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To be completed by the student(s).

Students must complete IN BIRO the relevant sections of this sheet and
attach it to the front of their assignment.

Module Code and Title: BS5302 Enterprise in Society


Module Leader: Rosemary Athayde
Title of Work: Report on 247drinks Ltd
Originality of work and individual contributions
Assignments are assumed to be the work of the student(s) named on this cover sheet. Students who do not
identify quotations or who include extensive copying or paraphrasing of sources without proper
acknowledgement, are liable to accusations of plagiarism (a form of academic misconduct), which is viewed
extremely seriously under University Regulations (please refer to your Student Handbook for details). In
completing this form students are deemed to be certifying that all the material in the assignment which is not
their own work has been properly identified and acknowledged.
Groupwork contributions
It is assumed that each group member has contributed equally to the assignment. If this is not the case, a full
explanation must be included with your work, incorporating appropriate percentage contributions per group
member.

To be completed by the Marker


Markers comments
Please see below
Percentage mark for assignment_______________________________________%
Mark capped at 40% late submission by second deadline? (i.e. within grace period, normally 7 days YES

Mark of zero for late submission after both deadlines? (i.e. without mitigation/signed extensions form) YES

Uneven contribution for group members

Markers signature:___________
Date:

YES

_________________________________________

Enterprise in Society BS5302

Report On
247drinks Ltd
Word Count 3485
(Excluding, Title Page,
Executive Summary, Appendices
and References)

Contents
I.

Executive Summary:.................................................................................................. 1

II.

Introduction:.............................................................................................................. 2
II.I Background of 247drinks:........................................................................................ 2

III.

Analysis:................................................................................................................. 3

III.I: Networking:............................................................................................................ 3
III.II: Financing:.............................................................................................................. 5
III.III: Innovation:........................................................................................................... 7
III.IV: Marketing:............................................................................................................ 9
III.V: Future Plans and External Influences:.................................................................11
External influences......................................................................................................... 11
Economy...................................................................................................................... 11
Climate........................................................................................................................ 11
Target markets actions............................................................................................... 12
Competition................................................................................................................ 12
IV.

Conclusion:........................................................................................................... 13

V.

References............................................................................................................... 14

VI.

Appendices:.......................................................................................................... 17

a.

Group Log:............................................................................................................ 17
b.

Interview guide questions and their sources:....................................................20

c.

Draft Interview Guide:.......................................................................................... 25

d.

Final Interview Guide:........................................................................................... 27

Marking Criteria

Depth and breadth of knowledge


demonstrated in the analysis and
evaluation of findings in the report
with respect to the tasks set

Markers Comments
You have very successfully addressed
the requirements of the task. The
report demonstrates a sound
understanding of the main issues and
the mark is a reflection of the amount
of effort expended.

1) identification
of small business
management in practice

Good understanding of the essential


small firm practices with examples and
relevant references.

2) small business issues that the


owner manager had encountered

3) the students perception of the


difference between small and large
company management practice

Total

Max

26 35
26 35

23 30
75 100

Relevant issues well analysed and


backed up by nice quotations, and
good and extensive references.
Good identification and examples of
the main differences.

I.

Executive Summary:

This report will discuss the key similarities and constraints faced by Small
and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and how they are managed as opposed to
large firms.247drinks is a small alcohol delivery service business based in
South London.
An interview with the owner manager of 247drinks was conducted in order
to gain insight of small business management realities. The interview
focused on the following five essential business areas: networking,
marketing, finance, innovation and External Influences/Future Plans.
The information gathered was analysed and the findings concluded that:
Networking was and will continue to be an essential element to the
businesses success.
Financing the business was attributed due to the use of the
networks the business had established.
Innovation of the business concept and not the actual goods being
retailed was and is required for growth.
The successful use of marketing is the businesses key to
sustainability
The future of 247drinks is reliant on both macro and micro
environmental factors.
As shown in the conclusion, this report shows that SMEs could be lacking
the guidance and support that could help them in achieving and
contributing considerably more due to the deficiency in some key
resources in contrast to large organisations.

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II. Introduction:
The aim of this report is to analyse, evaluate and exemplify the
differences between the management of small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) in contrast to that of larger businesses. The report will also explore
the challenges that small businesses face.
To gain a deeper understanding of a real small business, 247drinks, an
independent small business that operates in South London was chosen. As
a group; through discussions, meetings and various forms of
communication, we created an interview guide from which an interview
was conducted with the owner manager of 247drinks.
The report is divided into two main sections. An analysis section that will
show and evaluate the information gathered from 247drinks and a
conclusion based on the material gathered.

