BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

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BUSN 315 Contemporary Business
Choose one of the following countries: United States, China, Costa Rica, or India. How do you…

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BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

A+ Entire Course: You Decide Week 4, 7 | Discussions Week 1-7 | Final Exam

Jennifer’s Clothing Store Part 1 – You Decide Week 4

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Scenario

You are a small business consultant who has been hired by Jennifer to advise her on a business opportunity. Your task is to provide Jennifer a written assessment of the opportunity, plus recommendations that can help her be successful. This is the first of two meetings that you have scheduled. In this meeting, you will focus on ethics and social responsibility, marketing, and human resources.

Your Role: You are a consultant newly hired by Jennifer to help her understand and provide expertise and research for her clothing store. As the consultant, you are being paid to provide specific and unbiased advice to Jennifer and her business partners. This is part one of a two-part You Decide. In part one, your consulting efforts will focus on the business environment, ethics and social responsibility, marketing, and human resources. Please note that all of these topics have been covered in Weeks 1 through 4 of this course. Be sure to utilize the textbook and other research as necessary.

Key Players: Jennifer Store Owner

Hello, thank you so much for coming to our meeting today. Let me introduce the team that is represented here. First off, I am Jennifer, the founder of Jennifer’s Clothing Store. To my right is Mr. David Green, who is a cofounder and an important adviser to our company, and to my left is Mr. Steve Mura, who is our marketing director. Let me be brief and talk a bit about what we want to do today. I am considering the launch of a new clothing store in my suburban hometown. I have actually found three possible locations that are available for lease. Any one of them would be excellent for a clothing store. I hope you can shed light, from a marketing perspective, on various factors we should think about when we are picking our store location. We have a great team here today, and I hope that someday the business can be big enough to sell so I can retire with my husband. Other than that, I do not have any particular short- or long-term goals for the store. That is all I have to say for now; I want to turn it over to David to discuss.

David Green Co-Founder;

Thank you, Jennifer. I have a few items that I would like to discuss in this meeting. First, let’s chat about the need for a truly ethical and responsible company. Jennifer and I recognize the importance of having a store that preaches a culture of ethics and is responsible to the environment and a true member of the local community. We would like for you to think about ways our company can show the general public that we care about these issues. Secondly, I want your report to discuss ways to motivate employees. How can Jennifer keep her staff excited and involved? This is critical to success, as we recognize the importance of human resources. Those are the issues I would like to see addressed; now I want to turn it over to Steve, our marketing director, to discuss the marketing issues.

Steve Mura Marketing Director

Thanks David. Let’s chat about our marketing needs. First a little background: Jennifer has 20 years of experience selling clothing for large retailers but now feels ready to take some risk and venture out on her own. Her target market is female baby boomers. The only stores in her area that sell similar clothing are the major department stores at the mall—but those are 30 miles away. However, Jennifer is unsure what new competition she will face in the future. Do you think there are competitors we are not thinking about? Do you think this target market is big enough to have decent sales? From a supply chain standpoint, Jennifer has great connections with potential U.S. suppliers. She can acquire a variety of name-brand clothes for her store that her target group would likely find attractive. However, she has no official business relationships with these suppliers yet and would need to either apply for trade credit or pay for inventory up front. She also has been introduced to a broker who can help her find clothing suppliers in China that produce clothes just like the name brands but at half the cost. With all this in mind, don’t forget what David talked about when thinking about our marketing program. We want to be good corporate citizens, so when picking a partner, do we need to evaluate its business model? In your report that you are preparing, please be sure to focus on our marketing efforts. You remember from your college days that it means we need to talk about product, price, place, and promotion. I look forward to your report and thank you for your time.

Activity: You are to write an 800–1,200-page essay that addresses the following questions posted by Jennifer and her partners. This report should be well researched and offer specific recommendations for her company. Please be sure to include a cover page, introduction, and conclusion. The paper needs to be written in APA format and should have at least three scholarly sources cited (your textbook and course lectures can and should be two of the sources used). Please be sure to write in an essay format that answers the following questions.

