Business Essentials Advanced – Case Study Assignment - Essay Prowess

Business Essentials Advanced – Case Study Assignment


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Business Essentials Advanced – Case Study Assignment


Case Study

Hank Marvin and Patty Smith have worked together for years in the food and catering industry and, having the same dream to run their own business, decided to open their own coffee shop. Hank and Patty spent 12 months researching and planning the details of their coffee shop to decide on the best location, who their target market was, how much capital they would be able to raise, key competitors, what suppliers they would use and what products and services they would offer in their coffee shop and so forth.  Then in January 2016 Marvin and Smith’s coffee shop was opened in Wandsworth in South London.

In order to stand out from other coffee shops that seem to be flooding the market in London, Hank and Patty decided on the following:

  • To use the finest coffee beans from Gumutindo Coffee, a Fairtrade supplier in Uganda that focuses on enabling farmers in Uganda to earn an independent income and to run their own farms, as research had shown that ethical concerns were high amongst potential customers in this location. High quality tea and herbal infusions would also be sourced from Fairtrade registered Foundations in Eastern Uganda and, where possible, East African inspired snacks, pastries and cold drinks (e.g. fresh mango juice) will be offered.
  • To offer an environment that is both relaxing with an East African feel to it (to continue the Ugandan influence) as well as being practical for customers’ needs (including access to a power point socket for charging phones/laptops, etc. and free Wi-Fi)
  • To ensure that staff (including Baristas) were trained to the highest standard and were offered a wage and development opportunities that were above and beyond their competitors
  • To offer themed evenings such as board game night and chat with Nanna (for a chat and advice)

Marvin and Smith’s coffee shop has a strong ethos of promoting fair trade and equality and expect their staff to respect and value these beliefs and to promote and demonstrate such attitudes and behaviour in the workplace. Staff are also expected to help out with the themed evenings where applicable such as playing short board games if customers have no-one to play with. These are areas which they highlight during the recruitment process.

Since their initial shop opening, Marvin and Smith have opened an additional two coffee shops in and around London. However, the initial information system that was set up for the coffee shop was only structured and set up to manage the information with regards to one or possibly two coffee shops. Hank and Patty are therefore beginning to realise that this initial information system structure is quickly becoming outdated in terms of their business needs because of their continued expansion. As the demand for their East African-inspired coffee shop with themed evenings increasing and because International tourists have even started seeking out these coffee shops, as they are becoming known abroad, Hank and Patty have decided to focus on an overseas expansion plan.

They have therefore decided to focus on an expansion plan and want to open up one of their coffee shops in a European Union country. However, they are unsure as to which of these countries to expand their coffee shop into and have asked you to carry out and write up your research.

Income Statement for Marvin & Smith’s Coffee Shops for the period ended 31st December 2016

Sales   360,000
Less Cost of goods sold    
          Purchases 160,000  
          Less Closing Inventory (8,000)  (152,000)
Gross Profit   208,000
Less Expenses    
          Electricity 32,400  
          Salaries & Wages 34,000  
          Rent and Rates 80,000  
          Telephone 8,400  
          Other expenses 8,000  
          Depreciation -Equipment 6,400  
          Depreciation – Fixtures 8,000  
          Depreciation – IT Equipment 4,000  
Net Profit   26,800
Statement of Financial position as at 31st December 2016 for Marvin & Smith’s Coffee Shops
All figures in £ sterling (Starting value) (Depreciation)   (Ending value)
Non-Current Assets      
Equipment 40,000 6,400 33,600
Fixtures and Fittings 40,000 8,000 32,000
IT Equipment 16,000 4,000 12,000
  96,000 18,400 77,600
Current Assets      
Inventory   8,000  
Cash   27,400  
Total Assets     113,000
Capital     100,000
Profit   26,800  
Drawings   (20,000) 6,800
Current Liabilities      
Trade Payables 6,200    
Total capital and liabilities     113,000


  1. Hank and Patty raised the £100,000 capital through friends, family and personal loans. They each raised £50,000
  2. The second shop opened after 6 months, the 3rd and 4th opened after 9 months.
  3. Coffee machines and associated equipment cost £5,000. Each shop has two machines
  4. IT Equipment includes all required Wi-Fi computers.
  5. The business currently has no formal loans or external debt                                                 

Answer ALL of the following questions using credible reference sources for every question:

  1. Research and decide on a country (within the European Union) that Marvin and Smith’s coffee shop could expand into. Justification for your choice must be given regarding choice of country, logistical considerations, ethical considerations and the structural challenge of expanding into that country. Note that you should assume for the purposes of this assignment that the Brexit negotiations will make no difference to the trading environment as it is at present.  (approx. 500 – 600 words)
  • Present a tailored marketing mix in relation to the coffee shop expansion plan abroad.  (approx. 400 – 500 words)
  • What are the implications of the need for Marvin and Smith’s to cover a wider geographical area in terms of a different country?  Consider any impact this may have on any two of the following and show how these issues are interlinked:
  1. Information systems
    1. Organisation culture
    1. Management structure
    1. Gaining competitive advantage
    1. Personnel and managing staff issues
    1. Supply chain

(approx. 300 words per each point)

