A Report on strategic planning- Problems and Scenarios



Executive Summary

Today, the educational institutions want to improve the productive capital of the country by raising the economic standards of the people. However, they first need to reduce the level of unemployment through different self-employment schemes. Hence, considering this objective, Academies Australasia is planning to introduce vocational training course for the purpose of enhancing the skills of the students. It will help them improve their technical and technological aspects in their respective fields. 

They will thereby be able to utilize their skills for betterment of the society. It will also subsequently help them achieve desired employment objectives in a given challenging work environment. This report focuses on deploying the business plan on introducing vocational training courses at Academies Australasia. It highlights the important aspects of business plan and provides recommendations to the top-level management of the organization.


Today, with increased technological advances and the arising need of different skills at the workplace, it has become important for the employees as well as other candidates to seek for different short-term and medium-term courses that will provide them with knowledge on the different technical courses in a given field. 

Vocational education is education courses that will not only prepare people for working on various jobs but will also provide them with detailed technical knowledge that will improve their technicality and expertise in a given field (Agrawal & Indrakumar, 2014). It will make people perform better as a trade-man, as a crafts-man, and also as a technician. 

These courses offered are also referred to as career education courses. They are offered by different educational institutions and universities in a given environment. However, they take place at the post-secondary and at higher education level. It will interact with the apprenticeship system and hence students can easily opt for it depending on the choice of their field (Agrawal & Indrakumar, 2014). 

Academies Australasia is a leading education provider offering English language, Government School Preparatory Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses, and also offering courses in the Master Degree. However, with the increasing student base, the institution is planning to start vocational training courses across multiple fields to provide education to the student and other people that desire to learn in a given learning environment. This report will provide the entire business plan so that the management team of the organization can plan the strategies accordingly.

Proposed Business Idea

The proposed business idea is regarding inclusion of vocational courses and classes that will be available for the different career fields such as computer technology, healthcare, office management, skilled trades, accounting, English language, fashion designing, utility services, courses in the chemical, mechanical, and electrical fields, and also in other supplementary fields. 

It will thereby provide an opportunity to the students to get trained in these new courses and subjects and thereby focus on developing their careers in their respective fields. It will thereby help them achieve desired employment goals in a given challenging work environment.

Products and Services

The key product that the management team of Academies Australasia is planning to launch is the vocational courses that will be offered to different learn so that they can get trained on different job aspects. Further, these career fields will also improve their technical skills that will make them deploy in any of the working organizations (Bahr, 2013). 

Vocational training will also include industry skill certificates that will be associated with their current educational degrees of these students. The organization will thereby focus on meeting the education demands of the population and will thereby support their professional development in a given environment. 

Further, it will also help them in maintain competitiveness through which these students can aim for their professional growth in their respective fields. The senior management at Academies Australasia will thereby design such courses that will ensure professional development of these groups and will subsequently make sure of delivering employment opportunities to these students in a given environment.

Analysis of the Macro Environment

Before deploying any business idea, it is important for the organization to conduct macro analysis. It can be done through conducting PESTEL analysis wherein it reflects to the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that could impact on the organization. Hence, from the political perspective, the institution needs to adhere to the education policies that are framed by the government (Saloniemi et al., 2014). 

Also, they need to adhere to the rules and regulations of the local government to make sure that there are no political influences on the educational institution. Further, from the economic perspective, factors such as prices of the course, other costs associated with the course will play an important role in selling these courses to the students (Saloniemi et al., 2014). Thus, the project management team needs to conduct costs-benefits analysis and accordingly design the courses from the price perspective. 

Further, from the technological perspective, these courses should be made available to the students in online mode as well. It will thereby make sure of delivering the tutoring sessions through such platforms as well. From the social perspective, students will be looking out for a learning environment that will support from the social perspective (Saloniemi et al., 2014). The students should found cooperation from the teaching staff and the administration team so that they can learn their desired courses in a given environment in a better way (Saloniemi et al., 2014). 

From the environmental perspective, the educational institution needs to obey the laws pertaining to the environment. They can also deploy environment protection initiatives as a part of their Corporate Governance policies (Mehrotra, 2014). Finally, from the legal perspective, the education institution needs to follow the legal laws pertaining to education, pertaining to starting such vocational training courses, obtain necessary licenses from the government, and only after permission need to start the operations. 

Marketing Plan

Porter's Five Forces Analysis

The role of the marketing team will be important to inform the students about the introduction of vocational training courses at Academies Australasia. Hence, they need to conduct Porter's Five Forces analysis to determine the needs of the students and also analyze the external environment. 

It will thereby help them formulate their marketing strategies in a proper way. From the competition perspective, there are several institutions in Australia that are offering such courses. Hence, it will be difficult for the organization to overcome the market competition (Bozick & Dalton, 2013). They need to define unique selling proposition of their products such as price, quality of the course content delivered, and the pedagogy of the teaching staff in a given environment. 

It will thereby help them achieve desired sales in a given working environment. From the bargaining power of suppliers, it will be less since there are teachers who can provide such education to the students. Hence, the management team can look out for staff that will have lower operational costs associated with them. 

From the bargaining power of buyers, it will be high as the students will demand high quality education in these vocational training courses at lower prices. From the threats of new entrants, it is moderate since every new player entering into these industry first needs to obtain all the necessary government clearances and certificates (Chowdhury, 2014). 

