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BMSK4006 Developing a Comprehensive Business Plan for a Dog Walking Service

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Introduction : Executive Summary for a Dog Walking Business Plan in Cardiff

Part 1

Executive Summary

This report has involved a developed business plan for the business idea of initiating Dog Walking Services for the people living in Cardiff, UK so that the dogs of fully employed dog owners can remain active and healthy in their absence. The name of the business entity is DogWalk. The core mission of this business is to earn some money and profitability along with having a unique identity in the market or industry of pet care or dog walking. To sell dog walking services to the dog owners, some advertising and promotional methods have been chosen such as free sampling of dog walking services and attracting customers via sharing content over different social media platforms.

This business idea would be carried on solely and its legal form of structure has been defined as a sole proprietorship. The location where services would be rendered includes Cardiff, UK, and the entire management has been decided to be ensured by one single person i.e. me. While rendering the services, two dogs would be taken for a walk for 2 hours every day at a reasonable amount of price so that a maximum people can get attracted to these services. Mostly, the young and full-time working professionals would be targeted who are not able to take their dogs on a walk due to their busy schedules.

The competition in the pet care industry is high because many professional organizations of pet care have been working and growing in the industry for years. The key strengths of different competitors have been discussed and compared by applying a suitable model of Unique Selling Proposition (USP). A financial budget has been defined on an estimation basis i.e. 2000 Euros that might get increased based on the changing needs and requirements of the new business idea.

Business/Industry Overview

The dog walking industry is observed as one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK for small business start-ups. The growth of the dog walking industry in the UK has been increasing steadily since the year 2015 from 5.1 billion Euros to 5.3 billion Euros in 2019. The UK pet market has been observed as the largest industry in Europe. According to the report of PDSA Animal Wellbeing (2019), half of the young adults of the UK own a pet. On average, most dog walkers in the UK earn between 10 Euros to 20 Euros per hour. A recent study of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2018) has shown that dog walkers are in high demand because the dog owners remain busy in doing their full-time jobs and businesses and they seek for dog walkers as they want to keep their dogs healthy and active in their presence.

Based on the report that has been recently published by Statista Research Department (2015), it has been founded that dog owners take their dogs for a walk for at least 10 minutes or more in the UK [Appendix 1]. The trend of hiring professionals for dog walking has got been increasing rapidly among pet owners. Other than the dog walking trend, some other trends have also been observed in the UK such as dog yoga, pet slimming classes, grooming parlours, etc (Walk My Dog, 2021). The culture of the UK highly supports dog-keeping practices as people are open-minded and believe that dog are their friends family members. The UK economy allows dog walking organizations to initiate programs for encouraging dog health and making them active. The government influences the dog walking industry positively by creating awareness among pet owners that dog needs regular exercise to remain healthy and active (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, 2018).

My business idea is to work as a dog walking professional and I will be targeting the Cardiff area where I will provide help to those pet owners who work full time by providing them dog walking services. This business idea suits the industry as I would be taking four dogs daily for 2 hours. The competition in this industry is high as many professional dog-walking organizations are already providing various dog-related services to the pet owners for years. One of the biggest competitors is the Professional Dog Walkers Association (PDWA) which is a registered association (Professional Dog Walkers Association, 2016). My services will be unique and different from others because of the following features:

  • Providing integrated combinations of dog walking and dog playing services
  • Charging less prices as compared to other dog-walking organizations
  • Providing grooming services to dogs

Market Analysis and Competition

The target market where the dog walking services would be rendered is the Cardiff area, UK which is the capital city of Wales. The city is expanded within an area of 140.3 km square. Some towns that would be covered in serving these services in Cardiff include Butetown, Canton, Castle, and Adamsdown. These areas will further increase with the increase in the number of experiences.