  • What is the business environment like for Jennifer? What other areas should she consider?
  • What ethical and social responsibility issues should Jennifer consider in this business? What can Jennifer do to be a good corporate citizen? Be specific in your recommendation.
  • How could Jennifer further define her target audience? What are some cost-effective marketing strategies that Jennifer could use?
  • Discuss the basic marketing plan she should follow. In other words, discuss the four Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) and how they should be managed for her clothing store.
  • What issues should Jennifer consider in terms of managing her employees and keeping them motivated? What HR issues should Jennifer consider?

Preview:

Jennifer is the founder/owner of Jennifer’s Clothing Store,  a retail clothing store that caters to female baby boomers.  She is enlisting the help of a consultant to receive expert advice on how to best run her business, particularly in regard to the…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Jennifer’s Clothing Store Part 2 – You Decide Week 7

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Scenario

You are a small business consultant who has been hired by Jennifer to advise her on a business opportunity. Your task is to provide Jennifer a written assessment of the opportunity, plus recommendations that can help her be successful. This is the second of two meetings that you have scheduled. In this meeting, you will focus on finance, operations, and business formation.

Your Role

You are a consultant newly hired by Jennifer to help her understand and provide expertise and research for her clothing store. As the consultant, you are being paid to provide specific and unbiased advice to Jennifer and her business partners. This is part two of a two-part You Decide. In part two, your consulting efforts will focus on finance, operations, and business formation. Please note that all of these topics have been covered in Weeks 5 through 7 of this course. Be sure to utilize the textbook and other research as necessary.

Key Players Jennifer Store Owner

Hello, thank you so much for coming to our second meeting. I really enjoyed your previous report. Understanding the social and ethical responsibility of running a business in the 21st century is critical to our success. Also, your report on marketing and human resources issues was helpful. In this meeting we want to focus on finance, operations, and business formation options; as such, we have two others present at this meeting who would like to talk with you. David Green, you met him last meeting, is our principal investor, and George Hendrick is our accounting and finance manager.

David Green Co-Founder

Thanks, Jennifer. I too enjoyed your report. I do not have much to talk about today, but what I am concerned with is critical for us both. Jennifer and I have talked about this company and know the clothing business, but we have no legal background whatsoever. We would like for you to recommend the legal form our business should adopt. Should it be a general partnership? Should we get an LLC? A corporation? We simply do not know and hope that you can do some research and give us some sound advice. Please be sure to tell us why you chose the legal form, because this will be important for us to understand. As I said, I have little to chat about, so I will turn it over to George to discuss the finance issues.

George Hendrick Finance Director

 Thanks, David. Now we need to talk about the accounting and finance issues of this firm. As you may already know, we estimate that Jennifer would need about $20,000 to get the store ready to open. This includes some painting, a sign, and store fixtures. One advantage is that Jennifer doesn’t need a complex payment processing system or cash registers, because she can check customers out using applications on a smartphone. This will save her several thousand dollars compared to a retailer who doesn’t use this technology. Jennifer also needs to buy inventory, but she’s uncertain how much inventory to buy. She could buy $10,000 of merchandise inventory, which would give her some basic styles in different sizes. However, she’s considering buying an additional $20,000 of merchandise inventory, which would give her several additional styles for customers to choose from, plus many popular accessories. In addition to the start-up costs, Jennifer will require some working capital to run the store until it becomes profitable. She has $35,000 in savings and has room on her credit cards for $20,000 more. The store’s projected expenses are $8,000 per month. The average article of clothing will sell for $50 and will cost her $10. Jennifer has observed that a store like hers typically sells between 150 and 350 articles of clothing per month, depending on how well the store is managed and marketed. But it typically takes 3 to 4 months before the store is selling at its maximum potential. The store will have three to four employees, who will work at minimum wage plus commission. The employees will likely be younger females who are just out of high school or in college. The last concern we have is about funding. What recommendations do you have for acquiring the capital needed to get this store off the ground? Should we look at equity financing or debt financing? And in either case, where should we look to find the funding? We realize this part is challenging, and your recommendations will be important for this start-up. That is all we have; we look forward to reading your report and we thank you for your time

100 Points: Demonstrates a strong grasp of the problem at hand. Demonstrates understanding of how the course concepts apply to the problem. Graphs are used to represent the financial issues.

