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Question

Support your answers with figures and examples related to the case study, any additional information should be related to the “Kuwait industry market” as much as possible. You have to write in essay form (introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion). I need sub-headings for the question answers as long with the introduction and conclusion headings.

Faculty of Business Studies

Tutor Marked Assignment

BE322: Entrepreneurship and small business management

Second Semester 2023-2024

Question 1 (60 marks, 500 words)

Explain the purpose of a business plan and discuss its elements

Question 2 (40 marks, 600 words)

To what extent do you sense that Diana Nelson understood the dynamics of the toy industry when she took over Kazoo & Company in 1998?

What impact would it have had on the ultimate success of Kazoo if Nelson had spent more time initially focused on the specifics of her business (i.e., store layout, hiring personnel, placing ads in local newspapers, writing press releases, setting up the accounting system, and so on) rather than gaining a complete understanding of the toy industry as part of her work to carefully develop a business plan?

General instructions for students:

TMA weight: 20% of the total course grade.

Plagiarism: It’s imperative that you write your answer using your own words. Plagiarism will be penalized depending on its severity and according to the AOU plagiarism policy.

Format:  you are expected to write your answer in an essay format: introduction, body paragraph(s) and a conclusion. Failing to do so could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks from your total TMA mark.

Word count: Your answers are expected to be within the specified word count. A 10% deviation from the word count limit is acceptable. Not adhering to specified word count could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of your total TMA mark.

Referencing:  You are expected to use the Harvard referencing style for in-text referencing and list of references at the end. Failing to do so could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of your total TMA mark.

E-library:  You are expected to use E-library sources to support your answers. A minimum of 2 sources is required. Failing to do so could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of your total TMA mark.

Answer

Kazoo Toys Case Study    

Introduction

A business plan is an essential component of a new business venture. It provides a framework and outline for a startup, and at the same time, it acts as a reference point during business performance evaluation (Berry 2008). The process of making a business plan is a series of evaluative and research-filled activities that involve consultation with business mentors and experienced colleagues. Traditionally, business plans were drafted with the primary aim of presenting them to investors in order to gain access to grants, loans and other sources of capital. In recent years, the growth of an entrepreneurship-conscious generation has led to increased use of basic business plans and outlines in start-ups within different industries. Business plans vary depending on factors such as business structure, capital, location, partners involved, and goals (Deeb 2015). Nevertheless, they are all drafted with similar characteristics and elements.

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Elements of a Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary

This is a brief summary that provides simple yet clear details on the general aspects of the business. It is an analysis of the structure and organization of the business in all its branches and sub-divisions. Moreover, it provides a short history of the business and its founders followed by a mission statement and a description of the main product or service. Finally, this part highlights the business’ projected growth.

  • Business Information

This is a detailed description of the business that follows a brief introduction in the executive summary. It provides an opportunity by the founder to explain the gap or need to be served by the business and why this approach will be successful. Targeted customers are also identified and described.

  • Business Organization and Structure

Legal terms are very important in a business plan especially if it is to be presented to potential investors. Investors will seek to know whether the business is a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. This category provides such details in addition to describing the actual management and organizational structure of the start-up. The board of directors and owners are also identified in this section owing to their crucial role in the operations of the business.

  • Product Description

In this section, the product or service provided is systematically described from the point of view of human capital, production, and distribution. A business’ product life cycle is also presented in terms of observable stages in order to shed light on future progress in product development.

  • Market Analysis

This section forms the core pillar on which business expansion is founded. The market analysis combines tools of research, consultation, and evaluation of existing market opportunities. It entails describing products, the needs they satisfy, and how this influences pricing and supply chain. It also involves a vigorous analysis of the competition and any subsequent barriers to business entry.

  • Finance

Finance encompasses accounting, balancing records, production-related information, pricing, and financial projections. Thus, it provides a true measure of expected business growth.

