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AQA BUSS4 Research Theme Toolkit for June 2015

Friday, August 08, 2014

Our popular research theme toolkit for the June 2015 BUSS4 exam can now be pre-ordered here

The research theme for the exam on 17 June 2015 will be published by AQA at the start of September 2014 and our team of experienced BUSS4 teachers and examiners will set to work immediately. We'll aim to get the full toolkit completed by the end of October. The aim, as always, is to provide high quality, focused research support for the selected theme that will save you substantial time and enable your students to maximise the effectiveness of their time preparing for BUSS4.

The BUSS4 research theme toolkit can also be ordered using this printable order form.

We are once again running a programme of CPD days that provide further support to teaching colleagues wanting to kick-start their BUSS4 lesson planning and delivery. In 2014 these courses, which I will once again run with Graham Prior) were attended by over 400 colleagues and sold-out very early.  If you would like to join us for what is always an enjoyable and useful course, please book your places as soon as possible.  Due to the popularity of the BUSS4 course, we are only accepting confirmed bookings. 

Details of the BUSS4 Section A Briefings can be found here.

Thinking further ahead, the full programme of our BUSS4 Intensive Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops is now confirmed and we've already had a few advanced bookings from schools wanting to secure some of the places before and after Easter. All the details of the BUSS4 workshops here together with all our other revision workshops for BUSS1, BUSS2 and BUSS3.

The do’s and don’t's of pitching for business investment

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here is an article which might be worth hanging on to for the start of next term, when new students start on their Business Studies course. The BBC has spoken to three venture capitalists - not the well-know Dragons, but some different names: the founder of Google Ventures, and managing partners of two funds based in India and in New York. They compare what they look for in a startup, what they avoid, and the best way for businesses to approach them.

read more...»

Vending Machine Pizza

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This could be an excellent starter activity for a group discussion September?

Ask students to consider whether this is a good idea? Is it worth the price? What is its USP? Wonderful for getting students who havent studied business before (and those who have) to start thinking about many business concepts. I find that students tend to engage well with the concept of enterprise when they find the idea interesting?! And who doesnt love pizza???

read more...»

Ikea in China - The Classic Long-term Success Story Built on Localisation

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I suddenly realised that, whilst we've featured Ikea prominently in our exam coaching workshops for a couple of years, we haven't linked to the wealth of resources that are out there to help tell & explain Ikea's strategy!

Here is a selection of the best - certainly contains everything you need to gather relevant evidence for why Ikea is such a timeless case study.

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BUSS4 Essay Technique - Signposting Analysis and Application

A good structure is so important when it comes to writing high-scoring paragraphs in an essay. One thought I had last night was whether it might be possible to encourage the examiner with his/her marking by making it clear what each part of a paragraph is trying to do! Let's call it "signposting" for want of a better word.

I had a go at this below with a sample paragraph point where I was trying to achieve good analysis (GAn) and good application (GAp) in just one paragraph point.

See what you think and whether you believe it might help with the writing and/or structuring of a paragraph point. I've highlighted the attempted "signposting" in bold.

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AQA BUSS4 Revision Webinar - Section B Essays

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Here is a recording of tonight's BUSS4 Section B webinar.

The materials used during the session can be downloaded here

read more...»

AQA BUSS4 Revision Webinar - BUSS4 China Lines of Analysis

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Here is a recording of the BUSS4 revision webinar on China which played live to 430 students this evening.

You can download the slides (pdf) of the materials from here

read more...»

AQA BUSS3 Revision Webinar - Investment Appraisal

Monday, June 09, 2014

Here is the recording of the 40 minute revision webinar that Graham Prior and I ran with approximately 250 BUSS3 students online this evening.

The slides were worked through, including the Lidl / Morrisons case study can be downloaded from here

read more...»

BUSS3 - The Stories So Far

Sunday, June 08, 2014

For students preparing to take AQA A2 Business Unit 3 (BUSS3) it is always worth remembering that the "case study is your friend". Indeed, all the answers to the four questions set are in the case study - you just need to draw them out.

It is well worth reading through the previous BUSS3 exam paper case studies to get a feel for the kinds of businesses featured and the strategic and functional issues they are trying to address.

Below, we've provided a brief synopsis of each exam case study so far. Can you spot some similarities? 

