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在英国，有一个神秘的组织，它由利兹大学、谢菲尔德大学、利物浦大学、布里斯托大学等等世界一线名校组成，代表着英国高等教育的百分之三十以上，覆盖了全英高校所有的专业设置，其中超过 77 个专业排名第一。 在最新的英国高等教育质量保障局 (QAA) 组织的全英高校科研水平评估中， 其有 76 个院系获得了国际级研究水准的高度评价，是全球实力最雄厚的大学联盟之一。
值得注意的是，很多人狭隘地认为coursework等于essay，事实上不是的。coursework只是一种总称，使用意译翻译成中文比较正确的应该是随堂作业。具体到各个学习阶段的各个科目中，coursework会有不同的作业形式和方法。拿商科的foundation year举例，BSS商务学科一般使用business assignment的形式要求学生做简单的商业计划，而ECO金融学科更多偏向选择传统的论文形式。
Three successful, celebrated football players who are going to retire planned to start their own business related to health and fitness. The three of them, Simon, Peter and Will, are also good friends but with none business experience. With cursory plans, they would use some professional support on the problem of franchising, legal structure and market segmentation.
Franchise v Non-franchise
Mainly based on their personal situations and the competitive social environment, non-franchising might be a rational choice for them.
First of all, let’s get to know the business model of franchise. A franchise is a type of permit that a business entity acquires to allow them to have the access to a business’s proprietary knowledge, process, or even trademarks. So this business entity can be selling products or offering services under the original owner’s name. In return for gaining the franchise, the franchisee usually needs to pay an initial start-up
fee and annual rent for the licence. So basically, franchising means an experienced leader in business to minimize the risks for a starting business. But this bond could also contribute to limitation to free development(Michael, 2014).
Also, there are some particularity about a health club and its future owners which proves that franchise is not the best option in this case. Firstly, there are two factors that makes running a health blub itself less complicated. As a service industry, health clubs have almost the lowest staffing leverage and easiest supervision. Since most health clubs are self-helped except particular courses or personal trainer and use handy, profitable membership system, they have smaller number of service personnel and simpler business business pattern. Secondly, the identity of the three friends as well-known football players can bring them a huge favor in promotion (Michael, 2014). There’s nothing better than the brand of successful athlete partners for a health club, which proves its professional and enhances the intimacy to customers. In addition, their fan base from the period of football players will bring stable passenger source.
However, there are some difficulties when choosing non-franchise for newcomers in business, but they could be solved in other ways. The most concerned problem of the three future owners is business experience, which is actually a big flaw. Nevertheless, since the business pattern itself is easy by contract and the abundant start-up capital could be enough to hire professional employees in PR, HR or accounting (Hitesh, 2019). Under this situation, what the owners need to do is to learn basic business knowledge which just needs to be enough for supervision. This would be the most efficient way to maximally make up the disadvantage of lack of business experience. Additionally, with positive images, it would be much easier for bank loans and brand establishing.
For private-sector business, legal structures can be classified as sole-traders, partnership, limited companies and cooperatives. Limited companies can be further divided into public and private limited companies. For their definitions, sole-trader can be defined as individual entrepreneurship which is owned and run by one person and there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. Partnership is a formal arrangement by two or more parties to manage and operate a business and share its profits. A limited company refers to a legal structure that ensures the liability of company members is limited to their stake in the company by way of investments or commitments. Cooperative is a business which is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits (Stephen and Natalie, 2011).
The most appropriate legal structure of this planning health club should be partnership. From the explanation above, the whole running system of a health club is quiet easy for beginners, which means they doesn’t need the extra support in regulation or supervision from specific legal structures(Michael, 2007). Also, detailed division in management in partnership could ease the burden and raise work efficiency. Since their intimate relationship, the cooperation and communication as business partners could be much easier in shared decision-making.
For the other three legal structures, they both have their points of inappropriateness. Firstly, sole-traders are generally self-employed and it’s hard for three of the investors to share the equal responsibilities in this pattern. Next, it’s unpractical for them to choose limited companies. Although they can decline the risk of unlimited liability in limited companies, the green hands in business still have to risk from comprehensive legal requirements and management under this pattern. Additionally, it’s possible for them to upgrade the brand from partnership into private limited companies with accumulated experience, enough capital and mature business model(Michael, 2007). Cooperative is also impossible in this situation because this implies that the cooperative exists to help its members with their primary business, rather than to be a profit-making entity itself.
There are several types of partnership agreement. To solve the problem of limited liability, it’s feasible for them to have a limited liability partnership(LLP). Therefore, each partner will not be responsible for another partner’s mistake. But there is a filling fee for registration in most cases, which depends on the specific situation(Ki, 2018).
Market segmentation is a marketing term that refers to gathering prospective buyers with common needs into segments and who respond similarly to the market. Market segmentation enables companies to target different kinds of consumers who perceive certain products and services differently from one another. It helps to reach more extremely targeted customers and does it efficiently, which makes sellers set more appropriate strategy of marketing mix. Market segmentation is the best guarantee to make sure that the products are facing the correct consumer type.
From this chart above, it’s apparent that the market leaders in the British health industry have one thing in common: fixed marketing targets. No matter whether it’s crossed, they are targeting a typical kind of consumers, forming most appropriate marketing mix through differentiated marketing(Christina, 2019).
There are 4p’s in marketing mix, place, promotion, price and product, which was firstly introduced by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960. To have efficient marketing mix in the career of health and fitness, market segmentation have especially irreplaceable influence in promotion and place. It’s apparent that the market of fitness is booming and fitness itself is a trend currently, so since it’s profitable, the competition between companies with similar business model would be fierce. An exact and particular target from market segmentation for marketing mix in promotion and choice of place could offer a lead among competitors.
For place, market segmentation could help analyse distribution of targeted customers. In this planning health club opened by three well-known football players in North West of England, obviously North West of England is a brief segmentation and further detailed segmentation will give more reference in the choice of place. What should be emphasized mostly for a start-up service company is promotion. Accurate market segmentation could multiple the effects of promotion mix by efficient the whole process of reaching the target audience. For instance, the thesis of this health club owned by professional celebrated football players could be related to football to increase the popularity of the club. Analysis on target customers’ consumption level or consumption habit on market segmentation could also assist the settlement of price and product.
In sum, the business suggestions for this proposed business, a health club are: start their own business without franchise, pick limited liability partnership as their business legal structure, support market segmentation to achieve the most appropriate marketing mix. Running a health club with a simple operation model and an attractive business model to consumers might be the most efficient business pattern for a newcomer in business to take full advantage of their former job. In this case, a brand new football-themed health club facing mid-and-low-end consumers whose legal structure is limited liability partnership might be a promising plan.