Foundation of Business Communication

Part 1: Business Analysis

Abstract

The pandemic made most of the offline businesses to switch to the online platform within a short span of time indulging innovative online class ideas to attract students worldwide. Often businesses flourish in the digital platform without any hitch making the entrepreneurs thinking out of the box ideas and implementing them. This invigorates the clients and their concerns also addressed by making positive attributes to the deficient situations and facing critical challenges. Though turning to the online platform raises certain queries regarding the longevity of the success and performance of the business in the long run. Thus, the following report analyses the problems and the solutions with strategies regarding the business of Miss Lucy Gough, the interior design stylist. For assistance in business dissertation help, we have Miss Lucy Gough's case which serves as a practical example in the context of understanding the dynamics of adapting to the online platform mitigating challenges.

Summary of the case study

 Lucy Gouge and her interior decoration

Lucy Gough has faced tough times soon after the pandemic hit the world. Her four shoots that she had been preparing to undertake were cancelled within just a week making her business face a setback. It was seen that soon afterwards her income fell hitting the business badly. To mend the issues, she developed a plan of taking online classes amid the worldwide crisis so that her students would be able to join her through e-platform. This online interior styling course that started around the mid of May covered by Miss Lucy Gough attracted almost 112 students currently throughout the world even from Poland and Canada allowing her to make €20,000 (BBC News. 2020). She covered six modules of the interior styling that included shoot styling and home staging. Thus her business somehow fought back through e-learning mode instead of coming entirely to a halt.

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Business problems exploration

The interior designing industry has faced certain hurdles after the whole world faced certain obstacles due to the pandemic outbreak and made the businesses adapt to entire new platforms with innovative solutions in order to support both the customers as well as the clients to fight back during such a hard time. From an online review by WIRE, (2020) taking into consideration Lucy Gough faced similar problems where suddenly her plans had to be cancelled in order to sustain the situations. But in doing so her income was stopped and thus she started on with her online sessions to adapt with the new normal circumstances. The impact of the pandemic made the businesses were put to hold due to various travel restrictions and thereby the only choices was to switch to digital mode wherever possible though re-planning of the entire process. Drawing out new strategies to support the clients’ demands along with chalking out long term goals have been quite tough due to the ongoing uncertainties.

 Elements of the interior decoration

Despite such efforts the business on the digital platform faces certain challenges due to the unpredictability of long term goals. Some business problems faced due to online e-courses include vast lack of operating on the latest technologies. Necessary skills like setting up the website or marketing requires proper skills that Lucy Gough could have faced during the initial days. In order to sustain a business long term relationships with the clients play an important role and this somewhat lacks in case of video conferencing due to the gap in personal touch. Also, many customers and clients hesitate joining the online forum due to concerns regarding the privacy and safety issues (Society of British & International Interior Design. 2020). Despite setting up high security of the payment pages, businesses such as Lucy Gough who have turned on the digital platform could face unscrupulous activities by hacking and stealing information and face complications regarding copyrights.

Potential strategic analysis and its impact along with management theories

The aspects and the prospects of the business of Lucy Gough could be analyzed through the Porter’s five forces analysis:

Porter’s five forces

The bargaining power and leverage of buyers: Typical buyers or the clients would be careful while admitting in the online courses based on different competitors offering similar kinds of modules in the e-learning platform. Thus, the decision of the buyers impacts the organizations like the ones switching to the digital mode. This could lead to lowering of packages by businesses like that of Lucy Gough as per the demand of the clients (Design Week. 2020). Companies along with understanding the requirements of the service end users and boosting their outputs need to focus on the pricing strategies according to the market needs for gaining the market edge.

The suppliers’ bargaining power: Inputs form the base of the ventures. Without steady supply of raw materials and the technologies, it would be impossible to sustain a business smoothly. In the case of online platforms like that of Lucy Gough, finding proper hardware and technology inputs medium would be difficult for long term viability of the business (ELLE Decoration. 2020). Also finding talented individuals with proper skills for the development of the entire process along with their high bargaining power could create high pressure on the company.