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BUSS4 Exam Prep. Making Connections to Achieve 5 Levels of Analysis

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

In preparation for June 18th, my class and I did the follow PowerPoint activity which focuses on planning and analysis.

The premise is simple; the BUSS4 questions invariably ask students to analyse the causal relationship between 2 concepts, such as “does strong leadership lead to a successful business?” or “Is targeting emerging markets the best way to improve profit?”. Students therefore have to fill in the blanks and make the connections between these two concepts to achieve good analysis. More importantly, in doing so it forces students to answer the questions set without digression, deviation or departure from the subject.

The first example is given to get the ball rolling. There are 8 questions and some blank templates below to add additional questions. In terms of differentiation (if you like that sort of thing), they can obviously be made easier or more difficult by taking away or adding some “blanks”, and a natural extension strategy would be for students to then add a paragraph of application to support the answer.

I sincerely hope it helps and wish you all the very best for the upcoming exams.

BUSS4 China - Selling TV to the Chinese consumers

Friday, May 30, 2014

There was a great radio programme on today, For all the TV in China. As Chinese consumers become TV owners, there is a vast market for entertainment shows, and as this is one of the UK's biggest exports (see this recent report from the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport which sets out how creative industries are worth a whopping £8million per hour to the UK economy), there are plenty of UK production companies who are keen to sell their products to China.

It turns out that the Chinese can't get enought of shows like Take Me Out, and there are plenty of ways of adapting their formats so that they reflect Chinese tastes and cultural sensitivities. The programme is 28 minutes of BUSS4 gold dust, with a good sprinkling of cultural awareness scattered over it as well.

China no longer the land of opportunity?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

With just under 3 weeks until the BUSS4 exam, this article in the Wall Street Journal is absolutely perfect for any student who wants to add up-to-date information to their argument about the dangers and difficulties of operating in China.

To sum up the article as briefly as possible, The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China spoke to over 500 European businesses based in China and found that many now view China as less attractive due to the following plethora of reasons:

  • Rising labour costs
  • Slowing economic growth
  • Falling profits
  • Regulatory hurdles
  • Lack of confidence in economic reform
  • Pollution
  • Difficulties attracting and retaining staff

Pick one and develop the hell out of it!

Tesco in China “20% of something is better than 100% of nothing”

My students and I invariably use Tesco as our shining example of failure in China (and failure after the departure of a long-term leader, and failure due to over-diversification, and failure due to neglect of their core market, and failure due to complacency over smaller competitors). However, Tesco today finalised the deal with China Resource Enterprise which gives them 20% of the largest food retailer in China. This BBC article could be used as a nice evaluation point to show that in the long term, Tesco could still be winners in China.

Tesco have kept a healthy foothold in the world’s largest food market, and due to China’s efforts to rebalance the economy towards consumption, the market is due to grow by 50% over the next three years.

More interestingly, Tesco appear to have learnt from their error and won’t try to “go it alone” in India. They have announced a joint venture with JLR’s parent company Tata Group to initially open 12 stores. From what we know of Tata (and the Indian market’s rapid growth forecast), it seems possible that Tesco may still recover from their recent slump.

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Exam Topic Tracker

Monday, May 26, 2014

There have been eight BUSS3 papers for the new specification, so it is possible to build a detailed profile of the topics in BUSS3 which have been examined so far, and in what way.

The link below is to the latest version of our BUSS3 topic tracker. Please note, this is not intended to encourage or condone question or topic spotting which is nearly always a recipe for exam failure. Remember that the questions in BUSS3 invite a variety of potential responses and are designed to reward students who make relevant connections between the functional areas/topics and the achievement of corporate objectives. We have allocated the exam questions to the most relevant section of the BUSS3 spec - but note that other aspects of the spec can be used as part of an effective answer.

Download the tutor2u AQA BUSS3 Topic Tracker (pdf)

...checkout our other BUSS3 resources here on the Business Studies Blog:

BUSS3 Free Revision Class on Zondle

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Revision Quizzes

Maximise your Marks in BUSS3

Four ways to make your BUSS3 exam answers stand out

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Specification Resource Map

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Key Topic Revision Checklist

AQA A2 Business (BUSS3) - Key Term Glossary

And finally, don’t forget our BUSS3 Revision Guide – just £5!

read more...»

