i. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Click! Tutoring Service is a Hanoi-based business that offers tutoring services on some particular subjects, specialized in foreign languages. The business is currently a partnership including 2 owners, however the business plans to expand and have more owners in the future.
The research and development stage of the product life cycle was quickly clarified as the owners shared the similar points of view on the structure, methods and business regulations. However, the business struggled in the introduction stage because of the poor management and lack of human resources, while the owners had little time to focus. The growth stage was effective because the business had expanded and had more human resources to share responsibilities. Therefore, the sales of Click! had risen on the average of 10% these weeks and the flow of work inside the business was more fluent. After 2 months, Click! had successfully reached their goals, which are to gain total revenue of VND 2.000.000 in 2 months and increase brand identity among high-school students in some gifted high-schools.
The mission of Click! is to provide academic support and learning strategies through services, resources, and collaborations that allow students to achieve their academic goals. We do this by inspiring students to become confident, independent learners, who are prepared to meet academic and personal challenges, and to realize their career aspirations.
II. BUSINESS STRUCTURE
1. Organisation Structure
A partnership is a legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who cooperate to manage and operate a business (Investopedia, 2018).
With a partnership structure, the workload and management could be shared efficiently, especially when both of the two owners had not run a business before and they have quite busy schedule. Another advantage was that more capital and more customers from personal relationships can be found, evidenced by the fact that the business gained customers quite quickly in two months (see figure 1).
Figure 1. The number of Students
However, there were some issues: the two owners did not agree on the methods for employing tutors for the business or sometimes Click! suffered from lack of human resources due to the owners’ strict schedules so they could not spare time on meeting and discussion to decide the best strategy for the business. To tackle the problems, Click! planned to employ some more managers to support the owners in operating the business. The business should also make a detailed plan with clear deadlines and motivate each other to finish tasks on time, therefore, ensure a more efficient process (Oetting, 2018).
2. Management Structure
Click! adopted flat structure due to the idea that everyone will be more productive when they are directly involved in the decision making, rather than being supervised by any managers (Meehan, 2018). They used this structure also because there were too few employees to handle the workload (see figure 3).
Figure 2. Flat Management Structure
This structure had promoted involvement by decentralizing the decision-making process and elevated the levels of responsibility of the owners and employees with shorter chain of command. Customer comments and feedback would reach all the personnel involved in the decision faster, enabling Click! to make a rapid response to customer feedback.
Although this structure is ideal for small businesses where the number of employees is small, management can easily lose control (Lombardo, 2018). This happened to Click! because the owners had a wide span of control and they could not care for detailed problems like bad behaviors such as miss a deadlines. Moreover, Click! also suffered role confusion as there were too many tasks on different sections for the managers to do, which is hard for them to focus on their tasks and specialize at their jobs, which resulted in less efficiency.
To operate more productively, Click! must find solutions to deal with the current problems. Control in flat structure lies in mutual agreements, together with an emphasis on self-control and self-organising (Klenke, 2007). They must support each other and work strictly according to the deadlines set for each task, which should be clearly assigned to each person before.
Communication inside Click! was quite effective, evidenced by the productive co-ordination between everyone and the speed of response to customers’ feedback. At the beginning, they had arguments on the method of recruiting employees, they then overcame the problems by spending time discussing to determine the most effective strategy.
Communication between owners and employees was productive and clear as they held a meeting every week in order to discuss about work. The business used the integrated network, which allowed full two-way communication between all of them (see figure 3). Therefore, it assisted in solving problems, boosted the understanding between employees, as well as between the managers and owners, leading to the proficiency. In addition to weekly meetings, they adopted written communication as notices and reports to keep track of the process. They will continue this method in order to ensure the best communication.
In order to understand the customers’ needs and wants, both the managers and tutors need to communicate well with the students. In term of communication media, they mostly used oral communication in the form of monthly meetings and seminars, therefore they can listen to the students’ opinions as well as give advice and changes if needed. In the future, they planned to organise field-trips every month as a chance for bonding students and all the staff in the business.
