# CTE Resource Center - Verso - Business Management Instructional Scenarios

CTE Resource Center - Verso

Virginia’s CTE Resource Center

Instructional Scenarios

“Applying for a Business License”

Duty/Concept Area: Differentiating the Organization and Characteristics of Business

You have been working as an organizational development and training specialist for a local company. You have made the decision to leave your current company to start your own business. You have completed your business plan, secured the start-up capital you will need, and are ready to obtain a business license.

Big Question: How do you obtain a business license?

Focused Questions:

  1. What information or documents do you need to apply for the license?
  2. Where do you go to apply?
  3. How much will it cost?
  4. How long will it take?
  5. How often do you need to renew the license?

Project-Based Assessment:

  1. Completed application forms.
  2. A presentation to the class outlining the process for applying for a business license.

“To Expand or Not Expand a Bicycle Business”

Duty/Concept Area: Examining Economic Factors Affecting Business

You have been hired as a consultant to assist Joe and Jean Smith in making a decision about whether or not to expand their bicycle business. The Smiths started their business two years ago, and the business is growing beyond all expectations and so is the Smith family. Jean is about to give birth to the couple’s first child. Up to this point, Jean has been at Joe’s side at the business; however, she plans to stay home with the new baby. Joe is concerned because Jean has handled all of the promotional activities and is excellent with customers. She also has talked about how they could expand the business and has shared ideas about timing the expansion.

Joe and Jean have just finished a back-to-school bicycle promotion and have sold twice as many bicycles as they had expected to sell. Their only competitor in town had been experiencing financial difficulties and closed at the same time that Joe and Jean started their promotion. They are now the only bicycle shop in a small town of 25,000 people. The shop that closed was located across town, while Joe and Jean occupy a location near the community college. As a consultant to Joe and Jean, you have been asked to analyze the situation and make a recommendation about how to proceed with the business.

Big Question:  Should Joe and Jean expand their business and make changes in their product line and pricing policies to enhance their profitability in the future?

Focused Questions:

  1. Should Joe and Jean make their store larger or build a new store in a different location?
  2. Should they expand their product line?
  3. Should they add depth to their current product line?
  4. Would suppliers be able to provide the same services they have had in the past if they grow larger?
  5. Could they meet the demands of their customers and still provide the services they want to provide?
  6. What about pricing products as demand grows?

Complete the project-based assessment and make recommendations to the Smiths about expanding their business and about making changes in their product line and pricing policies to enhance their profitability in the future.

Project-Based Assessment:

Jean made some estimates related to the weekly sales for their most popular bicycle based on different pricing schemes and used the following illustration in discussing the situation with Joe. She knew that if they granted different size discounts on the bicycles, the sales would change in proportion, but she hadn’t taken time to graph her estimates.

PRICE

QUANTITY DEMANDED

QUANTITY SUPPLIED

$600

5

95

$550

20

80

$525

35

65

$500

50

5

$475

65

35

$450

80

20

$650

95

5

Until this time, the Smiths have given discounts that were different for each customer based on the number of bicycles the customer might buy. For example, if someone wanted one bicycle, and it was a top-of-the-line bicycle, the customer might receive a $50 discount on each bicycle depending on the prices of the bicycles.

The Smiths know that if Jean is not at the store, sales could suffer, at least temporarily. With that in mind, they wonder about whether or not to delay the expansion. They wonder about their pricing policies and what the demand be if a competitor opens for business in town. They talk about the supply and demand for the bicycles and wonder if they could make profits if lower prices were used. They also recognize that the more bicycles they purchase from the supplier, the better price they will receive.

Help the Smiths by completing the following:

  1. Draw a demand curve and a supply curve using the information in the table presented above.
  2. Use the demand and supply curve to determine equilibrium price for the most popular bicycle model in the store.
  3. From the curves, what did you find to be the equilibrium price?
  4. What would be the result if the Smiths planned their inventory to sell 95 bicycles per week at a price of $600 each?  What if they lowered the price to $425 but were only willing to sell five bicycles at that price . . . what would be the result?
  5. At what price should the Smiths sell bicycles to earn the most revenue?
  6. If the Smiths were forced to raise their prices because their costs go up, a new supply and demand curve would result. Draw new supply and demand curves based on an increase of $20 per bicycle.

“Planning and Implementing an FBLA Fundraiser”

Duty/Concept Area: Identifying the Scope of Management

Your Business and Information Technology teacher has asked you to assume a leadership role in planning and implementing a fund-raising project for the state service project, Project ASK.