Threat of substitution: Substitution at this point of time by on-campus mode or offline classes of interior designing would be minimum due to the situation and different travel restrictions and thus this point seems to be benign (Design Week. 2020).

Competitors’ rivalry: Lucy Gough faces heavy competition from competitors in the same field.According to an online review by Countryandtownhouse.co.uk. (2020) these include Charles Mellersh, Ben Thompson, Sarah Delaney, Campbell-Rey, Fred Rigby and many more. Due to the current situation most of the competitors would incorporate digitalization and thus, making the rivalry point quite strong.

Barriers to entry: At such a point where pandemic hit the world, easy access to financial aid along with other necessities to start up a venture remains low (Safari et al. 2016).

The impact

The advantages of analyzing Porter’s five forces include the solution it provides for expansion of the prospect of business. The cost of Porter’s five forces being minimal could help in effective research of varied elements required to figure out for a smooth conduction. Similarly other factors like the inflation, GDP, the input and output rate along with the country’s monetary policies impact the macroeconomics of online classes whereas the demand supply chain and the profits and pricing structure determines the microeconomics of the longevity of classes conducted by Lucy Gough (Hall and Hall, 2020). Further to elaborately understand two management theories have been discussed below:

Management theories

Human Relations theory: To enhance the productivity of the employees, attention should be given to them regarding their requirements to make them feel valuable both individually and as a part of the group. In order to make the business effective and fruitful Lucy Gough could incorporate this for a better outcome by embodying her employees (Gatautis, 2017).

Contingency Theory: With a flexible leader it becomes possible to transact easily and adapt to any circumstances. Lucy Gough have been flexible enough to cancel her plans and set up online teaching mode in a very short time span (Dahlgaard-Park et al. 2018).

Conclusion

Lucy Gough, the interior design stylist changed her business platform swiftly from the offline mode to the online mode in the wake of the global crisis that rose due to the pandemic attack. In order to save her business from coming to a halt she started taking online e-learning courses for students worldwide. Despite her proficiency in gaining a good amount at a short span of time, the reliability on the long term goals have been questionable. The business problems mentioned above along with the impact of strategic solutions of the ventures have been elucidated through the use of Porter’s five point analysis to make the things more vivid.

Part 2: Reflective Report on Skill Development

Introduction

Self-reflection with Kolb’s reflective model refers to Experiential learning that involves various parts like concrete experience where physical experience regarding the circumstances helps in improvement of the skill and knowledge, reflective observation that focuses on the reflecting about the experiences deeply, followed by abstract conceptualization and active experimentation where learning and the practicing takes place. In the concerned assignment certain factors like the communication among the members and the process of solving problems faced during the practical research in the team work on the assigned project have been mentioned in details with the help of some models and frameworks and self-reflection made based on the Kolb’s reflective theory.

Communication among the team members

Kolb’s reflective theory

In the classroom discussions regarding the assignment included communicative in the form of verbal and non-verbal components took place. In case of verbal modes discussions regarding the assignment among the members were held for clarification regarding the work to be completed. On the other hand the non-verbal communication included activities based on presentation preparation by the members along with formation of flashcards regarding the concerned topics. This would be followed by report writing. The aspects have elaborately been elucidated with the help of VARK model that included diversifying communicative analysis on the base of visualization, auditory learning along with reading and writing and kinesthetic for further assistance.

The VARK model The VARK model

The problems encountered and their solution with understanding the function of each member through Belbin team roles

The Belbin team roles model

The different problems faced during the project work were mainly receiving data and information regarding the business study due to the availability to limited sources on the concerned topic. Each of the team members tried their best to gather maximum resources possible and this was specially focused on me as I was a part of the resource investigator of the whole assignment. Further, from an online review Ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk. (2020) the difficulties faced and the problems encountered in the assignment could be determined by the various roles and obstacles played by different members of the team through Belbin team roles. Thus, it helped in analyzing the hindrances better.