II.I Background of 247drinks:


247drinks was initiated by Marco Omohegbe in 2009 (Owner manager). It
is a small alcohol delivery service business located in Kingston upon
Thames and delivers to the South London area. After finishing his degree
in marketing, the owner manager did not want to work for anyone else as
he believed that his financial success would be determined by his efforts,
if he started up his own business. He remembers his university party days
when alcohol supply would run out as his inspiration to start 247drinks.
247drinks is currently operates as a private limited company (Ltd), and
has been since 2011. Originally, it was ran as a sole proprietorship. After
two years of operation, the business started to decline mainly due to
unforeseen expenses and lack of customers. He then approached a friend
who had a business management degree and experience in running a
business; offering a share of the business, in desperate need to keep
247drinks running. Since then, the business has improved significantly.
The business currently employs 10 people. Their main customers are
students and the general public who consume alcohol. Cash and carry, a
wholesale alcohol distributor is 247drinks suppliers. 247drinkss main
objective is to grow and be able to deliver alcohol in all parts of London.

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III. Analysis:
III.I: Networking:
Networking refers to the action by which an owner-manager develops and
maintains contacts for trading and business development purposes Chell
and Baines (2000 p.196).
Networking is a vital part of small business management that helps to aid
success because it helps in;

Seeking ideas for business start-up,


Speeding up products to markets (Deakins. D and Freel. M. (2012
pg. 204)
Advise and emotional support
Obtaining access to external knowledge (Deakins. D and Freel.
(2012 pg. 204)

The owner manager of 247 drinks states that networking has played a big
role in the success of his business. He had the confidence in being able to
create networks immediately due to being well- known in the area. He was
initially advised by his personal networks which included friends,
acquaintances and family Dubini, P and Aldrich, H, (1991) when starting
his business: 247drinks. He remembers most of them being reluctant
about his idea and doubted how successful the business could be.
However, being relentless is a character most successful entrepreneurs
require; therefore he went ahead with the business.
Theres a significant difference between the ways in which large
businesses and small businesses manage networks within a business.
247drinks, an SME started with strong ties, i.e. friends and family, they
helped with face to face and word of mouth promotion which is an
essential and popular method of marketing for small enterprises whilst
being very cost effective; this helped to increase sales for 247drinks. As
247drinks has developed, weak ties for example; loyal customers and
suppliers have emerged. In comparison to larger businesses, for example
ASDA, both weak and strong ties are used from the onset for advice and
ideas i.e. through market research. They are likely to approach weak ties
such as experts instead of friends and family for advice on decision
making.
3 | Page

Compared to weak ties, strong ties consist of frequent interaction.


Granovetter (1973 page 4/27) However, strong ties are perceived as being
less beneficial than weak ties because they are likely to provide redundant
information since they can be anticipated to move in similar, if not the
same, social circles( Burt, 1992). Granovetter (1973) and Burt (1992)
suggest that networks should consist of both strong and weak ties
because, the nature of these ties influence the operation and structure of
networks. The owner manager therefore supports and aims to build and
maintain positive relationship with both ties.
Denise E. Fletcher (2002 pg 132) suggests that in small firms, informal
methods were used to induct, train and retain employees. This is true to
247drinks as informal interviews were used for the recruitment process. It
is expected that as firms grow, the skills and abilities required to perform
various functions and activities would no longer be available from the
familiar and informal recruitment sources preferred by the ownermanager. (Journal of Small Business Management 2005 43(1), pp. 1640).
Hence, large firms like ASDA supermarket use formal methods of
recruiting because they have specialised departments who deal with the
recruitment and training of their workforce, whereas, the operations
managers in small businesses, like 247drinks are likely to carry out the
recruitment process themselves due to a lack of resources.
Customers are an important element for 247drinks. The service that
customers receive from 247drinks could encourage customers i.e. delivery
time, prices, friendliness of employees and quality of drinks. The owner
manager encourages his employees to be very friendly to customers and
also saves customers numbers so that when regular customers call, they
are known by name which also encourages a stronger rapport between
the two. Loyal customers recommend and broaden the businesss
popularity through word of mouth. Additionally through well-maintained
relationships with customers, 247drinks can gain insight of changes,
trends and opportunities in the market.
Large companies are unlikely to rely exclusively on promotion through
word of mouth to customers. Instead, they use large and more
traditional, expensive techniques of communicating to their customers
like advertising on TV, billboards and social media.
247drinks also uses the ever growing method of social networking to
communicate with its customers about the businesss dynamics, activities
and innovations. This expands the businesss market base and
accessibility. 80% of consumers would be more inclined to buy more often
in the future because of a brand's presence on social media (Wight, 2013).
4 | Page

It is agreeable that through effective networking, small businesses can


compete with larger one more effectively.