In recent years, the concept of dog walking and health has been trending and encouraged among dog owners and therefore studies have revealed that dog owners are more active than non-dog owners. From 2020 to 2021, the population of dogs in the UK has been estimated at 12.5 million and due to being a full-time employed person, dog owners fail to take their dogs on a walk and eventually, they become lazy and inactive which also affect their health (Walk My Dog, 2021). Therefore, the need for dog walking services is high in Cardiff, UK. In the UK, Smith (2019) estimated that people incur 445 Euros to 1620 Euros every year for owning a dog. The percentage of dog ownership has stood at the highest in the UK i.e. 33 % as compared to other pets [Appendix 2]. In estimation, approximately 10%-15% of dog owners might buy dog walking services.

The repeat-purchase volume refers to the number or percentage of customers who visit the business regularly to buy products/ services. The repeat-purchase rate can range from 0 % to 100 % and a higher rate will indicate higher repetitive visits of the customers. For example, if the total number of customers in the first month is 50 and the number of customers who have returned for again buying the dog walking services in that particular month is 30, then the repeat purchase rate for that month would be 60 % and this estimation has been calculated as follows:

Number of customers returning/ Number of total customers*100>

Socio-demographic factors include the physical health and psychological benefits of dogs that can affect dog walking services. Some other economic factors that may affect dog walking services include ethnicity, presence of older siblings, maternal age at delivery, number of family members in the household, and parental education or social class. The presence of siblings and more family members in the household can reduce the sales of dog walking services because they would take the initiative to take their dogs on walks (NCBI, 2018). Also, during the maternal delivery age many female dogs would be restricted for going on a walk. All such factors would negatively affect the sales of this business idea.

Key strengths over the competition

Business Organizations Cardiff Dog Walking Danescourt & Radyr Dog Walking pet sitting Friends for Pets Cardiff Dog Walking Services (Business idea)
Core strengths
  • Wide range of services including dog sitting, cat sitting, house dog boarding, etc.
  • Experience of more than 10 years
  • Qualified professionals in providing first aid services to dogs
  • High-quality care to dogs
  • Liked and preferred by most of the customers
  • All dog carers and walkers are registered, experienced, insured and uniformed (NCBI, 2018)
  • Lowest prices in the market
  • Only two dogs are taken for a walk at a single time to ensure high quality services
  • Considering behavioural traits of dogs
  • Taking dogs for a walk based on the timing suitable to dog owners
  • Opens 27*7 hours

The volume and value of sales have been estimated and compared with existing competitors as follows:

Competitors Cardiff Dog Walking Danescourt & Radyr Dog Walking pet sitting Friends for Pets Cardiff Dog Walking Services (Business idea)
Sales (for the period of 2021-2022) £65,000 £50,000 £45,000 £40,000 - £60,000

The following barriers to entry can prove to help protect the business from competition:

  • Access to capital and equipment: To start a dog walking business in the UK, the right insurance would be required along with other equipment such as leads, toys, and harnesses. Also, a certain amount of capital will be needed to do some promotion/ marketing.
  • Regulations: All dog walking professionals need to strictly follow and comply with the guidelines that are developed by the Dogs Trust Organization. Some regulations include that not more than four dogs are walked at one time and walkers must ensure that they have a lead for each dog (Christian et al., 2017). Compliance with all such regulations could prevent people from choosing this business idea.

Sales and Marketing Plan

Product or Service Offerings

Services to be offered

  • The following services would be offered to the potential customers:
  • Dog walking services to help those people who live alone in their homes and are fully employed
  • The dogs will be taken for a walk for at least 2 hours each day
  • Only two dogs will be taken for the walk so that high quality of care can be ensured for each dog

The customers will benefit due to the following competitive features:

  • Buying dog walking services any time during the day or night as it would get open 24*7 hours
  • Getting high-quality services at reasonable prices than in the market (Christian et al., 2017)

For highlighting the key strengths over the competition, a model has been applied i.e. USP (Unique Selling Proposition) which helps in describing the key strengths to potential buyers along with sharing with them in what ways dog walking services business idea is different from other competitors.