Figure 3. The integrated network
III. GOALS IN BUSINESS PLAN
1. Operational Goals
One of the operational goals of Click! was to maximise customer satisfaction by offering excellent customer services in the first year of operation. The consultancy services aimed to support students in their path to success as well as share experience not only in academic improvement but also in other aspects such as soft skills or job orientation through seminars and internal talk-shows (see executive summary – appendix 6). Click! have achieved its goal by providing good academic support for students as well as holding a seminar. This is effective and successful, evidenced by the high percentage of students being satisfied with the content of the lessons and the first seminar as well as the helpfulness of the consultancy service when they have problems (see figure 4 & 5).
Also, the business aimed to continuously increase the number of customers buying the service and they had taken steps to reach this goal but it was not effective as predicted. In the future the managers will use online marketing on Facebook as well as try to penetrate other segments of the market such as primary school students.
Figure 4. Students’ satisfaction with the content of the lesson
Figure 5. Students’ levels of interest in seminars
2. Financial Goals
The financial goal of Click! Tutoring Service is to maximise profit with the prices that are afforded by parents, increase revenue by 10-20% each month. Because Click!’s tutors are all high-school students so they did not expect to sell their services at the normal cost as other professional tutoring centres. Based on the revenue statistics below and the cashflow forecast (see appendix 1), Click! seems to have successfully achieved its goal, and even exceeded it, evidenced by the fact the the revenue in the fifth week nearly doubled in comparison to the first week (see figure 6). The business also exceeded the goal of earning minimum revenue of 2.000.000 VND in the first 2 months (see appendix 1). This can be due to the fact that there were loyal customers, who contributed a large proportion in the inflow of the business.
Figure 6: Revenue recorded in the first 2 months
1. Responsibilities division
In order to improve the productiveness of the business, they divided responsibilities to each business partners to maximise productivity in each task. This helps to reduce time wastage and determines the specific tasks for each partner, therefore they could focus and finished that task with most effective results in the shortest time.
2. Teaching methods
As Click! is a tutoring service, they adopted pupil-centered method in order to satisfy each student based on their own style of learning. Therefore, students gain an understanding of their own learning style, get more control over how they spend their time and get to collaborate with other students. In order to promote students’ independence in learning, tutors cared about each of the students, listened to their opinions, then support them based on their personal learning style. Also, we motivated students by giving monthly gifts and awards. This was operated well, evidenced by the fact that all students’ scores at school improved from the average of 7.2 to 8.8.
3. Marketing methods
The business mostly used word-of-mouth method to promote their tutoring service and attract more customers. Click! focused on providing the best possible services and creating a positive academic environment, then word spread among students about the quality of the business, especially among students at gifted high-schools, where most of students at Click! study. This marketing method brought more students, leading to higher revenue in October (see appendix 1). In the future managers intended to create a blog aimed at parents and students providing with a platform on which to share knowledge and experience, therefore advertise for Click! by building trust and credibility.
5. FINANCIAL EVALUATION
Based on financial performance in the first month (see appendix 2), Click! made a cashflow forecast for the next two months. The business expected a 20% rise in the revenue each month. The threat for the business is that November is the month when students take end-term exams, therefore the services are demanded more. On the contrary, in December and January, the demand will decrease, leading to the possible unsustainability. However, this problem can be improved by holding more extra activities at this time to capture interest of students and parents.
In the balance sheet (see appendix 4), the current assets (9.000.000 VND) nearly double the current liabilities (4.750.000 VND). This shows that the business will not have to pay too much money to cover the cost and still maintain the cash, which consists of about 85% of the assets. Therefore, this makes a positive contribution to the business’s operating cashflow (McClure, 2018).
