Business Management Skills
This document includes the following parts:
• Instructions for completing and submitting this assignment
• CCF & MB case study and tasks covering Business Management Skills:
• Task 1 — Developing and nurturing relationships with clients, other professionals and third-party referrers
• Task 2 — Growing the business
• Task 3 — Identifying risk and applying risk management processes
• Task 4— Improving the business
• Task 5 —Managing people performance
• Task 6 — Showing leadership in the workplace
• Task 7 – Standards and values
• Task 8 – Develop a Performance plan
Instructions for completing and submitting this written assignment
The word count shown with each question is indicative only. You will not be penalised for exceeding the suggested word count. Please do not include additional information which is outside the scope of the question.
Capital City Finance and Mortgage Brokers (CCF & MB)
Peter and Jill are very happy with the way you service your clients and are sure that you are a good fit for the team. They now want you to turn your focus to your primary task, which is to assist in expanding the business by building relationships with selected real estate agents, accountants and legal firms through strategic alliances. They also want you to consider how CCF & MB can consolidate its relationships with its existing strategic partners.
Let’s recap on what you already know about Capital City Finance and Mortgage Brokers (CCF & MB).
It’s a family owned business providing a range of mortgage and finance broking services to the business and private sectors, with experience in all facets of finance and insurance, providing expert advice covering a multitude of products and options existing within the market.
CCF & MB specialises in home loans, commercial lending, business lending, personal and motor vehicle finance and insurance (life and general) and focuses on helping clients find the finance service suited to their individual circumstances.
It provides its services through its association with the following partners:
• Australian Aggregators: a rising company within the aggregation business, with an extensive panel of residential and commercial lenders, and asset finance.
• ABC General Insurance: a boutique insurance company specialising in a full range of general insurances.
• XYZ Life: a small family-owned insurance brokerage specialising in the full range of life insurance products.
Based in the city, CCF & MB has the capacity to service clients from their office or anywhere at their clients’ convenience through its team of mobile brokers.
CCF & MB does not hold a credit license but operates as a credit representative of Australian Aggregators.
Since its inception 13 years ago, CCF & MB has built a loan book of almost $1.2 billion and averages over $120 million in new loans annually.
CCF & MB’s vision is to be the mortgage and finance broker of choice in the greater metropolitan area.
CCF & MB’s mission statement is: ‘to operate professionally in accordance with legislation, our licence and professional standards’.
CCF & MB’s values are as follows:
• to act with honesty and integrity at all times
• to provide unbiased advice and conduct business, free from any conflict of interest
• to maintain confidentiality in all dealings
• to meet all NCCP regulatory requirements
• to comply with all mortgage industry laws and regulations
• to ensure quality and efficiency in its loan processes.
CCF & MB’s people
CCF & MB is owned by husband and wife, Peter and Jill Spencer.
With over 35 years’ experience in finance and business ownership, Peter established and built a successful business dedicated to assisting clients with managing their finances effectively. Starting the business with his wife Jill 13 years ago, Peter gained immense satisfaction in seeing it expand, to service more and more clients across the city and greater metropolitan area. Although in recent years he has stepped back from dealing directly with clients, he still maintains a small select clientele. He also takes great pride in training and mentoring his team to enhance their performance.
Jill has over 22 years of lending experience and is qualified, not only to assist her clients with their mortgage requirements, but also to assist them with their commercial finance requirements. She also holds financial planning qualifications. She specialises in asset finance.
The company has a small team of five additional consultants and two administration staff members. Profiles for the team are as follows:
• Jennifer Dee is recognised as one of the top female brokers in Australia. She has been in the broking industry for over 10 years and has a passion and dedication to assist and accommodate all of her clients’ needs with their financial dreams. Jennifer is an Accredited Mortgage Consultant with the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).
• Louise Spencer (Peter and Jill’s eldest daughter) is an Accredited Mortgage Consultant with the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and has been working as a loan consultant for almost two years. Louise started off in the lending industry in the office as an administrator to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible before taking a broking role. Her passion for helping her clients ensures that she is always available to her clients at a time and place convenient for them.
• Michael Spencer is Peter’s younger brother and is CCF & MB’s equipment finance specialist. He has over 25 years working in the equipment finance industry. He has developed an in-depth understanding of the transport and agricultural industries, and also provides finance for general equipment, motor vehicles and computer equipment.