  • Using the following financial information, evaluate how their profitability and liquidity may impact on decisions available to them.  (approx. 400 – 500 words)
  • Write a concluding summary about the overall viability of overseas expansion at this stage.  (approx. 300 words)



  • For this module the assessment process will be to answer a number of questions about a bespoke case study to be issued in week 1.
  • These questions will be designed to enable the student to demonstrate that they have learned the basics of academic research.  Each question will broadly reflect an element of what has been taught in the semester.
  • Students will be supported throughout the module and given an opportunity for formative feedback.  The module lecturers aim to provide all students with advice and guidance in the preparation of coursework and may comment on outlines or plans submitted, but will not predict the final assessment.  Their role is not to read or comment on fully written essays/assignments prior to submission or give any indication of the likely awarding mark.  For further general details on coursework preparation, refer to online information via StudentZone
  • When the work is returned and assessed, a student will receive full formal written feedback with the opportunity to seek a tutorial for further clarification, if necessary.
  • Word Count:  2,500 words – guidance has been provided above regarding the recommended word count for each question.
  • 10% over the stated word count is permitted without penalty.  If students go beyond this, then there is a penalty of 5 marks for every additional 10% beyond the word count.  The word count includes the Abstract or Executive Summary and all in-text citations. The word count excludes the Bibliography, Appendices and words included in diagrams, illustrations and tables, etc.  Please note that Appendices should only include supplementary information.  There is no specific penalty for submitting a piece which is below the word count, but please note that shorter submissions are likely to attract poorer grades, particularly where they lack the necessary depth of analysis.
  • Use appropriate academic sources, referenced in accordance with the University of Roehampton’s Harvard Referencing guidelines:


  • Arial. Size 12
  • Word document (not a .pdf)
  • Do not include scanned-in text or text boxes.

Submitting Your Assignment

  • All submissions of coursework will be online via Turnitin on the module’s Moodle site.
  • Ensure that you check the location online for the upload and your ability to access this location prior to the deadline.
  • Final submission deadline is Monday, 18 December 2017 @ 1400 (2 p.m.)
  • Your student number MUST be included in your document on each page and a word count given at the end of the document.
  • Please remember if you submit a draft copy of your work via Turnitin before the due date and time, and you then try and submit a revised copy after the deadline, Turnitin will not accept this. It is extremely important that you submit your final piece of work on time.  Remember too that it can take 24 hours to get your Similarity Index report back from Turnitin, so do take this into account when planning your work.
  • Never hand assignments to tutors, or put in staff mailboxes, or submit by email or fax.
  • The university subscribes to Turnitin Software.  This is an online plagiarism detection service that enables electronic comparison of students’ work against Internet sources and other students’ work held on the Turnitin UK database.  It is available to both staff and students via Moodle. Students can access it as a learning tool via the Moodle Student Support site.  More details can be found on the “Academic Skills Development” module on Moodle.
  • Please be aware that every submission will be scanned for plagiarism using this software, so ensure that you are aware of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. If you are in any doubt about submission requirements or whether your work could be considered as plagiarised, please contact your module tutor before the hand-in date for clarification.
  • If you do not meet this 2pm deadline and you have mitigating circumstances, you will need to follow the Mitigating Circumstances procedures and provide the necessary documentary evidence.  If the mitigating circumstances are accepted, the mark will be entered on to the grade sheet without penalty.  If the mitigating circumstances are rejected, or there are no mitigating circumstances to consider, the mark will be penalised as described below.
  • Work submitted up to seven calendar days after the deadlinewill be marked, and feedback will be provided in the normal way.  However, the formal mark for the piece of work which goes forward to the gradesheet will be capped at a bare pass.  Work submitted more than seven calendar days after the deadline will not be marked and the formal mark for the piece of work which goes forward to the gradesheet will be zero.  No work will be considered if it is handed in after the lecturer has marked and returned the feedback to students.
  • Failure to attend any in-class test or exam will be treated as a non-submission.
  • Computer/printer failure will not be accepted as a reason for late submission.
  • You should save a copy of your submitted coursework.  You are advised to keep notes and a back-up file when working on any assignment.

Marking Scheme

All work will be marked according to the following marking scheme:

  1. Evidence of research (30%).  Have you shown that you have researched around the subject, used appropriate references and have you made use of these sources to inform and enhance your answers?
  • Logical flow and application (20%).  Have you addressed all the required points of the task in a logical and consistent manner, demonstrating some ability to apply theory to practice?
  • Explanation and Understanding (30%). Have you shown understanding of the wider business issues affecting Marvin and Smith’s Coffee Shop?  Have you explained and justified your answers to an appropriate level?
  • Professionalism (20%). Is your work tidy and well laid out, with appropriate structure and standard of concise and effective written English? Have any diagrams and illustrations used been well chosen and correctly presented and is the work of appropriate length?

Note that you are expected to show you are ready and able to engage with a level 4 degree course so superficial answers will not be awarded pass marks.  A good set of answers will therefore be well researched and presented, argued logically and effectively, using examples from credible sources to illustrate your points and referenced in line with the University of Roehampton’s Harvard Referencing guidelines.


  1. Tutors will target to provide feedback within 20 working days from the hand-in date.
  • Feedback will be provided via the Moodle Turnitin systems and individual face to face feedback will be given to any student who requests that.