Big Question: How do you implement a school-wide fundraiser to benefit a charitable organization?

Focused Questions:

  1. What is your fundraising goal?
  2. How do you get approval and scheduling from your school to hold your fundraiser?
  3. How will you promote and publicize this activity?
  4. When, where, and how would you collect donations?
  5. What are the staffing and scheduling needs to coordinate this activity?
  6. Who would be in charge of controlling and auditing the collections?  What are some security and control issues that might arise?
  7. What activities are involved in completing and wrapping up this activity?

Project-Based Assessment:

  1. A plan to be approved by your Business and Information Technology teacher.
  2. A spreadsheet detailing collections and totals.
  3. A spreadsheet detailing student involvement for class credit.

Did students meet their fundraising goal?

“Determining Sources of New Capital for Your Business”

Duty/Concept Area: Conducting Financial Activities

Your company has experienced a downturn in profit projections. The business plan called for the introduction of a new product line, but revenue and capital will not support this initiative.

Big Question: What will be the best source(s) of new capital that are available to the business?

Focused Questions:

  1. What are the different sources of capital?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each source of capital?
  3. Which source(s) of capital is(are) the most appropriate given the current situation of the business?

Project-Based Assessment:

Presentation (using presentation software) with a recommendation and justification for the chosen source(s) of capital. Use the following information to develop an income statement, cash flow, current ratio, quick ratio, and a return to sales analysis:

Cash

$50,000

Accounts Receivable

$125,000

Prepaid Insurance

$10,000

Accounts Payable

$75,000

Net Sales Forecast

$1,500,000

Expenses

$975,000

“Developing a New Product/Service”

Duty/Concept Area: Conducting Marketing Activities

Your manager has asked you to design a detailed marketing plan for one of the products/services (of your choice) available through the company.

Big Question: How do you incorporate the various elements of marketing to effectively sell the product/service to your target markets?

Focused Questions:

  1. What product/service am I going to try to market?
  2. Who are my target markets (demographics, lifestyle, geographic location, income)?
  3. What characteristics of my product/service will have the most appeal to my target markets?
  4. How should I determine the pricing for my product/service? What price (or price point) should I set for my product/service?
  5. What method(s) should I use for promoting my product/service (e.g., packaging, advertising, publicity)?
  6. How should I distribute my product (e.g., where it is sold, how it is sold)?

Project-Based Assessment:

Presentation (using presentation software) explaining the product, target markets, and a detailed marketing plan (pricing strategy, promotional strategy with costs, and distribution strategy with costs).

“Scheduling and Quality Control”

Duty/Concept Area: Conducting Business Operations

You are a new manager at a doughnuts store in your hometown. Business has been declining over the past few years, and there is a rumor that it might close. Presently you have several good employees who want to keep their jobs. You report to work today and notice that the equipment has not been cleaned from the previous night. To complicate the matter, the equipment takes 30 minutes to warm up. Joe calls and says his child is sick, and he will not be able to come to work. Two customers have shown up at opening time and don’t want to wait for their doughnut to get ready. You hear one them saying, “I would wait, but the doughnuts here are not as good as they used to be.”

Big Question:  What are the management issues involved in this situation?

Focus Questions:

  1. What changes would you make in the employees’ schedules?
  2. What policies would you implement for cleaning the machinery?
  3. How should the manager involve the employees in addressing these issues?
  4. How would the manager communicate changes using various management styles?

Project Based Assessment:

  1. Role-play the manager communicating with the employees using different management styles.
  2. Write an essay on any of the focus questions.
  3. Develop a written policy that would resolve the situation.

“Confronting Legal Issues in Employment Practices”

Duty/Concept Area: Administering Human Resources Functions

You are a new manager at B. Nielson Company. Tomorrow you will be meeting with the vice president of human resources to discuss a complaint filed by one of your employees. (Allow each student to select a type of complaint: e.g., harassment, employee rights, privacy, drug testing, labor disputes, discrimination, substance abuse.)

Big Question: What is the major legal issue involved in this complaint, and what are the management practices that will prevent this from occurring in the future?

Focused Questions:

  1. What questions will the vice president ask you?
  2. Can you explain the policies and legal issues related to this complaint?
  3. What real-life examples have occurred at other companies?

Project Based Assessment:

  1. A written policy that describes the responsibilities of the employer and employee related to this legal issue.
  2. A description of the disciplinary procedures involved in reprimanding the employee.