III.II: Financing:
One of the key business necessities needed to ensure successful growth
and sustainability is finance. As stated by (Small Business, 2013) How
you finance your business can affect your ability to employ staff,
purchase goods, acquire licenses, expand and develop. In recent years
since the global economic collapse many businesses; i.e. SMEs, have
found it difficult to raise the sufficient capital they require to develop and
innovate further as stated by Vince Cable (Gov, 2013) inadequate access
to finance for small and medium enterprises is one of the biggest risks to
economic recovery, this could be due to the fact that SMEs are seen as a
risk (The career cafe, 2013) 95% of SMEs fail within 5 years of starting
up. On the other hand larger firms are able to raise capital a lot easier
and quicker through the use of retained earnings, sale of shares and from
banks as these larger firms offer a reduced risk.
The way a business is financed is dependent on its legal structure for
example; it will most likely be easier for a private limited company (Ltd)
such as 247drinks to obtain finance than a sole proprietor, this is due to
the reduced risk facing investors or lenders as the company has limited
liability. In addition to what business structure is adopted; how and what
the finance will be used for, and the owner mangers relevant expertise will
need to be appropriate and well assessed in order to obtain the finance.
During the interview with 247drinks Ltd it became apparent that this topic
would be sensitive and we therefore decided not to ask any personally
5 | Page

intrusive questions. During the seed corn (Lecture 3 BS5302) and start
up phases of 247drinks, the owner manager was increasingly dependent
on close family to help out with funding. This is a familiar trait with most
SMEs who rely on internal sources of finance through Friends, Family, Fools
or the Founder themselves (The 4 Fs Lecture 3 BS5302) to fund the
initial start-up or for additional sums of capital in order to further grow the
business.
When seeking to obtain this initial start-up capital the owner manager had
to utilize his Strong Tie (Lecture 2 BS5302) networks the initial capital
was not enough, and I had to rely on family for financial support, this is
due to the ease and speed of access and availability this provides,
however convincing these 3 Fs to invest in a newly formed SME may
cause the owner manager having to relinquish part of the business to the
investor; as stated by (Small Business, 2013) Equity gives you cash, but
you have to share the success this is further illustrated by the owner
managers brother still having a small share in the business. Although
government funding may have been available during start-up through
schemes such as Start-up Loans and The Business Bank the owner
manager did not take advantage of this opportunity, this can be attributed
to the intense and time consuming work load he undertook to get
247drinks running successfully.
With this capital the owner manager was able to steadily grow his
business yet was unable to see a profitable return stating that it took two
years to see a return on investment this could be because the economic
climate had a significant change in demand for the product. Since the
business was operating as a retailer rather than a service provider it was
harder to sell with a large profit margin however larger firms and
distributors have the distinct advantage of applying Economies of scale;
(Economies online, 2013) states large firms are often more efficient than
small ones because they can gain from economies of scale. From this the
business also suffered cash flow issues however the owner manager
turned this around with intuitive marketing campaigns aimed at increasing
his turnover through minimal cost and by producing achievable and
realistic cash flow forecasts. In contrast larger firms would be able to take
more traditional measures to help increase turnover such as increased
marketing or market research; therefore increasing cash flow through
access to more resources such as finance and a dedicated marketing
department.
The owner manager also required additional capital after the start-up this
was due to the business running in to unforeseen costs; the owner
manager was again financially supported by his family. However new
6 | Page

means of raising finance for SMEs have evolved with the use of Business
angels and through the increasingly popular use of crowd funding as
stated by (UKCFA 2013) It has been described as democratic finance,
allowing businesses and projects of all forms and sizes access to money
while bypassing traditional banking institutions. Furthermore the
business could continue to raise finance internally through the use of
retained profits which have supported the sustained growth of the
business so far; Profits help to re-invest more into the business in order
for it to keep growing.

III.III: Innovation:
Innovation is controversially defined as when an enterprise produces a
good or service or uses a method or input that is new to it, it makes a
technical change. The first company to make a given technical change is
an innovator. Its action is innovation. (Schmookler, 1966) Simply put,
innovation is essentially the process of increasing demand by making
new things happen (Gurling, 2010).