USP What do customers want? What competitors do well? What you do well?
  • High-quality care of their dogs at reasonable prices
  • Keeping their dogs healthy and active
  • Keeping the medical conditions of dogs in mind
  • Asking the dog owners about the behavioral traits of dogs
Cardiff Dog Walking
  • Dog Day Care
  • Overnight Home from Home Dog Boarding
Danescourt & Radyr Dog Walking pet sitting
  • Quality per care
  • Home visits
  • Personal dog walking services
Friends for Pets Cardiff
  • Flexible timings for dog walking as per the suitability of dog owners
  • Dog house sitting
  • Providing services at discounted rates to regular customers
  • Health insurance is provided to dogs
  • Providing a friendly environment for dogs to walk
  • Keeping dogs safe and ensuring their complete care

Pricing Strategy

Pricing is considered one of the most important aspects of marketing strategy and it has been decided that lower prices would be charged for rendering the dog walking services so that maximum potential customers can be attracted, but the lowest prices must not affect the incurred costs and profitability in the long run.

A value-based pricing strategy would be followed while setting the prices for dog walking prices. Based on this strategy, the prices will be charged in consideration of the worth being perceived by the customers while receiving the services (Richards et al., 2013). The application of a value-based pricing model has been reflected as follows:

  1. Evaluating customers’ needs and values
  • High-quality care for dogs
  • Taking dogs on walks for at least two hours
  1. Setting target price to reflect customers’ values
  • The price for each walk would be £ 8.5 and it may get updated according to the services demanded by the customers
  • This would be the lowest price in the market as other dog walking organizations charge more than £ 10 and sometimes £ 20.
  1. Determining costs and competitive differentiation
  • The establishment of this business idea would incur an estimated cost of £ 500 and it might get increased based on the further needs and expansion requirements of the business.
  1. Delivering services to meet and exceed customers’ values
  • Dog walking and playing services
  • Pet care
  • Keeping dogs healthy, active, and happy

Sales and Distribution

The dog walking services can be distributed to the customers by adopting the following process:

  • Step 1: Online orders will be accepted from the customers as customers can contact via email, or phone or purchase the services online from the website.
  • Step 2: After finalizing the order, the date and time will be fixed along with the list of services being demanded by the customers.
  • Step 3: The dogs will be then taken to the walks and will be picked up by visiting the customers’ houses and will be dropped off at their homes after the time gets completed (Richards et al., 2013).
  • Step 4: After finally delivering the services to the customers, the payment will be made by the dog owners, either through online applications (Google Pay or Direct transfer to bank account) or via cash.

Advertising and Promotion

Different forms of media will be used for sharing promotional messages to customers such as online websites, emails, and social media applications (Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter). The focus will be ensured on social media applications because they are considered as the fastest means for sharing information and the maximum number of customers can be attracted as many dog pages are being shared by the dog owners and dog lovers on different applications (mostly Instagram).

A most suitable method of sales promotion will be adopted i.e. free samples where the dog walking service would be provided to the customers for free for only once so that the people could determine the quality and effectiveness of the services being rendered to them. This business idea is going to be initiated on a small scale, hence no product launches and trade shows will be organized as the investment or budget for developing this business idea would be low (Westgarth et al., 2017). A few marketing materials will be used including dog walking brochures, promotional leaflets, and advertising materials.

The budget for this business idea is shown below:

Activities Cost (in Euros)
Registration fees 150
Purchase of equipment including toys 500
Advertising fees 1000
Other expenses relating to business expansion 350
Total Budget 2000

Ownership and Management Plan

The legal structure of this business idea will be sole proprietorship as I would be solely carrying out this business idea and I don’t want anyone to get involved in this business idea. Being a sole proprietorship firm, no formal actions would be required to be carried on and all the necessary guidelines and legal regulations will be followed while rendering dog walking services to the customers such as not taking more than four dogs at a single time and taking the responsibility that no dog could get harm or no kind of damage must be caused to dogs (Westgarth et al., 2017).

Due to the following reasons, this business idea has been kept as a sole proprietorship firm and not any other legal ownership structure:

  • Being the sole owner, the control over the business activities will be possessed by me and all the decisions would be taken solely.
  • It would be easy to fulfill tax reporting requirements.
  • It is the simplest legal ownership structure and the least expensive legal structure that is easy to establish (Ryan, 2016).