• Martin Long has specialised in equipment finance for the last three years, but prior to this he spent five years operating his own retail food business. This practical experience allows him to see things from his client’s point of view, including experience with equipment finance. He specialises in plant and equipment in the machinery, woodworking and packaging industries. Examples of some of the equipment he has financed are farm machinery, extrusion lines, plastic injection moulders, commercial catering equipment, woodworking plant, packaging lines, forklifts, office fit-outs and many different motor vehicles.
• Luis Ramirez migrated to Australia as a young boy; 25 years ago with his family. After completing high school he graduated from university with an accounting degree and worked in ANZ in commercial lending. He joined CCF & MB four years ago and specialises in vehicle and capital equipment financing. He provides ITC and general equipment lease funding options for clients. By providing better outcomes, both during and at the end of their equipment leases, Luis’ many clients have been able to reduce costs and maximise the value of their available budgets.
CCF & MB is a member of the MFAA, as a broking business dealing directly with the public. Both Peter and Jill are fellows of the MFAA. CCF & MB is also a corporate member of the FBAA.
All staff members, including consultants, are paid an annual salary plus superannuation. Consultants also receive a car allowance plus a percentage of trail commissions, which are paid quarterly based on their performance targets.
CCF & MB’s panelled lenders
With access to an extensive panel of lenders, CCF & MB can meet most clients’ expectations. Residential lenders are listed in the following table.
Adelaide Bank Homeloans Limited Pepper Home Loans
AMP Homeside Phoenix-Circle Credit Union
ANZ ING Direct PLAN Lending
Australian Financial Keystart PN Bank
Australian First Mortgage La Trobe Resi
Bank of Melbourne Liberty Financial St George Bank
BankSA Macquarie Suncorp
Bankwest ME Bank The Rock Building Society
Bluestone Mortgage Mart Westpac
Citibank NAB Wide Bay Australia Ltd
Commonwealth Bank Newcastle Permanent
Heritage Bank Peoples Choice Credit Union
Commercial lenders and asset finance providers are listed in the following table.
Adelaide Bank Commercial Bibby Financial Services Pty Ltd Liberty Financial Commercial
ANZ Commercial Commonwealth Bank Commercial NAB Commercial
Australian First Mortgage Commercial IMB Commercial St George Commercial
Bank SA Commercial ING Direct Commercial Suncorp Commercial
Bankwest Business Banking LaTrobe Commercial Westpac Commercial
Adelaide Bank Commercial Macquarie Leasing Westpac Equipment Finance
ANZ Asset Finance Commonwealth Bank Asset Finance Liberty Asset Finance
Peter and Jill are very keen to expand and grow their business and are in the process of speaking with a number of real estate agents, accountants and legal firms with a view to forming strategic alliances.
Due to the expected increase in business, Peter and Jill are seeking to employ another consultant to take on the extra work. This person will be required to:
• build strategic relationships with a number of real estate agents, accountants and legal firms already identified
• identify and foster relationships with other real estate agents, accountants and legal firms
• provide finance and mortgage broking services to new clients identified through these strategic alliances.
Business management skills
Task 1 — Developing and nurturing relationships with clients, other professionals and third-party referrers
Peter and Jill now require you to write a plan to assist in developing and nurturing relationships with clients, other professionals and third-party referrers.
The layout and content of your plan should address the following:
1. How CCF & MB’s policies and procedures and legislative, regulatory and professional codes of practice impact on developing and nurturing relationships.
2. How you would use CCF & MB’s social, business and ethical standards to develop and maintain positive relationships.
3. The importance of confidentiality and how you would maintain it in your dealings with colleagues, clients and other parties.
4. How you would adjust your interpersonal style to the needs and situation of other parties.
5. How you would go about developing and maintaining business and professional networks and other relationships to benefit the organisation; and how you would use them to identify and cultivate relationships in order to promote and market the organisation.
6. How you could use and cooperate with other professionals and third parties to expand and enhance the reputation of the organisation, and to identify new and improved business practices.
7. How you would build referral business through appropriate communication channels, to find and secure new business relationships.
