GCSE Business Studies

The broad topics taught on the GCSE Business course are:
 Entrepreneurship and enterprise skills
 Marketing
 Production and meeting the customer’s needs
 HR (Human Resources)
 Legal status
 Finance
 Economics and the wider world
 Business Plan – planning a new business
 Controlled assessment – researching & analysing a local business

There are two exams and a controlled assessment (similar to a piece of coursework where they will research a local business). Paper 1 is a multiple choice paper, paper 2 is referred to as the controlled assessment and paper 3 the written paper. Below is a very detailed breakdown of every single topic in detail that we cover and possible question we ask; this is only designed for a student at the end of the course and naturally it would not be comprehended by a student wondering what business entailed. Any member of the department would be pleased to go through that with a student in a way that they would understand!
We do believe that it is very helpful at revision time for parents to revise at home with students. We will provide revision guides and also have revision exercise that students can take home and practise.

Paper 1 - Multiple Choice Paper

Make sure you know for 1.1 Spotting a Business Opportunity

 Four ways of collecting primary data
 Four ways of collecting secondary data
 The difference between primary and secondary data.
 Why businesses need to have a solid understanding of their market?
 What is a market map?
 Six factors which could be used to segment a market.
 4 ways that businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors in order to gain competitive advantage
 Why it is vital to add value to the product or service that you are selling?
 4 ways to add value to a product or service
 The difference between a franchisor and a franchisee.
 2 advantages of using franchising to start a new business
 2 disadvantages of using franchising to start a new business

Make sure you know for 1.2 Showing Enterprise
 Define the following: Six thinking hats
 Enterprise
 Thinking creatively
 Competitive advantage
 Lateral thinking
 Deliberate creativity
 Invention
 Innovation
 Patent
 Copyright
 Calculated risk
 Four characteristics of being enterprising
 The difference between a good and a service
 Two techniques for creative thinking
 Three questions that entrepreneurs ask
 The difference between invention and innovation
 Three ways to protect a business idea
 Examples of what a calculated risk
 Four enterprise skills
 Three benefits of using mindmaps in planning

Make sure you know for 1.3 Putting a Business Idea into Practice
 Four objectives of entrepreneurs
 The difference between objectives and qualities of an entrepreneur.
 The formula for calculating profit
 The difference between fixed and variable costs
 What are Fixed costs?
 What are Variable costs?
 The formula for net cash flow
 Four pieces of information that could be found in a business plan
 Three long-term sources of finance
 Three short-term sources of finance
 Explain the following terms Financial objectives & Non-financial objectives
 Revenue / sales revenue / turnover / sales turnover
 Sales volume
 Cash
 Cash flow
 Inflow
 Outflow
 Net cash flow
 Insolvency
 Cash flow forecast
 Opening balance
 Closing balance
 Cumulative cash flow
 Trade credit
 Stocks
 Share
 Personal savings
 Share capital
 Shareholders
 Venture capitalist
 Loan
 Security / collateral
 Mortgage
 Dividend
 Retained profit
 Leasing
 Overdraft facility
 Factoring

Make sure you know for 1.4 Effective Start-Up
 Define the following terms Marketing mix:
 Promotion
 Sole trader
 Unlimited liability
 Limited liability
 Income tax
 National Insurance contribution
 Corporation tax
 Job description
 Person specification
 On-the-job training
 Off-the-job training
 2 types of business ownership that have unlimited liability
 2 types of business ownership that have limited liability
 4 factors that are different between private limited companies and sole traders
 2 reasons why businesses need to keep good records
 4 factors that will affect customer satisfaction
 2 benefits of delivering customer satisfaction
 3 ways to encourage repeat purchase
 5 documents used in the recruiting process
 Two different types of training
 3 ways to motivate employees
 4 areas covered by legislation in the workplace and name 4 different laws.

Make sure you know for Unit 1.5: Economics
 Define the following: Commodities
 Demand
 Supply
 Shortage
 Surplus
 Interest rate
 Export
 Import
 Economic growth
 Business cycle
 Recession
 Stakeholder

Make sure you know:
 The link between supply, shortage and surplus
 The difference between goods markets and commodities markets
 Give 3 examples of commodities
 The difference between price and cost
 How changes in the cost of raw materials and energy can impact a business.
 State 4 effects on businesses of a rise in the interest rate.
 State 4 effects on businesses of a fall in the interest rate
 How to calculate the cost of currencies using exchange rates. Explain how the exchange rate works
 How an appreciation (rise) in the value of the pound has an effect on exports and imports
 How a depreciation (fall) in the value of the pound has an effect on exports and imports
 3 features of a recession and how these affect businesses
 3 features of a boom and how these affect businesses
 5 examples of stakeholders in a business
 2 examples of conflicts of interest between stakeholders

Paper 3 - Written Answer Paper

• Marketing
• Marketing Mix
• Branding
• Differentiation
• Product trial
• Repeat purchase
• Product Life Cycle
• Extension Strategies
• Boston Matrix
• Competitive Market Place
• Importance of using a Product Trial
• Quantitative and Qualitative Research
• Importance of Repeat Purchase
• Market Map

1) List as many different ways as you can think of a business can market its products.
2) How can sales be boosted in the short term?
3) What strategic strategies could a firm use to boost sales in the medium and long term?
4) What would be the advantages and disadvantages of reducing price (think of sales, gross profit margins and profits)?
5) How can a firm achieve a successful marketing mix (how can it use the 4Ps)? Why are some Ps more important to certain firms than others (e.g. price to Ryanair, product to BA)?
6) What are the advantages and disadvantages of producing a branded product for a firm?
7) Link the following: Marketing mix, brand, product differentiation, repeat purchase
8) What is product differentiation? Why do firms differentiate their products?
9) What is a product trial? Why do firms use them? What could be a drawback?
10) How and why do firms attempt to get repeat purchase?
11) Draw a product life cycle diagram.
12) Draw the Boston Matrix. Explain the terms; star, problem child, cash cow & dog.
13) Now link the stages of the product life cycle with those of the Boston Matrix.
14) What is ‘product portfolio analysis’?
a) What should a firm do if it has 5 cash cows?
b) What should a firm do if it has a problem child?
15) How can a firm use market mapping?
16) What is a gap in the market?
17) Draw a market map for a product.