The Belbin team roles model

Feedback offered

The feedback received was appreciative due to the team works and precision of the project. There were certain deficiencies regarding the data collection which were quite minute and could be considered negligence. Even though some lacking was there regarding the uniqueness in the work pattern of each team members but the rest of the elements were seen to be perfect. The presentation were well organized and thus the project received overall regards. The systemic projection of each part along with detailed analysis of the strategy included created the overall estimation of the work making the efforts of the whole team fruitful and the feedback received was thus estimated.

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Action plan based on SMART framework

The action plan based on the rectification could be implemented through the usage of SMART framework:

 The SMART framework The SMART framework

Conclusion

Team work requires effective collaboration and interaction among each members for successful completion of the work. In the concerned assignment working with other members, I have learned about different aspects of group work and mentioned the elements of communication through the usage of VARK framework. The problem solving part could be analyzed through Belbin and further action plan made on the base of SMART outline. The entire self-reflection have been based on the Kolb’s reflective theory and thus showed the lacking of team works faced during the entire process

References

  • Aghera, A., Emery, M., Bounds, R., Bush, C., Stansfield, R.B., Gillett, B. and Santen, S.A., 2018. A randomized trial of SMART goal enhanced debriefing after simulation to promote educational actions. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 19(1), p.112.
  • BBC News. 2020. Creating An Online Course 'Changed My Life'. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Belbin.com. 2020. The Nine Belbin Team Roles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 August 2020].
  • Cbsnews.com. 2020. Assigning Team Roles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 August 2020].
  • Dahlgaard-Park, S.M., Reyes, L. and Chen, C.K., 2018. The evolution and convergence of total quality management and management theories. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 29(9-10), pp.1108-1128.
  • Design Week. 2020. Coronavirus And Design: The Latest | Design Week. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • ELLE Decoration. 2020. Discover The In-Demand Names In Interior Design Right Now, From Campbell Rey To These White Walls. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Gatautis, R., 2017. The rise of the platforms: Business model innovation perspectives. Engineering Economics, 28(5), pp.585-591.
  • Hall, B. and Hall, B., 2020. Lucy Gough Interior Stylist — French For Pineapple. [online] French For Pineapple. Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Husmann, P.R. and O'Loughlin, V.D., 2019. Another nail in the coffin for learning styles? Disparities among undergraduate anatomy students’ study strategies, class performance, and reported VARK learning styles. Anatomical sciences education, 12(1), pp.6-19.
  • Ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk. 2020. Belbin's Team Roles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 August 2020].
  • Lucygoughstylist.com. 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Morris, T.H., 2019. Experiential learning–a systematic review and revision of Kolb’s model. Interactive Learning Environments, pp.1-14.
  • Safari, N., Farhang, M. and Rajabzadehyazdi, E., 2016. The study on the competitive status of construction companies based on Michael Porter's five competitive forces (Case study: Armeno Project Development and Management Company). European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences: Proceedings, 5(3 (s)), pp.pp-72.
  • Society of British & International Interior Design. 2020. COVID-19: A View On Design Industry Adapting In A Time Of Change | SBID. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Thepsatitporn, S. and Pichitpornchai, C., 2016. Visual event-related potential studies supporting the validity of VARK learning styles' visual and read/write learners. Advances in Physiology Education, 40(2), pp.206-212.
  • What's On? By C&TH. 2020. Best Interior Designers UK | The Top 50 Interior Designers 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • WIRE, B., 2020. Global Academic E-Learning Market Nears $152 Billion By 2026 - Key Players Pearson, Berlitz, Blackboard, Desire2learn, EF Education First, Instructure, MPS Limited, And Vipkid - Researchandmarkets.Com. [online] Businesswire.com. Available at: [Accessed 4 August 2020].
  • Zhu, Z.T., Yu, M.H. and Riezebos, P., 2016. A research framework of smart education. Smart learning environments, 3(1), p.4.

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