. So far their business has grown based on their signage and word of
mouth recommendations. They haven’t advertised or use promotional literature.
At the moment they buy all their pizza bases in from local suppliers, but they wonder whether
making their own pizza bases on the premises would give a better quality product that they
could charge more for. They are also thinking about trying to appeal to specific segments of
customers for example those who suffer from celiac disease (those people who have a wheat
allergy), and vegetarians and vegans. They are also conscious of trends towards healthier
eating and as a result are thinking of avoiding using harmful hydrogenated fat in their pizza
bases. They would like to source materials from very local suppliers wherever possible to
support the local community.
Francis and Tony are in a dilemma regarding their supply of cooking materials. On the one
hand they are attracted by low prices and the convenience of buying in bulk. This helps them to
keep the prices of their pizzas low. On the other hand they would like to use fresher ingredients
and experiment with more premium products, but are anxious about how this would affect their
prices and margins and whether potential customers would pay for this. The takeaway market
seems to be very price sensitive.
They think the chances of their business being a long-term viable success might increase if they
looked to cater for differing needs of customers and were able to target different market
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