8. How you would identify referral needs and provide information about CCF & MB’s relevant products and services.
9. How you would secure interviews with referral business so that the needs of clients can be met.
You may use any format for your plan but you are not permitted to simply answer the points above. If you are unsure as to how to write a plan, you can refer to the Business Growth and Marketing topic and use the suggested SMEAC format outlined in Part 6, Section 13. You may also refer to the internet for other example business or marketing plans.
Guidance on how to develop a plan is available at the business.gov.au website:
When completing this task, assumptions are permitted, although they must not be in conflict with the information provided in the background information.
Student response to Task 1
Assessor feedback for Task 1: Resubmission required?
Task 2 — Growing the business
Having considered how you would go about building and nurturing relationships, Peter and Jill now require you to turn your attention to marketing and promoting CCF & MB’s business. This requires you to develop, implement, monitor and adjust a Marketing Plan for the business. When doing this, you will need to:
• Ensure your plan is developed in line with CCF & MB’s vision statement.
• Conduct some research (or make assumptions) and identify key market data for the plan. This can include, for example, customer demographics, product types (i.e. census data if available), marketing media data (i.e. social media).
• Identify of target markets, using a combination of research and your own personal experience.
• Identify your major competitors (at least two) with a competitor analysis developed for each competitor.
• Conduct a review of CCF & MB’s current market position based on your research findings in conjunction with competitor analysis; and identify where improvements can be made.
• Document changes you could introduce to improve the brand of CCF & MB, and what promotional activities you could introduce to build the customer base.
• The provision of options for increasing yield per existing client.
1. To develop and implement the marketing plan, complete the table below:
Student response to Task 2 Question 1
Implementing the Marketing plan
Task Steps Required Resources Required Who will complete this Date to Start Date to Complete
2. To monitor the marketing plan, complete the table below:
Student response to Task 2 Question 2
Monitoring the Marketing Plan
Marketing plan targets Monitoring process Period one Period two Period three Period four Average
Answer here Answer here Answer here Answer here Answer here Answer here Answer here
3. To make adjustments to the marketing plan, complete the table below:
Student response to Task 2 Question 3
Adjusting the marketing plan
Identified task requiring adjustment Changes required
Answer here Answer here
When completing this task, assumptions are permitted although they must not be in conflict with the information provided in the background information.
Task 3 — Identifying risk and applying risk management processes
Peter and Jill have become very concerned about the potential risks that could jeopardise
CCF & MB’s business operations. They were very impressed with your growth and marketing plans for
CCF & MB so they have now moved you into more of a general manager’s role with expanded responsibilities, including managing CCF & MB’s risk.
1. As part of your new responsibilities you are required to develop a risk management plan which:
• Establishes the context for CCF & MB’s risk management plan.
• Lists and explains the tools you will use in assessing the risks you identify.
• Identifies the stakeholders you would consult in establishing context and the tools you would use in identifying CCF & MB’s risks.
• Identifies at least two risks that CCF & MB could face for each of the six categories of business risk including strategic risks, compliance risks, financial risk, operational risks, market and environmental risks and reputational risks with an appropriate risk statement for each identified risk.
Note: You may make any assumptions in producing your plan, but these should be documented either in the body of your plan or separately before you produce it. You are not permitted to simply answer the points detailed above.
Student response to Task 3: Question 1
2. Refer to the email from co-worker identifying potential risk in the toolbox. Using the box below, write an email to management outlining the identified risk, your analysis, how you would evaluate the risk and suggest how the risk could be best treated.
Student response to Task 3: Question 2
3. Refer to the Risk treatment mapping guide in the toolbox. Using the following steps, complete the Risk evaluation and treatment table below:
Step 1. Through analysis, identify the risks CC & MB’s business may face; and complete that column. This is to include both legislative and financial risks.
Step 2. By using the Risk treatment mapping guide in the toolbox, appraise the likelihood and consequence for each risk identified and include these in the table.
Step 3. Define how each risk can be treated, and whether a potentially serious risk should be escalated to management.
Step 4. Develop recommendations to mitigate identified risks.
Step 5. Provide recommendations on how to monitor and review the risks identified.
