Call us: +44 (0)1227 789 649 - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Operational Business Management
Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Operational Business Management
Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) course online.
Learn to develop the knowledge necessary to plan for Economic and Marketing Success in a Horticultural Enterprise.
A study focusing on managing Economics, Planning and Marketing of operations in horticulture. Your ability to manage a business can make a huge difference to your success in horticulture. In this course, you will learn to the business side of horticulture, including how to plan and implement effective strategies for your business and/or services. This is a module in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Master of Horticulture.
This course will be of immense value, if you work in, or hope to work in:
Lesson Structure: Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) BHT326
There are 9 lessons in this course:
1 The Economic Environment
- The world of economics
- Opportunity costs
- Economic systems
- Economic ownership
- Performance criteria for an economy
- Other economic performance indicators
- Basic economic principles
- Law of demand
- Law of Substitution
- Law of diminishing return
- Law of diminished marginal utility
- Total Quality Management
- Strategic Planning
- Creating a strategic plan
- European economic union
- European Central bank
- Asia Pacific Economic Community
2 External Influences on Horticultural Enterprise
- Monopolistic Competition
- Perfect competition
- International markets and tradeable commodities
- Supply and demand
- Market forces
- Economics of scale
- Cost structures
3 Information Management for Horticulture
- Scope and nature of office work
- Functions of an office
- Common jobs in an office: reception, clerical, secretarial, information processing
- Departments within an organisation
- Office processes
- Data knowledge, strage and management
- Filing systems
- Classifying information
- Hard copy
- Filing procedure
- Active and inactive records
- Computer databases
- Designing a filing system
- Data protection
- Financial records
- Books needed in business
- Different ways to approach bookkeeping
- Steps in the bookkeeping process
- Developing a record keeping and accounting system
- Flow of information
- Financial reports
- Source documents
- Cash transactions
- Credit transactions
- Returns and allowances
- Other business documents
- Use of business documents
- The cash book
- Credit sales and credit purchases journal
- The general journal
- The ledger
- A trial balance
- Bank reconciliation
- Petty cash
4 Strategic Planning in Horticulture
- Strategic planning
- Documenting the strategy
- Operational planning
- Documenting an operational plan
- Key components of a business plan
- SWOT analysis
- A planning procedure
- What to plan for
- Structure for a Financial plan
- Developing a budget
- Structure for a marketing plan
- Plan drawing
5 Implementing Strategies
- Implementing strategy
- Reviewing strategy and strategy management
- Environmental audits
- Key elements of EIA
- Steps in an environmental assessment process
- Study design
- Baseline studies
- Predicting impacts
- Mitigation measures
- Flora and fauna assessment
- Open space management plan
- Rehabilitation plan
6 Developing a Business Plan
- Business planning
- Case study: nursery development plan
- Sensitivity analysis
- PBL project to formulate criteria required for the successful implementation of a business proposal to develop a business plan.
7 Business Control Systems for Horticulture
- Financial statements
- The balance sheet
- Classification in the balance sheet
- Working capital
- Profit and loss statement
- Link between profit and balance sheet
- Depreciation of assets
- Analysis and interpretation of accounting reports
- Analytical ratios
- Ratio yardsticks
- Profitability ratios
- Operating efficiency ratios
- Efficiency ratios and profitability
- Liquidity ratios
- Liquidity analysis and cash budgeting
- Financial stability ratios
- Gearing rate of return on investment
- Limitations to ratio analysis
- Risk analysis
- Contingency planning
- Business systems
- Quality systems
- Innovation management
- PERT (Program evaluation and review)
- CPA (Critical path analysis)
- GNATT ChartsFastest and slowest completion times
- Business expansion and sources of finance
- Record keeping
8 Evaluating Horticultural Marketing
- Market research
- The marketing mix
- Marketing planning
- Services marketing
- Customer service
- Buying, selling and decision making
- Different heuristics
- Decision making process
- Customer satisfaction
9 Marketing Strategies for Horticulture
- Target markets and market segmentation
- Targeting strategies
- Defining your target market
- Determining market segmentation
- Projecting the future
- Case study: The market for landscape contractors
- The business portfolio
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Learning Goals: Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) BHT326
To develop an ability to formulate and evaluate strategy as well as to ensure effective business performance in today's fast changing social, political and economic environment, for horticultural enterprises within one sector of the horticulture industry.
