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An Example Essay on Business Analysis Project

An Example Essay on Business Analysis Project

Introduction to Business Analysis Project

This is an example essay on Business Analysis Project intended to help students write business analysis project following the same pattern and structure. However, students must be careful to cite the sources to avoid the plagiarism accusation. 

Business Analysis Project of The Furniture Industry

Something has changed in the wood furniture business. Even though solid wood furniture has kept the high-end consumers, the advent of a new design for wood furniture made the business concept possible. Mass producing furniture became a viable manufacturing strategy with the advent of flat-pack or ready-to-assemble designed furniture. These changes increased the possibility to ship products in large quantities. Between 1995 and 2000 global furniture trade grew 36% faster than world merchandise trade as a whole (26%). The wood furniture industry is becoming increasingly competitive, with more producers entering the market and prices falling (UNIDO, 2003).

The company that I the researcher has selected for business plan analysis operates within the furniture industry. This furniture company is known as ‘The Furniture Hub’. The furniture industry is highly diverse. For example, a survey was conducted in 2001 which demonstrated that the industry generated the revenues somewhere around $23 billion from only wholesale shipment. From the retail sales the industry earned $64 billion during the same year as well. The most significant importers of the furniture are the countries like México, Italy, China, Canada, Brazil and Philippines that import their furniture rather than manufacturing it. The furniture that is mostly used is the household furniture around the globe. The household industry is made up of two major elements, i.e., case goods which is made from wood and upholstered furniture, i.e. furniture that has leather or any other fabric covering.

The Business Position within the Furniture Industry

The company under review is one of the leaders of the furniture industry and considered to be the pioneers for furniture in a box (i.e. the furniture can be put together by the customer themselves after reading the instructions). The company is the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture as well.

Prospects and Trends

The trends of the furniture industry are that the customer now-a-days prefer furniture which is affordable, comfortable with modern and utilitarian designs. Therefore the company needs to introduce furniture that is affordable for the customers and provides them the comfort they need. Another trend in the furniture industry is that the furniture manufacturers are now using certified wood to make their products, so that they are able to help with global warming and the manufacturers are making sure that they do not release a great deal of gas emissions into the air. This is going to help them to retain the air clean.

The furniture industry needs strategic renewal in the form of a new and more appropriate business model – a paradigm shift -that will include: (1) a new business model – mass customization (moving away from the commodity business is central to this); (2) new manufacturing strategies – such as strategic supply chain alliances, global outsourcing, just in time (JIT), and lean manufacturing; (3) “reinventing furniture” – using design and construction to make furniture manufacturing a more modular product; (4) new sales channels – including internet sales; and (5) innovation.

The State of Economy

Since the recession of 2007, the state of the economy is not so good. The buying behavior of the customers has decreased and now they just buy products they need, i.e. they do not have the money to buy products which they do not consider a necessity. For example, the credit crunch made it hard for people to buy furniture on credit; the outcome of this is that there was a major drop in purchasing of new furniture. But now since the economy is getting back on its feet, the furniture industry is beginning to grow again because people are looking for furniture to buy. 

Market Trends and Opportunities

It is important for the marketers of “The Furniture Hub” to identify any significant changes that take place within the environment. The marketers need to track trends and seek opportunities for the company and a great deal of opportunities can be found with the help of trends and fads. There is a great deal of opportunity for the company to introduce flat pack furniture because this furniture is very affordable for the customers. Another trend that is going around the industry is that there has been seen an increase in the manufacturing of upholstered furniture. This furniture has leather or any other fabric covering. This kind of furniture has springs, webbing or padding etc.


There is great deal of furniture manufacturing companies that operate within the furniture industry. The main competition for ‘The Furniture Hub’ is IKEA. IKEA has been operating in the furniture industry since a long time. IKEA has somewhere around 278 outlets in 36 countries. Most of the outlets are based in Europe, United States, Australia, Canada and Asia. The company has somewhere around 12,000 products available on their website, which is very near to their products range. The motto of the company is that they are trying to create a better life for people all over the world through their products and the business idea of the company also supports the vision of the company and that is it provides furniture at reasonable and affordable prices so that many people can afford their products.

