Business Growth: Phoebe’s Sandwich Stop Case Study

Assignment 2 Case Study

Phoebe’s Sandwich Stop is one of the best-known and most loved sandwich concessions in town. In business for about five years, she sells sandwiches and other lunch items made from locally produced food from her mobile food trailer. Phoebe’s passion and talent for creating reliably fresh, tasty lunch fare popular among a business clientele (largely employees and shoppers) has made her small enterprise a booming success.

In the last year, Phoebe added three bicycle-towed concessions that travels to different strategic locations in town, selling her popular sandwiches to customers who work beyond walking distance of Phoebes Sandwich Stop. She now has a total of six employees, all part-time, working the concessions. Because she caters to urban customers, her concessions operate on week days from 10 am to 2 pm.  To promote word-of-mouth advertising, Phoebe uses Facebook to publish her daily menus and the locations of the bicycle concession.

As a sole proprietor, Phoebe has been pleased with her lunch business success.  Now it’s time to get serious about the future of her business.  In the short and medium term, she wants to see the business grow into a potentially more lucrative enterprise, implementing a greater variety of food products and services, and increasing her competitive edge in the region.  Ever the ardent entrepreneur, Phoebe’s long-term dream is to develop her creative, health-conscious culinary skills and services into a wider clientele outside the immediate region.

An opportunity has arisen to lease restaurant space about 20 miles away from her trailer concession location, close to a mall and the suburbs and nearer to her local food producers.  Phoebe has jumped at the chance and plans to expand her current business. While she has hired professional business consultants to help her set up the space, design the menu, and implement the opening of the restaurant, she must also consider the short- and long-term financing, human resource, and management needs of such an expansion.  Phoebe is particularly sensitive to her relationship with her customers, employees, and the community.

Outcomes Met With This Assignment:

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the critical business functions and how they interact in order to position the organization to be effective in the current business environment
  • explain the importance of the integration of individuals and systems to organizational effectiveness
  • describe the ethical and social responsibilities that confront a business

Assignment Instructions:

This assignment is the second of two assignments.  In this paper, you will analyze and discuss small business growth in terms of growth strategy, business forms, short and medium term goals, financing assistance, organizational structure and staffing needs, customers and promotion, and ethics and social responsibility. You will apply business and management concepts learned throughout the course to the case scenario provided.

Step 1:  Preparation for Writing the Assignment

Before you begin writing the paper, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet the writing and APA requirements.  Not reading this information will lead to a lower grade:

Review “How to Analyze a Case Study” under Week 4 Content.  You will use the facts from the case scenario focusing on using this information to determine opportunities and solve problems.

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

In writing this assignment, you will read and following these tasks:

Task 1:  Third person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.

Task 2:  Contractions are not used in business writing, so DO NOT use contractions in writing this assignment. 

Task 3:  You are expected to paraphrase and are NOT to use direct quotes.  You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link:   https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.

Task 4:  You are responsible for APA only for in-text citations and a reference list.

Task 5:  You are expected to use the facts from the case scenario paired with the weekly courses readings to develop the analysis and support the reasoning.  No more than two (2) external resources can be used in completing the assignment.  The expectation is that you provide a robust use of the course readings.  If any material is used from a source document, it must be cited and referenced.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.   View the sample APA paper and the How to Cite and Reference file located under Week 7 content.

Please see Week 1 Content area – “How to Cite the Saylor eBook” to learn how to cite and reference the course eBook.

Note:  Whenever material is used from any source document, it must be cited and referenced.

Step 2:  How to Set Up the Paper

Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) document that is double-spaced, 12-point font.  The final product will be between 7-8 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page.  You may not exceed eight (8) pages so it is important to write clearly and concisely.

Follow this format.  Consider making an outline to ensure the correct headings are in place and to keep you organize the paper.

  • Title page with the title, your name, course number and name; date, and the instructor’s name;
  • Introduction
  • Body, in paragraph form. Use the following section headings:
  •            Growth Strategy (Note:  a growth strategy is not a marketing strategy)
  •            Business Form
  •            Financing Assistance
  •            Organizational Structure and Staffing Needs
  •            Customers and Promotion
  •            Ethical Issues and Social Responsibility
  • Summary paragraph

Step 3:  Read the Case Scenario provided under Week 7

Step 4: Write the Introduction

Create the introductory paragraph.  The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper and tells a reader the main points covered in the paper.  To help you know how to write an introduction, view this website to learn how to write an introductory paragraph:  http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/faculty/donelan/intro.html

Step 5: Growth Strategy

Phoebe has to have a plan to grow her business.  Read the course readings on Entrepreneurship as well as other chapters in the eBook. Then:

  • Discuss the steps Phoebe should take to organize and prioritize her business growth strategy.   NOTE:  a growth strategy is different than a marketing strategy so do not go to the Internet and pull up articles that discuss market expansion, market penetration, product expansion and diversification as this information is not what Step 5 is referencing.