- Explain the economic environment in which horticultural business operates.
- Appraise the impact of external influences.
- Establish the type of information required for operations in both commercial businesses and service organisations.
- Examine the process and analyse approaches to strategic planning.
- Examine the process and analyse approaches to strategy formation and implementation.
- Prepare a business plan.
- Assess the importance of business control systems utilising IT integration into financial management; prepare, read and interpret annual statements, appreciate the importance of budgetary control.
- Identify the benefits involved when preparing marketing plans; analyse organisational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Formulate customer-orientated and realisable strategies for selected markets
Practical (Set Tasks)
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
Excerpt From The Course
“If one piece is moved wrongly, the whole game is lost” (Chinese proverb)
A strategy is a route map. It shows you where you want to be and how you intend to get there. It does not tell you how to drive or how to overcome hurdles and obstacles along the way – this is covered in the operational plan.
Documenting the Strategy – 5 Steps
- Identify the domain ie. market niche, unique products, etc.
- Explain your competitive advantage in the said domain.
- Introduce the devised strategy.
- Specify strategic objectives (covered later in course).
- Outline potential rewards (normally financial).
As mentioned earlier, the operational plan tells you how to overcome problems encountered along the route. In other words, it is more a tactical plan. The operational plan is more focused on the day to day activities of the business needed in order to achieve the strategic plan. This tends to include managing resources.
Documenting the Operational Plan
A simple Gantt chart helps to illustrate the key steps within the operational plan. You may also write a step by step guide describing each activity. The diagram below illustrates the operational plan in a simple Gantt format for a new bar opening up. The shaded boxes show the time taken per operation. The vertical arrows show the critical path i.e. once the lease has been signed, the floor can be installed without the other operations completed.
The Key Components of a Business Plan
The Executive Summary – The Executive summary is essentially a miniature business plan. It should summarize all of the significant points of the whole plan in ideally one page. The executive summary sets the tone of the business plan, it can tell the reader what to expect. Infuriatingly, some key decision makers can base finance decisions based on the summary alone, so make sure it’s good!
The Main Body – this will become apparent throughout this course.
The Conclusion – What is the business building up to? What last impression do you want to leave on the reader’s mind?
Business plans are not static they need to be revised and re-developed constantly along with the growth and changing needs of the business. There is a saying that is “nothing is constant except for change” – this is something that needs to be understood in planning for the future. You can make a plan for the future, but it needs to be flexible to incorporate impending changes that most likely will occur.
A good strategic plan will help you to focus the direction in which your business develops and should have the following benefits:
- You will know where to focus your time and energy to help you achieve your goals
- You will know where and how to allocate resources
- Will help you to gain an edge on the competition through a solid marketing strategy
- Your employees will clearly understand your plans and directions for the business, and can work within the parameters of the plan
- You can keep a close eye on results and reassess your goals if they appear to be taking you in the wrong direction, or you are not achieving as expected
- Basic business plans can be used to develop a more targeted plan, when applying for a loan or looking to attract investors.
The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis helps the business to identify internal and external factors that may have an affect on your business. Strengths and weaknesses are internal, ie. maintained within the business, factors which you have some control over. Opportunities and threats are external, ie. environmental factors you have no control over.
Penny’s Parties SWOT analysis
The major outcome of strategic road-mapping and strategic planning, after gathering all necessary information, is the setting of goals for the organization based on its vision and mission statement. A goal is a long-range aim for a specific period. It must be specific and realistic. Long-range goals set through strategic planning are translated into activities that will ensure reaching the goal through operational planning.
