Business Case study report: Colchester zoo.

2378 words (10 pages) Essay in Business

23/09/19 Business Reference this

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Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………1  

2.0 Legal Business Structure…………………………………………………………………1  

2.1 Advantages and disadvantages………………………………………………………….1   

3.0 Organisational Structure………………………………………………………………….2  

    3.1 Organisational Structure…………………………………………………………………2

    3.2 Span of Control…………………………………………………………………………2

    3.3 Chain of Command……………………………………………………………………..3

    3.4 Decision Making………………………………………………………………………..3

4.0 Analysis of External Environment………………………………………………………3

     4.1 Political…………………………………………………………………………………3

     4.2 Economic……………………………………………………………………………… 4

     4.3 Social………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

     4.4 Technological…………………………………………………………………………. 4

5.0 SWOT Analysis…………………………………………………………………………..4

6.0 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………..5

7.0 References………………………………………………………………………………..6

8.0 Appendices……………………………………………………………………………….7

      8.1 Appendix 1……………………………………………………………………………7

 

1.0  Introduction

Colchester zoo is a limited company located in Colchester (Companies House, n.d). The limited company number is 01271226  (Companies House, n.d). The nature of the business is classed as “Botanical and Zoological gardens and nature reverses activities” (Companies House, n.d).

The zoo cares for 240 species of animals, 66 of which are involved in European breeding programmes (Colchester Zoo, 2019) (Colchester Zoo, 2017). The zoo first opened in 1963 by Frank and Helena Farrar and was originally named Stanway Hall Park Zoo (Hosey et al., 2013) (Colchester Zoo, 2019). The zoo also encourages research programmes, in the academic year of 2015-2016, 30 research projects were carried out (Colchester Zoo, 2017). The zoo aims to bring an enjoyable experience for visitors as well as showing how to respect and understand animals (Colchester Zoo, 2019). Also, the zoo aims to partake in vital breeding programmes and moreover invest in programmes dedicated to endangered species (Colchester Zoo, 2019).

The aim of this report is to investigate the business plus organisational structure, analyse the external environment the zoo operates and challenges as well as opportunities the zoo faces.

2.0  Legal Business Structure

Colchester Zoo is a public limited company (Companies House, n.d). There can be advantages and disadvantages to this business structure.

2.1  Advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage wise, being a public limited company means more shares, which allows for the amount of  risk to be spread out, as it is spread amongst the shareholders (Mazuma, 2018). As well, those owning the company, work for themselves, with profits going back into the business. However, there are disadvantages. If changes need to be made to the company, the director may need to have the shareholders vote on whether the changes are implemented or not (Gov.uk, n.d). This may mean vital changes, may not be implemented if the shareholders disagree. Accounts need to be updated regularly and placed on the Companies House website. This means companies may need to invest in accountants and improve organisational skills. A limited company also has to pay Corporation Tax, which is why accounts need to be regularly updated (Gov.uk, n.d).

 

3.0  Organisational Structure.

3.1  Organisational structure

Colchester boasts various teams from gardening to animal care, all of whom however, aid the business in some way (Colchester Zoo, 2019).

Figure 1: The organisational structure which is found at Colchester zoo (Shearing, n.d).

3.2  Span of control

Colchester Zoo has an organisational structure where there are two directors at the highest level. Under the two directors there is a set of managers which are focused on the zoo grounds and the zoological background of the zoo. At the third level of organisation, there are many different supervisors as well as managers to maintain every team of staff. Staff would report to the supervisors if any problems occur. This organisational structure seen at Colchester zoo is a tall structure (Salter, 2018). This is because there are various supervisors. Communication runs from the top to the bottom (Salter, 2018). This allows for managers to have a low amount of workload.

3.3  Chain of command.

In each of the teams, the various members of staff, would follow the communication from their team supervisor. This may be done by a team meeting, email or bulletin. The supervisors themselves may receive communication from either of the managers above them, who would have received their information from the directors. The directors would inform the managers on any changes or new feature being implemented at the zoo, but they also have the authority to communicate to any of the staff. Communication is important for any business but with such a large structure, not all staff may be informed. The use of social media and email, may be vital in informing all staff members (Salter, 2018).

3.4  Decision making

All major decisions for the business are made by the directors, who would notify the appropriate manager who would then pass the communication down the chain of command. Supervisors may make decisions about where and when each staff member works, as well as timetabling volunteers. The staff themselves, may decisions about for example: if animal enclosures require a tidy or if more food needs to be cooked in the canteen.

4.0  Analysis of the External Environment

Using the PEST framework, the external factors which may affect the business, can effectively be analysed. These factors are political, environmental, social as well as technological. The factors involved do not have to be negative.

4.1  Political Factors

The 1981 Zoo Licence Act states that it is necessary for zoos to have a form of conservational project to have a licence to keep exotic animals (Legislation.Gov.uk,1999). Breeding programmes may take time as well as money to put into place at Colchester. On the 23rd of June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (BBC, 2018). Colchester zoo is involved with the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme and the European Studbook (Colchester Zoo, 2017). The zoos ties between these two programmes might be affected if the UK leaves the European Union. Colchester zoo also needs to ensure that the environments it provides for its workers comply with the Safety at Work etc. Act to ensure a lack of accidents as well as injury ( Legislation.Gov.uk, 2019).

4.2  Economic

In 2017, Colchester made a turnover of above £15 million (Companies House, n.d). Because Colchester is privately owned, the zoo is liable to pay 20% VAT, alongside business rates and cooperation tax (Colchester Zoo, 2019). This decreases the amount of funds the business can utilise to improve infrastructure and pay wages. To maximise the turnover, the zoo could push for more animal adoptions and utilise its volunteering programme more efficiently.