7 | Page

There is a vast gap between the way innovation is researched and


implemented between small and large firms. Small firms are at a
disadvantage due to being constrained by their lack of resources,
comparative to large firms who have extensive resources readily available
and consequently can afford to invest a vast amount of time and capital in
their pursuit for innovation. Conversely, small firms suffer from liability of
newness (Stinchcombe, 1965) whereby it is harder to collaborate with
others and their access to finance and expertise is significantly limited.
A clear example of this was present during the first two years of
247drinks, whereby the owner/manager had to deliver by himself due to a
lack of finance and expertise, a consequence of resource constraints
(Rothwell, 1983). The required financial input was later brought by his
friend; this investment gave the enterprise the opportunity to employee
people, enhancing their ability to survive, alongside his university degree
in Business Management which brought vital expertise, thus an extended
understanding of their niche industry increased.
Despite a considerable lack of resources, smaller firms such as 247drinks
can be very innovative due to increased flexibility comparative to large
firms. This means that if they wished to implement an idea, it would be
much easier for them to put it into action. As a result of technological
innovation (Rothwell et al 1982), social media has provided a platform
upon which 247drinks could tap into a wider market, specifically students
across various universities in South London, thus increasing demand. The
enterprise has capitalised on this by introducing a loyalty card scheme,
whereby the customer will receive something free on every 6th order,
which is a good promotion for customer retention in this burgeoning
market.
The main source of innovation within the enterprise is service innovation.
Alongside increased face-to-face promotion, 247drinks aims to provide
personal relationships with its customers through regular communication,
as shown by the text message service used to offer existing customers
new deals. Also, feedback is asked for when orders are received from the
enterprise, enhancing the role of client participation in the production of
the service (Gallouj and Weinstein, 1997). This encouragement of
feedback from customers is important because an idea is a network on a
most elemental level (Johnson, 2010) and the feedback provided allow
the enterprise to innovate and improve their operations.
It is unquestionably more difficult for SMEs to innovate when looking at
the financial aspects of said innovation, comparative to large firms.
However, small enterprises such as 247drinks can focus all of their time
8 | Page

and expertise on such innovative schemes and as such are more likely to
enhance their services, due to the increased flexibility in their processes
and the positive nature of the relative size of the enterprise; unlike larger
firms, who often have to balance the risk between these innovative
schemes and their existing projects, thus reducing the likelihood of
success due to an inability to implement incremental innovation such as
that used by 247drinks because of their hierarchical, highly bureaucratic
structure.
Finally, the way 247drinks reviews the business every two months to look
for ways to innovate gives them an edge because they are able to analyse
what is happening in their niche market, and the ways in which they could
improve their business operation to keep up with and go ahead of their
competition.

III.IV: Marketing:

9 | Page

Marketing is referred to as the management process through which


products move from the initial concept to the final process of production,
or simply put, the act of making markets (the collection of consumers
aware of intended products consumer consumption). In most
organisations, it includes the coordination of the four elements of
marketing collectively known as the marketing mix; product, price, place
and promotional strategy (Keefe 2004, p. 17). However, this type of
marketing mix is mostly for large firms which rely mostly on careful
planning processes which have been input by a committed team of
market research analysts to guide the selection of a target market and
product. SMEs like 247drinks on the other hand rely more on intuition,
informality, identification and interactive marketing methods. (Collinson
and Shaw, 2001). This can be illustrated below:
Stokes Model of SME Interactive Marketing: (BS5302 Lecture 3)

Informal
Information
Gathering through
feedback of
networks and
customers

Innovation:
adjustments to
products and
market
approach
Identification of
target markets

Interactive Marketing
Methods e.g. word of
mouth, social networks
etc.

