commercial awareness

commercial awareness. commercial awareness. 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.

Phase 4.21 December 2015 16.00 Submission Deadline:

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%.

Phase 1

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 business.

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

(10 marks)

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 

their background/experience? 

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 

already achieved

 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

Case-Study 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

1 1

(Executive Summary)

2 2

(Mission and vision 


3 3

(Market and 

competitor analysis)

4 4

(Sales and marketing 


5 5

6 Presentation, use of 


Information –

Controlled element 

released on 18 

December 2015)

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)

Case Study:

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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