SEATTLE BUS101 all assignments [ total 10 ]
THE STOCK MARKET GAME
Part One – Choose Your Portfolio
For this assignment you will choose three publicly-traded stocks that you will follow all quarter. For this week you will turn in the name of your stocks with an explanation as to why you choose them.
Dont know anything about the stock market? Dont panic. Were keeping it very simple.
Some of the links below will give you an introduction to stock market investing.
Heres what you do:
I. Choose a method for picking stocks.
First get an overview of the stock market at about.com: There are many
(probably hundreds) of strategies for choosing stocks. A very simple one that
has been wildly successful in the hands of legendary mutual fund manager Peter
Lynch is called Buy What You Know. Read about it at Introduction to the Stock
Market. and “KISS”–Keep It Simple, Stupid! .
Using this method, choose FIVE of your favorite products or services and find out
who makes/offers them, and who the parent company is, if there is one (this
information should be available on the company web site, or google parent
company: company name). The Ten Parent Companies That Make Your
Favorite Brand may surprise you. You are looking for companies that are publicly
traded in the United States.
You may also choose companies using your own system.
II. Research these companies.
You are looking for information on these companies, their industries, and the
economy in general.
The internet is a wealth of information-Google is your best friend here. Two
places to start are:
MSN Money at http://money.msn.com (use the search box)
Yahoo Finance’s Stock Research Center at http://finance.yahoo.com/
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both have web sites.
Take notes as you research for the written portion of this assignment (see step VI.
below). You are trying to get a general idea about the company and its future
performance. What products do they sell? How long have they been in
business? Are they an industry leader? Are they introducing new products?
Based on your experience with them, do they offer customers value (either in
the form of a high-quality product or an appealing price, or both?) Who are
their competitors?III. From the five stocks youve researched, choose your THREE favorite
companiesthe ones you think that will perform the best over the course of the
IV.Look up the stock symbols and the current stock price on one of the financial
sites (msns is at http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/find-symbol).
For example, the symbol for Microsoft is MSFT. Once you’ve found the symbol,
click on it to find the current stock price.
V. Buy your stock.
Assume you are spending $10,000 on each stock, for a total portfolio value of
$30,000. You will complete a table listing the date, the company youve chosen,
the symbol, the price per share, the number of shares that youve purchased
with your $10,000. For this assignment were not worrying about sales
commissions and other transaction costs.
Heres an example:
Date Company Symbol Price No. of
4/3 Microsoft MSFT 25.84 386.97 10,000
4/3 Google GOOG 390.0 25.6 10,000
4/3 Chicos CHS 40.64 246 10,000
VI.Explain your reasons for choosing this stock. In two or three well-written
paragraphs, cover the following points for each stock youve chosen:
Brief company profile for each stock you own during the game. Include a —
summary of the company’s products, where it operates, strengths and –
weaknesses especially in comparison to competitors.
What first led you to this stock (you like one of their products, etc.)?
How will current economic conditions and trends affect this industry? (E.g., aging
baby boomers will boost pharmaceutical sales). Here’s a list that may help from
Are there any events within the company that may affect performance positively or
negatively (new product introduction, a lawsuit pending thats been in the news,
Note: Your analysis should be written in narrative (or paragraph) style,
summarizing your research. Do not merely copy and paste quotes off
Also explain why you rejected the other two stocks answering the same questions.
NOTE: For your last assignment of the quarter you will look up the stock price again
and compute your ending portfolio value. You will briefly discuss your stocks
performance and what you think influenced it, including current events that affected the
economy and stock market in general, and your company in particular. You will turn
this in, along with an updated table that shows the return on your portfolio.
Applying Business Concepts to Current Events
Weve covered a number of basic business concepts in this weeks readings, and now you will find some examples of these concepts at work in the world today. You will find two articles from current news sources and discuss the relevant concepts in these articles.
Step One Find Two Articles
Find at least two articles in newspapers, magazines or online about CURRENT NEWS EVENTS (e.g., within the last year) that illustrate two business concepts weve learned about this week. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Free market versus planned economies (As an example: articles about China, North Korea, or Cuba that talk about opening of previously controlled markets). DON”T USE VIETNAM, as that was covered last week.