It should be noted that entrepreneurial marketing relies more on practical


competencies and the development of network relationships to succeed.
Marketing in relation to SMEs therefore can be identified through the use
of networking as a marketing competence to attract, retain and promote
products and services to a market. (Gilmore and Carson et al., 2001, pp.
6-11)
Having had the opportunity to see this in a practical setting from
247drinks, we get to see that like most SMEs, The owner manager relied
heavily on the personal interaction with his customers through various
methods such as positive customer feedback, the use of social media
networks such as Twitter through the user account @247drinks and
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through their Facebook page under the same name (Twitter 2013;
Facebook 2013) where a constant stream of promotions and offers to his
growing number of customers. Most SMEs have trouble maintaining their
customer loyalty however 247drinks also maintains their customers by
keeping their customers details and sending them periodic promotions
through texts and emails.
Marketing in SMEs does not come without some challenges and like the
owner manager explained to us, one of his biggest concerns was not
having a fully committed marketing department. This problem supports
the evidence that SMEs have limited financial resources and skills to
effectively achieve a competitive edge (Liu 2005; Verhees and
Meulenberg 2004). Due to limited resources, the owner manager and staff
have to carry out promotions in addition to other tasks and commitments
leading to limited expertise in the field of marketing, promotional activities
and the effective impact of these actions which can be evidenced by the
activity on 247drinks' Twitter and Facebook accounts; rather than focusing
on both as a means of advertising, the Twitter account has more than 400
followers while their Facebook page only has 16 likes and last had any
activity on the 27th of August which as a result hinders the fruition of
profits as their customer base is limited.
As a result, the owner manager has taken a different approach by
developing a new marketing campaign to attract new customers through
collaborating with local bars, clubs and pubs by inserting posters in the
communal areas promoting their services should their customers wish to
continue their partying when the venues are closed for the night. This is in
comparison to a large firm that has a full team with a Marketing Manager
that undertakes both quantitative and qualitative research methods and
would have a dedicated social networking analyst such as
HungryHouse.co.uk which has Smartphone apps on different platforms,
over 17000 followers on Twitter and over 250000 likes on Facebook, a feat
which could not be achieved by their two co-founders, Shane Lake and
Tony Charles themselves.

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III.V: Future Plans and External Influences:


The enterprise wishes to expand their current delivery expanse of South
London to cover all of London. This will be dependent on the injection of
further finance, alongside an increased number of employees to cover all
boroughs, whilst aiming to achieve their promise of a 30 minute delivery
time. However, this desire to dominate the niche market may prove
prohibitively costly due to the expansion of their geographic market
(Rothwell, 1989) and the associated costs, alongside the continuing
difficulties in accessing external finance s sources of finance, as previously
experienced.

External influences.
Economy.
During an economic recession, small businesses are often hit the hardest
(Small Business - Chron.com, 2013). Because people are likely to cut costs
to able to buy food and necessities during economic decline, Randeep
Ramesh, (2011) states that the recession saw fewer people drinking in
Britain. This shows that bad economy has a negative effect on small
niche businesses like 247drinks more than larger businesses. This has
been agreed by (Kitao. S and Sahin.A, 2013) claiming that during
recession, problems that affected large firms too, but to a lesser degree

Climate
The owner manager of 247drinks declared that when the weather is cold,
rainy or snowy, the business gets more customers. This means that good
sunny weather encourages people to go out more and get drinks from
shops rather than have them delivered at their houses.

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Target markets actions.


Table 1 indicates that the age group of adults who drank twice over the
estimated drinking limit is aged between 16-24 (News.bbc.co.uk,2013);
who are likely to be students. 247drinks also acknowledges students as
their main target market as students account for 65% of the business
sales. During student holidays however, the business sales decline
significantly. This gives large businesses like ASDA an advantage because
they have wider target markets.

Table 1

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Competition
A nations prosperity depends on its competitiveness (unknown, 2013)
Competition is an inevitable external factor that affects both small and
large businesses.

IV.

Conclusion:

SMEs are important in terms of their overall share of GDP, it is also


believed that smaller firms lack both managerial and technical skills which
inhibits their effectiveness (Jone.O & Tiley.F, 2003) From our extensive
research we have clearly identified that SMEs are faced with an increasing
number of challenges of which the main one is the lack of financial
resources available. As a result of this we believe that the both national
and local government should introduce more accessible and available
resources to owner managers of SMEs. This should not only include
financial assistance but also provide a range of supportive measures to
enable these SMEs to flourish.
We were able to detect that due to 247drinks being a newly founded SME,
its networking and financial abilities were heavily reliant on Strong &
Close tie networks. This is mainly due to the lack of confidence and
business acumen held by the owner manager which in 247drinks case
was overcome with the owner managers drive and persistence.
Consequently government or local initiatives can be introduced to help
develop these skills. Working in partnership with research departments
can lead to new commercial developments that an SME may have been
unable to achieve on its own (Jones and Tilley, 2003) Traditional
marketing techniques are usually employed by large firms as opposed to
SMEs due to the vast and varied resources that are readily available.
However SMEs such as 247drinks are able to implement more cost
effective and innovative marketing campaigns with the support of both
the Strong & Weak tie networks through various mediums i.e. Social
Networks. Through the owner managers own experience he was able to
establish and exploit a niche market and quickly gain an extensive
customer base.

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V.