Student response to Task 3: Question 3
Complete for Task 6: Risk evaluation and treatment map
(through analysis) Likelihood
(risk evaluation criteria) Consequence Treatment
(comment if risk should be escalated to management for supervision) Mitigate identified risks
(provide recommendations to mitigate risk) Monitor
(include how to be monitored and how often to be reviewed)
(Task 3: Questions 1-3, 1,000 words)
Task 4— Improving the business
Over the last few months business for CCF & MB has been very good with a number of new clients coming on board as a result of implementing your business growth and marketing plans. However, neither you or the business owners are satisfied with maintaining the status quo; as you and they are committed to a program of continuous improvement.
You all feel that CCF & MB’s competitive advantage needs to be strengthened and a SWOT should be undertaken to establish CCF & MB’s strengths and weaknesses including benchmarking the business against the industry. You now decide that you will carry out a diagnosis of the business including a SWOT analysis and a benchmarking exercise to improve CCF &MB’s competitive advantage and its business. You are to produce a document covering your diagnosis, which will be distributed amongst CCF & MB’s key personnel.
As a minimum, your document should cover the following:
1. The data you have used as part of your diagnosis to identify CCF & MB’s competitive advantage.
2. A SWOT analysis to identify CCF & MB’s strengths and weaknesses, its threats and opportunities.
3. How you identified and sourced relevant benchmarking data.
4. How you selected the key indicators (and who you consulted with) for your benchmarking exercise.
5. A consolidated list of the areas for improvement you have identified with a cost-benefit ratio established for each of them.
6. Recommendations on the changes that may be required that will affect existing workflows or
CCF & MB’s organisational structure
7. A high-level action plan that will implement and monitor the recommended changes to be made.
In addition to the material on your Part 2 learning guides, the following link gives you access to a
step-by-step guide to benchmarking and determining competitive advantage:
Student response to Task 4
Task 5 —Managing people performance
One of your key responsibilities as general manager is to develop and implement ways to improve the performance of CCF & MB’s consultants and other staff members.
Answer the following questions:
1. Why is it important to consult with stakeholders when allocating work? What are the possible consequences of allocating work without consultation?
Student response to Task 5: Question 1
2. Describe the process you might follow when developing quantitative and qualitative performance criteria. You should explain how you ensure that the criteria relates to CCF & MB’s objectives and how to motivate staff members to achieve these objectives.
Student response to Task 5: Question 2
3. Describe the different ways you might gather information about a staff member’s workplace performance.
Student response to Task 5: Question 3
4. What are the benefits of evaluating and monitoring staff members on a continuous basis?
Student response to Task 5: Question 4
5. Describe how you might do this for CCF & MB.
Student response to Task 5: Question 5
6. Why is it important to document the performance management process? Explain the possible consequences of not retaining appropriate records of this process.
Student response to Task 5: Question 6
7. In what ways can you reinforce excellence in work performance through recognition and continuous feedback? In what ways might you be able reward staff in non-financial ways?
Student response to Task 5: Question 7
8. Design a high-level performance management process for CCF & MB to be rolled out to all staff members.
Student response to Task 5: Question 8
9. Who should you consult when designing the performance management process? List who you would consult and the reasons why.
Student response to Task 5: Question 9
10. Using the box below, create a minimum of 5 evaluation criteria, that could be used in a Performance appraisal Checklist:
Student response to Task 5: Question 10
11. Using the “Work Plan” template provided below, develop a work plan for CCF & MB. This can be done by using actions of your choice (i.e. nurturing leads to create clients). The work plan will also include who you will allocate various tasks to achieve the plan’s objective. The plan must be within CCF & MB’s organisational requirements and comply with legal requirements.
Student response to Task 5: Question 11
Complete for Task 11: Work plan template
Action Allocated to: Responsibility Timeframe allocated
(Task 5 Questions 1-11, 800 words)
Martin and Luis are working together on project involving the preparation for a loan application for one of CCF & MB’s most influential clients, a property developer. Martin missed a deadline and the whole project is now behind schedule by a week. This is the third time in a month that he has missed a deadline. Martin has had problems with meeting deadlines in the past and has already had a written warning.
As the general manager you have been monitoring Martin’s performance over the past month, providing informal feedback about his role in the project. Although he has made several improvements regarding his performance, his inability to meet deadlines has forced the delay of the client’s development a further month. CCF & MB made a commitment to the client that the loan application would be with the prospective lender two weeks ago.
