Unit 33 Small Business Enterprise

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The aim of this unit is to give learners the opportunity to focus on the processes involved, through change management, of reviewing and improving the performance of a small business enterprise.

 Unit abstract

This unit is designed primarily for learners who are interested in small business enterprises and looks at the development and expansion of these businesses. The unit will be particularly appropriate for learners currently working in a small business enterprise. The unit is also appropriate for learners who have had work placements or work experience in small businesses and for learners who wish to pursue careers in the small business sector of the economy. The government’s vision is for more people in the UK to have the opportunity, aspiration and motivation to use their talent and initiative to be enterprising, and to have an increased proportion of people starting a business. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is responsible for small business and enterprise policy. Statistics from the Federation of Small Businesses website show that there are almost 5 million small businesses in the UK, almost 14 million people are employed in small- and medium-sized enterprises and over half a million people start up their own businesses every year. The small business sector provides employment and career opportunities which may appeal to many learners not attracted to a career in large organisations. The unit draws together many of the topics covered in other units and allows learners to practise the business skills needed in reviewing and managing the performance of a small enterprise.

Learning outcomes

1 Be able to investigate the performance of a selected small business enterprise

  • Business profile: components of the business, objectives of the business, internal and external factors affecting business performance, performance measures, constraints and restrictions on business, responsibilities and liabilities of owner-manager
  • Comparative measures of performance: comparisons with other similar-sized businesses in same geographical area, comparisons with businesses in same or similar industry, comparisons with industry averages; comparisons should cover all areas (financial, production, marketing, sales, human resources, use of technology)
  • Analysis of business information: analysis of past and current business information (financial, marketing information, sales, production, human resource efficiency, management effectiveness) using ratios, budget information, market research results, SWOT analysis, business reports e.g. production efficiency

2 Be able to propose changes to improve management and business performance

  • Overcoming weaknesses: problem-solving strategies, sources and availability of professional advice in appropriate areas, finding solutions and alternatives, availability and use of outsourcing for specific functions e.g. payroll, debt collection
  • Maintaining and strengthening existing business: maintaining appropriate performance records, building on business strengths, maintaining market share/position, importance of good customer/supplier/adviser relationships
  • New opportunities: identifying areas for expansion e.g. niche markets and export opportunities where appropriate, research techniques, evaluating projects, assessing project requirements, costing and finding finance for new projects, risk assessment
  • Evaluation of management and personnel: skills audit, self-evaluation, development of self and associated personnel, assessing costs and benefits of self and staff development

3 Be able to revise business objectives and plans to incorporate proposed changes

  • Business objectives: structure of business objectives, assessment of business objectives in the light of current performance, making changes to business objectives, impact of changes on business plans
  • Business plans: structure of integrated business plans (financial, sales and marketing, production/output, personnel), use of business plans, evaluation of plans against business objectives, incorporating changes to plans, budgeting for changes, preparation of business forecasts
  • Action plans: plans to implement changes, systems to manage, monitor and evaluate changes, performance measures, milestones, setting deadlines

4 Be able to examine the impact of change management on the operations of the business

  • Impact of change: effects of change on all areas of business (finance, workloads, morale, job roles, physical aspects e.g. office space, production methods); use of technology, anticipating possible obstacles/problems
  • Management of change: monitoring effects of change, maintaining systems and records to evaluate impact of change, appropriate revision of plans in response to actual results


  • GROUCUTT, J. and HOPKINS, C. (2015) Marketing (Business Briefings). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • PARTINGTON, M. (2013) Introduction to the English Legal System. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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