Preview:

In the consultant’s second meeting with Jennifer’s Clothing Store, Jennifer and her colleagues discussed the other areas where they need help and advice.  In particular, they need advice on the legal form the business should take….

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Discussions Week 1-7 All Students Posts 491 Pages

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Trade Barriers and Business Environment Week 1 All Students Posts 78 Pages

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Trade Barriers – 44 Pages

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Choose one of the following countries: United States, China, Costa Rica, or India. How do you think trade barriers might benefit or harm them? How do you think a lack of trade barriers might benefit or harm them? Be specific about the types of trade barriers you are referring to.

Class, if you were a company owner who traded internationally, would you be for or against trade barriers? Why or why not?

Class, if one country, let’s call it Country A, was getting a benefit of free trade, but the other country, let’s name this one Country B, did not reciprocate, what could Country A do to protect its interests?  If you were a company owner who traded internationally, would you be for or against trade barriers? Why or why not?  If one country, let’s call it Country A, was getting a benefit of free trade, but the other country, let’s name this one Country B, did not reciprocate, what could Country A do to protect its interests?…

Business Environment – 34 Pages

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In the last 15 years, we have witnessed massive changes to every dimension of the business environment. Choose one of the dimensions of the business environment and discuss how changes in this dimension have affected businesses. How have these changes affected you as a consumer?

Class, how do technology advancements affect the human resources needs of a business?  What are some of the advantages?  Are there any disadvantages?

Tracking changes in the business environment is important because it lets you know what a company may need to improve in, add on or let go. For instance a company that does not offer online shopping would now begin to consider offering online shopping due to how popular and convenient it is. Adding this service could also bring more revenue…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

US Economy and Social Responsibility Week 2 All Students Posts 67 Pages

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US Economy – 32 Pages

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If the United States’ economy was in recession, how would you expect the Federal Reserve System (the central banking system of the U.S.A.) to use its three primary tools for managing money supply? What would its goal be when utilizing these tools to improve the economy?

Class, if you are a company and a recession is on the horizon, what are some strategies you could employ to protect your firm and employees?  What is the role of the Fed in economic cycles, in helping to avoid drastic recessions or a full depression which has not occurred since the Great Depression in the 1930s?  What can and should the Fed do to avoid a recession – or should the Fed let a recession occur as a part of an economic cycle?…

Social Responsibility – 35 Pages

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In what ways could a large retailer (e ies..g., Wal-Mart, Home Depot) demonstrate social responsibility to its stakeholders? Discuss at least one of the core stakeholders in your answer.

Class, reportedly at one point, Wal-Mart hired the head of the Sierra Club to run its environmental program to become green.  Some say that it was a not-so-subtle attempt to quiet the critics, while others applaud its approach of hiring someone with a “green” background to help the company. What do you think? Was this a genuine attempt to take part in green efforts, or was it simply a ploy? Please explain your answer and your analysis of this.

Class, we discussed ethics and social responsibility in this thread, and the roles of individuals, the government, and businesses in making ethical decisions.  Many businesses have failed as a result of unethical decisions.  We also discussed the responsibility that businesses have to care about society, protect society, and give back to society.  Many companies do fulfill social responsibility obligations, and those are the ones that are respected by consumers…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Marketing Strategies and Promotional Strategies Week 3 All Students Posts 65 Pages

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Marketing Strategies – 30 Pages

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Why are marketing strategies different for products that are in different phases of the product life cycle? If you were a product manager in the energy drink category, what strategies might you recommend to your company?

The product life cycle affects the branding efforts of a marketing team. What are some ways that you would market a new product?  What are some other reasons that products go into decline?  As a marketer, what can you do if your product begins to go into decline?  Do you accept that and let the product continue to decline, or is there anything you can do?…

Promotional Strategies – 35 Pages

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Assume you are launching a new company nationwide that sells organic granola cereal and you have a relatively large budget for the initial launch. What types of promotional strategies would you use and why?