4.3  Social

The zoo provides vital education tools to visitors about species residing at the zoo as well as conservation efforts. This may encourage more people to donate to the zoo and raise awareness for conservation. If a documentary shows an endangered species in a distressing manner, this may drive more visitors to the zoo. Additionally, because of the many breeding programmes at Colchester, baby animals are common, which may drive visitors. However, public opinion of zoos has changed, with some members of the public finding them cruel, this may decrease visitor numbers. 

4.4  Technological

Keeping an up to date social media platform, allows for potential guests to see what is available to experience at the zoo, which increases visitors. To care for the animals effectively, specific technology may be required: for example, central heating. This may costly to implement.

5.0  SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and lastly threats (Juneja, n.d).A SWOT can be a vital tool in determining if the resources the business can utilise, allow for growth with the environment at which it is found (Juneja, n.d).

 

 

 

Strengths

  • Tickets can  be purchased online, which is a convenience (Colchester Zoo, 2019).
  • A varying array of methods to travel to the zoo, the zoo is ten minutes from the train station. (Colchester Zoo, 2019).
  • A wide variety of animals to view
  • Breeding programmes are successful, In 2018, Colchester had 2 Amur leopard cubs born (Barnett, 2018).

Weakness’s

  • Bad weather causes a lack of visitors   (Companies House, n.d).  
  • May not distinct enough from other zoos.
  • Larger turnover in warmer seasons.
  • Visitors limiting the amount of money they spend in the gift shop buying food etc. (Companies House, n.d).

Opportunities

  • Social media can be used to promote events at the zoo in advance to draw interest.
  • Research programmes.
  • Technological advancements- utilising tablets with information on.
  • Seasonal events
  • Lowering prices of items sold.

Threats

  • RSPCA-Specifically the Animal Welfare Act and the 5 needs (2006) (RSPCA, 2019) (appendix 1).
  • Diseases- Cases of horse flu found at race tracks in early 2019 (Keogh, 2019).
  • Weather-causes a lack of visitors meaning little turnover (Companies House, n.d).
  •  Competition from other attractions (Companies House, n.d).

6.0  Conclusion

The success of the zoo is thanks to the visitors and the large teams of staff which help to keep the zoo running. The zoo has been a popular destination to visit within the UK since opening in 1963 and will continue to be with appropriate growth (Hosey et al., 2013). Communication between staff could be improved at Colchester and to attract more visitors, prices could decrease in seasons where there is a lack of visitors.

7.0  References.

  • Barnett, S., East Anglian Dly. Times. (2018) Colchester Zoo in review: The highs and lows of 2018. [www document]                                                                 https://www.eadt.co.uk/what-s-on/colchester-zoo-2018-gallery-new-animals-1-5834889 [Accessed: 17th of February 2019]
  • BBC News (2018) Brexit timeline: Leaving the EU. [www document] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43546199 [Accessed: 11th February 2018]
  • Colchester Zoo (2019) About Colchester Zoo [www document] https://www.colchester-zoo.com/about/about-colchester-zoo [Accessed: 11th February 2019] 
  • Colchester Zoo (2019) Careers [www document] https://www.colchester-zoo.com/about/careers-volunteering/careers [Accessed: 16th of February 2019]
  • Colchester Zoo (2019) E-tickets [www document] https://www.colchester-zoo.com/visit/admission/etickets [Accessed: 17th of February 2019]
  • Colchester Zoo. (2019) How to find us [www document] https://www.colchester-zoo.com/visit/how-to-find-us [Accessed: 17th February 2019]
  • Colchester Zoo, Colchester Zoo Souvenir Book, October 2017. No publisher.
  • Companies House (no date) COLCHESTER ZOO LIMITED [www document] https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01271226 [Accessed: 11th February 2018] 
  • Gov.uk (no date) Corporation Tax [www document] https://www.gov.uk/corporation-tax [Accessed 13/02/18]
  • Gov.uk (no date) Set up a private limited company. [www document] https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation/shareholders [Accessed: 13th of February 2019]
  • Hosey, G., V. Melfi, and S. Pankhurst. 2013. Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management, and Welfare. OUP Oxford.
  • Juneja P. (no date) SWOT Analysis – Definition, Advantages and Limitations [www document] https://www.managementstudyguide.com/swot-analysis.htm [Accessed: 16th of February 2019].
  • Keogh F. BBC, (2019) Equine flu: 174 stables in lockdown – what now for horse racing, Cheltenham and jockeys? [www document] https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/47179707 [Accessed: 17th February 2019]
  • Legislation.Gov.uk (2019) Participation, E. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. [www document] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/2 [Accessed:11th of February 2019]
  • Legislation.Gov.uk (1999) Zoo Licensing Act. 1981 [www document] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/37 [Accessed: 11th February 2019]
  • Mazuma (2018) The advantages and disadvantages of a public limited company. [www document] https://www.mazumamoney.co.uk/news/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-a-public-limited-company/ [Accessed: 13th February 2019]
  • RSPCA (2019) Animal Welfare Act [www document] https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/endcruelty/changingthelaw/whatwechanged/animalwelfareact [Accessed:17th of February 2019]
  • Salter, D. 2018. My Revision Notes: WJEC and Eduqas GCSE Business. London. Hodder Education.
  • Shearing (n.d) Business studies [www document] https://mrshearingbusinessstudies.weebly.com/p3–p4.html [Accessed: 15th of February 2018].

8.0  Appendices

8.1  Appendix 1

Table 1: The 5 welfare needs which all domestic animals require to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. (2006) (RSPCA, 2019).

The right to…

  • A suitable diet.
  • A safe environment.
  • Exhibit natural behaviour.
  • Be housed with or without others.
  • Be protected from pain.

 

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