Operational Business Management I (Horticulture)

Course CodeBHT326
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Business Operations Skills are Sought After in Horticulture

This course is appropriate for all sectors of horticulture. It takes an extremely professional approach to the business of horticultural enterprise management. These skills are needed and much sought after in the horticulture trade and gives managers or budding  managers the necessary skills and confidence to work in this field.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. The Economic Environment
    • The world of economics
    • Scarcity
    • Opportunity costs
    • Goods
    • Definitions
    • 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
    • Competition
    • Sustainability
    • 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
    • Monopoly
    • Monopolistic Competition
    • Oligopoly
    • Perfect competition
    • International markets and tradeable commodities
    • Globalisation
    • Supply and demand
    • Market forces
    • Demand
    • Supply
    • Elasticity
    • Economics of scale
    • Cost structures
    • Liquidity
  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, storage 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
    • Ledger
    • Journal
    • 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
    • Decisions
    • What to plan for
    • Finance
    • Structure for a Financial plan
    • Developing a budget
    • Structure for a marketing plan
    • Plan drawing
  5. Implementing Strategies
    • Implementing strategy
    • Benchmarking
    • 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
    • Risk analysis
    • Contingency planning
    • Business systems
    • Quality systems
    • Innovation management
    • PERT (Program evaluation and review)
    • CPA (Critical path analysis)
    • GNATT Charts
    • Fastest and slowest completion times
    • Business expansion and sources of finance
    • Record keeping
  8. Evaluating Horticultural Marketing
    • Introduction
    • Market research
    • The marketing mix
    • Marketing planning
    • Services marketing
    • Customer service
    • Buying, selling and decision making
    • Different heuristics
    • Decision making process
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Goodwill
  9. Marketing Strategies for Horticulture
    • Target markets and market segmentation
    • Targeting strategies
    • Defining your target market
    • Determining market segmentation
    • Projecting the future
    • Positioning
    • Case study: The market for landscape contractors
    • The business portfolio


  • 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.

How Do You Develop a Better Strategy?

Strategic planning:

  • Identifies the best business decisions.
  • Helps business to understand why these decisions are being made.
  • Knows how to implement these decisions to encourage and maintain business viability within a competitive and dynamic market.
  • Leads to change within a company.
  • Considers the future.

Business managers use strategic planning:

  • To understand the long-term objectives of a business.
  • To know its available resources.
  • To implement new ideas, big changes and decisions that are best suited to the nature and circumstances of the business now and to adapt these decisions as needed.
  • To decide on future business goals and to develop an approach to match these goals; but not to implement specific decisions that are based on future projections –decisions should be made in the present so business makes decisions at it keeps abreast of changes.
  • To recognise opportunities.
  • To recognise threats.
  • To analyse when and how is the best time to seize new business opportunities.
  • To match the businesses resources with new business opportunities.
  • To help make decisions that will influence long term, sustainable growth.

However for strategic planning to be successful (and useful), business managers must be able to think strategically and then apply this as strategic management.

Planning Your Marketing
Owners and managers of businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of marketing their business.  However, many mistakenly think marketing as another word for selling, with some aggressive advertising and promotion thrown in.

However, true marketing moves far beyond just persuasion.  In its most simple form, marketing is finding out what the customer wants, and then setting out to meet their needs, provided it can be achieved profitably.

More formally, marketing is the managerial process of identifying customer requirements and satisfying them by providing customers with appropriate products in order to achieve the business’s objectives (Collins Dictionary of Business, 1995).

Marketing is not just selling, or advertising, or promotion.  It is customer focused, and requires you to organise your business in such a way that you can:

  • Identify your potential customers.
  • Identify their needs and wants.
  • Provide products/services to suit these needs and wants.
  • Tell your customers about your business and what it offers.
  • Persuade them to buy your products/services.
  • Ensure they are satisfied with their purchases.
  • Make a profit.

Marketing involves knowing and understanding the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘how’, and ‘how much’ of your business.

WHO?  -- Your prospects: customers and competitor

WHAT? -- Your product/service

WHERE? -- Your location of premises and market

WHY?  -- Your customer’s buying motives and need

WHEN? -- The right product/service at the right place, at the right time

HOW?  -- Production, distribution and promotion

HOW MUCH? -- The price people will pay.  What you want to spend and what profit you will make.


Who Will Benefit From This Course?

This course held you to get a better and more balanced perspective on how to make a public, charitable or commercial enterprise more sustainable in today's rapidly changing world. 

Especially suited to professionals working in or looking to step up to a management role in horticulture.



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