Marketing is much more than just advertising. As you know, promotion is just one of the four Ps of marketing. With that in mind, how different would your promotional strategy be with a new product and limited budget if you had a product that was a type of technology such as a computer or cell phone versus a household item (soap or detergent) or a home appliance? In other words, how does the product change the promotional strategy?

What are some of the other consumer characteristics that marketers look at in behavioral segmentation?  What product have you bought that might have been part of behavioral segmentation rather than related to your demographics, geographical location, or psychographic characteristics?…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Management Functions and Human Resource Functions Week 4 Discussions All Students Posts 72 Pages

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Management Functions – 38 Pages

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Managers achieve their goals through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. If you are a first-line manager, which of these functions is most important for achieving the goals of the organization? Why?

What is the difference between a manager and a leader?  Servant leadership is becoming very popular.  Are you familiar with this type of leadership?  What is it – what is an example?  Have you experienced in the workplace?

A first-line manager is often a direct supervisor over staff employees.  For this type of manager or supervisor, what other management function is crucial – organizing, leading, or controlling?…

Human Resource Functions – 34 Pages

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What are some ways that an organization might suffer if the HR function was not being performed very well?  Have you ever worked in HR, or with an HR staff member?  What experience did you have-what impression of HR did you develop from the experience?

One important function of HR is to keep the company in compliance with employment laws. Would you as a manager find it easy to keep up with all the employment and labor laws, or could it be more efficient for you to rely on HR to monitor laws, changes, and help you as a manager stay within the laws? What are some of the laws described in the reading this week?…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Quality Management and E-Commerce Week 5 Discussions All Students Posts 72 Pages

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Quality Management – 36 Pages

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How is it possible that improving quality can actually lead to lower costs and higher profits? Can you think of products that have increased in quality but decreased in price over the last 10 years?  What is business process improvement?  What is it and why it is important for operations?  Can it also lead to lower costs and higher profits?  If so, how?

If you became the chief operating officer at a firm, what would be the first thing you would do to improve quality, and why?  If you were hired to come in and manage a company in this top role as CEO, what would be the first thing you would want to evaluate?  What would be your priority?…

E-Commerce – 36 Pages

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How has the emergence of e-commerce and social networking changed how you live your daily life? How would your life be different if we went back in time 20 years and you didn’t have access to the technologies you do today?

We did not have computers or the internet when I was growing up.  However, my nine-year-old niece asked her mother what came first – the computer or the TV.  Most young people today have grown up with computers.  To add to the question above, consider if you would be able to get a college degree at this point in your life if online education was not available.  How else has today’s technology changed your life or the lives of the generation now growing up?  Is it all good?

If you became a CEO of a company that had little technology deployed, what would be the first technology you would deploy and why?  If you were in charge of computer and network security, what types of protection would you put in place to block out hackers or unauthorized persons, and why would this be your choice?…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Financials and Debt vs Equity Week 6 Discussions All Student Posts 68 Pages

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Financials – 33 Pages

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Imagine that you were going to invest $1 million into a company and could only have access to one of the following: the balance sheet, income statement, or statement of cash flows. Which of these three financial statements would you choose to analyze and why?

Many students do not like to study financial and accounting issues.  Why do we have financials? What is the purpose of these topics in the first place? Why are they important – or are they?

When managing finances, there are implicit costs and explicit costs.  What’s the difference between the two – what are examples of each, whether in a business organization or a personal situation?  There are two types of accounting that people often discuss – financial accounting and managerial accounting.  What are the major differences between the two?  Or is there a difference?…

Debt vs Equity – 35 Pages

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Under what circumstances is it useful for a firm to finance its cash needs with debt instead of equity? Since equity financing doesn’t result in interest costs, why wouldn’t the firm always just finance with equity?