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Available at: https://twitter.com/247drinks [Accessed: 29 Nov 2013].
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Available at: https://twitter.com/hungryhouse [Accessed: 29 Nov 2013].
Ukcfa.org.uk. 2013. Home: UK Crowdfunding. [Online]
http://www.ukcfa.org.uk/ [Accessed 30 Nov 2013]
Verhees, J.H.M. Frans and Matthew T.G. Meulenberg (2004), Market
Orientation, Innovativeness, Product Innovation, and Performance in Small
Firms, Journal of Small Business Management, 42 (2), 134-154.
Wight, E. 2013. Small business tips: how to use social media to boost
business. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/smallbusiness-network/2013/aug/29/social-media-boost-business-tips
[Accessed: 24th Nov 2013].

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VI.

Appendices:

a. Group Log:
04/11/2013;
1. Members Present:
1.1.

Dex Hill

1.2.

Sandra Ampiire

1.3.

James Kasirye-Sebalu

2. Summary of Meeting:
2.1.
Members of the team introduced each other and contact
details were exchanged to keep communication within the group
constant. A forum was set up on a messaging app on our mobile
phones to keep up to date with each other. Only three members
made our group as we were slightly late in choosing a group
2.2.
The draft interview guide was reviewed by Rosemary Athayde,
our module leader, having made a note of the necessary changes
that we needed to implement. e
18/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
1.1.
Dex Hill
1.2.
Sandra Ampiire
1.3.
James Kasirye-Sebalu
2. Summary of meeting:
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2.1.
The main task was set out to be to find a business with which
to set up an interview with in the Kingston area. A vote would be
set up to pick from the ones each individual came with.
2.2.
Next interview date set up to be.
20/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
1.1.
Sandra Ampiire
1.2.
Dex Hill
1.3.
James Kasirye-Sebalu
2. Summary of Meeting:
2.1.
247drinks was chosen as it marked all areas of our small
business selection criteria we were looking for to identify a
successful SME in the local area.
2.2.
Different roles were assigned with which each team member
was assigned a question to interview and of the business.
2.3.
An email was sent out to the owner manager informing him of
our research and asking him to assist in our research by answering
questions related to his business.
2.4.
It was agreed that our next meeting would be set up after we
had received a reply from the owner manager.
22/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
1.1.
No members present as all queries were discussed over the
forum. We received a reply from the owner manager and we
arranged to all meet up with him initially to introduce the team to
him and it was agreed that 25/11/2013 would be the day we take a
trip to the business.

25/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
1.1.
Sandra Ampiire
1.2.
Dex Hill
1.3.
James Kasirye-Sebalu
2. Summary of meeting:
2.1.
We met up with the owner manager of 247drinks and
arranged to have the interview divided into two separate sessions
as a single session would keep him away from the smooth running
of his operations. Hence the first 3 sections of the report were done
during our initial meeting.
2.2.
Second meeting was agreed to be arranged on the 29/11/2013
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26/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
None as Virtual meeting took place. A new member to our group
was added. Sandra replied to an email sent out by Rahul who was
looking to join a group following some mitigating circumstances out
of academic work. All members of the group were notified and we all
agreed it would be beneficial both to us and to Rahul to join the
group.

29/11/2013:
1. Members Present:
1.1.
Dex Hill
1.2.
Rahul Nanda
2. Summary of meeting:
2.1.
Dex and Nanda visited the business and interviewed the
manager for the remainder of our research and notes were taken
with which they could refer when compiling the report.
2.2.
It was agreed that our initial drafts of the report were to be
completed and compiled by 02/12/2013.
03/12/2013
1. Members Present:
1.1.
James Kasirye-Sebalu
1.2.
Sandra Ampiire
1.3.
Dex Hill
1.4.
Rahul Nanda
2. Summary of meeting:
2.1.
Work was compiled and all members were emailed a copy to
ensure we all had the material and would individually proof read to
ensure no mistakes were left out. A final draft would then be sent
for review by the module leader before submitting our final copy
before the deadline.
08/12/2013
1. Members Present:
1.1.
James Kasirye-Sebalu
1.2.
Dex Hill
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1.3.
Sandra Ampiire
1.4.
Rahul Nanda
2. Summary of Meeting:
2.1.
The finishing touches to the report were completed ready for
handing in via Studyspace. All parts were approved by all members
and upon reaching satisfactory standards, the reports was finalised
and handed.
2.2.
From this experience, we all became friends and hoped to
work together in future assignments given the chance.

b. Interview guide questions and their sources:

Introductory questions

Sources

When did the business start


trading?
What type of business are you?
E.g. Sole Trader, Partnership,
PLC etc.
General questions about the business
How many
there?

employees

are

Are there any executive or nonexecutive directors?