The Product

The Furniture Hub sells all kinds of furniture from upholstered to case goods to flat packs etc. The company has somewhere around 9,000 furniture products ranging from beds to wardrobes, to hall furniture to garden furniture, to dining room furniture to drawing room furniture, to kitchen accessories to office furniture etc.

Benefits Provided by the Company 

The benefits that are provided by the company are that the furniture is easy to afford. The products are known for their design. The company provides transportation service for delivering the furniture at a very minimum rate.

The company provides a strong customer service to its customers, i.e. the company even sends their sales personnel to set up the furniture at the customer’s house. Therefore customer service is considered to be one of the most important operations of the company. As they know that the customers are the ones who provide information regarding their products and service operations and the customers are the ones who also provide information regarding any improvement for their products (Kevin & Kotler 2008)    

Protection from Competitors

The company does have protection from its competitors. The protection of the company is its brand name and product. The strategic situation is that in today’s time there is a great deal of global competition for the companies who operate in furniture selling international market.

Therefore it is very important for the company to maintain viability in their operations, maintaining viability is considered to be very essential for a company along with innovation, which is also consistent and this also works as a protection against its competitors in the furniture industry (Kevin & Kotler 2008). 

Competitive Edge over the Competition

  • The products are sold by ‘The Furniture Hub’ are of a reasonable and affordable price so that people all over the globe are able to enjoy the comfort of living. The products are known for their modern and Unitarian designs
  • The Furniture Hub has excellent network service and the customers also know the fact that they will receive quick and good customer service and even after sales services as well.
  • Information technology is being implemented in all the operations of the company, this way the company is able to cut costs, increase its productivity and along with its sales. With the help of information technology The Furniture Hub is able to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors within the furniture industry. With the implementation of technology, the company will be able to innovate and introduce new products within the market as well.  (Kevin & Kotler 2008) 
  • The Furniture Hub has an identifiable concept with a very clear strategy of cost leadership for its company
  • Dealers who sell the products are highly knowledgeable and well trained in selling the products to the potential customers.
  • The company has a huge range of home furnishings within their outlet all over the globe.
  • The company has introduced e-commerce and is now selling its products online as well.

The Market Research

An important activity for firms’ success is to seek attractive markets. Firms must look to expand into external markets to survive and thrive. Selecting the right market to enter is crucial because it sets the foundation for future development. Without formal market opportunity analysis, business executives can be overwhelmed with the diversity and complexity of alternative market opportunities. The importance of choosing the right market(s) has been discussed at great length in the marketing literature (Cavusgil, 1985; Cavusgil, 1997; Douglas & Craig, 1992; Papadopoulos & Denis, 1988) with emphases on the needs for systematically identifying, evaluating, and selecting potential market opportunities. In-depth interviews with 70 exporting managers reveal that the most important concern of export market research among marketing practitioners is the identification of the markets (Cavusgil, 1985). Hence, it is important for a company to conduct a market research; a market research is going to help the marketers of the company understand the wants and the needs to their customers.

Analysis of Customers’ Questionnaires

There are various way of data collection for any academic research which includes interview, survey questionnaires and case study analysis. Every method has its own limitations and advantages. Considering the scope and objectives of this assignment the researcher chose questionnaire based data collection process and a descriptive method of the data analysis. This was a descriptive study, as outlined by Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996). This design permitted analysis of the relationships among a large number of variables and helped to provide information on the degree of relationship between the variables being studied. This research was planned to use the opportunity for a case study of an actual business organization in the furniture industry. As defined by Gall, Borg, and Gall, a case is a particular instance of a phenomenon of interest to the researcher, and a case study is the in-depth study of instances of a phenomenon in its natural context and from the perspective of the participants in the phenomenon (1996, p. 574).

