Unit 3: Consulting
This unit will focus on communication skills and strategies essential for communication within an organization and from within an organization to those outside of the organization. You will be working as a consultant for a company from the Launch Chapel Hill Startup Accelerator. You will be tasked with coming up with a solution to their business goal or challenge.
|Genre||Purpose||Audience||Writer’s Role||Rhetorical Situation|
|Recommendation Report||Evaluate existing research and argue for a course of action||Non-experts: executives of social entrepreneurship companies||Consultant||A local startup venture has hired you to meet with them to discuss meeting a specific challenge or goal. They have hired you as a consultant to investigate their goal or challenge and to write a recommendation report.|
Step 1: “Meet” with your client
I will be presenting our three businesses and present problems/areas of improvement for each one:
Step 1a: email Grant with 1-2 sentences outlining your idea.
Step 2: Building Your Knowledge Bases
On your selected company: Research the industry and companies of similar type to get a sense of their vision and their needs. You may also find it helpful to look at recent news and company profiles using Business Source Complete, Hoover, or IBISWorld Industry Reports. UNC library subscribes to each of these services and you should take advantage!
This semester, we are working with Launch Chapel Hill.
Step 3: Feeder #1: Write a Proposal Letter to the Leaders of the Venture
You will each write a formal letter to the head of your venture asking for approval on your individual project. Your proposal letter should:
- Outline a potential opportunity or challenge arising from your preliminary investigation into the company
- Establish criteria for the investigation of the problem or opportunity
- Propose methods of investigation
- Use 2-3 sources to support your case
- Be persuasive
- Be 1 page (single-spaced) in length and use APA style
Examples of research questions:
What should we do about Problem X?
Should we use Technology A or Technology B to do Function X?
We currently use Method A to do Function X. Should we be using Method B?
Step 4: Further Research On Your Company
Your recommendation report should be grounded in scientific research but it should also demonstrate an awareness of the company’s brand and how it differentiates itself from the rest of the industry. You will collaborate as a group to gather market research on your company. You may find it useful as well to gain a sense of the industry as a whole and your company’s competitors. Make a list of observations about your company (including industry and competitors) that can help your group better address the company’s needs. Your observations should include:
- The company’s goals, values, and business needs
- The company’s current use of textiles and textile technologies
- What differentiates the company from others in the industry
Please post a collaborative group document on your group google doc.
Step 5: Feeder #2: Progress Report
Prepare a progress report in which you briefly summarize your project and list the possible recommendations that you have for the company. The point of this document is to make sure that you are as persuasive as possible in your recommendation report and have a solid plan in place.
Your progress report should:
- Summarize your project, your findings, and your stage of progress
- List possible recommendations
- Address how each option would/would not meet the company’s needs
- Include sources that provide background and evidence for/against each option
- Include questions for your colleagues
NOTE: This is a professional, yet informal document. I will be grading based on your completion of the bullets listed above and the professional style of the writing. You may use first person here.
Step 6: Unit Project: Write a Recommendation Report
Write a 2-3 page (single spaced) recommendation report addressed to the leaders of your company. Your report should include the following sections:
- Title page with table of contents – Include title of the report, name(s) of the client, your name, and date of submission.
- Executive summary – A brief description of the report, including a general analysis of the client’s needs and your proposed responses to those needs.
- Body of Report
- Conclusions – Include discussion of options and tell why and how you narrowed down the options to the following recommendations.
- Recommendation-Divide your recommendations under major headings if they address different business needs. Each recommendation should include 1) a description of the recommendation, including how it will help the client meet goals; 2) a rationale and explanation for the recommendation, including foreseeable benefits; and 3) an action plan describing the steps the client needs to take to implement the recommendation.
- Cost Analyses – An analysis and estimate of the cost factors involved, should the client decide to implement the recommendations. Visual representations are welcomed in this section.
- List of Sources – Provide a list of sources used in your report.
- (Optional) Appendixes – Include further instructions, samples, glossaries, illustrations, and diagrams.