The importance of small businesses to a thriving economy. (An article about an increase in small business bankruptcies would be a negative sign for the economy, while an article about an increase in new business start-ups would be a positive sign.)
Supply and demand (Why is the price of gasoline so high right now? Is it low supply, or high demand, or both?)
The Business Cycle (Is the Federal Reserve Board raising rates? Lowering rates? Why? Can you find an article that helps us determine where we are in the cycle?) As an example of an article that gives us clues to the above, look at:.bizjournals.com/extraedge/washingtonbureau/archive/2006/06/19/bureau3.html?market=seattle”>http://www.bizjournals.com/extraedge/washingtonbureau/archive/2006/06/19/bureau3.html?market=seattle
Don’t use reference sites like Wikipedia or government sites. Find articles about news events. They can be announcements from the government (unemployment rate for the quarter, etc.)–I want you to look for current news items.
Look at newspapers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post), magazines (Time, Newsweek, Business Week), or the online sites for these publications or any other online news site (CNN, MSN, PI.com). Look for reliable sources that check their facts.
You should be looking for articles that illustrate two different concepts. One article per concept, so your assignment will have two parts–article #1 and article #2.
Step Two Write Summary/analysis of Both Articles.
Summarize each article. Include:
Citation/source. If it is online, include a link. If it is in print, cite the publication and date.
What is the relevant history/background of this situation? An article about high lumber prices might include some important explanations perhaps a shortage due to reduced logging because of bad weather, or maybe theres a high demand from home builders in California.
What business concept is being illustrated by the article? An article about high lumber prices might illustrate supply and demand, etc. Write a paragraph about how the concept applies, what affect it will have (on the economy, on you, on your city, whatever). Feel free to express opinions, speculation, whatever. This is where you will show me you’ve been thinking and analyzing, not just summarizing what you’ve read.
Assignment: Interview a local small business owner. Write up your interview, and include your assessment of theStrengths and Weaknesses of, Opportunities in, and Threats to this business. This type of analysis is also known as a SWOT analysis(read it .seattlecentral.edu/courses/944992/wiki/swot-analysis”>here).
Nothing will give you a better idea of what small business is like than talking to an owner of one. This assignment is designed to force you out of the classroom and into the trenches for information. I want you to gain an understanding of why people start businesses, the opportunities and challenges, and how it is different than working for someone else.
I. Identify a business to study.
Look around you: Do you have a friend or family member who runs a small business? Where do you shop? What type of business would you like to own someday? Having some connection in this way will help make the initial contact. Failing that, you might contact a local association of business owners (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc.) and see if one of their members would be willing to speak with you. Most business owners enjoy telling their story.
II. Contact the business, explain your project, and see if the owner will spend an hour or so with you talking about the business.
Dont be afraid to cold call. Almost everyone is willing to help students with a class project. Be polite and respectful of the owners time. Most small business owners are extremely busy–you will need to meet at the owners convenience.
III. Prepare for the interview.
A. Read through the attached material on SWOT analysis. This is way more information than you will need to gather during your interview, but I include it here to try and give you a solid understanding of what a SWOT analysis is and what factors are used when analyzing a business.
B. Do as much homework as you can BEFORE the interview about the local/regional economy that would affect this business, the industry, etc. Have any articles been written about this company? Check the local papersthey all have online archives. Besides the Times and the P-I, try the Puget Sound Business Journal. Trade journals can provide information on the industry in general. What in the local or national business climate affects this business (e.g., if youre talking to a machine shop that has Boeing as a client, Boeings fortunes affect this business). This will allow you to talk intelligently with the owner.
C. Some suggested questions:
· When did you start your business and why?
· Did you have any experience in the field?
· How has the business changed since you started it?
· What have been your biggest challenges?
· How do changes in the economy (e.g., recession, expansion) affect business?
· What do you enjoy most about your business?
· What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business?