A research was conducted regarding the needs and the wants of the customers. The customers were provided a questionnaire to fill out, to help the marketers understand what kind of furniture the customers require. The most common method of obtaining information about behaviors, attitudes and other characteristics is to ask from people directly; therefore questionnaires were used to gain that information. The sample size of the research was 4000 (it must be remembered that this research is being done on a large scale), and the respondents who answered the questions were families, teenagers, singles, middle class, and upper middle class. The method that was used for the research was probability versus non-probability and the sampling methods that were implemented were cluster sampling and quota sampling (Gall, Borg, and Gall, 1996). For example, it was found that beds and mattresses are the core furniture products. Since it is also the core product of The Furniture Hub and it is also the core product in the furniture industry, customers are going to buy this product because it is a necessity and not a luxury.

The researcher is going to analyze the data that is obtained from the customer questionnaires. With the help of a mechanical technique the researcher will be able to sort through large data. And the result that is going to be obtained from here can then be used in a statistical analysis. For example, let’s take a question from a questionnaire like;

Q – What kind of products do you buy from The Furniture Hub?

□ Desks        □ Storage Furniture         □ Bathroom Furniture      □ Beds & Mattresses    

□ Clothes Storage     □ Tables      □ Chairs & Sofas         □ Kitchen Cabinets & Appliances    


Storage Furniture


Beds & Mattresses

Bathroom Furniture     

Chairs & Sofas        

Kitchen Cabinets & Appliances    

Clothes Storage    

































Middle Class










Upper Middle Class




















Alternate Hypothesis: more than 75% of the respondents to the question say that they buy furniture products from The Furniture Hub

Null Hypothesis: less than or equal to 75% of the respondents to the to the question say that they buy furniture products from The Furniture Hub

Therefore; Hο: π ≤ 0.75 & Hα: π > 0.75


N = 4000,     X = 1250

P = x/n = 1250/4000 = 0.3125

Π = 0.75,       α = 0.1

Zα = 1.28

As Z > Zα is critical region therefore,

Z > 1.28 is the region for rejecting the null hypothesis and for accepting the alternate hypothesis.


Z =                  p – Π               

                  {Π (1- Π)/ n} ½

Z=                   0.3125 – 0.75             

            {0.75 (1 – 0.75)/ 4000} ½

Z = – 63.90

Critical region: Z > Zα

As Z (-63.90) is less than Zα (1.28), and thus does not fall within the critical region, we accept the null hypothesis (Hο: π ≤ 0.75) and reject the alternate hypothesis (Hα: π > 0.75).

Hypothesis Result: less than or equal to 75% of the respondents to the question say that they buy furniture products from The Furniture Hub

Actual Result: the respondents say that they mostly buy their furniture products from The Furniture Hub outlets and website, because they are reliable, affordable and durable.  

Analysis of Market Share

Market share is the company sales which are divided by the total sales of all the companies for specified product market, like furniture. The market share is calculated on the actual sales of the company or even the sales which are forecasted by the management of the company. The market usually foretells about the future sales of the company and it also compares the product of the company with other same competing products within the industry, in other words it tells about the market position of the product. The market share of The Furniture Hub is as follows:-

IKEA= 25%                    B & Q = 15%             The Hub Furniture = 18%             Others = 42% 

Figure 1: Market Share

The Potential Market Growth

The potential market growth of the furniture industry is growing. At the moment it is better to locate the manufacturing outlets in those countries that have low laboring costs and production costs, like China and India. For example, the furniture that is made in Chinese facilities is going to cost the companies even less than 50% when compare with the European facilities. Therefore there is a great deal of potential in the market growth of the furniture industry.  (Kevin & Kotler 2008) 

System for Monitoring Growth in Penetration

With the implementation of ANSOFF Matrix the company would be able to monitor the growth of the furniture industry and when they see an opportunity they will enter it to capture it. The ANSOFF Matrix will help the company to understand whether or not it needs to gain more market share with its current market with their current products. Next it will help the company by considering whether or not it needs to develop new markets for their existing market and then the company needs to consider whether that it can develop new products of potential interests and lastly it considers that is there a need for diversification in the products or not.  