The client is not happy that he does not yet have an approval and is considering cancelling the agreement he has with CCF & MB and going elsewhere.
12. You have arranged to meet with Martin to talk about the project and his input. How would you go about providing constructive feedback to Martin?
Student response to Task 5: Question 12
13. Following your meeting with Martin you have decided to monitor his performance for the purposes of evaluating where improvements can be made and provide feedback. Outline the process you have adopted to conduct this monitoring exercise. Reference material is available in Topic 1.3, Business Management Skills, People management.
Student response to Task 5: Question 13
14. Following your meeting with Martin, use the evaluation criteria, you developed in question 10 above to record and document comments regarding Martin’s performance in the Performance Appraisal checklist below.
Student response to Task 5: Question 14
Complete for Task 10: Performance Appraisal Checklist
Evaluation Criteria Rating 1-5 (5 best) Team Leader/General Manager Comments
Answer here Answer here Answer here
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(Task 5 Questions 12-14, 600 words)
Task 6 — Showing leadership in the workplace
Leadership is defined as the ability to influence others. This assessment task requires you to reflect on your own ability to positively influence others in the workplace and the negative aspects of poor leadership.
Note: If you are not currently working in the finance and mortgage broking industry, you may reflect on your experiences in another industry.
1. Reflect on a situation where you have had a positive impact in the workplace. Please include the skills, decisions and/or behaviours you demonstrated that contributed to this positive change and what the impact was for the team/clients/organisation. (400 words)
Student response to Task 6: Question 1
2. Reflect on a situation which was or could have been damaging to an organisation. Please include the behaviours, standards or values that were demonstrated and explain why they were detrimental. (400 words)
Student response to Task 6: Question 2
3. In your role as the general manager of CCF & MB create your own personal performance plan.
You may use your own personal performance plan or alternatively you can use the example below. In developing your personal performance plan, you should ensure that your personal KPIs reflect
CCF & MB’s goals and objectives and how you can help in building CCF & MB’s integrity and credibility.
You may refer to the Organisational standards and values document located in the toolbox and use the Client service standards statement for specific development objectives.
Student response to Task 6: Question 3
What are my development objectives? Priority What activities do I need to undertake to achieve my objectives? What support/resources do I need to achieve my objectives Target date for achieving my objectives Actual date of achieving my objectives
4. Feedback from colleagues, staff and management may be gathered informally and formally including performance review feedback. Why is it important to analyse and interpret this type of feedback?
Student response to Task 6: Question 4
Assessor feedback for Task 6: Resubmission required?
Task 7 – Standards and values
1. Refer to the Organisational standards and values document located in the toolbox and identify two of standards and two values that would be important to CCF & MB.
Student response to Task 7: Question 1
2. Prepare a brief employee performance review of yourself in a current or previous workplace.
In the performance review:
• include the standards and values that you listed in question 1
• evaluate your own behaviour and performance against these standards and values
• explain how you could adjust your performance in the workplace to meet these standards and values.
Note: If you are not currently working in the financial services industry, you can choose another industry.
You are only required to write 2-3 paragraphs maximum in your response.
Student response to Task 7: Question 2
3. CCF & MB provide an internal blog (through their intranet) for staff to make suggestions to improve business performance. In your role as the general manager at CCF & MB and following work preparing a performance plan you observed that client service standards were not being maintained consistently. Failure to meet these standards may be damaging to the reputation of the organisation.
Use the internal blog (box below) as a communication tool and post a question to the sales team at CCF & MB asking why service standards and values are not being maintained consistently as required by the organisation.
Refer to the Organisational standards and values document located in the toolbox and use the Client service standards statement to prepare your question.
Student response to Task 7: Question 3
Task 8 - Develop a performance plan
For CCF & MB to continue to meet their primary goal of being a leader in offering broking services to the local community, they have asked you in your capacity as the newly appointed general manager to develop a performance plan and establish some ‘key performance indicators’ (KPIs) for all customer service staff.
The objective of the performance plan is to focus on the organisations key goals and objectives in line with ‘Service standards statement’ available in the toolbox.
Information on people performance can be sourced from Business Management Skills, Topic 1-3, People management.
Student response to Task 8