Individual Analysis of Early Venture Growth Case Study

Individual Analysis of Early Venture Growth Case Study

TIPS

  1. The common question of “where in the timeline of the firm do I start the analysis?”. To reiterate, I think the best approach is to: a) Do a summary of the period 1997-2018 explaining the traditional rental model and the associated period of downturn, b) concentrate the subsequent analysis on different elements of the post-2018 ‘business transformation’.

Devoting effort to evaluating and interpreting the case, not just describing events

Facilitating the above by finding ways to present information succinctly

Demonstrating that you have engaged with the case materials and other relevant sources of case-specific info

Developing your analysis by integrating concepts that are relevant to the case i.e. key concepts from lecture materials e.g. (business model and associated dimensions) and/or other relevant concepts (circular economy; recommerce).

  • recommendations section

The report should definitely include a short introductory section.

A report of this size does not necessarily require an executive summary

The sections and sub-section headings used for the main body of the report are entirely your choice. You might use labels that track purely chronological phases in the case, or you might use more narrative/descriptive/thematic labels for headings

The end of the report is likely to include the elements of the analysis where you reflect more speculatively on future strategy and potential firm development. It is likely that, as a natural consequence of doing this, the report will veer towards presenting its own vision for the company. Doing this would be more in-keeping with the brief than making explicit recommendations.

If you feel it is helpful, you might include a short summary section. Equally, however, this is not essential – particularly if it simply repeats information. Use your judgement on this.

  • Report Design

First of all, both the Example A and Example B submissions from the tutorials are examples of good presentation. They both scored well in this respect. Both display good efforts to display descriptive information succinctly through visualisation. Example A has a particularly clean design.

I mentioned NESTA as a good source for studying the design of accessible professional reports. Here are some examples:

1. https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Nesta_Scaling_Stories_Update_Web.pdf

This one has a number of cases on growing firms. Note aspects such as the integration of quotes from key informants, and the use of visualisation to explain processes.

2. https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Better_Together_v6_1.pdf

This example makes good use of summary tables. Also, using tables/figures to explain the descriptive state of the business/initiative helps avoid lengthy paragraphs of writing which have no real analysis.

During the week 6 lecture slot, you will be presented with an in-class case study which will detail the early-stage development and growth of a relevant business startup. Using this live- case as your material, you are required to present a report which analyzes the key stages of development exhibited by the venture. The report should reflect upon the strategies employed and how these relate to changes in the business model.

The rationale for this exercise is to take student learning beyond the pitch stage of venture development and into the wider considerations associated with growing a new firm. Detailed instructions are outlined below:

Core content

1) At a basic level, you should aim to describe the business model at key phases of development in the venture so far:

  • –  You might start with some form of “launch phase” which will broadly cover the period where the venture first becomes operational (i.e. it first begins to produce and/or sell products and/or deliver its service to customers).
  • –  Aim to describe the state of business model using relevant supporting material. For example, the Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Pigneur (available from the library) offers a credible template upon which to analyze the different components of a business and how they work together. It is highly recommended that you use this as your core supporting material.
  • –  Aim to identify phases of significant change to the business model. These will likely be characterized by some form of major change to operations, customer portfolio, offering type/product lines, value proposition, or perhaps by a period of organic volume growth. You should be able to explain how the business model works following these major phases of development.
  • –  The entire development journey of the venture might be summarized in perhaps 3-6 development phases, which would summarize the venture up to its current state.

2) Beyond simply describing changes to the business model, you should also present some commentary on the strategic rationale for those changes. What factors were driving these changes? For example:

  • –  Were they part of a deliberate strategy aimed at growing the company?
  • –  Were they designed to pursue a specific opportunity?
  • –  Were they in response to some form of external factor, event, or threat?
  • –  Were they aimed at growing the existing customer base? Or at pivoting to another market segment? Or at improving existing operational efficiency?
  • –  What was perceived to be wrong with the existing business model that these changes were required?

3) Finally, you might conclude the report by speculating on the future development of the company and the implications that your strategic vision would have for the business model going forward.

Format

  • The submission should be in report format (i.e. front cover, sub-sections, figures/tables), not essay format.
  • You are encouraged to use visual representations of the business model, including for example, service delivery maps or other depictions of operational processes.
  • You are free to use either footnotes or Harvard referencing style

Supporting materials to use

  • Your plan should utilize Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Pigneur as its core template to explain business model design and how iterations to business models characterize venture development.
  • Further relevant supporting materials will be released during the teaching semester
  • The in-class presentation on week 6 and associated discussion held on week 7 will likely be the best source of information on the case. You are, however, encouraged to supplement this information in any way you can; for example:
  • –  You might review the venture’s website and/or social media for relevant info
  • –  You might conduct some web-searches on the venture
  • – Press releases, for example, are often a good way to develop a sense of the timeline of key events in the firm’s history
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