From Good to Great with Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies
Jim Collins book ‘Good to Great’ is a firm Business Studies favourite. I wonder how often though we think about the same principle for our own lessons – how often do we challenge ourselves to move from ‘good’ to ‘great’?
The argument that Jim Collins makes is that the best businesses make greatness look effortless, and they deliver greatness consistently. Teaching is no different. We can all (hopefully) plan and deliver a good lesson, what makes us great teachers is the ability to do this day in day out.
Whilst great lessons, just like great businesses, come in many forms a simple checklist might look something like:
Do students in your classes:
- Demonstrate excellent concentration, remaining on-task even for extended periods without adult direction?
- Demonstrate resilience when tackling challenging activities?
- Demonstrate exceptional progress in the lesson, regardless of ability level?
- Demonstrate keenness and commitment to succeed, and a willingness to grasp opportunities to extend and improve their learning?
For teachers then achieving consistent greatness breaks down to one thing: student engagement . If you can get your students engaged in a topic you don’t need a checklist to tell you your lesson is working – your students, and their results, will be speaking volumes.
As an example, here is one such exercise from the Collins Cambridge IGCSE® Business Studies Teacher Pack . This particular exercise focuses on ethics and environmental issues, a topic previously covered on this site. Case study examples of ethical and environmental issues are easy to come by; the challenge though is that students often remember the context but not the concepts . We designed the attached activity to address this issue.
View Lesson Plan A 6.2.1 from Collins Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Teacher Pack
View Activity Notes B 6.2.1 from Collins Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Teacher Pack
Download Activity Sheet C 6.2.1 from Collins Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Teacher Pack
- Encouraging students to write out definitions for key terms reinforces their knowledge .
- During the game itself students are required to analyse and justify which concepts/terms relate to one another.
- Students are encouraged to ‘talk their way to understanding ’; for EAL learners this not only offers a reprieve from written English but also helps to develop their spoken English (and helps address multiple learning styles).
- You can differentiate by allowing some students access to their textbooks, encouraging more-able students to only refer to them if required.
- To save time in lesson, leaving more time to actually play the game (i.e more time to develop analysis ), students could be asked to complete the definitions as a home learning exercise.
Most importantly the exercise is fun , and, as we all know, when things are fun students are more engaged, and are more likely to learn.
Every exercise in the Teacher Resource Pack has been designed in this manner. Moreover, supporting the main lesson activity are a whole host of starter and plenary suggestions, examples and guidance on other approaches you might use, key terms tests for every topic and, of course, answers to all of the student book exercises.
Most importantly, these activities are tried and tested; they have been used with our own classes and tweaked according to student feedback. We are constantly challenging ourselves to move from ‘good’ to ‘great’, and we designed the Resource Pack with that goal in mind. We had fun writing it, and our students had fun trying things out – we hope it helps you achieve consistent greatness. Jim Collins would be proud.
Author of Collins Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies Student Book & Teacher Guide
®IGCSE is the registered trademark of Cambridge International Examinations
Business: A great way to think about delayering!
Pre-release for edexcel business 2018.
The growth of budget gyms
1.3 – Enterprise, Business Growth and Size
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes, operates and takes risks for a new business venture . The entrepreneur brings together the various factors of production to produce goods or services. Check below to see whether you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur!
- Effective communicator
- Hard working
A business plan is a document containing the business objectives and important details about the operations, finance and owners of the new business.
It provides a complete description of a business and its plans for the first few years; explains what the business does, who will buy the product or service and why; provides financial forecasts demonstrating overall viability; indicates the finance available and explains the financial requirements to start and operate the business.
Some of the content of a regular business plan are:
- Executive summary: brief summary of the key features of the business and the business plan
- The owner: educational background and what any previous experience in doing previously
- The business: name and address of the business and detailed description of the product or service being produced and sold; how and where it will be produced, who is likely to buy it, and in what quantities
- The market: describe the market research that has been carried out, what it has revealed and details of prospective customers and competitors
- Advertising and promotion: how the business will be advertised to potential customers and details of estimated costs of marketing
- Premises and equipment: details of planning regulations, costs of premises and the need for equipment and buildings
- Business organisation: whether the enterprise will take the form of sole trader, partnership, company or cooperative
- Costs: indication of the cost of producing the product or service, the prices it proposes to charge for the products
- Finance: how much of the capital will come from savings and how much will come from borrowings
- Cash flow: forecast income (revenue) and outgoings (expenditures) over the first year
- Expansion: brief explanation of future plans
Making a business plan before actually starting the business can be very helpful. By documenting the various details about the business, the owners will find it much easier to run it. There is a lesser chance of losing sight of the mission and vision of the business as the objectives have been written down. Moreover, having the objectives of the business set down clearly will help motivate the employees . A new entrepreneur will find it easier to get a loan or overdraft from the bank if they have a business plan.
