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Small Business Enterprise | Swing Patrol Case Study

Introduction

 Among many successful businesses which has come through the well-known television reality series called ‘Dragon’s Den’ in London, a  prosperous business plan was to open classes for swing dancing. The growing interest in dance as a recreational method to stay fit and the popularization of reality shows inspired by dance have a positive effect on the dance industry. Today dance studios or dance classes are offering Latin-inspired ballroom dancing along with the fusion of fitness in particular. However, swing dancing has a historical background and it also encourages dancers to take this dance form as it is different, interesting and helps to stay healthy too. The improving conditions of UK economy is gaining more disposable income per capita by stimulating more investment on  amusing activities as dance. Therefore the organisation, ‘Swing Patrol’ achieved the capital from the investor and it is still fully active in the market over the years.

nd the popularization of reality shows inspired by dance have a positive effect on the dance industry. Today dance studios or dance classes are offering Latin-inspired ballroom dancing along with the fusion of fitness in particular. However, swing dancing has a historical background and it also encourages dancers to take this dance form as it is different, interesting and helps to stay healthy too. The improving conditions of UK economy is gaining more disposable income per capita by stimulating more investment on  amusing activities as dance. Therefore the organisation, ‘Swing Patrol’ achieved the capital from the investor and it is still fully active in the market over the years.

Task 1: Organisational structure

A. Profile of the chosen organisation

A profile of a dancing company named ‘Swing Patrol’ is provided.

Name of the Company: Swing Patrol

Owner structure: ‘Swing Patrol’ is a dancing school and the owner of the organisation is Scott Cupit.

Background: The Company was established in the year 2009, February. The owner of the company Scott Cupit appeared on the popular show named “Dragon’s Den” and his business became successful due to the appearance of the show.

Activity: The Company became more famous since the appearance on the show “Dragon’s Den” and has achieved many goals such as; they broke a world record of Guinness book for largest dance of ‘Charleston’. They performed for the Prime Minister of England, David Cameron and his family. They have also collaborated with popular brand name including Oasis and Keds. Now they have four troupes, a small but efficient teaching staff and dedicated volunteers. The company has over 15,000 dancers (swingpatrol.co.uk, 2017). Along with England ‘Swing Patrol’ also gives classes in Sydney, Berlin and Melbourne. They arrange socials which are very popular in London.

Business location: The organisation is located in Dunston, London. They arrange dance classes in various places in London.

 

Strengths and weakness:

Strength

Weakness

  • Swing Patrol focuses on historical and original dance form of swing dancing.
  •  They are authentic in their dance performance and in their teaching (Roche and Huddy, 2016, p.145).
  • The organisation tends to focus on the quality of their dance from.
  •  They have energetic teaching staff with thorough knowledge to give the students a transparent idea of ‘Blues’, ‘Lindy Hop’ and ‘Charleston’.
  • The company also inspires people to take dance lessons as fitness exercise by teaching original swing and jazz steps.

 

  • The business focuses on an art form. Therefore, there is a difficulty of making money along with maintaining the authenticity of the dance form.
  • There is also a good chance of losing the interest of people on swing dancing and going out of business.
  • The organisation is lacking the potentiality of producing a star dance performer due to their small business acquisition (Gross and Pitts, 2016, p.4).

.

  • According to the market research of Britain, only 4% of the adult citizens of UK claimed to attend any modern dance performance (swingpatrol.co.uk, 2017). The audience has more females than males as 5.2% women attended the programme as opposed to only 3.6% men in England (swingpatrol.co.uk, 2017).  
  • There are other art forms too in UK. Most of the people in England do not attend any live dance performance as 4.3% of population watch the performance on television. That is why the audience of a dance performance is divided into other programmes.

Table 1: Strength and weakness of Swing Patrol

(Source: swingpatrol.co.uk, 2017)

 

 

 

Figure 1: Main Strength and weakness of Swing Petrol

(Source: created by author)

 

B. Comparison of Swing Patrol with other dance companies in the same industry

Among many companies in the same locality of Swing Patrol, the New Castle Dance Centre is very recognised dance school (swingpatrol.co.uk, 2017). They are in business since 1931 and they have different dance groups according to the age group of the students. The company has different dance program such as individual teaching, or learning in a community for attracting more students. They also have special classes wedding ceremony or dance parties for children and they give professional lessons to become a unique school.

There are also other dance schools for advanced training such as Dance and Fitness with Steph, Aim Dance Group and so on. Dance is an art form which requires a strong bond between the dancer or teacher, the marketer and the audience (Hearn et al. 2014, p.159). In current days dance has become a thriving business opportunity and gained enough commercial interest among people of the United Kingdom (Cloonan, 2016, p.123).