The profit and loss account shows that the operating costs were a bit too high, which made up for 50% of the gross profit and this resulted in less profit (see appendix 3). This may be due to the management not being economical and requiring a lot of money. In the future, they can find solutions to minimise the operating cost such as utilising online systems and software programs that helps in accounting, marketing communications, payroll. Automated business functions will make it easier to control facets of the business (Sullivan, 2018).
The budget Click! expected was far more than what happened (see appendix 5 & 1). It was predicted that 4.500.000 VND would be spent within the first month, but they only spent nearly 3.000.000 VND, this shows that the business had not forecast precisely to the financial situation of the business, which may result in capital losses or overspending. In the future, they will make the budget more practical in order to make projections on finance more accurately and therefore, response to changes more quickly to adapt to new financial situation.
VI. PROJECTIONS FOR THE FUTURE
The business planned to grow organically, reinvesting the profits. Therefore, they need to develop the marketing plan to build a marketing strategy suitable for the business in order to reach more potential customers at this growth stage of the product life cycle. Whereas, they also planned to make the customer services more helpful for students and parents by offering more seminars and discussions for parents, so they can support and understand their children more which will help to persuade further customers to use the Click! services.
The Business Plan needs to be more detailed in the Finances section. The problem with the business at the moment is the lack of control in finance, resulted in the fact that employees were not paid on time. Therefore, recording the Cashflow and checking the Budget is necessary for controlling finance. Also, in order to earn more profit, they need to minimise the costs and maximise the proficiency. Tutors can do this by utilising the advances in technology and use academic software as tools for teaching, which also brings novelty and more interest in students (see figure 7)
Figure 7. Top learning management system for tutors and students
The challenges maintained are the lack of human resources as there is a growing number of students currently, which means they have to employ more tutors. However, the number of high-school students who are academic-excellent and qualified enough to become tutors is very small and this causes them a obstacle. Moreover, as full-time students, they may not have time for contributing to the business and they may have to close Click! in the future because the Grade 12 will be extremely busy.
Appendix 1. Cashflow Record
Appendix 2. Cashflow Forecast
Appendix 3. Profit and Loss Account
Appendix 4. Balance Sheet
Appendix 5. Budget
Appendix 6. Business Plan
Appendix 7. Marketing Plan
Appendix 8. SWOT Analysis
Appendix 9. STEEPLE Analysis
Appendix 10. Logo
Appendix 1. CASHFLOWS RECORD
Appendix 2. CASHFLOW FORECAST (3 MONTHS)
Appendix 3. PROFIT & LOSS ACCOUNT
Appendix 4. BALANCE SHEET
Appendix 5. BUDGET
Appendix 6. BUSINESS PLAN
1. Executive Summary
Click! Tutoring Service is a Hanoi – based company that offers tutoring services on some particular subjects, specialized in foreign languages. The company is currently a partnership including 2 owners, however the business plans to expand and have more owners in the future.
The mission of Click! iss to provide academic support and learning strategies through services, resources and collaborations that allow students to achieve their academic goals. Morover, our goal iss also to inspire students to become confident, independent learners, prepared to meet academic and personal challengers, lead to students realizing their career aspiration through organising internal talk-shows and seminars.
- Social Role: Create a positive academic environment where students are trained to become independent and colaborative learners
- Economic Role: Gain at least 2.000.000 VND after 2 moths of operating. Revenue rises 10% each moth
2. Business Description
- Establishment: We offer tutoring services in various subjects: Chinese, German, English, Korean, Maths Chemistry, Physics, Geography.
- Legal structure: Partnership
- Classification: Spread: Students in Hanoi; Sector: Private; Size: Small; Industry: Tertiary industry
- Start up plan: Create a website or a fanpage to advertise; Provide roles for each person; Create relationships and find customers
- Support on specific subjects: Chinese, German, English, Korean, Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Geography
- Private tutoring sessions are available, as well as group study sessions
- Rates are 70.000 lessions on language and 50.000 lessions on others
- The tutoring sessions tale place at hanoi – Amsterdam High Schools, High School for Gifted Students or at students’ locations
- Fee monthly seminars and consultancy on job aspiration and extra0-activities, soft skills.