All the activities of this business idea would be managed solely with greater effectiveness and efficiency. For example, after rendering services to different dog owners, they would be asked to share their feedback about the quality of services rendered so that the rating on the website can be increased and maximum customers can get to know about the business (Christian et al., 2016). Other than this, many new and attractive strategies would be formulated such as offering services at discounted prices, offering combo services, and rendering two-day service for free after purchasing the services for 15 days. All such strategies would help bring long-term sustainability within the dynamic and competitive industry of pet care (Huws et al., 2016).

Operating Plan

The operating plan has been developed and shown below for outlining the physical requirements of the business including office, retail space, supplies, labor and warehouse (if applicable);

Operating essentials Development Production Facilities Staffing Equipment Supplies
Discussion
  • An in-depth research has been undertaken about dog owners who have been located in different areas of Cardiff
  • Strong relationships have been made with dog owners by interacting with them via online applications and door-to-door visits (Huws et al., 2016)
  • A small office will be taken on rent in Cardiff so that dog owners can visit and purchase for dog walking services (Cheong et al., 2015)
  • The estimated cost of leasing may include 200 Euros
  • As it would be the sole proprietorship firm, hence there would be no staffing requirements
  • Some necessary equipment would be purchased that would be required while taking dogs on the walk such as toys, belts, food items, etc.
  • Different prices would need to be paid for purchasing these equipment (Kingsnorth, 2019)
  • The defined equipment would be purchased in wholesale from the local suppliers of pet care shops in Cardiff
  • All the purchased equipment would be stored in the office in a locked and safe cupboard so that food items must not get damaged

The above operation plan has reflected the discussion for operational requirements and each requirement has been discussed as well as linked in consideration to the business idea of dog walking services.

Financial Plan

This financial plan will comprise four different elements namely, Income statement, cash flow, balance sheet, and most importantly break even analysis.

INCOME STATEMENT

MONTH------->
YEAR: 2021 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
INCOME
Income received from daily hour sessions 45000 50000 55000 60000 62000 67000 52500 57500 61000 62000 63000 64000 699000
Income received from grooming activities 1000 1500 1700 2000 2100 2400 2500 2650 2700 2750 2800 2950 27050
Income from Boarding Activities 2000 2100 2450 2500 2650 2700 2450 3100 3000 3200 2800 3500 32450
Extra per hour income received 1000 120 1300 1350 1400 1450 1500 1550 1650 1700 2800 1850 17670
A Total 49000 53720 60450 65850 68150 73550 58950 64800 68350 69650 71400 72300 776170
COSTS I
Variable Cost/ Direct Cost
Staff Wages 1000 1100 1155 1150 1200 1210 1225 1250 1331 1400 1450 1500 14971
Sales and Marketing Expenses 500 600 650 720 745 75 800 850 840 900 1000 500 8180
Depreciation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Utilities 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 525 575 625 4425
B Total Direct Costs 1600 1850 2005 2120 2245 1635 2425 2550 2671 2825 3025 2625 27576
C Gross Profit 47400 51870 58445 63730 65905 71915 56525 62250 65679 66825 68375 69675 748594
Cost II
Total Fixed Cost
Land at lease 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 60000
Phones 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 2400
Legal 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 502 6024
Accounts 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 5400
Internet 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 4200
D 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 78024
Total Overhead Costs 8102 8352 8507 8622 8747 8137 8927 9052 9173 9327 9527 9127 105600
Net Profit 39298 43518 49938 55108 57158 63778 47598 53198 56506 57498 58848 60548 642994
E Bank Balance
Opening Balance 100 324 224 454 275 545 600 650 750 800 850 900 6472
Carried forward 39398 43842 50162 55562 57433 64323 48198 53848 57256 58298 59698 61448 649466