Government support for business startups
According to startup.com , “a startup is a company typically in the early stages of its development. These entrepreneurial ventures are typically started by 1-3 founders who focus on capitalizing upon a perceived market demand by developing a viable product, service, or platform”.
Why do governments want to help new start-ups?
- They provide employment to a lot of people
- They contribute to the growth of the economy
- They can also, if they grow to be successful, contribute to the exports of the country
- Start-ups often introduce fresh ideas and technologies into business and industry
How do governments support businesses?
- Organise advice: provide business advice to potential entrepreneurs, giving them information useful in staring a venture, including legal and bureaucratic ones
- Provide low cost premises: provide land at low cost or low rent for new firms
- Provide loans at low interest rates
- Give grants for capital: provide financial aid to new firms for investment
- Give grants for training: provide financial aid for workforce training
- Give tax breaks/ holidays: high taxes are a disincentive for new firms to set up. Governments can thus withdraw or lower taxation for new firms for a certain period of time
Measuring business size
Businesses come in many sizes. They can be owned by a single individual or have up to 50 shareholders. They can employ thousands of workers or have a mere handful. But how can we classify a business as big or small?
Business size can be measured in the following ways:
- Number of employees: larger firms have larger workforce employed
- Value of output: larger firms are likely to produce more than smaller ones
- Value of capital employed: larger businesses are likely to employ much more capital than smaller ones
However, these methods have their limitations and are not always accurate. Example: When using the ‘number of employees’ method to compare business size is not accurate as a capital intensive firm ( one that employs a large amount of capital equipment) can produce large output by employing very little labour (workers). Similarly, value of capital employed is not a reliable measure when comparing a capital-intensive firm with a labour-intensive firm. Output value is also unreliable because some different types of products are valued differently, and the size of the firm doesn’t depend on this.
Businesses want to grow because growth helps reduce their average costs in the long-run, help develop increased market share, and helps them produce and sell to them to new markets.
There are two ways in which a business can grow- internally and externally.
This occurs when a business expands its existing operations . For example, when a fast food chain opens a new branch in another country. This is a slow means of growth but easier to manage than external growth.
This is when a business takes over or merges with another business . It is sometimes called integration as one firm is ‘integrated’ into the other.
A merger is when the owner of two businesses agree to join their firms together to make one business.
A takeover occurs when one business buys out the owners of another business , which then becomes a part of the ‘predator’ business.
External growth can largely be classified into three types:
- Reduces number of competitors in the market, since two firms become one.
- Opportunities of economies of scale .
- Merging will allow the businesses to have a bigger share of the total market.
- Merger gives assured supply of essential components.
- The profit margin of the supplying firm is now absorbed by the expanded firm.
- The supplying firm can be prevented from supplying to competitors.
- Merger gives assured outlet for their product.
- The profit margin of the retailer is now absorbed by the expanded firm.
- The retailer can be prevented from selling the goods of competitors.
- Conglomerate integration allows businesses to have activities in more than one country. This allows the firms to spread its risks.
- There could be a transfer of ideas between the two businesses even though they are in different industries. This transfer o ideas could help improve the quality and demand for the two products.
Drawbacks of growth
- Difficult to control staff: as a business grows, the business organisation in terms of departments and divisions will grow, along with the number of employees, making it harder to control, co-ordinate and communicate with everyone
- Lack of funds: growth requires a lot of capital.
- Lack of expertise: growth is a long and difficult process that will require people with expertise in the field to manage and coordinate activities
- Diseconomies of scale: this is the term used to describe how average costs of a firm tends to increase as it grows beyond a point, reducing profitability. This is explored more deeply in a later section .
Why businesses stay small
Not all businesses grow.Some stay small, employ a handful of workers and have little output. Here are the reasons why.
- Type of industry : some firms remain small due to the industry they operate in. Examples of these are hairdressers, car repairs, catering, etc, which give personal services and therefore cannot grow.
- Market size : if the firm operates in areas where the total number of customers is small, such as in rural areas, there is no need for the firm to grow and thus stays small.
- Owners’ objectives : not all owners want to increase the size of their firms and profits. Some of them prefer keeping their businesses small and having a personal contact with all of their employees and customers, having flexibility in controlling and running the business, having more control over decision-making , and to keep it less stressful .