What was the motivation behind
starting your business?
What problems did you face
when you started the business?
Who are your customers?
Who are your suppliers?

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Networking questions.

Sources:

Were you able to use contacts Lecture 2 networking slides


from your previous experience?
Have family and friends helped Lecture 2 networking slides
with the business?
-If so, in what ways? Did you find
this helpful?
When you started the business, Denise E. Fletcher,2002 Page 132
how did you hire your employees?
How have your contacts helped to
develop the business?
-Have you managed to maintain
these relationships?
-Which contacts have been the
most helpful?
Dubini, P and Aldrich, H, (1991)
-Have
your
contacts
changed/grown since you began?

How easy
networking
customers?

have you found Deakins. D and Freel. (2012 pg. 204)


with
potential

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Are you a member of any General business question.


business
organisations?
E.g.
Chamber of Commerce.
-Do you meet informally with
other business owners, suppliers,
customers? If so, then is this
useful?

Marketing Questions.
How did you
customers?

attract

Sources.

your Gilmore and Carson et al (2001 ,pp.6-11)

What kind of feedback have you Stokes Model of SME Marketing


had?
If you were to start the business General business question
again, would you promote it
differently?
What do you use to attract new Gilmore and Carson et al (2001 ,pp.6-11)
customers?
What do you do to retain
existing customers?
How do you use social media to Twitter, 2013; Facebook,2013
promote your service?

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Finance questions

Sources

Never buy what can be bought Lecture 2 slides


second-hand, never buy what can
be rented, never rent what can be
borrowed, never borrow what can
be begged and never beg what can
be salvaged,
-Do you believe this statement is
true for entrepreneurs, why?
Was the initial capital sufficient?

General business question

Did your family and friends help Lecture 3 slides. BS5302


financially?
D.
What other sources of finance did Deakins,
pp. 84-131
you use to fund the start-up?

&

Freel,

M.(2012)

How long did it take before you saw General business question
a return on your investment?
Has the business needed any General business question.
further investment since launch?
Has the economic climate affected Randeep Ramesh (2011)
the demand for your service?
Did you receive any funding from Lecture 3 slides
banks or the government?
Did you find the funding offered by
banks and the government helpful
in starting your business?
Do you reinvest the profit made Lecture slides information
back into your business?
Have you experienced any cash Deakins,
flow problems?
-If so, how have you dealt with
these?

D.

&

Freel,

M.(2012)

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Innovation questions:

Sources:

Can you give an example of Deakins, D. & Freel, M.(2012)


innovation (making new things
happen to increase demand)
that you have implemented?
How often do you review the Deakins, D. & Freel, M.(2012)
business operation and market
to look for ways to innovate?
Does this give you an edge?
Do you feel the business has
grown
since
you
began
Deakins, D. & Freel, M.(2012)
operating?
-If so, how have you adapted to
cope with the growth?
Do
you
feel
sufficient Deakins, D. & Freel, M.(2012)
assistance has been provided
by government agencies when
looking to introduce innovative
schemes?
- Are you aware of any loans or
grants that could assist with
these ideas?
What do you consider to be the General Business Questions
main source of innovation in
your business?
Has
feedback
from General Business Questions
customers/suppliers helped?

Do you plan to introduce new Deakins, D. & Freel, M.(2012)


services and venture into new
markets?

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Future plans/External
influences:
Where do you see
business in a year?

Sources:

the

What do you think is the


most
important
external
factor
that
affects
the
business and how has it
affected you?

General Business Questions

Do you plan on expanding


the enterprise to cater for
demand in other locations?

c. Draft Interview Guide:


Introductory Questions
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When did the business start trading?


What type of business are you? E.g. Sole Trader, Partnership, PLC
etc.
How many employees are there?
Are there any executive or non-executive directors?
What was the motivation behind starting your business?
What problems did you face when you started the business?
Who are your customers?
Who are your suppliers?

Networking Questions

Were you able to use contacts from your previous involvements?


Have family and friends helped with the business?
When you started the business, how did you hire your employees?
How have your networks helped to develop the business?
- Have you managed to maintain these relationships?
How easy have you found networking with potential customers?
Are you a member of any business organisations? E.g. Chamber of
Commerce.

Marketing Questions

If you were to start the business again, would you promote it


differently?
How did you attract your customers?
Has the feedback on your marketing been positive or negative?
What do you use to attract new customers?
What do you do to retain existing customers?
How do you use social media to promote your service?