Step 6: Business Form

Phoebe currently operates using a sole proprietorship business form.  Phoebe enjoys all facets of owning a business.  Now expanding by owning a restaurant, Phoebe will reconsider the current business form and determine the best business form for expanding the business. 

All business forms have advantages and disadvantages so create a table with three columns.  Label the first column, “Business Form.” Label the second column, “Advantages” and the third column, “Disadvantages.” Review the material on business forms and complete the table making sure to cover all business forms and capturing the advantages and disadvantages of each business form.

  • Once you have identified several advantages and disadvantages, then you are to discuss the advantages and disadvantages and identify the business form that best fits Phoebe’s expansion plan. Explain why the business form selected best fits Phoebe’s expansion plan. 

Step 7: Financing Assistance

Phoebe has to ensure she has the resources to handle the expected growth. 

For Phoebe to have the resources needed to manage the expected growth, she must have financing in place.

  • Discuss what kind of financing assistance might be available to Phoebe.  
  • Select the best financing option for Phoebe’s business and explain why the financing assistance was chosen.

Step 8: Staffing Needs/Organizational Structure

Phoebe knows that the expansion will require changes to the staffing.  Think about the business and what Phoebe needs in terms of human capital and how she can best organize the business so that she organize every employee and create a chain of command. 

  • How might Phoebe’s staffing needs change?
  • Discuss the best way for Phoebe to organize, orient, and train her restaurant staff. 
  • What organizational structure would work best for Phoebe’s expanded business?  [e.g., vertical hierarchy, functional, teams, flat (horizontal), matrix] to meet the needs of her new business;

Step 9: Customers/Promoting the Business

Two of Phoebe’s main concerns have to do with her current customers, and how she can promote the business with limited funds.  Make sure to read the chapters in the eBook and explain:

  • How should Phoebe  deal with her current customers about the change?
  • What kind of promotion should she consider in attracting customers to her new location? Be thorough with the responses.

Step 10: Ethics and Social Responsibility

With having only a few employees, Phoebe has never put a lot of thought about how she can ensure her business is run ethically.  At the same time, Phoebe has not put much thought into being socially responsible although she believes strongly in supporting the community and does so by purchasing products locally.

  • What are the ethical issues and potential social responsibilities highlighted by this change in business? (Consider customers, employees, the current and new communities, and other stakeholders.)
  • How might these issues be dealt with most appropriately?

Step 11:  Write the summary paragraph

Write the summary paragraph. A summary paragraph restates the main topics of the paper.  Make sure to leave a reader with a sense that the paper is complete.  The summary paragraph is the last paragraph of a paper and does not need a heading.

Step 12:  Review the Paper

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

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

  • Read the paper aloud as a first measure;
  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
  • Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;
  • Consider submitting the paper to the Effective Writing Center (EWC).  The EWC will provide 4-6 areas that may need improvement.

Transforming a small sized business venture into a sized entity or organization dictates proper resourcing, strategizing as well as commitment. Entrepreneurship is all about risk, and so is the quest to grow one’s business. Growth strategies in business can be attained through different channels, such as product development, market penetration, and diversification. To accommodate the new scope of activities, a business may be forced to change its form. There are various types of business, ranging from a sole proprietorship to corporate. Settling for a particular kind of business may present both challenges and benefits. This discussion is based on Phoebe’s Sandwich Stop business venture. The paper looks into growth strategies, business forms, financing, customer support, staffing and business ethics as some of the elements that the entrepreneur will encounter in the bid to attain growth in her business.

Business Growth Strategy

A growth strategy is a plan. Strategic planning is a course of action which a company seeks to achieve particular goals. For Phoebe to successfully expand her business following the identified opportunity, there is a need for her to develop a sound strategic plan, which is the first step towards achieving the set goals. The following steps should be assumed in her quest.

The first step is to determine the purpose the company. A purpose is a reason as to why a particular business exists. Its scope of action defines the scope of activities performed by an entity. Phoebe’s business already exists, thus to a certain point, the company has established its purpose. However, its scope of operation might expand with growth. The purpose of the business should be included in the mission statement. Employee, customers and other stakeholders should be able to relate to the mission statement of the firm…


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