Reflection on Group Work General Summary From the year to 2021, during which our business plan is to buy bicycles, I experienced several feelings while working with the group. In this game, our group always took a low position. For the first few years, we were really anxious about the dilemmas that faced and we also made some decisions blindly, such as those to do with pricing. In the sixth year, our group had a consultation with the lecturer; this helped us greatly as we could adjust our mindset.
Strengths and Weaknesses My group’s strengths were the collaboration and mutual respect that was shared between the group members from beginning to the end of the game. Every member in my group voluntarily shared ideas and analysed reports for the following year. Also, we respected each other because when someone had an idea the other members listened seriously and offered constructive criticism. However, despite all of these positives the group did also have some weaknesses. During the third and fourth year we lacked composure and ideas. Because we placed low positions for the first two years, we blindly followed the groups that placed first during the first couple of years, and we designed our business strategy on this.
However, the result of this decision was not good. What do you conclude about the key success factors for working as a group? After completing this group game, I discovered that if a group wants to be successful then there are some key factors that need to be adhered to. The task can be made easier through a positive attitude and the appropriate confidence for each task.
A relaxing and conducive atmosphere is great for members to share ideas and discuss them. In addition, remaining calm is also important. Because my groups lack of composure resulted in poor outcomes, I realized that when facing changes for the external environment and competitors it is really important to not be fazed at all. If the internal situation one of panic, then it is hard for the group to deal with external challenges. What were your particular contributions to the ‘group dynamics’ and the success of the group?
As a group member, I made many contributions to my group. I had to be accommodating and listen to others in order to keep a relaxed atmosphere between my group members. In addition, I organised the time and place for our group members to have regular meetings. A good atmosphere and appropriate planning are helpful for group work, so I was really pleasured to help out with those things. If you had your time over again, what would you do differently to improve the effectiveness in working as a group?
If there would be another chance to work as a group then I would offer more suggestions during group discussions. This is because I was very shy to begin with, especially during the first week. I really regretted not speaking up and telling everyone else that we didnt need to spend much money on PR during the first week, as we didn’t have any market invoices and share. However, the group members were unknown to what exactly PR was, but I did not give my suggestions. The result was that we wasted money and lost some profit as well.
Even though I was nice with the other members, I could have been more forceful with them and expressed my views. Reflection on My Understanding of Small Firms and Family Businesses During this course I’ve learned that there are different definitions of small firms in different countries. This is something that I did not know before I took this course. At first, I thought that small firms had the same scale worldwide and needed to obey unified requirements. However, based on taxation systems and related laws, there are different definitions in different countries for the small firms.
Other than this, it surprised me that there are four types of legal structures for small firms. Before I learned in topic 6, I thought that a small firm could only be a sole proprietorship; however, there are also small businesses that are partnerships and companies, something which I thought was only for large businesses. On the other hand, before I learned about the succession of family businesses, I thought that succession was an easy thing because the son or daughter could take over the family business directly.
However, in topic 2 I learned that 50% of owners plan to retain ownership/control of the family business, 44% are actively planning to sell the business (retirement, lack of suitable successor), and 68% of Australian family businesses do not want to exit or have a succession plan ready. It was through playing the online simulation game “Mikes Bikes” that I found that it was difficult to run a small firm. We made a focused strategy and analysed the situation seriously as well.
However, in the same way that really happens with small firms, the information gained by the firm was also limited. All of the firms seemed to be in their monopoly states, where information is privatised and it is difficult to know that what kind of strategies the rival firms will use in order to increase revenue. From topic 5 and the lecture we learned that debt is not such a bad thing. I found out that small firms have limited money, so it is necessary to loan from financial institutions if the firm is to have the capability to repay and meet the “5 Cs” appropriately.
We also borrowed money from the bank when we lacked the money for developing bikes. In addition, asking for help from the related experts was very helpful and valuable for the firms performance. When we were at the end of this game, we asked for a consultation with you and received great help. I found that consultation was really helpful so that we could learn about our problems and put us on the right track for the following time.
I realised that asking for professional help when the firm was in a sluggish development period was a good thing. I think this course was very valuable for me, considering that I want to run my own business in the future. I have learned from this course about the advantages and disadvantages of getting into business via new ventures, franchises, purchasing. Also, I knew that running a business was not easy. I have to learn and practise more in the future.
In addition, the Mikes Bikes game was very valuable in my development because it helped me to learn how to communicate with people in a proper way, which was helpful during group work. This really helped me to know what should be considered in the process and also how to communicate with my team.