In selecting a topic for the management class essay, it's important, whenever possible, to approach your essay with a "real-world" perspective. Many students get so wrapped up in the theory that they forget to consider the practical applications. And while the business management course is in the realm of academia, the ultimate goal is to prepare you to succeed in an actual business environment. You should therefor take care to choose a topic that is meaningful to you and that has some practical value as well.
The following topic ideas should serve as a starting point for your management class essay. Pick on that is meaningful to you, and narrow it so that you can thoroughly cover the material in an essay-length paper.
Business risks can be internal or external, and there are many different kinds of risks, depending on the nature of the business. Identify one of the risks that businesses deal with, such as crime, accidents and injuries, loss of profit, etc. Discuss the appropriate strategies for dealing with that particular kind of risk: i.e., avoidance, reduction, transfer, and retention. What security measures should be put in place? What kinds of insurance (property, life, and workers' compensation, etc.) do businesses usually need? What should a company do to ensure it's in compliance?
Most start-up businesses have modest beginnings, and owners must be frugal as well as creative. What options are available for financing a start-up business? Discuss equity and debt sources as possible avenues for securing start-up financing. How does having a solid financial plan (character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions) factor into securing financial backing? Will banks, private investors, and/or venture capitalists be an option? What sources are available when the company needs to expand?
Supporters say that the free-market system ensures that business is kept healthy and competitive. Some would argue the opposite - that the free market actually results in giant corporations and unreasonable prices for consumers. Does the free market create perfect competition? When and how should the government intervene? Your argument should discuss what the government's role should be in the private business sector, including how it deals with monopolies or oligopolies. What types of industries would the government regulate? Discuss other alternative market systems, such as a planned economy.
Managers must properly motivate their employees in order to get optimum performance. Besides monetary rewards what are some of the ways managers motivate employees, such as providing work that is important, a flexible schedule, recognition evaluations, etc.? How can delegating responsibility be advantageous to both management and employees? Discuss how motivators evolve over time, and what can be done about it (e.g., as employees make more money, financial incentive becomes less of a motivator.)
What are the relevant community characteristics to consider, such as economic base, financial incentives, and demographics? Is there much competition with similar businesses in the community? Is the site practical for customers to access, especially for retail type businesses? Does the site provide adequate access for deliveries? Are there buildings and/or land available for lease or purchase? Remember that proper planning of the layout is an important factor of the sites functionality.
In devising a business plan, business managers should consider the "five Ps" of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, and people. How is your product different from the rest, and what can you learn from competitors? What price strategies can you employ to remain competitive? Will you need an actual storefront? How will you deliver your product? What kind of advertising or other types of promotion will be necessary? How will you assemble a quality group of people to help move the product? As the business evolves, keep in mind that you may need to revise your business plan, so flexibility is a factor
A successful business needs promotion to potential customers, so your plan should include information that explains your product or service, what types of product placement you desire, a time frame for the promotion, and the rationale for the type of promotion. Will print or broadcast advertising (or a combination) be more effective? Are there any opportunities for publicity? Consider the budget as an important factor for promoting your business.
For most entrepreneurs and small businesses, success (or lack thereof) depends greatly on sales. What are the most important characteristics of good salespeople? Organization, persistence, knowledge of the product as well as the client, and proper training are all important traits. Planning, directing, and review are also critical for successful sales. The manager needs to be able to maintain control over the sales team.
Intellectual property law is an important element to consider before going ahead with any business plan. What copyright, patent, or trademark might apply to the particular product? What types of permits and licenses will be necessary? What laws are relevant for your particular location? You'll need to be aware of regulations that protect the customer, employees, and other businesses. Consider also the collection and payment of the different kinds of taxes, and be familiar with policies involving discrimination and product safety, among other things. A successful business needs to maintain legal integrity and fulfill all its legal obligations.
Inventory must be carefully considered in order to ensure it's neither too big nor too small. What are some advantages of the different systems (e.g., visual, perpetual, partial, just-in-time) you can use to keep track of your inventory? Discuss some of the operations involved with storage of goods, such as receiving/shipping docs as well as storage, staging assembly, and packing areas. What might you do to avoid and deal with distressed inventory? Balancing the competing needs of available inventory and holding/handling cost should be considered.