Finance Questions

Never buy what can be bought second-hand, never buy what can
be rented, never rent what can be borrowed, never borrow what can
be begged and never beg what can be salvaged,
- Do you believe this statement is true for entrepreneurs, why?
Was the initial capital sufficient?
Did your family and friends help financially?
What other sources of finance did you use to fund the start-up?
How long did it take before you saw a return on your investment?
Has the business needed any further investment since launch?
Has the economic climate affected the demand for your service?
Did you find the funding offered by banks and the government
helpful in starting your business?
Do you reinvest the profit made back into your business?
29 | P a g e

Have you experienced any cash flow problems?

Innovation

Can you give an example of innovation (making new things happen


to increase demand) that you have implemented?
How often do you review the business operation and market to look
for ways to innovate? Does this give you an edge?
Do you feel the business has grown since you began operating?
- If so, how have you adapted to cope with the growth?
Do you feel sufficient assistance has been provided by government
agencies when looking to introduce innovative schemes?
- Are you aware of any loans or grants that could assist with these
ideas?
What do you consider to be the main source of innovation in your
business?
Has feedback from customers/suppliers helped?
Do you plan to introduce new services and venture into new
markets?

External Influences/Future Plans

Where do you see the business in a year?


What do you think is the most important external factor that affects
the business and how has it affected you?
Do you plan on expanding the enterprise to cater for demand in
other locations?

Finish with a thank you statement. A good interview guide. Just think
about language you use and try not to make your questions sound
negative.

Rosemary Athayde 4/11/13

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d. Final Interview Guide:


Hello, we are 4 Business Students from Kingston University looking to
increase our knowledge of Small to Medium Enterprises, and as such, wish
to ask you some questions about your enterprise. We look forward to
hearing about the experiences you have had from the starting of your
business to the current day-to-day running of it. Thank you.

Introductory Questions

When did the business start trading?


What type of business are you? E.g. Sole Trader, Partnership, PLC
etc.
How many employees are there?
Are there any executive or non-executive directors?
What was the motivation behind starting your business?
Were there any particular challenges when you started your
business?
Who are your customers?
Who are your suppliers?

Networking Questions

Were you able to use contacts from your previous experience?


Have family and friends helped with the business?
- If so, in what ways? Did you find this helpful?
When you started the business, how did you hire your employees?
How have your contacts helped to develop the business?
- Have you managed to maintain these relationships?
- Which contacts have been the most helpful?
- Have your contacts changed/grown since you began?
How easy have you found networking with potential customers?
Are you a member of any business organisations? E.g. Chamber of
Commerce.
- Do you meet informally with other business owners, suppliers,
customers? If so, then is this useful?

Marketing Questions

How did you attract your customers?


If you were to start the business again, would you promote it
differently?
What kind of feedback have you had?
What do you use to attract new customers?
What do you do to retain existing customers?
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How do you use social media to promote your service?

Finance Questions

Never buy what can be bought second-hand, never buy what can
be rented, never rent what can be borrowed, never borrow what can
be begged and never beg what can be salvaged,
- Do you believe this statement is true for entrepreneurs, why?
Was the initial capital sufficient?
Did your family and friends help financially?
What other sources of finance did you use to fund the start-up?
How long did it take before you saw a return on your investment?
Has the business needed any further investment since launch?
Has the economic climate affected the demand for your service?
Did you receive any funding from banks or the government?
- Did you find the funding offered by banks and the government
helpful in starting your business?
Do you reinvest the profit made back into your business?
Have you experienced any cash flow problems?
- If so, how have you dealt with these?

Innovation

Can you give an example of innovation (making new things happen


to increase demand) that you have implemented?
How often do you review the business operation and market to look
for ways to innovate? Does this give you an edge?
Do you feel the business has grown since you began operating?
- If so, how have you adapted to cope with the growth?
Do you feel sufficient assistance has been provided by government
agencies when looking to introduce innovative schemes?
- Are you aware of any loans or grants that could assist with these
ideas?
What do you consider to be the main source of innovation in your
business?
Has feedback from customers/suppliers helped?
Do you plan to introduce new services and venture into new
markets?

External Influences/Future Plans

Where do you see the business in a year?


What do you think is the most important external factor that affects
the business and how has it affected you?
Do you plan on expanding the enterprise to cater for demand in
other locations?
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Thank you for your taking the time to talk to us. Good luck in the future,
we hope you fulfil your objectives.

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