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Management Strategy Assessment

Purpose:

The purpose of this assignment is for you to identify and evaluate the factors of marketing, finance and operations management that contribute to the short and long term success of a business. 

In this project, you will demonstrate research and writing skills, the ability to identify and use source material, use critical thinking skills in the application of the course material and use APA to support ideas, reasoning, and conclusions presented in the project.

Outcomes Met by Completing This Assignment:

· demonstrate an understanding of the small business environment and how to manage cash flow

· develop critical managerial skills and processes to assess and analyze key elements of enterprise growth

Read the following case scenario:

Alan’s Ales is a small microbrewery located in Baltimore, Maryland. Alan has been thinking of expanding abroad where markets for ale are open, and there seems to be room for market entry.  Alan has been looking at trends in the market place and is concerned about beer drinking trends in the US.  Recently, Alan read a Forbes article about beer sales declining in the US which made him think ( Does the Declining Beer Trend Spell Doom for Brewers? )

Although his business seems to be doing well despite the growing trend in micro-beer, Alan thought he might consider expanding abroad where the market place is still strong.  

At a recent U.S. beer convention, Alan met a representative of Thornbridge Brewery. Thornbridge Brewery is a boutique brewery in Bakewell, England.  Alan likes their products and thought maybe it would be worth looking at the company since it is up for sale.  Alan likes Thornbridge products and thought maybe it would be worth looking at the company since it is up for sale.  Before entertaining the idea of expansion, Alan wants to put together information that will give him a “quick glance” into Alan Ale’s current operations.

Alan is quite aware of the fact that many small businesses fail because of growing too fast, too large, or are underfunded. Before even spending the time to go forward with a business plan, Alan tasks you, his Operations Manager, to create a memo as to what information he should collect to get the best “quick glance” of his current operations in the areas of marketing, finance and operations management.

Instructions:

You will be writing a memo to Alan that outlines the information that Alan has requested you to collect about the business.  Use will use this format:   Business Memo Format.

Using the course material in weeks 3, 4, and 5, create a 4-5-page memo outlining the information that Alan should collect about the business.  You may only use the course material and not use any resources from the Internet. 

Here are the topics to discuss:

· Identify and evaluate the specific information Alan needs to know about marketing his ales.  Why is this information critical to the success of his business? 

· Explain what Alan needs to know about the financial statements and the components that make up the statements that would provide a complete picture of the financial position and health of Alan’s Ales?  

· Identify and discuss the major challenges Alan faces with operations management?  How could incorrectly handling these challenges affect Alan’s expansion plans and why?

Review the Paper

Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present.  Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.

Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing. 

· Read the paper aloud as a first measure;

· Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;

· Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;

· Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

How to Set Up the Paper 

You will be writing a memo.  Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font.  The final product will be between 4 – 5 pages excluding the title page and reference page.  Write clearly and concisely. 

To help you with the memo format, use this format:   Business Memo Format

The body of the paper should consist of a heading for each required element. 

APA and writing is a main focus of this paper and should be executed with the utmost attention to detail.  In this regard, note that the project calls for at least one primary source. Be sure to include this resource as part of your supporting material choices.  Should you need help in any these areas of APA or writing, please refer to the APA module located in the content area of the course or ask the professor for guidance.  

Use the grading rubric and instructions as guides. Be sure to cover all that is asked of you in the assignment and do so in a way that will guide the professor into giving a high grade.  Finally, all work that you submit for this project should be your own. Remember your pledge to uphold academic integrity in all work that you prepare and submit.

Requirements for the Assignment

Before you begin writing the paper, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements. 

· Read the grading rubric for the assignment.  Use the grading rubric while writing the paper to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.

· Third person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing

· Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are expected NOT to use contractions in writing this assignment. 

· You are expected to paraphrase and NOT use direct quotes.  You are expected to paraphrase,.

· You are responsible for APA only for in-text citations and a reference list. 

· The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings to support ideas, reasoning and conclusions.  

· You may not use books as source material and you must use only the course material in this assignment.

· When using a source document, the expectation is that the information is cited and referenced with a page or paragraph number.   Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.   

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