“Planning International Travel”

Duty/Concept Area: Developing Communication Skills for Business

What great news! Joyce Smithers has just gotten a memo informing her that she will be traveling with her immediate supervisor, John Travallo, to an international conference in Spain. The enthusiasm seems to be waning, however, as she realizes the overwhelming tasks ahead in preparing for international travel. She doesn’t speak Spanish and she has heard horror stories of some of the customs in Spain that are different from American customs. As the director of communications for your company, it is your task to make the trip a success for Joyce and the company.

Big Question:  What steps need to be taken to ensure that the trip is a success for Joyce and the company?

Focused Questions:

  1. What resources can you identify that would enable Joyce to become familiar with international etiquette and to study the Spanish culture as it affects business travel?
  2. What resources are available that would explain the monetary exchange and the procedure for exchanging the necessary funds for travel?
  3. What resources can you identify that would help Joyce learn the common phrases vital for travel in Spain?
  4. What travel arrangements would need to be made for the trip to Spain (e.g., passports, travel plan with flight times and destinations, sightseeing side trips, conference activities, lodging arrangements, and meal functions)?

Project-Based Assessment:

A presentation to the supervisor outlining the steps that were taken to help Joyce prepare for the trip and a portfolio with travel arrangements.

“Interviewing for a Management Position”

Duty/Concept Area: Enhancing Career Exploration and Employability Skills

You are a candidate for a management position at Magna Corporation. On the day of the interview you are to do the following:

Big Question:  What skills do you possess now that would interest an employer, and can you summarize them at an interview and on a résumé?

Focused Questions:

  1. Have you researched the company with whom you will interview?
  2. Have you matched your skills with those wanted by the company?
  3. Can you identify interview questions that may be inappropriate or illegal?
  4. Are you prepared for an interview using any method of questioning?
  5. Have you developed a list of questions for the employer?
  6. Do you know how to properly dress for the interview?
  7. Do you understand interview etiquette?

Project-Based Assessment:

  1. A completed résumé prior to the interview
  2. A list of appropriate questions to ask the interviewer
  3. A rubric based on dress, résumé, questions answered, etiquette
  4. A self-evaluation

“Current and Emerging Trends to Increase Ticket Sales”

Duty/Concept Area: Current and Emerging Trends in Business

You are a part of the management team of a small, locally owned events venue. In today’s manager meeting, the owner shared that she is concerned that the ticket sales and venue recognition is decreasing. She has tasked everyone to research business trends in the events venue industry and to identify necessary changes to boost ticket sales and venue recognition.

Big Question: What trends in the events venue industry could improve ticket sales and further increase the venue use?

Focused Questions:
  1. What demographic information will uncover the most helpful trend in the event venue industry?
  2. What technological advances should be implemented to increase ticket sales?
  3. What qualitative or quantitative data can provide insight on areas needing improvement?
  4. How are consumers (customers and businesses) deciding where to host events?
  5. What new business trends can be implemented to increase ticket sales?
Project-Based Assessment:

Independent, small group, or whole class (depending on class size)
  • Each student will be a part of a four-member group to represent a management team.
  • Individually, the students will conduct online searches to uncover one emerging business trend to present to their management team. The presentation should include
    • a summary of the trend
    • the estimated cost to implement
    • the potential demographic that will be reached
    • a timeline for implementation (how long will it take to put the strategy in place?
    • the projected ticket and/or venue use increase.
  • Once all members of the management team have shared their research, the team will then decide which business trend to present to the class.
  • The entire class will provide an audience for each group’s presentation.
  • The class will determine which trend will potentially yield the best results through class discussion.

"Ratio Analysis: A Health Examination"

Duty/Concept Area(s): Conducting Business Operations

You and your partners are starting a new small-business venture, a retail golf shop. You have been tasked with creating pro forma financial statements and calculating ratios for the first three years of operations. Financial ratios have been calculated for profitability, liquidity, and efficiency. After researching the retail golf industry ratios, you have created the following tables:

 

Profitability

Ratio

The Golf Shop

Year 1

The Golf Shop

Year 2

The Golf Shop

Year 3

Industry Standards

Net Profit Margin

2.6%

2.8%

3.0%

3.18%

Gross Profit Margin

38%

         40%

42%

48.46%

Return on Assets (ROA)

4.6%

5.4%

6.5%

5.58%

Return on Equity (ROE)

10.5%

12.2%

13.8%

13.59%

 

Liquidity

Ratio

The Golf Shop

Year 1

The Golf Shop

Year 2

The Golf Shop

Year 3

Industry Standards

Current Ratio

4.6

3.8

4.2

1.7

Quick Ratio

1.5

1.1

1.2

.04

 

Efficiency

Ratio

The Golf Shop

Year 1

The Golf Shop

Year 2

The Golf Shop

Year 3

Industry Standards

Asset Turnover Ratio

2.23

2.01

1.97

2.43

Inventory Turnover

4.64

4.42

4.39

4.8

 

Big Question: Does your analysis indicate that your venture will become financially healthy?