Why businesses fail
Not all businesses are successful. The main reasons why they fail are:
- Poor management : this is a common cause of business failure for new firms. The main reason is lack of experience and planning which could lead to bad decision making. New entrepreneurs could make mistakes when choosing the location of the firm, the raw materials to be used for production, etc, all resulting in failure
- Over-expansion : this could lead to diseconomies of scale and greatly increase costs, if a firms expands too quickly or over their optimum level
- Failure to plan for change : the demands of customers keep changing with change in tastes and fashion. Due to this, firms must always be ready to change their products to meet the demand of their customers . Failure to do so could result in losing customers and loss. They also won’t be ready to quickly keep up with changes the competitors are making , and changes in laws and regulations
- Poor financial management : if the owner of the firm does not manage his finances properly, it could result in cash shortages. This will mean that the employees cannot be paid and enough goods cannot be produced. Poor cash flow can therefore also cause businesses to fail
Why new businesses are at a greater risk of failure
- Less experience: a lack of experience in the market or in business gets a lot of firms easily pushed out of the market
- New to the market: they may still not understand the nuances and trends of the market, that existing competitors will have mastered
- Don’t a lot of sales yet: only by increasing sales, can new firms grow and find their foothold in the market. At a stage when they’re not selling much, they are at a greater risk of failing
- Don’t have a lot of money to support the business yet: financial issues can quickly get the better of new firms if they aren’t very careful with their cash flows. It is only after they make considerable sales and start making a profit, can they reinvest in the business and support it
Notes submitted by Lintha
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18 thoughts on “ 1.3 – Enterprise, Business Growth and Size ”
I am SOOO surprised to use this website. My teacher lit uses this to make notes but he made it more complex by using those high fi words. But this, OMG it’s so ez when I read these notes it was so much easier than I thought I just love this THANKS SOOO MUCHHH!!!!!!
Like Liked by 1 person
thid is bestest nots for bussines studys thx
Wonderful information 🥰🥰 It really helped me a lot thanks for de info
What about value of sales ( for ways if measuring a business) ? Because the IGCSE textbook I use does talk about that..
Yes. You can add that as a measure of evaluating business size, but it too runs into the same limitations as the other measures.
okay, thank you !!
the absolute best
Like Liked by 2 people
HEy I would like if anyone here would be able to help me with business because im facing hella problems
you still have problems
yes i do too lol
If you are facing problem in Business Studies (IGCSE/O Levels), Feel free to contact me. My name is Afzal Shad and I have a website with same name. (Google: Sir Afzal Shad) and you will get my website to contact me.
Hope Admin of website won’t mind.
this one is really useful💓love this one
Thank you so much 🙂
Quite understandable 👌👌
exactly.. profit is NOT a measure of business size
Hey. In the Business Studies syllabus, it was mentioned that, and I quote “profit is not a method of measuring business size”, but it was mentioned here. I just wanted to point that out because I think that is an error that was published here. Thanks.
Well, Profit can also be a measure of business size but not alone. Most of the times we use a combination of sizes. For example, the Covered Area, the Capital Employed or even the Number of Employees can not be the perfect measure, if they are used alone.
We normally take combinations of Business Size to measure them. Using one won’t be an accurate measure.
Afzal Shad IGCSE /A Levels Business Teacher Google me: (Sir Afzal Shad)
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Business Studies Teacher Guide
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People in business
- Scenario Pack
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Each Scenario Pack provides a lesson plan and resources based on a business scenario to actively engage your learners in thinking about, justifying, analysing and evaluating decisions.
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IGCSE Business Studies (0450)
Understanding Business Activity
1.1 Business Activity
Why is specialization important?
What are the two (2) ways of specializing?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of labour and capital intensive?
What is the purpose of business activities?
1.2 Classification of businesses
What are the three (3) industrial sectors?
What is the difference between a market, mixed and planned economy?
What are public sector organisations?
1.3 Enterprise, business growth and size
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur?
What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur?
What are the importance of a business plan?
What are the components of a business plan?
Why does government support businesses?
What kind of support does the government offer businesses?
How to measure the size of firms?
Why do firms grow?
How do firms grow?
Why does some firm remain small?
What are the problems of growing a business?
Why does some business fail?
What causes a business to fail?
1.4 Types of business organization
What are the different types of business organization?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of organization?
1.5 Business objectives and stakeholder objectives
What are the importance of a business objective?
What are the key business objectives?
Who are business stakeholders? What are their roles?
How do I score a 6 mark question
How do I score a 4 mark question
How do I score a 2 mark question?
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