Anticipate Changes in Demand

With the help of technology a company is now able to anticipate changes in demand of the customers. It is important for a company to anticipate the change in demand, why, because they have see how much of their product is going to sell in the next term, in making of the product whether there would be any change in the price of the raw material etc. thus it may cause the product to be more expensive, causing less people to buy. And the company has to see that what their competitors are coming up with and whether it is going to effect the taste of the customers, keeping an eye on the demand of the product also indicates where the product is standing in its life cycle, whether it should continued as its original self or should changes be made into it so as to keep the customer interested.  If the demand of the product is going down and of the company keeps on eye ion it, it would have inkling on what their future profits would be. (Kevin & Kotler 2008)     

Marketing Strategy

The Furniture Hub is a very strong brand and has a large range of furniture products that has appealed to a great deal of consumers worldwide (i.e. use its brand name to sell the products that appeal to huge masses of people throughout the world).   


Pricing decisions are mostly subject to an incredibly complex array of environmental and competitive forces. A company like The Furniture Hub usually does not set a single price but rather a pricing structure of its products so that it covers different items in the line of products. For example, The Furniture Hub ensures that the products that the sell are affordable by all kinds of people living across the world. For example, a dining table and 4 chairs cost somewhere $299.00 or a bed frame costs $299.00 etc. whatever the company charges for if furniture products to its consumers all over the globe will be able to pay the price for such a product.  

Targeted Customer Groups

The target market is a process where evaluation of all the market segments are done by the company and then chooses one or more segments which the company believes is more profitable than the rest, and enters it. The Furniture Hub target segments are children, teenagers, families, singles, adults and old age people that are mostly people belonging from 14-63 years of age. So that in the end The Furniture Hub is able to create the greatest customer value for its customers, to create profit to keep their shareholders happy and to sustain the value and profit of the company for a long period of time (Kevin & Kotler 2008) 

Benefits Going To Be Used To Increase Sales

With the help of sales promotion the company would be able to increase its sales. Sales promotion will help the company to increase its sales for a short period of time but this is going to help them increase its market share. For example, if the company provides its customer with discount and sale, the consumers would be forced to make quick decisions regarding the purchasing of furniture. The customers are going to buy more products this way and in the end it is going to help the company by increasing its sales volume. For example, the company provides its customer with seasonal discounts around Christmas and Easter. 

Sales Tactics

The sales tactics that are being used by the company to increase the sales are that The Furniture Hub always targets a specific market niche when marketing, why, because when a company targets a specific target market while marketing, the company is going to get the best results, rather than marketing to the entire population. Another tactic is that the company provides all kinds of furniture so that it caters to all kinds of individuals. The Furniture Hub is always innovating new products so that the customers do not get bored from the products and leaves them for its competitors.

The company uses cash rebates as a sales tactic as well, i.e. the customers are offered cash rebates, and these rebates will encourage the customers to buy the furniture within a specified period of time. These rebates will help the company by increasing sales, clearing of inventories without cutting the list price. (Kevin & Kotler 2008) 

Warranties Policies

The Furniture Hub will be able to promote its sales by adding a free warranty offer or even a service contract on a product. What the company does is that actually offers its customers these at a reduced price instead of charging or adding a warranty or a service contract.

Advertising Budgets

Advertising is used by the company, to promote its products to target market. The major role of advertising is to increase the demand of the product. The company uses magazines, newspapers, television, radio and the internet to promote their products.  When the budget is being set the company needs to be very specific about some factors. These factors are as follows:-

  • Stage in the life product
  • Market share of the company and the consumer base
  • Competition and clutter
  • Frequency of the advertisement
  • Substitutability of the product

The company can use the adaptive-control method to set up their advertising budget. For example, the company has set an advertising expenditure rate based on the current information in regards to the sales. it spends this particular rate on all markets other than in markets, let’s say, 2n which were drawn randomly. In the n based markets the company spends at a low rate.  This procedure will yield information on the average sales created with the help of low, medium and high rates in terms to advertising, which can help to update the sales response function, i.e. this function can be used to describe the best advertising expenditure rate for the company for its next period.  (Kevin & Kotler 2008) 