CASHFLOW

Particulars Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
Cash Received
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales 40000 42000 50400 60480 72576 87091 104509 125411 150494 180592 216711 260053 1390318
Cash from Receivables 0 2000 2400 2880 3456 4147 4977 5972 7166 8600 10320 12383 64301
SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS 40000 42000 50400 60480 72576 87091 104509 125411 150494 180592 216711 260053 1390318
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received 2000 2100 2520 3024 3629 4355 5225 6271 7525 9030 10836 13003 69516
New Current Borrowing 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) 4000 4200 5040 6048 7258 8709 10451 12541 15049 18059 21671 26005 139032
New Long-term Liabilities 5000 5250 6300 7560 9072 10886 13064 15676 18812 22574 27089 32507 173790
Sales of Other Current Assets 2000 2100 2520 3024 3629 4355 5225 6271 7525 9030 10836 13003 69516
Sales of Long-term Assets 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
New Investment Received 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED 62000 65100 78120 93744 112493 134991 161990 194388 233265 279918 335902 403082 2154992
Expenditures
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
Bill Payments 10000 10500 12600 15120 18144 21773 26127 31353 37623 45148 54178 65013 347579
SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS 13000 13650 16380 19656 23587 28305 33966 40759 48910 58693 70431 84517 451853
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out 4000 4200 5040 6048 7258 8709 10451 12541 15049 18059 21671 26005 139032
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing 2000 2100 2520 3024 3629 4355 5225 6271 7525 9030 10836 13003 69516
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment 1000 1050 1260 1512 1814 2177 2613 3135 3762 4515 5418 6501 34758
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
Purchase Other Current Assets 1000 1050 1260 1512 1814 2177 2613 3135 3762 4515 5418 6501 34758
Purchase Long-term Assets 5000 5250 6300 7560 9072 10886 13064 15676 18812 22574 27089 32507 173790
Dividends 3000 3150 3780 4536 5443 6532 7838 9406 11287 13544 16253 19504 104274
SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT 32000 33600 40320 48384 58061 69673 83608 100329 120395 144474 173369 208042 1112254
Net Cash Flow 30000 31500 37800 45360 54432 65318 78382 94058 112870 135444 162533 195040 1042738

BALANCE SHEET

Particulars Total
Current Assets 79586
Cash 15917
Accounts Receivable 7959
Inventory 7959
Other Current Assets 7959
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS 119378
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets 47751
Accumulated Depreciation 7959
TOTAL LONG-TERM ASSETS 54710
TOTAL ASSETS 174088
Liabilities and Capital
Current Liabilities 15917
Accounts Payable 7959
Current Borrowing 15917
Other Current Liabilities 63669
SUBTOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES 103461
Long-term Liabilities 79586
TOTAL LIABILITIES 183047
Paid-in Capital 47751
Retained Earnings 31834
Earnings 31834
TOTAL CAPITAL 111420
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL 294467
Net Worth 183047

BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS

Break-Even Point (sales Costs ÷ PV Ratio
Particulars Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sales 49000 53720 60450 65850 68150 73550 58950 64800 68350 69650 71400 72300
Fixed Cost 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502 6502
Variable Cost 1600 1850 2005 2120 2245 1635 2425 2550 2671 2825 3025 2625
PV ratio (Contribution/Sales) 96.73% 96.56% 96.68% 96.78% 96.71% 97.78% 95.89% 96.06% 96.09% 95.94% 95.76% 96.37%
Break Even Sales 6721.48 6733.9 6725.06 6718.29 6723.49 6649.82 6780.94 6768.35 6766.42 6776.87 6789.66 6746.96

References

Cheong, A.L.H. and Yi, K.H., 2015. Self-extension and Purchase Behavior of Dog Related Products and Services: An In-depth Interview among Selected Malaysian Dog Owners. Asian Social Science11(3), p.26.

Christian, H., Bauman, A., Epping, J., Levine, G.N., McCormack, G., Rhodes, R.E., Richards, E., Rock, M. and Westgarth, C., 2016. State of the art review: Promoting dog walking for healthy lifestyles. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Christian, H.E., McCormack, G.R., Evenson, K.R. and Maitland, C., 2017. Dog walking. In Walking. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. 2018. Code of practice for the welfare of Dogs. [Online]. Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/697953/pb13333-cop-dogs-091204.pdf

Gunter, L., Protopopova, A., Hooker, S.P., Der Ananian, C. and Wynne, C.D., 2017. Impacts of encouraging dog walking on returns of newly adopted dogs to a shelter. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science20(4), pp.357-371.

