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ASSESSMENT TASK 2:  DESCRIPTION Produce  a  business  study  report.  The  report  needs  to  contain the  following  four  parts  plus a  formal introduction to your report and a conclusion. 1) Introduction to the business and general business environment  Select  a business  from  the  list  of  ASX  Companies provided in  Week  2.  Provide  an  overall  description of the  business  and  the  competitive environment  in  which it  operates.  You  may  provide  information  about  the business  as  suggested  below  plus any  other  information peculiar  to  the business  you  choose. a)  Name  and  location  of  the  business,  the  type  of  business  (e.g.  retail,  manufacturing);   b)  What  the  business  produces or  sells;     c)  Who the  main customers  are  (e.g.  other  businesses,  government  departments,  young  girls,  older men); d)  Where  most  of  the  customers  are  located  (e.g.  in  Townsville,  Jakarta,  or  on the  net); e)  Who the  main competitors  are  (i.e.  those  producing similar  products,  and selling  to  similar customer  base); f) Where  the  competitors  are located;  and g)  The  (approximate)  market  share  of  key  competitors  including  your  business  (e.g.  ’your’  businesses has  approximately  10%  of  the  market,  your  main  competitor  has  approximately  50%  of  the  market, and many other small businesses share the remaining 40% of the market). Given  the  above information,  comment  on  whether  or  not  you  think  the  competitive environment  in  which the  firm  operates  is  likely  to  be  closer  to  (a)  perfect  competition;  or  (b)  monopoly.  Comment  also on  the number  of  ‘close  substitutes’  for  your  business’  products,  and  the  cost  of  your  product  relative to  ‘average’ income of  your  customers.  Does  this  mean  that  the demand  curve  facing  the  firm  is  likely  to  be  relatively elastic or  relatively  inelastic?  What  does  this  imply  about  the  ability  of  the  firm  to  ‘mark  up’  its  price  above marginal cost? 2) Production costs and scale Provide  a description of  the  required  factors  of  production,  grouping  them  according  to whether  the  factors of  production  are: a)  Fixed  and hence  unlikely  to  vary  much  according  to  the  quantity  of  goods  produced or  sold;  or b) Variable and hence likely to increase with increased production or sales. Use the  above information to  comment  on  the  likely  overall  cost  structure of  your  business.  For  example: Are  fixed  costs  large  or  small  relative to  variable costs?    Does  this  mean  that  the  firm’s  ‘optimal’  size is likely to be small, medium or large? 3) Macro business environment Provide  a description of  the  macroeconomic  environment  in which the  business  operates  noting
a)  The  overall  ‘stability’  of  the  political  system/government  of  the  country  in  which the  business operates. b)  The general  level  of  inflation,  unemployment  and  ‘average’  interest  rate  of  the  country  in which the business  is  physically  located  (and also  the  countries in  which most  customers  live if  different  from the  location  of  the  firm).  Discuss any  recent  changes  in those variables.  Does  the  economy  seem to be  in a  recession,  boom  or  otherwise? c)  If  ‘your’  business  exports  its  products  to other  countries,  provide  some information  about  the (currency) exchange rate, discussing its current level, and recent changes in it. Use the  above information to  comment  on  whether  or  not  the  overall  macroeconomic  conditions  faced  by the  firm  are  likely  to  become  more  or  less  favourable over  the  coming  years.  In  this  part  you  should consider  such  things  as: •  Whether  your  main products  are likely  to be  ‘normal’  or  ‘inferior’ and  hence whether  demand is likely  to rise  or  fall  during  recessions  and  thus  whether  the  economic  climate of  the  countries  in which most  of  your  customers  live is likely  to reflect  well  or  poorly  on  your  sales. •  Whether  you  are  likely  to  face  problems  getting access  to  key  factors  of  production (e.g.  are  there skills  shortages?),  and whether  this  is  likely  to  affect  the  business’  future  operating  costs. •  If your  business  exports  its  products  or  imports  factors  of  production…whether  recent  trends  in exchange rates are likely to be good or bad for costs and/or revenues.  4)  Sustainability  practice  of  the  business a)  Does  the  production  process of  the  business  generate  any  positive or  negative externalities?  If negative,  has  the  government  (or  anyone else)  put  in place  any  measures  to mitigate?  What  is done  to  mitigate  by  the  business? If  positive,  what  is  done  to  take  advantage  of  it? b)  Does the  consumption of  the  good produced by  the  business  generate  any  positive or  negative externalities?  If  negative,  has  the  government  (or  anyone else)  put  in place  any  measures  to mitigate?  What  is  done  to mitigate  by  the  business? If  positive,  what  is  done  to  take  advantage  of it?   c)  Use the  information  from  above to  comment  on  how  the  sustainability  practice by  this  business  and other businesses in the same industry would affect their long-term business viability.



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