The other promotional techniques that are used by the company to promote its product in the target market are as follows:-

  • Direct Marketing: for example, the company is about to introduce sales, the sales personnel of the company hand out fliers to the customers.
  • Sales Promotion: the company has teamed up with a video game called the Sims for its sales promotion.
  • Public Relations And Publicity: the company takes an active part in protecting its community and it has set many programs which will help to improve the society.
  • Personal Selling: for example, the company sets up its stalls in fairs and exhibitions so that the customers become aware of the products that are being sold. (Kevin & Kotler 2008)

 Product Improvements

The company strongly believes in improving its product before offering to the customers, so that the customers are able to achieve the maximum level of satisfaction from it. The company has an ability to adapt its product so that it is able to meet all the requirements of a customer. For example, in Malaysia people prefer velvet chairs, therefore the company has more velvet chairs in the Malaysian outlet, where as the people in UK prefer laid back sofas therefore the company has more sofas in the UK outlets.


Information Flow

The flow of communication within the organization is smooth. It is important for the organization to be able to acquire, store, maintain and retain information that will help them to reduce internal as well as external uncertainty, when there is a smooth flow of information all uncertainty can be avoided. The basic function of the organization structure is to create the appropriate configuration of work units so that it will be able to facilitate the collection, processing and distribution of the information throughout the organization. An organization is flooded with information, to identify needs and to solve problems; the managers and the employees of the company need to be aware all the time to know that what is going on in the organization. With the help of organization theory it becomes easy to utilize communication in a timely manner. (David 2006)

Equipment Essential for Efficiency  

Equipment that is considered to be essential for the efficiency of the organization is aligning the mission with the organization structure. The tools that are essential for efficiency would be the communication process, the relationship between the management and the employees and ensuring the employees are motivated. Efficiency is considered to be one of the outcomes of performance measurement framework. Therefore it is important for the company to performance measurement; this is going to help the management the efficiency level within the company.

Quality Control

Quality control plays a very important role within the organization, is also a part of TQM. It is important to have total quality management (TQM) in the organization, why, because it ensures that the clients and the customers are satisfied with what they buy and that the product is in accordance with their expectations. It is important that the employees are trained so that they are able to identify any quality problems they might discover, this is the only way through which quality can be assured within the company. (David 2006)


Short Curricula Vitae

Curricula Vitae aka CV or resume is very important for a person who plans to apply for a job. A CV helps the recruiters to obtain background information on the new recruits. The CV is going to tell about a person’s educational history, work history, and the goals and objectives of a person.

Figure 2: CV


Address: __________ E-Mail Address: _________ Cell Phone: _______

Objective: To work in a well-known organization on the responsible position where I can fully utilize my efficiency achieving organizational goals


Educational Qualification: – 


MSC in Marketing

Work Experience:-

·         Teaching Assistant

·         Visiting Student Researcher

·         Marketing Officer         

Skills & Achievements: –


·         Conducted Seminars

Leadership Skill

·         Group Leader                                                             

Social Skill

·         Net Browsing & Searching

·         Proficiency in MS-Office


 Organizational Chart

The Furniture Hub’s structure is a framework in which the company actually defines that how the tasks are divided and carried out, how the resources of the company are deployed and how the departments of the organization are coordinated. The Furniture Hub’s structure is a set of formal tasks that are assigned to individuals and to departments, the organization structure also has formal reporting relationships within the company and it also includes line of authority, decision making responsibility, hierarchical levels and the span of control of the people in charge.  

Business Analysis Project


Who does what?

Let’s pick up the role of the CEO of the company. The CEO is the person who takes care of the entire company, he/she ensures that carry out all the strategic plans and policies that have been introduced in the company by the board of directors. After this duty is done the CEO must hire other managers for the organization, so that they can help out the CEO in carrying out all the organization’s responsibilities. It must be remembered that there are some duties which a CEO and distribute for example, creating the culture and the environment of the company or creating and developing the senior management team. One of the major responsibilities of a CEO is to implementing corporate social responsibility. (Yaeger & Sorensen 2009)

Where as it is the duty of the manager to lead its employees. And it is important for the manager to motivate the employees, so that they are able to perform well on their job.