Huws, U., Spencer, N.H. and Joyce, S., 2016. The size and characteristics of the on-demand economy in the UK and Europe. Economist.

Kingsnorth, S., 2019. Digital marketing strategy: an integrated approach to online marketing. Kogan Page Publishers.

Lowe, C.N., Williams, K.S., Jenkinson, S. and Toogood, M., 2014. Environmental and social impacts of domestic dog waste in the UK: Investigating barriers to behavioral change in dog walkers. International Journal of Environment and Waste Management13(4), pp.331-347.

NCBI. 2018. Encouraging Dog Walking for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. [Online]. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124971/

Professional Dog Walkers Association. 2016. [Online]. Retrieved from https://professionaldogwalkersassociation.co.uk/

Richards, E.A., McDonough, M.H., Edwards, N.E., Lyle, R.M. and Troped, P.J., 2013. Psychosocial and environmental factors associated with dog-walking. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education51(4), pp.198-211.

Ryan, D., 2016. Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. Kogan Page Publishers.

Smith, G., 2019. UK Pet Market Set to Hit £7 Billion by 2021. Pet Subjects. [Online]. Retrieved from https://petsubjects.co.uk/2019/11/07/uk-pet-market-set-to-hit-7billion-by-2021/

Walk My Dog. 2021. The UK Pet Care Market. [Online]. Retrieved from https://www.walkmydog.co.uk/franchise/uk-pet-care-market/

Westgarth, C., Christley, R.M., Marvin, G. and Perkins, E., 2017. I walk my dog because it makes me happy: a qualitative study to understand why dogs motivate walking and improved health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health14(8), p.936.

Westgarth, C., Christley, R.M., Marvin, G. and Perkins, E., 2019. The responsible dog owner: the construction of responsibility. Anthrozoös32(5), pp.631-646.

Part 2: Reflection

Introduction

This report focuses on my critical expression of various subjects that I learned in this module. My journey has remained progressive and enlightening throughout the module and I have gained sufficient knowledge on the various subject matter. However, it is not limited to books and I need to learn and grow continuously. This report will discuss my journey and learning with the scope of my professional prospects (Allison et al., 2016).

Research skills

Research skills are inevitable for professional prospects because it make an individual more analytical and objective towards various situations in life as well as at the workplace. Research skills enable a person to do a meticulous study on the subject and derive a more critical and appropriate conclusion. Research helps the business in decision-making and becomes more effective in running the business. it helps in determining the future trends of the market and customer preferences and tastes in advance. I possess good research skills. I am highly analytical and assess all the aspects meticulously before making a decision(Allison et al., 2016). I believe that each factor is significant in taking a decision and every minute detail must be considered in the research. I feel that research skills are empirical for widening the scope of improvement and promotion in the corporate world. An individual with optimum research skills can help the business to grow and develop in the volatile market because it makes the decision more specific and task and goal-oriented. Research skills include a systematic approach to analyzing the issue and developing aims and objectives so that the study becomes more efficient and resourceful. I have learned the significance and types of research in the module(Allison et al., 2016).

Organizational Skills

Organizational skills refer to the systematic and structural approach toward business operations. Optimum organizational skills enable the elimination of wastage. Organization skills enable a person to manage his/her scarce resources which is an inevitable factor in today's corporate work. It makes an individual highly effective and efficient in dealing with the environment's ups and downs. I possess modest organizational skills. I try to stick to the plan and manage resources accordingly. I prefer to check everything after putting them in their place and receiving feedback while dealing with human resources (WALKER, 2017). I think that I learned the significance of organizational skills from the module and started applying the learnings in my routine life. I used to plan my day in the morning to reduce the wastage of my time. This has helped me to become more efficient in carrying out my routine job of dog walking. I had my clothes, shoes, watch, and mobile phone in place to reduce unnecessary movements and save my time and energy. Organizational skills have helped me to utilize my resources effectively and become more productive. However, I still need to perfect the art of organizing because I often think that I can optimize my organizational skills so I improve my prospects (WALKER, 2017)