AQA AS Business (BUSS2) - Exam Topic Tracker

As each sitting of BUSS2 is completed, it is possible to build up a useful picture of the way in which the BUSS2 specification is examined.  Which topics have been examined more than once?  Are there key topics which have not yet been addressed in the BUSS2 exam?  Where are the calculation marks earned?

Our AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker is a free download which can help you keep track of the exams.  The link is below.  We’ll update the file (the link stays the same) after each exam sitting. The latest version includes all BUSS2 sittings up to and including June 2013.

Download AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker

Students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes. We also have a full collection of BUSS2 revision questions available for our mobile app via Zondle.

We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.

Examples of Compare and Contrast for BUSS4 Section B Topics

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Here are some “compare and contrast examples” that you might use as the basis for evidence to support the analysis developed in paragraph points in a BUSS4 Section B essay.

You'll need to dig just a little deeper into these examples to gain sufficient detail for your answers (though not too deep - beware storytelling!).

As you finalise your research, try to find some more pairs of examples that can be used to compare and contrast. And also consider how the evidence you gather can be used to help support the analysis you develop at the start of each paragraph point.

read more...»

AQA AS Business (BUSS1) - Exam Basics

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This short, simple revision presentation contains some summary thoughts about potential application, analysis and evaluation points which students might use effectively in their BUSS1 exam answers.  

The critical thing to remember is that all answers to BUSS1 questions need to be in context - refer to the story and circumstances of the startup business in particular.

If you need to top up your BUSS1 subject knowledge:

Work through these revision presentations

Try some BUSS1 revision quizzes

Buy our BUSS1 revision guide!

read more...»

The surprising effects of Barclays retrenchment and Dixons merger

Friday, May 16, 2014

2 perfectly contrasting and counter-intuitive articles that show how “the markets” can favour retrenchment over growth.

Barclays announced it was slashing 19,000 jobs and reducing the size of its Investment bank. The immediate result? Share price surged 8%.

Carphone Warehouse announce a £3.8bn merger with Dixons that will “create a seamless experience” for their customers. The result? Dixons share price closed 10% down and Carphone Warehouse’s dropped by 8%.

By comparing and contrasting the 2 strategies (and the reasons for the resultant change in share price) students can show good analysis of the benefits of retrenchment.

Anthony Jenkins, in an interview in the Sunday Times, said it best by echoing/paraphrasing/plagiarising Howard Schultz after he closed almost 1000 Starbucks stores in the US - “Growth is not a strategy, it’s the by-product of good strategy”.

I hope the revision is going well!

Women make better shoppers

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's official - women are better at shopping than men. I have just finished listening to a brilliant edition of Peter Day's 'In Business' called Price Conscious, and one of the revelations was that men can be fooled into thinking they are getting a bargain simply by using red price stickers, whereas women are much more analytical about pricing and can look beyond the colour used on a label. Far be it from me to comment on this any further.....

read more...»

Is China’s slowdown good news?

There is plenty of concern about the slowdown in China's growth, and what this might mean for businesses looking at expansion via China. To what extent should those businesses be worried about slower growth? The issues here are very relevant to the external environment in China, and could be useful for bullet points 1 and 6:

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Exam Technique Classic: Evaluation in 2 Words

Monday, May 12, 2014

It all started when one of my A2 students asked me today: “How do you get full marks for evaluation?” in relation to a BUSS3 Question 4 (the 34 marker)

It can be summed up in 2 words:

RELATIVE SIGNIFICANCE

(Just a note that the examples given are BUSS3 related but could be applied to any evaluation question in BUSS1 or 2 also)

read more...»

Revision Quiz - Retrenchment

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The strategy of retrenchment is covered in this revision quiz

Launch Revision Quiz - Retrenchment

To update your knowledge and understanding of retrenchment, have a look through this revision presentation

Revision Quiz - Porter’s Five Forces Model

Test your knowledge and understanding of Porter's Five Forces model with this ten-question revision quiz:

Launch Revision Quiz - Porter's Five Forces Model

You can update your studies of this important model by looking through these support resources:

Revision presentation on Porter's Five Forces Model

Study note on Porter's Five Forces Model

Revision Quiz - Strategy Models

Here are 15 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge and understanding of the key strategy models used in A2 business

Launch Revision Quiz - Strategy Models

Revision Quiz - Business & the Environment

Try these revision questions on the environmental issues facing business

Launch Revision Quiz - Environmental Issues

Revision Quiz - Business Ethics

This revision quiz provides 10 questions on Business Ethics.