The Purpose of a Business Plan

Business plans are used to run businesses in line with pre-conceived and researched facts that are thought to be beneficial to the success of a business venture. This means that it enables start-ups to maintains their goals and towards achieving them. Besides, provides insights into the long-term goal and vision of the business (Shelton 2015). Equally important, it is normally relied on by marketers to pitch to investors for financial and non-financial support by not only justifying strengths but also creating a better understanding of the venture’s weaknesses.

Diana Nelson and Kazoo Toys

Diana Nelson is the owner of Kazoo Toys based in Denver, Colorado. The company has grown rapidly to the point of being able to compete against toy industry giants such as Walmart and Toys “R” Us. These dominant toy companies have a wide global reach; for example, Toys “R” Us recently opened its second store in Kuwait. Nelson began by researching and building a business plan that has doubled as a business model for the company. She clearly understood the dynamics of the toy industry when she bought Kazoo Toys. This prompted her to appreciate the fact that current industry players had already established their place in the market. moreover, she knew that the only way she could surpass these giants was not by making similar products but rather, focusing on completely different ones (Johnson 2001). To achieve this goal, she invited many new product makers to test-run samples of her firm’s toys. This approach created a situation whereby Kazoo emerged as the only provider of unique toys. The resulting exclusivity and business’ specialization on safe learning toys earned Kazoo a loyal customer base, making it one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America today.

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To achieve her success in the industry, Nelson established points of difference between Kazoo and other toy businesses (Stern & Schoenhaus 1990). Firstly, the business environment in which Kazoo operates is unique and serene with smaller and more particular departments (Gioelli 2014). The store also invests time, energy, and resources on customer service relations especially considering the fact that most customers go shopping for toys with their children. Secondly, the store maintains its relevance by stocking up with new products often (Hughes 2015). The company’s selling point, educational toys, has earned the business clients who have remained loyal to the company. Finally, Nelson opened a Yahoo Online Store and has subsequently seen a steady rise in the toys sold over online sales.

Had Nelson accorded more energy and concentration on the non-technical aspects of a new venture such as store layout, workforce, and advertising, it is very likely the success achieved would not have equaled those achieved by her alternative approach. Nelson spent many years with her young boys after she quit her job for this particular reason. About eight years after quitting her job, coupled with intensive and precise research, Nelson was convinced of the huge potential of the toy industry.

The story of how Nelson accumulated money through bank loans, loans from friends, credit card loans, and retirement saving are often retold to demonstrate how determined she was to make her business idea succeed (Cessar 2004). It seems more probable that if Nelson took a different approach, Kazoo would have been severely slowed down or completely eliminated from the market. This fact is further reinforced by growing incidences of failed or struggling toymakers who came up with products resembling those of big providers only to realize that the strategy was not sustainable.

Conclusion

Kazoo has made great achievements owing to the business plan and strategy devised by its founder. Nelson’s goal was to be as different as possible from mainstream toy stores in order to survive competition for price, diversity, and exclusivity. Her company has experienced minor problems such as a decline in demand for specialty products owing to the economic recession. In addition, many of the toy providers who used to sell their products exclusively to Kazoo have started distributing their products to competitors. This is a worrying trend that is likely to slow down business for the successful toy store. Nevertheless, the firm has continued to show steady growth due to Nelson’s efforts to implement other strategies in efforts to countervail the emerging barriers.

Reference List

Berry, T 2006, Hurdle: The book on business planning, Software Inc., Palo Alto.

Cessar, G 2004, The financing of business start-ups, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 261-283.

Deeb, G 2015, The key components of writing a business plan, Forbes, February 19, 2015.

Gioelli, A 2014, International business expansion: A step by step guide to launch your company into other countries, Over and Above Press, New York.

Hughes, J 2015, Conquer the seven barriers to small business growth, Your Planning Partners, September 1, 2015.

Johnson, E 2001, Learning from toys: Managing supply chain risks from the toy industry, Carlifornia Management Review, vol. 3, pp. 106-124.

Shelton, H. 2014, The secrets to writing a successful business plan: A pro shares a step by step guide to creating a plan that gets results, Summit Valley Press, Boulder.

Stern, S & Schoenhaus, T 1990, Toyland: The high stakes game of the toy industry, Contemporary Books, London.

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