Entrepreneurship

 I believe that entrepreneurship is an empirical skill to develop as it enables a person to tap new opportunities in the environment and create means to develop valuable products and services for the world. I lack considerable entrepreneurial skills but I have optimum learning skills that will help me to enhance my entrepreneurial skills. I believe that with entrepreneurial skills, I will enhance my professional prospects and this module has helped me to critically analyze my capabilities for successful entrepreneurship (Reyad, S., Badawi, S., and Hamdan, A., 2020). I learned the importance of creating valuable resources and products because of the rapid transformation in the lifestyle of people. Moreover, it also aids sustainable development and creates eco-friendly means for a constructive business plan. The world is suffering from uneven distribution of resources and its over-exploitation that can be addressed by effective entrepreneurship. I learned about different entrepreneurship and I think social entrepreneurship is the area where I can put my determined and true efforts as I am concerned about social issues and ecological imbalance. Entrepreneurship is an aspect of the business without which sustaining in a volatile environment is nearly impossible. With digitalization, AI, EVs, and many more technological advancements, entrepreneurship is inevitable to make business offerings more lucrative and effective (Reyad, Badawi, and Hamdan, 2020).

Strategic planning

No business can sustain or even initiate without proper planning. A plan is necessary for optimizing the allocation and use of resources which can otherwise lead to losses. I have optimum planning skills because I have been taught to make decisions after thorough study and analysis. since childhood, I have been disciplined and planned my schedule and syllabus for study. I also monitored and revised my plan if needed. From this module, I learned that strategic planning is goal-oriented to make the plan more effective in yielding favorable output. Strategic planning helps an individual to lead his life and progress in a specific direction increases focus and motivates a person to persist and endeavor to achieve his/her goals. I learned about SWOT analysis and other tools and models that facilitate strategic planning. This module was very informative and knowledgeable in facilitating my wisdom about strategic planning. Strategic planning skills are vital for enhancing future goals and scope for promotion. However, I feel a dearth of lucid planning skills and I can improve myself in making decisions and planning according to the goals and overall objective. I am enthusiastic and active in devoting my energy and focus to optimizing my planning skills (Rubenstein et al., 2019).

Time management

Time management I pivotal skill in managing a scarce resource that has no other alternative for an individual. I strongly believe that 'time is money and I do not prefer wasting my time to let the opportunity come to my doorstep. I hunt my opportunity myself and continuously develop to make myself eligible for the future needs for employability. From this module, I learned that time management can help the company to create internal capability and tap the opportunities timely. As an individual, I feel that I have optimum time management skills and I organize tasks in a specific order (Shoemaker, 2020). I am efficient in keeping all the distractions away and I have allotted time to socialize and still save time for my leisure activities. I devote 1 hour in the morning to calm my mind to use its full potential and increase my focus at work. Time management is not solely related to our work life but also to our personal life. I make sure that I give enough time to my parents and family so that they do not lag and I feel belonging and happy. My work is my worship but I have a realization of my social and economic roles and therefore I judiciously allocate my time to various activities and aspects of life (Shoemaker, 2020).

Planning skills

Planning skills help an individual to address future risks and create a plan that mitigates the risk to a good extent and increases the productivity and outcome of such plans. I have good planning skills and I have participated in co-curricular activities in which planning was crucial. For dog-walking, I planned everything and evaluated the implications by creating a profit and loss budget and cost of this activity. I allotted time and arranged the dogs in slots according to accessibility (Rubenstein et al., 2019). In this module, I learned different tools and techniques used while planning. I realized that it is a cumbersome and mind process. I will read books to enhance my knowledge about planning and related elements. I will try to optimize my planning skills so that I can put the resources to the best use and decide judiciously among various alternatives. In planning, one needs to assess the internal and external environment. furthermore, planning is always goal-directed which makes an individual focus on key areas and narrow down the analytical subject matter to save time. I need to understand the importance of letting go of non-core factors. I need to inculcate vital planning skills so that it widens the scope of my employability prospects (Rubenstein et al., 2019).