IV. Have the interview with the owner.
· Again, most owners are very busybe punctual and respectful of their time. They may only be able to spare you an hour or so.
· Know that you are a representative of this school and are making an impression for better or for worse–this person may be a valuable contact later. This includes conduct and appearance.
· You may find it useful to tape the interviewwith the owners permission, of course.
· On the following pages you will find descriptions of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This information will form the core of your analysis of the business.
· AVOID QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCE. Dont ask the owner what sales are, what their personal income from the business is, or how they obtained their original financing to start the business. These may seem academic to you, but this information is very personal to an owner and is usually held in strict confidence. Nothing will offend the owner (or anyone!) faster than prying into the finances of the business. If the information is volunteered, fine.
· A brief thank-you note to the owner following the interview is entirely appropriate. It will set you apart and leave the door open should you need to contact the owner again for any clarification or follow-up questions.
V. Write up your findings. Two pages should be sufficient, but longer is OK.
· Your write-up should be in narrative form (i.e., not a checklist or question-and-answer format) of about 2 pages. Include an introductory paragraph, the body of the information, and a concluding sentence or paragraph.
· Pay attention to style, spelling and grammar.
VI. Thank the owner for their time. A hand-written thank you note makes a great impression and is skill every career-seeker should acquire.
Your paper should contain:
A brief history of the business (1 page or less).
Your SWOT assessment of the business (approx. 1 to 1 ½ pages). Help me grade your paper fairly–dont make me hunt for the SWOTit makes me cranky. Label each paragraph with a subheading: Strengths, Weaknesses, etc.
How this interview affected your ideas about starting your own business (one paragraph).
Interview a Manager
Assignment: Interview a manager. Write up your interview, and include an
analysis of how this manager implements functions of planning, organizing,
leading and controlling.
Good managers are made, not born. Ask any manager, and youll no doubt hear of a
journey they had to take to learn effective skills.
II. Once again, Im driving you away from your computer and out into the
trenches for information. I want you to hear ?rst-hand of the challenges of
managing others, and how it compares to your interview with the business
owner you had in a previous weeks assignment.
I. Choose a manager to manager.
This can be your manager at your job, a friend or family member in a management
position, or the manager of a business you frequent. The rule is: the person you
interview must supervise at least one other person–the more, the merrier.
II. Contact the manager,
Explain your project, and ask if s/he will spend an hour or so with you talking about the
their job. Dont be afraid to cold call. Almost everyone is willing to help students with a
class project. Be polite and respectful of the managers time. Most managers are
extremely busy–you will need to meet at the their convenience.
III. Prepare for the interview.
Read through chapter 6 in your text, Managing for Business Success.
Do as much homework as you can BEFORE the interview about the company.
See Questions for Managers:
IV. Have the interview with the manager.
Again, most managers are very busybe punctual and respectful of their time. They
may only be able to spare you an hour or so.
Know that you are a representative of this school and are making an impression for
better or for worse–this person may be a valuable contact later. This includes conduct
You may ?nd it useful to tape the interviewwith the managers permission, of course.
On the following pages you will ?nd suggested questions to ask. Youre looking for
ways this manager performs the four functions of management (planning, organizing,
leading, controlling), and their observations about the role of a manager.
This information will form the core of your write-up.
1 BUS 101 – Introduction to Business AVOID QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCE. Dont ask the manager what sales are, what
their salary is, what employee salaries are, etc.. These may seem academic to you,
but this information is very personal.
TELL THE MANAGER KNOW AT THE START THAT YOU IN NO WAY WANT TO
PRY INTO CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS MATTERS, and to let you know if a question
is inappropriate in any way.
ALL information about employees is protected by law, so any speci?cs about an
employee must be avoided.
A brief, handwritten thank-you note to the manager following the interview is entirely
appropriate. It will set you apart and leave the door open should you need to contact
the manager again for any clari?cation or follow-up questions. If you cant manage
pen and paper, a thank-you e-mail is the minimum. This is a skill that will serve you
well in your career.