Focused Questions:

  1. Which ratios show year-over-year improvements?
  2. Which ratios indicate that your venture exceeds industry averages and which fall short?
  3. Is this opportunity worth pursing? Why or why not?

Project-Based Assessment:

Independent, small-group, or whole-class discussion and/or journal activity

  1. Discuss whether it is better for each ratio to be a higher or lower number.
  2. Identify which ratios are improving year over year and which are exceeding industry averages by the end of year
  3. Identify which ratios are problem areas for the venture.
  4. Provide possible steps that can be taken to improve underperforming ratios.

"The Effects of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics on Pricing Decisions"

Duty/Concept Area: Differentiating the Organization and Characteristics of Business

You are the business manager for a product line of energy bars marketed to high school and college athletes. The CEO of your company has asked you to suggest either a price increase or decrease to the energy bars based on current economic indicators and determinants of supply and demand. You will use a digital presentation to visually present your price change recommendation at the upcoming board of directors’ meeting. Your supporting evidence should include at least two of the three economic indicators (i.e., gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment rates, inflation) and two fictitious or real headlines found in the news about the effect of supply and demand determinants on energy bar prices. Related charts and graphs should be included in the digital presentation.

Big Question: How do microeconomic and macroeconomic data and events influence pricing decisions of a company’s product line?

Focused Questions:

  1. How do overall trends in GDP, unemployment, and inflation data influence the buying and selling of energy bars?
  2. What specific data on GDP, unemployment, and inflation are helpful in determining whether to raise or lower energy bar prices?
  3. What are fictitious or real newspaper headlines that have an effect on the supply and demand of energy bars?
  4. What are the specific determinants of supply and demand at work in the fictitious or real newspaper headlines, and what effect do they have on energy bar prices?

 Project-Based Assessment:

The product manager will give a digital presentation to persuade the company’s CEO and board of directors to raise or lower the price of energy bars based on current economic conditions and events. Classmates should play the roles of CEO and board members by asking the product manager questions about his/her presentation. The CEO and board members should then vote on whether or not to adopt the price increase or decrease recommendation based on the evidence presented.

Resources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis–Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics–Unemployment
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics–Consumer Price Index
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) Economic Data Top 15 Most Popular Business Websites, The eBusiness MBA Guide

"Leadership Styles and Management"

Duty/Concept Area(s): Identifying the Scope of Management

It was the teacher’s first day back for the new school year; the students were not scheduled to return to the high school for another week. At the first staff meeting of the year, teachers saw that many of the old administrators were not there. The former principal had retired over the summer and her cheerful, friendly, inclusive greetings were sadly missed as teachers waited for the meeting to begin. After listening to an hour of presentations and questions and answers by the new principal and his administrative team, the teachers left the staff meeting talking in low voices about what they had heard.

According to the new administrative team, there would be many changes in the upcoming school year because the school had not met its benchmarks two areas: mathematics and the number of students graduating on time. The principal seemed to lay the blame on the teachers. During the meeting, some teachers defensively stated that the former principal had not shared much information on the school’s performance. The new principal told the teachers to expect more frequent checks on their classrooms, and that their daily objectives and agendas should be clearly displayed at all times. Also, the new evaluation system would place more weight on student academic progress. Teachers would have to use data to show students’ progress on the new teacher evaluation system, which would be rolled out that week by the department administrators. The new principal and his administrative team let them know that things would be different because there was a “new sheriff in town!”

Big Question: What leadership styles can be identified in an organization’s leaders?

Focused Questions:

  1. Who is included in decision-making in a high school?
  2. Were the teachers asked to share their insights and opinions?
  3. Is it necessary to change leadership style in crisis situations?
  4. Which leadership styles can you identify in the scenario?
  5. What is the chain of command above you as a student?
  6. How should a teacher evaluation be conducted? What criteria should be measured? Who should decide on the criteria to measure teacher performance?
  7. What is the best way to motivate teachers to improve their performance?