‘Swing Patrol’ invites new students on different socials organised in London. As those students do not know the dance steps, sometimes some of them feel nervous and awkward and as a result of that they do not return to the classes. While at the La Carablanca, another dance institute in UK provides few dance lessons before inviting the students into any socials. In this way, ‘Swing Patrol’ sometime loses the benefit of marketing their company among larger number of learners.

The school ‘Swing Patrol’ is a one-man organisation as opposed to New Castle Dance Centre which is a family business. Therefore, the previous company needs to spend more money in hiring employees and keep a harmonious relationship with them. They also have to take into account the matter of preventing any injuries. They need to provide a suitable and safe place to teach and learn dance. Protective and safe environment can provide safe working environment for dancers (Markula, 2017, p.1).

‘Swing Patrol’ does not provide any private lessons like the above mentioned New Castle Dance Centre which can cost them a large portion of learners who wants to attend an individual dance sessions. The organisation tend to focus on the younger students while the older generation feels lost in their socials where novice students are not taught any dance lessons.

 

 

 

Task 2: Justification on the weakness of Swing Patrol

      A. Actions to overcome identified challenges within organisation

  • Along with teaching dance, the company should consider the options of merchandising products of their own like dance shoes, comfortable clothes for dancing and t-shirts and so on, to promote their brand name across the country.
  • The organisation needs to focus on other students besides the target area. The company should target the older people along with the youth by providing one to one dance lessons and beginner’s lesson.
  • The company needs to arrange lessons for private parties as birthday parties or couple dancing to attract people of different age group with various backgrounds.
  • Although the company has their own website but they should be more active on certain technologies like social media. They need to use that platform to communicate better with the students, with audience who comes to see their performance and with other potential students to promote the name of the company more.
  • The organisation should collaborate with big companies to spread their business and at the same time to encourage learners to take their classes. The company should arrange more programme to indulge people who are drawn to other art forms.
  • If the company wants to expand their business and attract people who are digitally active all the time, they should create mobile application for learning dance as those applications are vehemently used today. Along with the increasing usage of electronic devices, launching application and software for learning and exercising at the same time, is a good opportunity for the company to gain more students (Stickley et al. 2015, p.68).

B. Analysing various ways to maintain and strengthen the organisational performance

The company Swing Patrol is already popular by projecting the business idea in Dragon’s Den. However, to show their dance form in other potential areas of the country and encourage people to learn traditional swing dancing, they should project their art form as a medium to stay healthy.

As a mode of an exercise, the company can appeal to the people who are health-concerned and at the same time the company can also project exercise as a recreational process.

According to Adams and Jiang (2017, p.18), the organisation can focus on different dance classes for different age group. They can promote their dance form by reaching to people of every age. The company can also arrange programmes of diverse kind to encourage both teachers and students and it will also help them to popularize the dance form and expand their business.

The company can also arrange beginner’s lessons for the newcomers without any prior knowledge of dance to motivate them to participate in socials (Aujla et al. 2014, p.138). The students of the organisation can perform in different programmes which will boost their confidence and develop the name of the company. The company can also offer workshops as it will gain more popularity for being a dance company with an educational programme.

C. Suggesting new areas for business expansion

In England 77.9% and in London 76.7% of the population attend plays in theatres. Therefore, the company could expand their business by entering in theatre business. They could also arrange musicals to grow their business. In England 52.1% of the population are interested in music. That is why it would be a good medium to expand their company.

The organisation could also focus on other dance forms of ballroom dancing or other modern and traditional dance forms. Around 49.6% of the population of The United Kingdom tend to attend ballet performances. That is why the company could expand their boundaries by opening classes on different styles of dance which will give them the opportunity to gain more students.

The company can also arrange workshops to give the students a perspective about the dance forms and a transparent knowledge about what to expect (Bennett, 2014, p.58). The school can also participate on the various dance shows on the television. It will promote the company name and the potential students will learn about the efficiency about the dance school.

 

 

 

Task 3: Analysis of existing business objectives and plans

A. Existing business objectives and plans

The company wants to start new classes in Wimbledon London. They are considering, dividing the classes according to age groups. They are also trying to begin new classes in Bermondsey, UK. They are focussing on different levels of dancing from beginner's level to advance.

The organisation has launched a new programme called SwingTrain which is a fitness brand. The trainers have organised a plan which involves swing dancing and cardio workout too. This plan effectively burns 300 calories a day. Swing Patrol wants to develop this programme more by hiring capable fitness instructors. The company does not have an issue with hiring trainers who are not dancers. They are focussing on expanding their business by launching new programmes as starting classes for exercise mixed with dance. The company is inspiring people to take fitness seriously by combining it with dancing (Adams and Jiang, 2017, p.138). They are trying to reach those students who cannot stay engaged in a fitness schedule for a long time. Therefore, they are mixing training with dancing to attract those potential clients (Amans, 2017, p.364).