V. Write up your ?ndings.
Two pages should be suf?cient, but longer is OK.
Your write-up should be in narrative form (i.e., not a checklist or question-and-answer
format) of about 2 pages.
Include an introductory paragraph, the body of the information, and a concluding
sentence or paragraph. Include a brief paragraph comparing this interview to the
interview you had with a business owner in
Pay attention to proper word usage, spelling and grammar.
Suggested Questions for Interviewing a Manager
What products and services does your company offer?
What is your position in the company?
How many subordinates do you supervise?
How many years of management experience do you have and how has the
experience affected your approach to management?
What formal business education or training programs have you received? Has this
education and training helped you to manage more effectively?
What are some of the typical issues or problems that you must deal with? How do
you try to develop solutions to these problems?
Whats your favorite part of the job? Least favorite?
What planning processes are used at your organization and what is your role in the
2 BUS 101 – Introduction to Business What do you see as strengths and weaknesses of this planning process?
What is your role in determining the company organization?
Do you allocate/assign of people, time and equipment? At what level?
What have you found are good approaches for motivating employees? What have
you found are bad approaches for motivating?
What do you think are effective and ineffective approaches to leadership?
What do you believe are keys to effective communications? What obstacles exist
to effective communications and how do you try to overcome these obstacles?
How do you evaluate employee performance?
Is there any type of formal assessment process, and, if so, how is the assessment
What advice would you give to a college graduate about how to perform well as a
Thank the manager PROFUSELY for their time.
1. Consider a job you hold now or have held in the past, and answer questions a & b below. If you have never held a job, interview a friend or family member about their work experience and answer the questions from their standpoint.
a. Did your employer practice any kind of employee empowerment? By empowerment, I mean giving employees power to make decisions, solve problems, make suggestions that are implemented, etc. If so, what were they? If not, why not? Its OK to speculate a little here.
b. What were the results of empowerment or non-empowerment? I.e., did empowerment result in improved performance and higher motivation, or abuses resulting from lack of supervision? Did lack of empowerment result in lower morale, or higher quality due to closer supervision?
2. Describe the following at your workplace:
a. channels of communication and
b. conflict resolution
For both a. and b. above, consider (but dont limit yourself to) the following:
Informal channels as well as formal ones.
Do a little investigative work and chat with as many managers as you can at your workplace to discover how the communication and conflict resolution channels change as you move up the management ladder.
Do you think the methods your employer uses are effective? How do these methods affect your morale? Would you recommend any changes?
3. Quality is vital in all areas of business. One measure of a product’s quality is the feedback a company receives from its customers.
Directions: Complete the following items to learn how companies solicit customer feedback about their products. ??
Select three food, personal care or other products you’ve recently purchased and complete the following chart.
If no feedback options are provided on the packaging, list “none” in the right column.
“Feedback options” means customer service telephone number or e-mail address, snail mail address, online survey, etc.