Launch Revision Quiz - Business Ethics

Revision Quiz - Takeovers and Mergers

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Try these 10 revision MCQs on takeovers and mergers as part of your A2 business studies revision

Launch Revision Quiz - Takeovers and Mergers

Revision Quiz - Globalisation

Try these ten MCQs on the topic of globalisation.

Launch Revision Quiz - Globalisation

Replicating the stress of an exam to show the importance of planning.

Friday, May 09, 2014

“If I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my axe”

Abraham Lincoln

“The battle is won before the battle is fought”

                                                                           Sun Tzu

“Time spent thinking about how to approach a particular question and ensuring the response stays focused is time well spent”

                                         AQA Business Studies Moderator

Despite these wise words, it would appear, based on in-depth research from my classes and the 1000s of A2 students from the BUSS4 Revision workshops, that most students do not spend time planning their answers. Their reason is invariably “I don’t have time”.

To dispel this myth I did the following; I asked a student to stand at the front of the class and gave him 30 seconds to answer an on-the-spot business studies question “Analyse the benefits of operating in niche market”. After lots of nervous umming-and-ahhing, the brave students managed to score one mark before the time was up.

I then gave him 30 seconds to plan an answer to the same question. He came back strong and gave a fantastic 6 mark answer! Conclusive, empirical, irrefutable evidence (sort of) that a small amount of time invested in planning in the short term will reap great benefits in the long term.

I wish you all the very best for the next month!

BUSS1 Revision - True / False Challenge (1)

Try these 20 true/false questions for the non-financial elements of the BUSS1 specification:

read more...»

JLR, Lady Gaga and Abu Dhabi go Galactic!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Virgin Galactic is Richard Branson's dream to provide suborbital space flights to space tourists by 2015, and it provides a wealth of Business Studies concepts for AS and A2.

Firstly, the premium price of £150,000 to £250,000 (the cost of decent Rolls Royce to you or me) means it has a very specific target market; over 700 space tourists have signed up, with one third from America (the other two thirds come from over 50 different countries), most are millionaire men in their 50s and are definitely not risk-averse. Akin to Branson, many stated the moon landing of 1969 as the reason for their purchase.

Lady Gaga

In her quest for a new USP, Lady Gaga will be swapping her meat suit for a space one and be first earthling to sing live from space, ensuring that she maintains her outlandish, cutting edge image.

JLR & Virgin

These 2 iconic British brands are expanding the empire, and for BUSS4 students, the long-term partnership between JLR and Virgin, with their “shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure”, provides information for almost every section of the specification.

The CNBC article focuses on the technological innovations in JLRs new concept SUV.

In this short video, Richard Branson discusses his dream and vision, how JLR will aid Virgin in creating a completely new market and, to show that it’s not all about profit and pride, he hopes it will inspire future generations to pursue careers in engineering and science.

Abu Dhabi and beyond

Finally, Abu Dhabi state-controlled investment fund paid $280 million for a 32% stake in the business, in return for "regional rights to launch Virgin Galactic tourism and scientific research space flights from the United Arab Emirates capital". It sees this as an Investment opportunity to progress from an international tourism hub, to an inter-galactic one, with this article suggesting Virgin space hotels in galaxies far far away!

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 6 Overview

Sunday, May 04, 2014

This final research bullet overview focuses on the topic of how business strategy might be affected by developments in China.

We'll add to these notes over the coming days and weeks as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides- essential support for the final stages of revision.

read more...»

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 5 Overview

This introduction to and overview of the fifth research bullet for AQA BUSS4 2014 on China might be useful for students as they practice essay planning. The research bullet is on the ethical and environmental issues involved in trading with or operating in China.

We'll add to these notes over the coming days as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

We also have a free online revision class for BUSS4 on our sister site Zondle - I've uploaded a series of revision quizzes on there which you can use to break up your revision and test your BUSS4 knowledge!

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides- essential support for the final stages of revision

read more...»