The organisation has also established clubs for fitness programme of cardio exercise. They already have taken place at 50 different places throughout the United Kingdom and they are also planning to expand their business abroad. The company is inviting competent, enthusiastic individuals to join their community of instructors to achieve the goal of becoming the most successful and progressive place for health programmes (Aujla et al. 2014, p.138).

 In the fitness regimen of Swing Patrol, they arrange for workshops, which are four hour long. In these workshops, students are accustomed to various dance techniques, dance routines and skills to manage a class (Hearn et al. 2014, p.245). After a short evaluation, the students become fully-capable instructors which allow them to manage and advertise their own classes in their locality. They have the full support of the company (Bennett, 2014, p.58).

 

B. Suggesting new areas to make changes after reviewing the business plan

  • Swing Patrol wants to open classes for all age groups throughout the UK. The company should consider promoting it more and market their classes and business plans with the help of social media. The company needs to project their full plan vividly, using the platform of social media. With the help of technology, they can also promote their dance form in order to encourage more people.
  • The organisation should take into account the older students and how to engage them to take dance lessons. They should provide extra time and attention towards the older students. They can also capture their attention by producing new programme only focusing on the older people. The company can focus new type of fitness programme combining with dance to deal with diverse health issues of older people.
  • The organisation is focussing on different level of dance forms. They have to pay more attention to newcomers in order to make them comfortable. The can also attract new student by merchandising their products in order to promote their brand name.
  • They have launched new fitness programme for cardio exercise with dancing to make mundane exercise exciting. However, they are not concerned about employing fitness experts without the knowledge of dance. They should acknowledge the fact that most of the potential students are not very keen to exercise as they have joined the programme by choosing dancing as a form of exercise.  The company should hire instructors who have a dancing background.
  • The company has directed fitness programme of cardio exercise mixed with dance. They also make an addition of another type of exercise along with another type of dance form. They can arrange programme of various type of exercise to attract variety of people in the UK.

C. Action plan to implement the changes

Action Step

Responsible Person

Deadline

Necessary Resources

Potential Challenges

Result

The company should launch an application.

Technical analyst

Four weeks

Various types of smooth running technologies are necessary.

Sufficient fund to install the technologies and train all the employees of the company about the new technologies.

Promotion of the dance form and their brand name.

Expansion of the business in digital market.

Producing and merchandising new products of the company.

Marketing team

Two weeks

New products

Producing new products and collaborating with new companies.

Promotion of the business.

Opening new classes for different age groups.

HR team and teaching stuff

Three weeks

Employment of new teachers

Additional cost for the employment of new staff.

Expansion of business.

Launching new programmes of exercise apart from cardio

HR team and teaching stuff

Three weeks

Employment of competent fitness experts

Additional cost of hiring new staff.

Business expansion.

Arranging traditional dance programmes

HR team

Two weeks

New learned stuff

Cost for arranging new programme

Business promotion.

Entering in theatre business

HR and marketing team

Eight weeks

Competent staff

Cost of entering into new business

Expansion of business.

Table 2: Action Plan

(Source: Created by author)

 

 

 

Task 4: Implementation plan for Swing patrol (Report)

Executive summary

The effect of the proposed changes on the business and its personnel is discussed in this report. The plan of managing the new changes in the company is proposed. The improvement of the performance of the company is depicted here with the help of a financial graph.

4.1: Introduction

Swing Patrol, the leading dancing company has gained wide popularity by choosing the platform of Dragons Den for venturing their business. The dedicated efforts by the volunteers and staff members have helped in forming a community of 1500 dancers. Certain changes and actions taken by the company are likely to affect the operation of the business. The effects of the proposed actions and identification of the areas where improvement are to be done forms the main subject matter of this task report.

4.2 Finding and analysis

A. Analysis of proposed changes on the operation of the personnel and business

Certain actions have been taken by the Swing patrol for improving the operational effectiveness of the company. Firstly, the option of merchandising their products means visual display of the clothes, dancing t-shirts, and dance shoes. As stated by Dong et al. (2015, p.1364), display options of the products help in providing wider ranges of products, which helps in providing options for choosing to the customers. Merchandising attracts, motivates and engages customers by enhancing the sales and profitability of the company. It helps in encouraging the shopping experiences of the customers by providing comfortable zone for the customers. Furthermore, stability in relationship between the employees and the customers (as attended for providing details about the products) encourages long-term sustainability of the business. It helps in determining the latest trends of the products (clothes for another dancing troupe), which further helps the employees and the management team in improving the products. It enhances the level of customer satisfaction and improves the operations of the personnel. 

