I am doing my research on a very small company based in Middlesex, which has been in business for a little more than 3 years. Impressions India Ltd is a private limited company, which started trading in 2001 by importing and selling Traditional Indian furniture in the UK market and had a very positive response. Over the years the company traded all over the UK and had made very good relationships with their customers. Impressions India is a company, which wholesales furniture at very low prices, and has grown to become a major importer and distributor of the most innovative and exiting range of giftware currently available in the UK.
During such a short p they are already supplying products to big names such as Harrods and House of Fraiser. Impressions India is a Market Oriented business, which produces goods according to their customer needs. It employs a part time staff of 2 who work in all the different parts of the business.
Nature of the problem: At the very moment Impressions India Ltd is having a number of problems in the Finance department. Even though there is a lot of demand for their products, they are facing some financial difficulties, which are causing problems in their day to day running of the business. They are experiencing working capital problems, which limits the business to pay off its suppliers and creditors. This problem is also stopping the business to work at its maximum capacity as the company usually runs out of cash to meet its day-to-day expenses. Also this problem is causing their suppliers to loose trust in them, as their repayments are usually post dated. The company is currently operating under loss and is facing a very high liability.
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Choice of Business:
I have decided to choose this business because of its relatively smaller structure, which makes it easier for me to access its resources to research about the problem. Secondly since it is based in the Tertiary sector I think it would be easier for me to look at all the different areas of the business in order to obtain some useful information which would rather get complicated if I was looking at a secondary or a primary sector business. Furthermore since it's a small business and has got a limited number of Employees and Customers, I can question or interview all of them, which are expected to give me reliable information about the business.
Assignment Title: My main objective for this assignment is to do a detailed research both primary and secondary about this company to analyse the problem in depth and to come up with likely solution, which would solve the problem. Since my recommendations and proposed solutions would heavily rely on the quality of the information that would be gathered, a detailed research of the company resources would be very essential.
I would be conducting secondary research as I wrote earlier in the research process but the research would be divided into two sections namely Internal and external. Internal research would comprise of analysing company's Balance sheets, Profit and Loss accounts and Annual reports, which would give me a clear understanding of the business's financial position. I would be looking at Reports form year 2001 to 2003 which would give me a wide range for the study. After analysing these documents I then can draw diagrams and graphs to illustrate to the business the pros and cons of the problem.
External Data: The External data would mainly be a research consisting of the current state of the Furniture market like the market share, Household Furniture: market size, Sales figure of the overall market. These figures will help me to analyse the conditions of the market, as a whole, which might be, linked to the problem the business is currently facing. Secondly external data is very useful for analysing this problem, as it might be a reason with the change in patterns in the market.
Primary Research: I have conducted two questionnaires one in the form of an interview with the manager of the company and one as a questionnaire with the Customers the business deals with. These two questionnaires has helped me a lot to analyse the problem and it also fulfils my assignment objectives 1,2, 3. Reasons for choosing a Questionnaire: I have chosen to use a questionnaire in my research process, as it is an easy and inexpensive way of finding information from the public. However my public or the respondents I would be questioning are limited, as I would only be questioning the customers of the company.
This helps me to focus on the number of people I will be sending questionnaires to in order to gain some vital piece of information to help me toward the problem I am investigating. I would be using all open-ended questions in my questionnaire as it allows the interviewees considerable scope in the responses, which they are able to offer. However I would use some leading questions, which would encourage a particular answer helping to analyse the information much easily and accurately. More consideration would be taken while designing the questionnaire in terms of the language used in the questions. The questions used would be clear and unambiguous so that they do not confuse or mislead the interviewee.
I would be using a Random Sample out of the total number of customers the company has. This would give each member an equal chance of being selected. This means that no bias can be introduced, as the members would be picked at random. However it does assumes that all the customers are homogenous or have similar buying techniques, which might be true as some customers are quite big (items of spending) and some spend a limited amount of money. It will be time-consuming, as I would have to draw up a list of all the customers to be questioned and then have to contact them.
Reasons for choosing an Interview:
In order to find relevant information about the company itself, I would be conducting an interview with the manager of the Company. The reason why I chose an interview over a questionnaire is because in an interview the interviewee has a chance to give detailed responses to questions, which concern them. The interviewer can also explain long and difficult questions and the percentage of responses that can be used is likely to be high. There is always time and scope for answers to be followed up in more detail. However it has the following limitation like I can be time consuming and rely on the skills of the interview. The interviewer can ask questions in such a manner which might lead to bias.
For my interview I wont be using any sampling method as the company has only 1 manager and 3 employees in total, so its possible to interview al the employees or the manager in this case. This interview will help me to achieve my 1,2,3,4 and 5 objective. The reason why all these objectives will be fulfilled is that I would design my questionnaire in such a manner, which would cover all the essential points to cover the above written objectives.
Questionnaire-Pilot Study Keeping the above points in mind I have designed the following questionnaires. The first questionnaire is for the customers the company has and the second questionnaire has been designed for the interview with the manager of the company.
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