Training Needs

It is important to train the employees so that in the future they are able to handle any situations that might arise. Through training and development of current employees at The Furniture Hub, the organization is able to reduce the company’s dependency on hiring new recruits. If employees are trained and developed properly the job openings are filled internally. Promotions and transfers also show employees that they have a career and not just a job. The employer benefits from increased continuity in operations and from employees who feel a greater commitment to The Furniture Hub.  (Yaeger & Sorensen 2009)


Every organization needs basic system for allocating financial resources, approving and developing human resources, analyzing financial performance and evaluating operational productivity. It is important for the managers at The Furniture Hub to know how to use these control systems and improve them. The control system of the organization is as follows:-

The management of The Furniture Hub can use financial analysis to find profitable strategies that go beyond the sales. The company also keeps in mind that the customers are always changing their tastes and preferences and the company anticipates these changing tastes and preferences of their customers and provides them with new innovative products. With the help of innovation the company to gets new clients and the sales also increase which in return increases the profit,

Budgeted Accounts

The budgeted accounts are the financial plan of each organizational responsibility center for the budgeted period. For example, the operating budget outlines the financial resources allocated to each responsibility center in dollar terms, which is calculated every year. For example, in the balance sheet budget plans the amount of assets and liabilities for the end of the time period under the considerations. The balance sheet budget actually shows the where the future financial problems may exist for the company. The relationship between the operating and financial bugets is shown in the following figure. One thing must be remembered is that all the budgets are interconnected with each other, i.e. revenue budget is connected with the cost budget which leads to the profit budget. The profit budget then influences the amount of cash which is available. The data which is collected from these budgets enable calculation of the balance sheet budget.  

Business Analysis Project

5.6 How Is Any Shortfall to Be Financed

            Any finance shortfall of the company is going to be financed with the help of joint venture.  With the help of joint venture the company will have a variation of direct investment in which The Furniture Hub would share costs and risks with another firm to build a manufacturing facility, or to develop new products or even to set up a sales and distribution network. (Daft 2008)

Break Even Position

Break even is going to help the manager understand the level of sales at which the total revenue becomes equal to the total cost and thus the company breaks even. The breakeven position is very important for a company like The Furniture Hub, why, because it will help the company to understand its sales volume. It is also going to help the company by telling it how to increase the sales volume so that the company is able to make greater profits. (Daft 2008) 

 Action Plan

The action plan of the company is to introduce information technology in all the operations of the company. This is going to help the company to reengineer itself and its structures, roles and processes so that they can become agile, customer focused and value driven organizations. There are seven dimensions of related to the new technological networked organization.  And these dimensions show that information technology appears to provide the companies the drive to change their organizational structure. They are as follows:-

  • Organizational Structure
  • Leadership
  • People and Culture
  • Coherence
  • Knowledge
  • Alliances
  • Governance (Daft 2008)

The company also plans to implement Porter’s five forces analysis; this is also going to help the company become more agile and it going to help the keep the customer satisfied with the company and its product. Porter’s five forces are as follows:-

  • Bargaining Power of Customers
  • Bargaining Power Of Suppliers
  • Threat of Substitute Product
  • Rivalry among Competitors
  • Potential New Entrants

6.1 Success Factors

  • Model for Re-Designing Product Lines: for example, The Furniture Hub decided to redesign its product line in 2006. The company decided to shift its flow of products from Sweden to farfetched countries like China and India. The company has somewhere around 9 product lines, 100 stores, manufacturing facilities and thousands of employees around the world who are keeping a track and managing the system. Therefore such kind of redesigning was not possible, but The Furniture Hub decided to go for it. The new system included a flattening of the company’s structure and hierarchy, it involved customers and suppliers in the design process from the very start, it developed a direct contact with the suppliers and the retail outlets, changing and adding responsibility of the central management’s staff, updating and modifying the information system of the company. (David 2006)


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