According to Aichner and Jacob (2015, p.257), better and effective online platform for business promotion not only helps in attracting more customers but also helps Swing Patrol in reaching to more customers. Furthermore, wider popularity of the business due to introduction of face to face communication helps in determining the changing preferences of the customers. This further helps in improving the quality of the dancing clothes, shoes required for doing comfortable dancing. Moreover, the social media helps in reaching the students and the audiences. This helps in enhancing the rate of engagement of the personnel with the students and the audiences. Online platform for communication helps in running the activities of the business smoothly (Elliott et al. 2016, p.5). Achievement of targets by enhancing the managerial efficiency becomes easier for the company. Moreover, online channel for communication helps in reaching more students. This further helps the company in adapting to the market changes thereby paving way for wider popularity among the students and audiences. Fitness program can widen the area of business operation thereby paving way for creating new profitable opportunities for Swing Patrol.

B. Management of the changes in the business operation

Sales and profit enhancement form the main criteria for introducing merchandising of clothes, dancing shoes, and other dancing equipment.

In this segment for successful implementation of visual merchandising requires recruitment of sales representatives who can guide the students and the customers for understanding the product specifications. Well trained and experienced staffs are required for smooth handling of visual merchandising process of selling. Separate teams for promoting branded and better quality products and installation of mannequins further helps in managing the change to be introduced by Swing Patrol.

Online social channels for communication by introducing training modules for teaching the employees can help in handling modern software tools for communication effectively (Amans, 2017, p.4). Experienced team for handling the customer support services can help in managing the introductory process of social platform for communication. Launching new software training program can help in using the software more smoothly and efficiently.  Trainers for handling the fitness program can help in managing the fitness program.

C. Analysis on the improvements over the business

Performance especially the financial performance acts as the indicator for measuring the efficiency and sustainability of the business. Performance indicators mainly, current assets, current liabilities and net worth of the business have been used for determining the trends in performance seen for the company. In 2015 the current assets of the company has been 80374 pound whereas in 2016 the amount of current assets has been 94297 pound (companycheck.co.uk, 2016). Increasing trend in current assets shows that proposed changes can pave way for further improvement within the organisation. Furthermore, it has been seen that current liabilities have been 38852 pounds in 2015 whereas in 2016 current liabilities has been 53882 pounds (companycheck.co.uk, 2016). Increasing liability enhances the debt obligations and asset reduction for the company.

Figure 2: Financial summary of Swing Patrol till 2016

(Source: companycheck.co.uk, 2016)

However, in 2015 the net worth of the business has been 45250 pounds whereas in 2016 the net worth of 44386 pound reports a decreasing trend in net worth (companycheck.co.uk, 2016). This can decrease the valuation of the company which requires further improvement. Furthermore, improvement in cash position by 4.63% increase in cash reports the liquidity of the business (companycheck.co.uk, 2016). 

Overall analysis shows that enhancement of current assets and cash position reports the improvement in operational efficiency of Swing Patrol. Decreasing net worth and liabilities can hinder the growth of the business operations (van Venrooij, 2015, p.104). Therefore, debt reduction and total quality improvement (both in employee services and product) need to be prioritised.

4.3 Recommendation

Mannequins and visual merchandising: This can improve the process of merchandising to be introduced by the company. Furthermore, POS merchandising (Point Of Sale) can help in highlighting the price and details of the products; this further can attract more customers.

Social platform and rating software: This type of software not only helps in reaching more students and audiences but also helps in rating the services by those students. These improved services can strengthen the business operations of Swing Patrol.

Debt reduction and cost-cutting schemes need to be introduced for improving the financial performance of the organisation.

 

 

Figure 3: Effective recommendations

(Source: Created by author)

4.4 Conclusion

The report focuses on the changes that are being implemented by the organisation for reaching more customers. Changes for attracting more customers and students form the main part of this report. Furthermore, the report also provides a synopsis of the change management process for smooth implementation of the proposed changes. Detailed analysis of the financial performance of the organisation for the last two years (2015 and 2016) has been reviewed. Recommended steps based on the financial performance of Swing patrol have also been provided in the report.

 

 

 

Conclusion

In the above assignment, a comparison of a dance company named Swing Patrol with other companies in the UK within the same industry is projected. The strong and weak points of the company are discussed along with the recommendations to overcome those problems. In the assignment suggestions for expanding the business and an analysis to maintain the company's existing performances are also described. The organisation's existing business plans and objectives are depicted. According to the required changes, an action plan is also prepared. The effect of the proposed changes, on the company, is discussed along with a plan for the management of the changes. The company's performance over the past two years is discussed.