Later, after obtaining permission, they will be able to start their operations. Finally, from the threat of substitutes' perspective, it will be high, as there are multiple players in the market. Each of them will deliver similar education to the students. 

Thus, the students will decide which education institution they are looking for and will select based on their criteria. However, if they find the outcomes of any given institution non-satisfactory they will easily switch the course and institution and will join others (Chowdhury, 2014). Thus, Academies Australasia needs to remain careful about these aspects and plan their strategies accordingly in a given market scenario.

Marketing Mix (4Ps)

The 4Ps of marketing reflect to price, place, promotion, and product and the marketing department of Academies Australasia needs to analyze the market environment and subsequently prepare strategies for each of them. First, from the product perspective, they need to deliver unique and quality vocational education courses that will fulfill the needs of the students. Second, from the place perspective, they need to develop a learning environment at the institution that will satisfy the needs of the students (Brinbaum & Guégnard, 2013). 

Third, from the price perspective, they need to keep the prices of these courses competitive so that they can sustain in this challenging market (Brinbaum & Guégnard, 2013). Finally, from the promotions' perspective, they need to invest in advertisements and promotions that will attract more students toward this course. It will thereby help them achieve desired objectives of the organization from the marketing perspective.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

The major target segments for this vocational course will include - students who have graduated recently, students who completed their high-schools, people who have working experience but want to improve their skill-set in the respective field, and also candidates that are specifically looking out for such courses in need of an employment opportunity. 

Hence, Academies Australasia needs to position their courses in the market in a way that will attract these target audience and will subsequently help them achieve desired sales objectives. The targeting and segmentation strategies should be thereby implemented in a way that will meet the different needs of these students in a given operational environment.

Internal Environment Analysis: SWOT Analysis

SWOT reflects to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a given organization in a given working environment. The major strengths of the organization include offering more than 100 qualifications, addressed more than 5,000 students across campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Singapore, and Dubbo, and their expansion strategies. 

They can thereby capitalize on their strengths and explore the viability of opening in a branch in Perth. However, the weaknesses will include - failing to address the needs of students on given vocational courses and lack of tutoring staff. The top-level management of the organization thereby needs to address these challenges and subsequently overcome them in a given working environment. 

The major opportunities for Academies Australasia include - expansion not only in Perth but also in other geographical locations, increasing net sales and subsequently increasing bottom-lines of the organization. However, the threats include - increasing competition, changing trends of education, and changing needs of the students. The senior management thereby needs to address these issues and overcome them through proper strategic formulation.

Organizational Structure and Operational Plan

Organizational Structure 

As far as the organizational structure is concerned, it will be a divisional structure followed in the organization. It will help them improve their work coordination and also focus on their communication needs in a given environment (Bol & Van de Werfhorst, 2013). 

Further, it will help them improve in their decision making that will lead to completion of the tasks with the given timeframe and as per the expectations of the senior management in the organization. There will be divisional heads assigned to each of the departments in the organization.

Critical Departments and Management Levels

There will be five functional departments and one contingency department designed in the organization for the proper functioning of the organization. These five departments include - finance, marketing, operations, human resources, and accounting and administration. All the five departments will be working in a collaborative approach with each other. 

The divisional heads will lead each of the department and submit the progress report and daily submissions to the Board members of the organization. They will thereby design and make modifications in the current strategies implemented in a given working environment (Bol & Van de Werfhorst, 2013). For this purpose, they will even conduct gap analysis first to determine the gaps if any in the current business processes; they will subsequently modify them to improve the performance of all the departments in the near future.

Information Management, Facilities and Infrastructure

The focus of the senior management is not only on providing vocational courses to the students but also to deploy an information management system that will link all the business processes of the organization. For this objective, the senior management will deploy appropriate infrastructure in the organization. It will also help them perform all the activities as per the needs of the students in a given operational environment.

HR Strategies

The focus of the Human Resources (HR) department will be not only to recruit candidates for the organization but also to train them on the new modules of vocational courses. Further, they need to hire tutoring staff that will fulfill the needs of Academies Australasia and perform as per the expectations of the students. Also, the HR needs to look after different HR functions such as - recruitment and selection, compensation management, leaves management, conflict management, change management, and also managing the different administrative functions of the organization.

Financial Plan

Procuring Funds 

The total costs for the entire project is expected to be around $50,000-$70,000. This expense will include the start-up costs of the vocational courses in a given environment. Later, the team will need more funds for marketing and promotions as well as for training and development. 

Projected Revenues and Expenses

The forecasted revenues projection and total expenditure for the organization after starting the vocational courses program for the next three years in a market scenario 

Recommendations and Conclusion

This report discusses on how to start a new business of introducing vocational courses at a given educational institution. It discusses on the operation plan, the marketing plan, and the financial plan for a given start-up in the organization (Akyeampong, 2014). The key objective of introducing this course is - to develop a healthy attitude among the students, enhance their employability skills, reduce the mismatch between demand and supply of skilled man-power, prepare the students for identified vocations, provide an alternative to those students who are intending to pursue higher education, and thereby fulfilling the needs of all those students and people that are looking for employment opportunities in a given environment (Sharma, 2014). 

The top-level management needs to conduct this plan as per the mentioned strategies and monitor the performance across all the departments of the organization. Through performance analysis, they can monitor the performance and suggest recommendations for future improvement. It will thereby help them achieve desired objectives of expansion in a given working environment.

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