Project-Based Assessment:

  1. Research the five leadership styles and create a bibliography of your research with at least five references in either MLA or APA format.
  2. Create a table showing at least two advantages and two disadvantages of each leadership style.
  3. Using examples from the scenario, discuss the need for changing leadership styles to suit various circumstances and report your conclusions to the class.

Resources:

Word processing software, index cards.

"Marketing with the Product Life Cycle"

Duty/Concept Area: Conducting Marketing Activities

John owns a coffee and smoothie shop in Virginia. After reviewing sales numbers from the past three months, he has noticed that smoothie sales are leveling off and the smoothie line is not as profitable as it once was. Two weeks ago, he launched a new line of protein shakes to complement the smoothies. John is convinced that the protein shakes could be a huge success because there are two gyms in close proximity to his shop. He also thinks that with some strategic marketing he could boost smoothie sales as well.

Big Question: How can John develop marketing strategies for products in different phases of the product life cycle?

Focused Questions:

  1. How will marketing be beneficial to John and his shop?
  2. How can the current phase of a product on the life cycle help determine an appropriate marketing strategy?
  3. What marketing strategies would be appropriate to introduce a new product (e.g., protein shakes) to customers?
  4. How can John use extension strategies to extend the life of a mature product (i.e., smoothies)?
  5. What strategies are appropriate in the other two phases (i.e., growth and decline) of the product life cycle?
  6. How can understanding the product life cycle help a business gain more profit?

Project-Based Assessment:

Discuss the product life cycle and have students draw the cycle individually, in teams, or as a class on the board. Working with partners or in small groups, have the students brainstorm marketing strategies for John and explain how a product’s position on the life cycle will influence which strategy is appropriate. Teams/groups share their responses with the class.

Resources:

Product Life Cycle, Investopedia
The Product Life Cycle, QuickMBA Marketing
 

"Protect your Computer"

Duty/Concept Area: Differentiating the Organization and Characteristics of Business or Conducting Business Operations

Keeping your company free from viruses can be an expensive and difficult task. The Internet is full of malicious software and hackers trying to gain access to any system they can find, and you need to stay ahead of the threats. However expensive the protection might be, going without virus protection can have severe consequences, both for your company and for others.

Big Question: How does the manager ensure the safety and security of the organization's computer systems?

Focused Questions:

  1. What is a computer virus?
  2. What kind of damage can a computer virus do?
  3. How can a computer get infected?
  4. How can you protect a computer from a virus?

Project-Based Assessment: Students will use the Internet to conduct research about computer viruses and their effects on businesses. They will create a flyer to educate their friends and family about computer viruses. Their flyer should include an example of how a computer virus has affected/harmed an organization in recent history.

Resources:

Curriculum: iCEV Online

"Are You Virtual Interview Ready?"

Duty/Concept Area: Enhancing Career Exploration and Employability Skills

With technological advances, many interviews are conducted over the phone or through video chat. You have an interview next week with a company for a paid internship this summer. This is an exciting opportunity for you. The company has indicated that the interview will be held virtually. They have also asked you to prepare a presentation to present during the interview on why soft skills in the workplace are important to employers. You feel nervous, but you are determined to do your best in the interview and presentation component.

Big Question: What steps can you take to be informed and prepared? How will you ensure the interviewer views you as personable and engaging without the usual interaction provided by an onsite interview?

Focused Questions:

  1. Have you reviewed and updated your résumé?
  2. Have you researched the topic of soft skills and created a presentation using multimedia software?
  3. Have you researched the company with whom you will interview?
  4. Have you matched your skills with those wanted by the company?
  5. Can you identify interview questions that may be inappropriate or illegal?
  6. Are you prepared for an interview using any method of questioning?
  7. Have you developed a list of questions for the employer?
  8. Have you reviewed and practiced your presentation to be viewed online?
  9. Do you know how to properly dress for the interview?
  10. Do you understand interview etiquette?
  11. Have you tested the equipment and software that you will be using for the virtual interview? 

Project-Based Assessment:

  1. A completed résumé prior to the interview
  2. A completed presentation prior to the interview
  3. A list of appropriate questions to ask the interviewer
  4. A rubric based on dress, résumé, questions answered, etiquette
  5. A self-evaluation

Resources:

Computer with web camera, word processing software, presentation software