Management: Theory, Practice

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Wellness, Inc. , a hypothetical resort spa offering massage, body treatments, skin care services, hand and foot treatments and other luxury individualized and personal services and products, has just recently come into existence and is undergoing intense scrutiny and analysis to prepare for growth and survival in California. Its Board of Directors, managerial staff, and top executives have rapidly put together the brief skeletal outline of the corporation’s functions and future growth direction, but many of the more mundane details of establishing a business have yet to be accomplished.

External and internal factors The success or failure of any organization arguably lies in its ability to not only manage the current day-to-day business operations of the company, but also to (i) plan ahead for future growth, (ii) eliminate problems, (iii) prepare for future changes, and (iv) anticipate, prevent, and conquer obstacles as they arise. Some of these managerial and strategic decisions include considering a host of internal and external factors that will impact the company’s ability to not only survive, but to ultimately thrive.

A “sink or swim” attitude may sound a bit extreme or harsh, but in corporate America, many times it proves to be a true analogy of the very competitive nature of business, especially for small, start-up companies. Rapid change As the company grows, rapid expansion prospects will present many obstacles and opportunities. Demographics will play a large part in decision-making. Growth goals will need to be established to stay on track and to potentially attract venture capital. For obvious reasons, proper planning will have a huge impact on this external factor in the company’s future.

Crucial to planning is the type of research done and the data used to determine the company’s true condition at any given point in time. Many procedures will require continual fine-tuning to accurately reflect the company’s financial state, its goals and, hopefully, its potential for expansion. Globalization International opportunities should be thoroughly explored. Toward this end, cultural and functional objectives must be clearly determined first. A clearly-written, well-defined company mission statement will provide guidance and direction for determining the extent of globalization in this instance.

At present, a resort spa limited to one location in California is hardly a good example of an international company thriving in a global world. Growth possibilities, however, can be endless. McDonald’s likely started as a one-location, mom and pop restaurant. Before entertaining any expansion ideas, “considerable market research and analysis is required before the marketing plans for expanding overseas can be finalized” (Dessler, 2003). Additionally, the entire planning process, both managerial and strategic, is called into play.

“Planning involves setting goals and identifying the courses of action for achieving those goals. It therefore also requires identifying opportunities and threats, and balancing these with the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise” (Dessler, 2003). In other words, careful evaluation of all options should be considered. “Strategic planning … usually starts with identifying the driving forces in a firm’s environment. These include the economic, demographic, technological, and competitive forces that shape a company’s strategy” (Dessler, 2003).

Finding just the right market in any given location could be hit-and-miss proposition. However, because people move around so much in this day and age, a basic line of products and services could be offered, supplemented by products and services that are found to be most popular at a certain region’s location. Those most popular may be expanded or have extra employees providing the services. Specialization in this manner will help ensure ongoing corporate success. Technology Technology opportunities in today’s business world are virtually endless.

High-tech advances are made every day, and staying abreast of current technological information is more than a full-time job. Research in this area could be implemented to determine the supply and demand for specific services and products. Online research can assist in this arena as well. Additionally, attending resort services conventions, and attention to publications and “undercover” visits to other area resorts would offer glimpses of industry trends. Since research and technology often interwine, combining forces could lead to productive end results. E-business

E-business opportunities, while again seemingly limited by a one-location business, should not be ignored. While providing personalized, individualized body treatment services may not seem a likely example of e-business, the opportunities for marketing and providing information to the public online should not be ignored. Even the most basic company website should be immediately created, and online marketing activities should be implemented to drive traffic to the company’s website. Tourism is a huge industry in California, and marketing events should target visitors who vacation here.

Local Chambers of Commerce should be informed; pamphlets printed; online web advertisements created; local newspaper and mail-order ads should be utilized; and a marketing company should be hired to specifically address other types of marketing and advertising that can be done, not only through print media and local traffic generating methods, but through online means to solicit customers. Online information can also be used to gather industry information (via research methods again), and to keep in touch with repeat clientele.

The use of online surveys or other methods of client feedback can help lead to future ideas and generate future successes. Innovation Innovation, sometimes associated with creativity, flexibility, growth and/or diversification, can take many forms. Opportunities for creative advertising, expansion plans, introduction of new products and services, specific nuances developed by a marketing team, and company branding efforts should provide ample means for this company to express itself. Innovate client ideas could prove a productive marketing tool, as well.

Listening to client concerns and suggestions could lead to the development of new and unique products or services that specifically suit the needs and desires of clients. Diversity Diversity, like innovation, can provide growth opportunities and room for this company to not only compete with those in the industry, but to market itself as being different from other resort spas. Sometimes the seemingly most bizarre combinations of marketing tactics, company branding, resource-sharing or expansion efforts can produce successful results.

Consider the recent combination of fast-food chains sharing space and offering double the food choices to its customers. These combinations increase customer volume to both businesses, while splitting the costs of rent and parking facilities. Other services, such as cleaning, trash pick-up, and utilities, may also be split between businesses to reduce expenses. Utilizing creative marketing techniques could lead to successful business enterprise.

Packaged products and services could be created, as could specific gift combinations, such as offering mother/daughter gift certificates for mother’s day, offering free services to clients on their birthdays, serving champagne to its adult clientele, etc. Mother/daughter packaged manicures, facials, etc. could be excellent gift ideas, and clients who arrive for free services on their birthdays will, it can be assumed, bring a friend or relative along to enjoy spa services. In this instance, innovation and creativity could combine to produce remarkable business results!

Ethics Ethics in any business will have an impact on a corporation’s bottom line. Factors influenced by corporate ethics include the type of personnel hired, the manner in which staff treats customers or clients, the type of services or programs offered, the management’s attitudes towards its staff, etc. Because of the business nature and specific mission statement adopted by management, the employees and management must have the utmost positive ethical approach to their jobs and towards the customers.

Personal services businesses are especially susceptible to scrutiny and vulnerable to misinterpretation. In this regard, proper legal documentation (allowing personnel to touch clients as necessary for manicures, facials, massages, etc. ) can help ensure that strict compliance with appropriate techniques is not violated. Proper personnel awareness of personal privacy issues and a respect for business ethics will ensure client comfort and generate repeat business. Conclusion Planning is an ever-changing aspect of management. In business, a plan is not set in stone, but expected to change as needs arise.

Management’s approach toward the above internal and external factors is an integral part of the success of the company. When these factors are analyzed, what they indicate should be part of the modified plan.

References

Dessler, G. (2003). Management: Theory, Practice and Application. [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing. Retrieved December 8, 2003, from University of Phoenix, Resource, MGT/350 – Management Theories, Practice and Application Web site: https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/secure/resource/resource. asp

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