Interpersonal communication skills

Communication is one of the most vital and engaging skills of a person. It enables a person to engage and connect with his/her peers and inculcate confidence within. I considerably lack good and effective interpersonal communication skills. I need to put effort honestly and deliberately to enhance my prospects. I am not timid but only converse when I have some work-related query or information. I need to understand that connections are vital in the corporate world as they directly affect harmony and work culture (Okoro, Washington, and Thomas, 2017). Without effective communication, I am unable to deliver my ideas in the discussion and influence anyone in the group. I believe that communication is the sum of the personality and disposition of a person in public as well as at the workplace. I feel that I am unable to draw the attention of people in conversation towards my idea and it is a sign of my ineffective interpersonal communication. I feel this will make a sheer difference in my prospects as it will disallow me to become ready for promotion and develop further at my workplace. This module helped me to analyze and assess the significance of interpersonal communication(Okoro, Washington, and Thomas, 2017).

Decision Making

Decision-making is an activity that cannot be ignored no matter what work we do. As an individual, I am modest in making decisions. However, I tend to ignore risky decisions that can benefit me and my team greatly but if anything goes wrong, it can backfire. I try to avoid risk but I make decisions after a thorough analysis of all facts and figures. Decision-making is an intellectual process that requires studying and analyzing all the facts and alternatives (Ceschi et al., 2017). From this module, I learned the various techniques and tools that analysts and managers use to decide upon one alternative. all these decisions are goal-directed and have a specific target to complete. Decisions can be small or big but every small and minute decision can influence the business. The individual who has to decide must regard time and other sources as well before taking any decision. From this module, I was introduced to the viability and working of the decision-making process and its implications on the situation or the whole organization (Ceschi et al., 2017).

Professional Writing skills

Communicating is paramount to business transactions and the writing proficiency of an individual widens the scope for his development and growth in the employability area. I feel that I am quite average in informal writing and preparing documents because I find it monotonous and not exciting at all. Also, my formal vocabulary and sense of arranging sentences and paragraphs are not well. Professional writing skills are important if one needs to explore the areas of growth within the organization (Ranaut, 2018). it helps the person to take up a role such as report writing and writing business letters and emails. From this module, I realized the importance of optimizing formal writing skills for the growth of prospects and meeting the current demand for up-to-date and skilled employees. I am resolved to make it my priority as I feel that this can greatly influence my work.it will also help me structure my report and research papers. Professional writing will facilitate business communication and stand out in the crowd of employees. Perfection in professional writing will enable me to connect to my superiors and widen the scope for promotion and growth in the company or my business (Ranaut, 2018).

Conclusion

From the above analysis, we found out that all the skills mentioned above are empirical in one's employability. I also discussed my weak points and my optimum skills to facilitate my understanding of my capabilities that can either make or break my future. I am resolved to act upon my weaknesses and inculcate skills that will enhance my growth and development in the employability area.

References

Allison, B., Hilton, A., O'Sullivan, T., Owen, A. and Rothwell, A., 2016. Research skills for students. Routledge.

Ceschi, A., Demerouti, E., Sartori, R. and Weller, J., 2017. Decision-making processes in the workplace: how exhaustion, lack of resources and job demands impair them and affect performance. Frontiers in Psychology8, p.313.

Okoro, E., Washington, M.C. and Thomas, O., 2017. The impact of interpersonal communication skills on organizational effectiveness and social self-efficacy: A synthesis. International Journal of Language and Linguistics4(3), pp.28-32.

Ranaut, B., 2018. Importance of good business writing skills. International Journal of Language and Linguistics5(2), pp.32-41.

Reyad, S., Badawi, S. and Hamdan, A., 2020. Assessing the impact of entrepreneurial skills development on self-employment practices amongst Egyptian and Bahraini accounting students in public and private universities. Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research.

Rubenstein, L.D., Callan, G.L., Ridgley, L.M. and Henderson, A., 2019. Students’ strategic planning and strategy use during creative problem solving: The importance of perspective-taking. Thinking Skills and Creativity34, p.100556.

Shoemaker, L.E., 2020. Employment of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: A Case Study of Time Management and Job Training Skills (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).

WALKER, H., 2017. Leadership Techniques, Organizational Skills, and Interpersonal Relationships Affect Workplace Productivity.

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