Some experts recommend that you not borrow money to start a business. Do you think this is good advice?  Why or why not?  Class, the textbook describes several possible sources of business funding.  What are some of these sources?  If you were a business owner or wanted to start a business and had to choose a source of funding, which source would you choose and why?

Selling corporate bonds could be a good option.  What about commercial paper or money market mutual funds?  What are those, and would you use either of those?…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Legal Form of a Business and Entrepreneurial Characteristics Week 7 Discussions All Students Posts 69 Pages

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Legal Form of a Business – 36 Pages

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What are the key advantages of forming a corporation? Why do we have a form of business that, as the text says, is like an “artificial person”?  What is a franchise?  What are some examples?

What are your thoughts on this choice by Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks?  What are some of the benefits of not franchising, but maintaining control?  Is Starbucks losing out in any way by not franchising in the U.S.?

There are disadvantages such as this in buying a franchise, however, there are also advantages.  If you were going to start a business, would you be interested in a franchise, or would you prefer to start your own business from scratch, without any ties to a franchise?  Why would you make the choice you state – what would influence your decision?…

Entrepreneurial Characteristics – 33 Pages

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How do you rate yourself on each of the six “entrepreneurial characteristics”? Why are these characteristics so important?  The word entrepreneur is a French word meaning “risk taker.” What are some of the risks entrepreneurs take when starting their own companies?

There are a lot of sources that entrepreneurs can access.  An important one is the Small Business Administration (SBA.gov).  Have any of you used information from this site?  If not, take a look at it – could you use some of the information if you wanted to begin a business?

Another characteristic of entrepreneurs is a high internal locus of control.  What is “locus of control” – in your own words, what is the difference between an internal locus of control and an external locus of control?  Can a person have an internal locus of control that is too high or too strong? Why or why not?…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

Final Exam

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(TCO 1) Define the social environment, including at least one of the dimensions of the social environment. Identify an example of how businesses have responded to or are affected by current trends in the social environment.

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The social environment encompasses the beliefs, customs, attitudes, and values that groups of…

(TCO 1) Classify the following as either reasons to create trade restrictions or reasons to eliminate trade restrictions.
•             Protect domestic industry.
•             Increase domestic jobs.
•             Protect national security.
•             Pressure other countries to change their policies or practices.
•             Reduce prices for consumers.

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The above reasons justify the creation of trade restrictions. In particular, trade restrictions aim…

(TCO 2) Explain how the Fed would use each of the three tools for influencing the money supply if they wanted to shrink the supply of money and contain inflation.

The three tools used by the Federal Reserve to influence the supply of money are:  making a…

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(TCO 2) Describe the difference between an action that is illegal and one that is legal, but unethical. Provide an example.

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An illegal action is an act that violates the law, and which is punished by a court conviction in…

(TCO 3) Joe and John are both attorneys and want to start a law firm. They will both invest the same amount of money and will both help manage the business. They might have a couple of employees, but they don’t plan on bringing any more attorneys into the firm or sharing ownership with anyone else. Explain which form of business would be best for Joe and John. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of this form of business for them. [Three to four paragraphs]

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The best form of business for Joe and John is an LLC (Limited Liability Company). An LLC is…

(TCO 3) Explain three of the opportunities and three of the threats that a small business encounters. Provide an example for each. [Three to four paragraphs]

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The three opportunities a small business encounters are that they can cater to the underserved…

(TCO 4) Explain how the balance sheet is different from the income statement. What information does each statement provide? [Three to four paragraphs]

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The balance sheet contains information about the company’s assets and liabilities at a certain…

(TCO 5) Explain the key difference between the production and selling eras of marketing and the marketing and relationship eras.

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During the mass production era, products were produced in mass quantities and at low costs…

(TCO 6) Describe equity theory and identify the issue that can lead to a perception of inequality. How can a manager address these equity issues?

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The theory posits that employees become demotivated, in relation to both their employer and…

(TCO 7) Explain the difference between outsourcing and offshoring. Describe a possible benefit and drawback for each.

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Outsourcing refers to a company contracting work to a third party whereas offshoring pertains…

BUSN 315 Contemporary Business

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