Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
In Phase 0 I looked through a catalog of possible inquiry projects and selected the one that seemed most interesting to me. My topic is Small Business Economic Case Study where in XiZhou I will interview and work with a small business owner in order to find more about XiZhou's culture, their life, and what it takes to create a business. The plan for this Phase is to pose real questions to help determine more about my topic.
My prior knowledge about this topic consists of understanding how businesses operate economically. A business, in a nutshell, creates profit by selling their product. However, there is still the costs needed to create the business. For example, the building space or the money needed to create their products. All of these need to be taken into account. When the business is finally gaining money equal to the money spent on the other things, they break even, and then start gaining a profit. I gained most of my knowledge of business through a summer camp I went to at Stanford University. It was a 2 week camp where, in teams, we had to create a product for a company, write a business plan, and create a presentation. After, the teams must pitch their ideas to 3 ventral - capitalists who then decide out of ten teams which team has the best product and best research. Our team won 1st place and through the process I have learnt so much. Marketing and sales strategies, what to keep in mind when creating products, financial details and how to calculate them, and so much more. I plan to use these skills when working with my small business owner.
I have a brief understanding about the mechanics of a business, but what I really want to know is what type of person can make a successful business and how you can. I also hope to discover, through working with my business owner, about their life, their struggles and wins, and use their knowledge to help guide me through my own life.
I did some more research on small business economic case study and it can be found in Phase 3.
I created a list of 10 big questions about small businesses that will help me in my time at XiZhou. The italicized words are possible answers to my questions before I go out to the village.
Before The Business Starts...
1. What type of person does it take to start a small business?
It takes a tenacious, determined, smart, person to start a small business. Someone who will persevere and will not give up in face of adversary. They must also be very organized in order to keep the business in line.
2. What do you need to keep in mind when starting a business, economically?
They must keep in mind all the pertinent financial details like when they will break even, cost of their expenses, how much they will charge, taxes, assets and liabilites, they need to know all this information.
3. How do you come up with a business idea and plan?
Inspiration can come in many forms, but a business plan will need a lot of planning and organizing in order to have a successful one, you must keep in mind every aspect of your business.
When You Have A Business...
4. How can you keep control, economically, over your business?
The manager or CEO usually keeps control over the business and knows exactly whats happening, they can use tools (ie books or computers) to keep track of the financial details.
5. How do you get people to join or work in your business?
Any forms of advertisement, if its a family business it should be easy.
6. How do you keep your business prosperous?
Continuing to get people to buy and invest in your products/store is the most mainstream way to make a profit. Also, not spending extreme amounts of money on other things would keep your financial state secure.
7. What types of businesses will succeed in this fastly changing paced economy?
Strong business that have straight to the point ideas that do not have a wavering and weak plan and idea will not succeed in this fast market. Having a signature item will also help in competing to bigger and more advanced companies.
8. What supplies are needed in a business?
Supplies for the products, for the store, personal needs, are all needed in creating a business.
9. In face of adversary what are some strategies used?
The business plan should outline the strategies the business is going to use, however in faces of adversary or competition the business should either make a change or make a stronger more organized plan.
10. When your business has competition what do you do?
You can either choose to treat the other business like competition and make new changes in your product or store, or you can just stick to your business plan. If the other business is in the same market then some changes should be made.
See Phase 3 for details.
Before I leave from XiZhou I still need to know how the business in XiZhou vary, and if they have any different things about them. I must also understand how a corporately owned business is different from a family business, advantages and disadvantages.
I am now ready to move onto Phase 2, in which I will find helpful resources to further my research on Small Business Economic Case Study.