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 4 Overview

These outline notes provide an overview of the fourth research bullet for BUSS4 China 2014 - the relative advantages and disadvantages of the ways in which businesses might operate in the Chinese market

We'll add to these notes over the coming days as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

We also have a free online revision class for BUSS4 on our sister site Zondle - I've uploaded a series of revision quizzes on there which you can use to break up your revision and test your BUSS4 knowledge!

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides- essential support for the final stages of revision

read more...»

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 3 Overview

Here are some introductory notes that focus on the third research point for BUSS4 China in 2014 - namely the factors affecting the success or failure of businesses trading with or operating in China

We'll add to these notes over the coming days as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

We also have a free online revision class for BUSS4 on our sister site Zondle - I've uploaded a series of revision quizzes on there which you can use to break up your revision and test your BUSS4 knowledge!

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides - essential support for the final stages of revision

read more...»

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 2 Overview

The notes below provide an introduction to the second research bullet for BUSS4 China 2014 - the risks and rewards involved in trading with or operating in China. 

We'll add to these notes over the coming days as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

We also have a free online revision class for BUSS4 on our sister site Zondle - I've uploaded a series of revision quizzes on there which you can use to break up your revision and test your BUSS4 knowledge!

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides - essential support for the final stages of revision

read more...»

BUSS4 2014: China Research Bullet 1 Overview

Here is an overview of some key points and examples relating to the first research bullet point for BUSS4 China (2014) - The extent to which China creates opportunities and threats for businesses.

We'll add to these notes over the coming days as we provide further support for BUSS4 here on the tutor2u Business Blog. Don't forget to follow tutor2u and tutor2u Business on Twitter so you can get first news of the latest resources to support your revision.

We also have a free online revision class for BUSS4 on our sister site Zondle - I've uploaded a series of revision quizzes on there which you can use to break up your revision and test your BUSS4 knowledge!

Also, don't forget to get hold of your BUSS4 and other AQA Business Revision Guides - essential support for the final stages of revision

read more...»

Factors influencing price… for grotty garages

Friday, May 02, 2014

A quickie but a goodie for the revision of price, supply and demand.

  1. Get students to guess the price paid for the garages in the picture above (click here for mind blowing answer). I suggest you offer a big prize for the right answer as none will guess correctly!
  2. Ask them to rank the many factors that influenced it (quality, location, competition, PED and economic environment all come into play),
  3. Get students to read the Metro Article and get them to decide on best method to ensure that the investment is a profitable one.

Hope it helps!

China’s exports losing low-cost advantages

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Boston Consulting Group have produced a fascinating new report which investigates the competitiveness of the world's top 25 goods exporting nations. Their press release highlights significant changes in the world order over the last decade. The newly-minted BCG Global Manufacturing Cost-Competitiveness Index incorporates four factors: energy costs, productivity, wages and exchange rates. That analysis shows that Mexico now has lower manufacturing costs than China, while Brazil is now one of the highest-cost countries, and the UK is the cheapest location in western Europe.


read more...»

Musings on Moyes - leadership, culture and change management.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So it seems two great passions - football and Business Studies - can be combined for Unit 4...at least something good came out of Moyes' reign!

 

read more...»

China V India - Who will “emerge” victorious?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hostile government, the threat of a financial meltdown, slowing growth, higher wages and an ageing population. Is China still the best option for foreign investment? 

Compare this to India's younger, cheaper workforce, more welcoming government and forecasted largest middle-class population by 2030.

To allow students to analyse and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of investment in China , I've attached a research task based on India that gives key economic and demographic information, and looks at the "Indian strategies" for the following Tutor2u BUSS4 Top Ten businesses: JLR, Starbucks, KFC, Apple, Samsung and Ikea.

Good luck with the revision this term!

The value of failure

Thursday, April 24, 2014

An item on the BBC website looks like a good source of revision about entrepreneurs and what drives them, and how they respond to failure. Eight high profile entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson, Richard Reed, Liz Earle and angel investor Dale Murray, talk about their biggest failures, and what they have learned from those - so offer plenty of opportunities for the vital Application which students can add to their exam answers. This could be useful for students sitting all four of the BUSS papers, as the examples cover a wide range of business topics, from dealing with suppliers to the risks of entering new markets, and from aspects of leadership to the best way of exiting a business.

The written article uses extracts from an edition of 'On the Money' which was broadcast on Radio 5 on Sunday - and available to listen to on i-player until Sunday 27th April.