Item NumberProduct NameCustomer Feedback Options
OverviewWhen you say marketing, many people think advertising. But, as I hope youre learning, marketing encompasses much more.Every point of customer contact comprises the marketing of a business. Taken together, these contacts make up the customer experience and are opportunities to either cement their loyalty, or drive them into the arms of competitors.The smart business realizes this and plans for it. Some businesses claim one thing but deliver another. Other businesses are more seat-of-the-pants: they dont have a plan for managing these experiences.The purpose of this assignment is to get you to think about the aspects of marketing other than advertising and to look for real-world applications.The AssignmentChoose a local business (or local branch of a national/international business) and learn as much as you can about their marketing efforts aside from advertising.What to DoWalk into the business as a customer and observe the complete customer experience, using the chart below to guide you. What message do you receive as a customer? Ask yourself what you would do differentlywhat recommendations would you make to management? You can use the 4 Ps as a framework for your analysis:
ProductIs the product or service they are offering consistent with their claims? What is the return policy in the event you are not satisfied? Is it clearly stated, or do you have to ask? Are there free samples or trial sizes of new products/services? Comment on their packaging and labeling.PriceAre the prices easy to find, so that customers do not have to ask? This is uncomfortable for sometheyd rather walk out than ask. Are items bundled at a special price that offers the customer a better deal? Are the items priced separately so that the customer only pay for exactly what is needed? What pricing strategy do you think this company uses?PlaceIs the staff helpful, courteous, knowledgeable, and ready to learn about your needs and educate you about their product or service? Does it seem that everyone working there has been given the same training concerning customers? Or not?Does the physical location offer an experience that is consistent with the message the business is trying to deliver? What does it look like, sound like, smell like?The concrete floors, industrial shelving and high ceilings at Costco are no accidentthey are telling their customers that theirs is a no-frills, low-overhead business with the lowest prices to be found.You might want to try calling the business to see if their call answering messages are helpful or annoying.Even how inventory levels are managed is part of marketingis stock always on hand, or do customers show up, only to be disappointed because that item is out of stock? How will that experience affect the customers feeling about the business and product or service? Are rain checks offered? (A rain check is a gift certificate or other special given to a customer when a product is not availablee.g. 10% off next purchase).Promotion Mix(refer to chart below)Has this business received media attention recently? Search newspaper/internet sources to see if theyve been in the news. Is it a positive piece that will alert potential customers to their existence, or a media disaster? Are there in-store promotions, specials, contests, etc? Does the sales person up sell you (suggest additional items you might like/need?) Is s/he knowledgeable about the product/service so that you can confidently make a decision to buy?Are there in-store specials, promotions, contests, etc? Can you sign up to receive a newsletter or email promotions?Is the web site easy to find and navigate? Does the business come up on the first page of a Google (or other search engine) search?SummaryComment on your conclusions about this company’s target market, their branding strategy, the resulting brand loyalty of customers (if any), and any recommendations you would make to management to improve the customer experience. Be specific.The questions above are a starting point. Document as thoroughly as you can your customer experience.
The chart below may help you:
PRODUCTPRICE (COST)PROMOTIONPLACE (DISTRIBUTION)
FeaturesBenefitsOptional ServicesProduct QualityStaff QualityStylecurrent or obsoleteBrand NamePackagingDeliveryGuaranteesReturn PolicyList PriceDiscountsCredit TermsPublicitymedia mentionsSales or in-store promotionsPersonal SellingMailing List and/or NewsletterInternet: web site, newsletter, search engine rankingLocationConvenienceAppearanceAmbienceinterior, exterior & neighborhoodLayout of facilityParkingFrequency of ServiceTransportationInventory Distributors
A FEW LAST COMMENTS:Dont choose Starbucks to write abouttheyve made your job too easy. But if you want to observe a business that has mastered the concepts were discussing, go have a latte.
Dont choose your current employer.Its too hard to see your job site through fresh eyes, or as a customer would.
This must be a business with a physical location or storefrontno web-only businesses. Get out thereSafeway, McDonalds, your local dry cleaners, etc.
Your write-up should be in an organized, narrative or essay style, addressing each of the 4 Ps. Be sure to include your recommendations to management or what you think they should do differently. DONT copy and paste the questions above and answer each one with a few words. DONT give me a
Assignment 7: Break Even Analysis, Ch. 10 in your text.
Due May 25 by 9pm
Submitting a text entry box or a file upload
A PDF of hte assignment is available here: .pdf” href=”https://canvas.seattlecentral.edu/courses/944992/files/36522849/download?”>Breakeven Analysis.pdf.seattlecentral.edu/courses/944992/files/36522849/download?” title=”Preview the document”>.seattlecentral.edu/images/preview.png” alt=”Preview the document”>.seattlecentral.edu/courses/944992/files/36522849/download?” title=”View in a new window”>.seattlecentral.edu/images/popout.png” alt=”View in a new window”>
For the past ten years, you’ve worked at a PETCO Salon as a dog groomer. You’re thinking of starting your own dog grooming business. You found place you could rent that’s right next to a popular shopping center, and two of your friends (who are also dog groomers) have agreed to work for you.