Many people believe they plan; they consider the future and/or contemplate how they might increase profits. However, merely thinking ahead will not produce either an efficient or an effective plan. Planning is a process that involves the development of goals and objectives, and determining methods or strategies for reaching them. It also involves re-evaluation – making sure that the plan is viable and according correct if not.
By setting goals and objectives, you are establishing the outcomes you wish to achieve, first in a broad sense (goals) and then more specifically, in measurable terms (objectives).
Objectives are the targets which must be achieved in order to fulfil the corporate aims. These will vary greatly according to ownership, size, industry etc. however, some objectives are at the core of the majority of businesses. Examples of objectives include:
- Maximise profit – this is usually the primary objective of any business in the private sector.
- Maximise shareholder wealth – This is often presented by the Board of Directors within large PLC’s.
- Business growth – this can be in a variety of forms depending on the type and current size of the company.
- Spreading risk – most often in the form of diversification. The long-term survival of the company can be supported when the company does not rely on one main product. For example, the chocolate manufacturer Cadbury is now Cadbury Rowntree Schweppes as it has diversified into soft drinks and sweets.
- Increasing market share.
In order for objectives to be truly effective, they should also be SMART: Specific, Measurable; Achievable; Realistic
The anagram of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is a strategy development tool that matches internal organizational strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is the key component of strategic development. It can prompt actions and responses to possible struggles in the future.
Gap analysis is a way of finding niche markets which can give you a competitive edge. To solve a company's problems, or to fulfil its manager’s growth ambitions, moving into new product and market areas ("diversification") is often the recommended prescription.
But diversification has a poor record of success. Most companies (and people) think that they know their own strengths. They do, to a limited extent. But an outsider looking in can often find hidden strengths (and weaknesses).
An example of successful Gap Analysis is villa holidays. In the 1970s, package tour companies found a segment of the public who didn't want to organise all of their holidays, but who disliked the regimentation of package tours.
Since then, the exploitation of this market gap has revealed other niches, which has resulted in Fly 'n Drive holidays and Fly 'n Camp holidays (with tents provided at the destination).
A business strategy is a plan devised in order to allow an organisation to achieve a specific objective. The currently dominant view of strategy is the resource-based theory. Traditional strategy models focus on the company's external competitive environment. They are looking at all the possibilities coming from the outside of the company. Most of them do not attempt to look inside the company.
In contrast, the resource-based perspective highlights the need for a fit between the external market context in which a company operates and its internal capabilities. This can also include internal liabilities or places where there are weaknesses to look at within the company. This is a more overall comprehensive view of the company.
According to this view, a company's competitive advantage derives from its ability to assemble and exploit an appropriate combination of resources – from both inside and outside the company. Sustainable competitive advantage is achieved by continuously developing existing and creating new resources and capabilities in response to rapidly changing market conditions.
In order to form a strategic plan it is necessary to gather information about the business and its market-place. This will come from two sources:
- Internal sources of information, such as the company’s prices, costs and efficiency levels
- External data from organisations like the government and trade associations
The planning should be undertaken regularly and involve an internal audit to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the firm. And an external audit to evaluate the threats and opportunities in the company’s competitive environment; in other words a SWOT analysis.
When analysing a firm’s approach to establishing corporate objectives and developing strategic policy to achieve these goals, it is useful to consider the following points:
- Are they understood and supported by staff? Are they clearly defined?
- Is the outcome of each objective measurable so that it will be clear when it has been achieved?
- Does each objective have a target date for completion in order to ensure action?
- Are the organisation’s objectives focused excessively on short-term profit maximisation at the expense of the long-term development of the business?
- Do the managers of the business clearly understand its strengths and weaknesses?
- Have opportunities in the competitive environment been identified?
- Does the strategic policy of the organisation match the firm’s strengths to opportunities in the competitive environment?
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: email@example.com
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,