OUTLINE
FOR A CASE ANALYSIS

For this project there is a Business
case example that needs to be read and analyzed. The outline for the case
analysis is printed towards the bottom of the short story. Ones done
reading the short story please answers the questions in the Outline for a Case
Analysis. Make sure to put just the headliners for each of the questions 1-7.
This must be in APA format and be 3 ½ pages long. Please let me know if this
project will work for you.

Finn-Barr Data Build

Outline description

This business was formed by two graduates who met at
university in 2002, one a computer scientist (Finn) and the other an accountant
(Barr). Since leaving university they have both had successful independent
careers but stayed in touch on a social basis. However, in early 2013 the IT
specialist came up with an idea to collect and combine real-time market
information on a niche business segment to support financial decision making by
banks and investors. The concept uses most of the ‘big data’ tools increasingly
commonplace in data and management information circles. However, Finn quickly
realised he did not have much financial expertise and only limited savings to
fund the development of the idea and approached Barr to see if he could help.
The outcome of a discussion over a number of meetings was agreement to work
together to set up a business to take the idea forward. A limited company was
set up and by the start of 2014 the two directors had each used $5,000 of
personal savings to fund some preliminary legal work and secure adequate
intellectual property rights on the concept. Finn and Barr were still in
full-time work with long-term employers; both are married with existing family
and mortgage commitments. Both directors realised the business was still in a
fledgling position with significant work to do. Funding was needed to test and
build the data systems and market the product to a number of larger commercial
clients. The business would probably take three or four years to develop in
full, but in the next 12 months they needed $100,000 funding to take ideas
forward and then hoped to generate initial orders followed by rising revenue
streams in subsequent years. In January 2014, the projection was that first
orders were unlikely before summer 2015 at the earliest. Looking further ahead,
after four or five years, initial thinking was that the business should be
sold. Although estimates of market growth and income were very tenuous, taking
a medium-term view, if the business could eventually provide advice on
one-in-ten deals in its market niche and get paid 1% of the associated revenue,
this would be $3 million a year in full-year fee income with projected margins
of over 50%. Neither of the two directors – nor immediate family members – had
any significant cash savings to fund this longer-term development activity. In
particular, neither director had any housing equity and both are too young to
draw on pension savings funds. Indeed, the next phase of work would require at
least one of them to give up employment to concentrate on the project full
time. They looked at the opportunity for any grant aid but this appeared
unlikely to be successful. The only way forward was to seek some form of equity
investment as, in the short term at least, traditional debt funding was not an
option. The size of the equity injection needed to fund the next stage of
business development was well within the scope of a single business angel or a
professional investment syndicate. However, both owners were worried about
approaching this type of investor. This is because the size of the investment
needed would be very significant compared with the stake the two founders held.
They could not put in additional personal funds to avoid any equity dilution.
Rather, they devised a strategy to persuade a larger group of investors to
invest smaller amounts. The prospectus prepared suggested the business in a few
years’ time will be worth $1.5 million and they sought people to collectively
invest $100,000 for 25% of the company. If achieved, this would represent a
375% return over a three or four-year period. The funding plan acknowledged the
project is still untested and carries a number of risks but the founders
believe the potential for return to be very attractive to offset the risk. In order
to avoid approaching business angels, Finn and Barr finally decided to use a
crowdfunding equity platform to find investors. The project was listed on line
for 12 weeks and secured 25 investors (typically investing $5,000 to $10,000
each with a range between $1,000 and $15,000). The money has been raised. Finn
now works full time on the project and the directors hope to start test
marketing in a few months’ time. However, no orders have been won yet and
dividends to shareholders are still some way off. Discussion It will be several
months at least before the likelihood of success for this venture is more
evident. However, the funding strategy adopted by Finn and Barr was bold. Quite
correctly, the prospects for any commercial debt funding were judged to be
non-existent. The business at the time of the fund raising did not have a
marketable product, let alone any orders. As a result, any external funding had
to be based around equity. Rather, Finn and Barr were very strongly opposed to
approaching traditional angel investors. The reasons for this were partly
financial – notably the fear of dilution and control – but also linked back to
the style of business they sought to develop. Finn especially was keen to
involve data experts in his investor group and hoped the use of the
crowdfunding equity route would offer a chance for very small investors to get
involved. This appears to have been a success based on the size of the
investments. Also, several alumni from Finn and Barr’s university year have
reportedly made an investment. Many owners in the position of Finn and Barr
would have welcomed the chance to work with experienced equity investors,
especially if this brought management support and advice as well. The
deliberate attempt to avoid this route was a bold step that in terms of fund
raising has been a success. The other alternative source of funding, such as a
loan or shareholding investment with an existing data services supplier or
financial services business, does not appear to have been considered at all.

OUTLINE FOR A CASE ANALYSIS  

1)  EXAMINE AND DESCRIBE THE
BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

a)  Describe the nature of the
organization under consideration and its competitors.

b)  Provide general information
about the market and customer base.

c)  Indicate any significant
changes in the business environment or any new endeavors upon which the
business is embarking.

2)  DESCRIBE THE STRUCTURE AND
SIZE OF THE BUSINESS

a)  Analyze its management
structure, employee base, and financial history.

b)  Describe annual revenues and
profit.

c)  Provide figures on
employment. Include details about private ownership, public ownership, and
investment holdings.

d)   Provide a brief
overview of the business’s leaders and command chain

3)  IDENTIFY THE KEY ISSUE OR
PROBLEM IN THE CASE STUDY

a)  In all likelihood, there
will be several different factors at play.

b)  Decide which is the main
concern of the case study by examining what most of the data talks about, the
main problems facing the business,

c)  Examples might include
expansion into a new market, response to a competitor’s marketing campaign, or
a changing customer base

4)  DESCRIBE HOW THE BUSINESS
RESPONDS TO THESE ISSUES OR PROBLEMS

a)  Draw on the information you
gathered and trace a chronological progression of steps taken (or not taken).

b)  Cite data included in the
case study, such as increased marketing spending, purchasing of new property,
changed revenue streams, etc

5)  IDENTIFY THE SUCCESSFUL
ASPECTS OF THIS RESPONSE AS WELL AS ITS FAILURES

a)  Indicate whether or not each
aspect of the response met its goal and whether the response overall was
well-crafted.

b)  Use numerical benchmarks,
like

i)  a
desired customer share

ii) 
show whether goals were met

iii) 
analyze broader issues

iv) 
employee management policies

v) 
talk about the response as a whole

6)  POINT TO SUCCESSES,
FAILURES, UNFORESEEN RESULTS, AND INADEQUATE MEASURES

a)  Suggest alternative or
improved measures that could have been taken by the business

b)   Using specific
examples and back up your suggestions with data and calculations

7)  WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

a)  Describe what changes you
would make in the business to arrive at the measures you proposed

b)  Include:

c)   changes to
organization

d)  strategy

e)  management.

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