The problem is that you need to borrow money to start the business and your banker has asked for a break-even analysis. You have prepared the following cost estimates of your first year of operations.
Rent and Utilities
Variable Cost per Dog
You went online and researched grooming prices in your area. Based on your review, you have decided to charge $32 for each grooming.
What’s the break even point in units–how many dogs will you need to groom in the first year to break even?
If you and your two employees groomed dogs five days a week, seven hours a day, fifty weeks a year, how many dogs would each of you need to groom each day? Is this realistic given that it takes one hour to groom a dog?
If you raised your grooming fee to $38, how many dogs would you need to groom to break even?
At this new price, how many dogs will each of you have to groom each day (assuming, again, that the three of you groom dogs fifty weeks a year, five days a week, seven hours a day?
Would you start this business?
What price would you charge to groom a dog?
How could you lower the break-even point and make the business more profitable?
Introduction to Business
Assignment: Emerging Economies
Assignment: You will choose one country considered an emerging economy, research it, and
propose to a business that they expand operations in some way to that country.
Heres how: Imagine that you are a junior executive in an American company of your choice,
writing a proposal to your CEO. Write a recommendation that your company undertakes ONE of
the options below in the emerging economy of your choice.
1. Open a plant in that country for manufacture of products to be shipped back to the U.S.,
2. Open a plant in that country for manufacture of products to be sold in that country or
another foreign country,
3. Open an of?ce to serve that market, or
4. Export your existing products to that market.
The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking outside the U.Sto try and get you to
imagine what life and business is like in countries that are very different than ours. International
students will have an advantage here.
I also want you to try and imagine trying to conduct business without the infrastructure that is so
widespread in American life we consider it a given: ef?cient phone service, computer access and
dependable (usually!) connections, reliable shipping methods over decent roads and dependable
railways, a currency that is accepted around the world, banks that can accept and transfer money
anyplace on the planet and are safe repositories for your companys earnings. Take away even
one of those things and imagine how things would change.
The United States evolved from an agrarian economy to our current developed one in 200
years. Emerging economies are trying to compress that process into only a few years, and its
proving a very bumpy road for many of them.
I. Research your chosen country.
Emerging economies include but are not limited to Singapore, Chile, Estonia, Peru, Slovenia,
South Africa, Lithuania, Venezuela, Taiwan, Kuwait, Latvia, Romania, Ivory Coast, Mexico,
Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Hungary, Poland, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and China.
See the document, A Few Suggestions, for more info. There are also a few resources listed at
the end of this assignment.
II. Write your recommendationa. You are writing as the employee of a FOR-PROFIT business, not a non-pro?t
agency. Most, if not all, of these countries are in dire need of the type of
assistance offered by non-pro?ts, but for this assignment we are concentrating on
a business. You must support your proposal by pointing out the advantages to the
business, not just to the country involved.
b. I want to see the company name in the title, salutation, or ?rst sentence of your
paper. For example .
Tullys Expansion into Ethiopia (title)
Memo To: John Jones, CEO
Boise Cascade Company
I propose that Boeing expand production into Namibia .
c. You are recommending that an identi?ed company expand a certain type of
operation in a named country.
For example, you recommend to the CEO of Starbucks that they begin
opening stores in Romania. Better yet, recommend to Howard Schulz
(Starbucks CEO) that they establish coffee carts rather than the usual stores,
starting in Bucharest, because foreign investors are forbidden bay law from
leasing more than 200 square feet of commercial property, yet coffee is a
strong part of the Romanian culture. (This example is facetious, of course).
DONT make a recommendation that some vague Company X open a branch
of?ce offering unde?ned services in, oh, say, Nigeria.
You will explain the advantages and challenges for your company by covering
the following points:
? What is the size of this market? What is the average income? Which of
your companys products do you see a demand for and why? Does the size
of the market justify this expansion? Would it be the beginning of an
expansion into a larger geographic area?
? What is this governments stance on foreign investment and U.S.
businesses operating in their country?
? What is the condition in that country that would affect business
operations? I.e., transportation, communication, ?nancial
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