• Customer satisfaction
• Achieving Repeat Purchase
• The Design Mix – Function, Cost & Appearance (Aesthetics)
• Need for Scientific Research
• Stock Control (advantages and disadvantages)
• Understanding a stock control graph
• Just in Time (advantages and disadvantages)
• Quality Control (Quality Inspection)
• Quality Assurance
TQM – Total Quality Management
• Customer Service
• Consumer Laws – Sale of goods Act

1) Draw and explain the design mix.
2) Draw a stock control graph and define the following terms:
a) Lead time
b) Buffer stock
c) Re-order level
d) Re-order quantity
3) What are the costs of holding large amounts of stock?
4) What are the problems a firm may experience with poor stock control (this can mean holding too much or too little stock)?
5) What is ‘Just in Time’?
6) What are the advantages and disadvantages of introducing JIT as a method of stock control?
7) What is quality control?
8) What is quality assurance?
9) Should a firm use quality control or quality assurance?
10) How might a manager attempt to keep a firm’s costs to a minimum?
11) Why does a firm want low costs?
12) Why is good customer service so important (link to repeat purchase)?
13) What will happen to a firm that offers its customers a poor level of customer service?
14) What are the purpose of Consumer Laws?
15) Explain the Sales of Goods Act and the Trade Descriptions Act.

• Cash Flow
• Stock
• De-stocking
• Credit terms
• Profit and Loss Account
• Cutting costs
• Increasing revenue
• Break even analysis
• Margin of Safety
• Internal sources of finance – retained profit, asset sales
• External sources of finance – shares, loans, stock market flotation

1) Why is it important for a firm to create a cash flow forecast?
2) Draw up a simple cash flow forecast.
3) What is meant by the term ‘favourable credit terms with suppliers’? What is a trade credit?
4) What is de-stocking? How could this help cash flow in the short term?
5) How could a manger attempt to:
a) Improve cash flows?
b) Reduce cash outflows?
6) Explain the concept of break-even.
7) Draw a break even chart.
8) Write down the formulae for:
a) Contribution
b) Break even
c) Margin of safety
9) What is a firm’s margin of safety?
10) How will a change to costs and price affect the break-even point?
11) Why is the break-even point important to a firm?
12) Define the following terms and state the advantages and disadvantages of each:
a) Internal finance
b) Retained profit
c) Sale of assets
d) External finance
e) Share capital
f) Bank loans
g) Stock market flotation
13) The importance of the choice between ‘debt’ and ‘share equity’ as a way of expanding a business i.e. compare the advantages and disadvantages of financing a business through bank loans (creating debt) and issuing shares (giving away equity).
14) What is an overdraft, trade credit and debenture?

• Organisational Structure
• Divisional structure
• Levels of Hierarchy
• Chains of Command
• Centralised Structure
• De-centralised Structure
• Motivation
• Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
• Communication – implications of too much or too little communication on motivation
• Remuneration

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of firms using a centralised or decentralised structure?
2) Define the following terms:
a) Divisional structure
b) Levels of hierarchy (tall and flat structures)
c) Chain of command
3) Draw and explain Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
4) How could a firm use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
5) Why is a motivated workforce important?
6) What would be the problems for a firm that had:
a) Too little communication
b) Too much communication (e.g. too many emails)
7) Why is good communication vital to good motivation? Link to Maslow’s hierarchy.
8) Explain the following terms and then state how staff would be affected by them and what the advantages and disadvantages would be for a business using them?
a) Time rate – payment per hour
b) Piece rate – payment per item
c) Commission
d) Salary
e) Freelance work
f) Fringe benefits

• Ethics
• Moral issues
• Pressure groups influence on businesses e.g. Greenpeace
• Environment issues
• How can a business effect the environment – traffic congestion, air/noise/water pollution, global warming, recycling, resource depletion e.g. oil
• Economic Growth – advantages & disadvantages
• Impact of economic growth
• International trade
• Extremes of income distribution and inequality – e.g. 800 million people in China working for a dollar a day
• Import protection
• Impact of government and EU legislation
• Red tape
• Taxation
• Minimum wage
• Maternity and Paternity Benefits
• The impact of Health & Safety Legislation on businesses

1) Is it morally correct for firms such as Nike paying a dollar a day to workers making clothes in Asia acceptable (create a balanced argument)?
2) What is often the trade-off for firms between profit and ethics?
3) What impact might pressure groups have on firms?
4) How might a firm damage the environment?
5) What are global warming and natural resource depreciation?
6) Define the following terms:
a) Tariff
b) Quota
c) Protectionism
d) Export subsidy
e) Extremes of income distribution internationally (different wage rates in different countries)
f) Economic growth
7) Why do countries use import protection (e.g. tariffs)? Advantages and disadvantages
8) India and China are growing at around 10% per year whist the UK economy isn’t. They have very large populations and their businesses are expanding? What are the threats and opportunities for UK businesses? Advantages and disadvantages.
9) How does the UK government and EU legislation impact on UK firms?
10) How does the EU affect British Business?
11) What would happen if the government withdrew all its legislation (e.g. Health & Safety Laws, minimum wage etc.)? Positives and negatives for UK firms.
12) What would be the impact on business of the government increasing the minimum wage?