Breaking Bad Performance through Strategic Alliance

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No doubt like many of you, the bulk of this week (and last) has been spent attempting to get on top of my workload and capitalise upon the opportunity the Easter break has presented. Having said that, work and revision for the June papers is only optimised when effectively combined with an appropriate amount of rest and relaxation. For me that has mainly consisted of over-dosing on the hit TV series Breaking Bad.

read more...»

AQA BUSS3 Revision Quizzes

Monday, April 14, 2014

The comprehensive collection of revision quizzes below are designed to support students preparing for AQA A2 Business Studies BUSS3 - Strategies for Success.

Don't forget that you can also top up your understanding and knowledge of BUSS3 topics by using our comprehensive series of BUSS3 revision presentations

Students can also improve their preparation for BUSS3 by getting hold of our AQA BUSS3 Revision Guide.

read more...»

AQA BUSS3 Revision Presentations

Links to the individual revision presentations for AQA A2 Business Studies BUSS3 are provided below.

Don't forget that you can also test your understanding and knowledge of BUSS3 topics by testing yourself against our comprehensive series of BUSS3 revision questions.

Students can also improve their preparation for BUSS3 by getting hold of our AQA BUSS3 Revision Guide.

read more...»

Revision Presentation - Customer Service

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This streamed revision presentation is designed to support students preparing for the customer service topic on AQA BUSS2 

read more...»

AQA BUSS2 Revision Presentations

We have a series of streamed revision presentations on tutor2u to help students preparing for AQA BUSS2. Follow the links below to view each individual presentation.

You can also test your understanding of the BUSS2 topics covered by these presentations by trying these BUSS2 Revision Quizzes.

Don't forget you can also buy our BUSS2 Revision Guide which provides easy-to-use revision essentials for the core BUSS2 topics - just £5 from our online store.

We also run one-day intensive exam coaching and revision workshops for BUSS2. Details of the upcoming workshops can be found here.

read more...»

Meet Britain’s Best Business Leader - Harriet Green

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Students attending our BUSS4 exam coaching workshops will know that I'm a big fan of Harriet Green, the CEO who has done so much to lead the turnaround of Thomas Cook. In fact, I'd almost go as far as to say that Harriet Green is my favourite CEO. Except, of course, that there is Howard Schultz of Starbucks who has long held that position in my mind!

Nevertheless I highly recommend that business students take some time to learn more about the leadership and management style of Harriet Green who was awarded the Leader of the Year accolade at the 2013 National Business Awards.

Here are two articles which I think are pretty accessible to students wanting to undertake this research.

read more...»

China’s focus on Innovation, not Imitation

Monday, April 07, 2014

A great BBC article and video highlighting why China’s domestic mobile phone companies are now the greatest threat to Apple and Samsung’s success.

The extracts below will add weight to any argument that foreign mobile companies will struggle to succeed in the Chinese market.

  • Shenzhen, once a fishing village is now referred to as China’s Silicon Valley. It is home to Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE (three of the five largest mobile handset companies in the world) and a further 6000 handset manufacturers.
  • China produces more than half of the 2.5 billion phones sold around the world annually.
  • China now spends around $300bn (£182bn) a year on R&D, compared with a US spend of $450bn, and it is estimated to surpass Europe by 2018 and the US by 2022.

In the interview with Shi Lirong, Global President of ZTE (now the most innovative company in the world, filing 50,000 international patents last year), he lays out his three-pronged strategy of customer-focused innovation, recruitment of the best staff from around the world and the development of business partnerships.

Very impressive stuff!

read more...»

Starbucks – Technology to order your Coffee… but Never to Serve it

Following on from Jim's blog updating us on Starbucks strategy, here is another great 4 minute CNN video interview with Howard Schultz in which he talks about his app that allows customers to order on-line. The factors leading to this are the rise in internet shopping and subsequent reduction in footfall in shopping centres, but will online-ordering reduce the impact of this? Schultz talks about the need for all retail businesses to completely transform the way they do business, and as always, Starbucks seem to be ahead of the curve.

He explains the benefit of technology and data to help him better meet the needs of the customers (and ultimately shareholders), but is adamant that robots will never serve the coffee as this will detract from the customer experience instead of enhance it.

Another gem of a video that covers strategic planning, innovation, technology and customer service.

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