4. Market Analysis
The largest segment is high chool students who want to develop themselves and find something new to try such as new languages. Click! has close relasionships with some grage 11 and grage 12 students who have excellent academic achievements and they can become tutors and inspire students.
This type of tutoring is quite unique and risky because people might think that high school students will not have enough experience to teach others. However, in fact, we are close to the age of our students and we have just gone through that same peocess, therefore we understand better which are required in each subject. Moreover, we can sympathise with the harships and pressure that students have, therefore help them better. This can be considerred as other competitivw edge over other professinal academic centrer.
5. Strategy and Implementation
Click! Will conduct different strategies in teaching and consulting in order to alway maintain students’ interest in subject without getting with them. For example, classes can be conducted individualized or as a group, whatever suitable for each students’ goals.
The marketing strategy will seek to work closely with students though yearly information sessions and through word-of-mouth. The marketing will also rely on print advertising, taking the frot of advertisemments on notice board, or online through academic groups on facebook.
- Cashflow Forecast
- Balance Sheet
- Profit and Loss Acoout
Appendix 7. MARKETING PLAN
1. Marketing Objectives
Vission: Click! belives that the students nowaday are overwhelmed by the amount of homework and projects they have to complete every day, therfore Click! aims to:
- Provide academic support and learning stategies through services, resources and collaborations
- Inspire students to become confident, independent learners, prepared to meet academic and personal challenges
Goal and Objectives:
- Increase revenue to 10 millions VND by gaining at least 10 students in the first 2 months
- Increase brand spread by handing out posters in more than 10 schools in Hanoi
- Build a fanpage wich reaches 1000 likes and follows in 2 months
2. Marketing Segmentation
|– High school students
– Secondary students
|– Living in Hanoi
– Studying at schools around Cau Giay – Thanh Xuan
|– Students who do not attend a lot of extra classes
Desire to have individual or group tutorial or want to study at their own pace
3. The marketing mix
|Place||– Unfixed location
– Incalssrooms after school or in libraries or at students’ locations
=> Flexible but unstable
|Product (Service)||– Offer individual service or as a group
– Free monthly seminars and consultancy on job aspiration and extra-activities, soft skills
|Promotion||– Online: fanpage and websites
– Offline: Poster, free notebooks and word-of-mouth strategy
|People||– Friendly staff, always give advice and help, support whenever our students need.
– Care for their job aspiration, orient and support them in academic training.
|Price||Cheeper in comarison to other professional tutorinf cntre => Create competitive adge.|
Appendix 8. SWOT ANALYTICS
Appendix 9. STEEPLE ANALYSIS
|– Education system is tough, especially for grade 9 students who are preparing for the high school entrance exams
– Students are put under great pressure with too many extra classes
=> The demand for tutoring service, which is still helpfull but not too heavy
|– Internet helps the company to attach more customers through social media
– Academic and learning apps help tutors and students communicate at anytime
=> Improved proficiency
|– Inflation and the average income determine the cost
=> The company must be updated to chage the prices if needed
|– In Vietnam, students under 18 are not allowed to do business
=> Possible fines and punishments
Appendix 10. LOGO
VIII. REFERENCE LIST
Klenke, K, “Keeping control in flat organisations”, The Telegraph, 2007, <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2953187/Keeping-control-in-flat-organisations. html>
McClure, B., “How to Analysize a Company’s Financial Position”, 2018, <https://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental/04/063004.asp
Meehan, C.L., “Flat Vs. Hierarchical Organizational Structure”, Chrono, 2018, <https://smallbusiness.chron.com/flat-vs-hierarchical-organizational-structure-724.html>
Oetting, J., “7 Strategies for Handling & Resolving Conflicts With Clients”, 2018, <https://blog.hubspot.com/agency/conflicts-clients>
Sullvan, M., “8 ways to reduce operating cost”,