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Visit a business establishments and observe it for at least two hours (it does not have to be two consecutive hours, you may observe twice for an hour each). This must be an establishment opened to the public (restaurant, retail store, entertainment venue, etc.).You do not need to speak with any employees or customers, but if you chose to, besure to obtain permission to include their names and/or comments in your report.
Then imagine you and group of partners plan to open a similar establishment. Write an investigative report for your partners detailing what you observed. Be sure to include your perceived success of the establishment, a detailed account of at least one thing they do well and a detailed account of at least one thing they do less well. The document should be in memo format. Please see page 103 for a sample.
Go Beyond: Select an industry about which you know much, but an establishment about which you know little (Starbucks is absolutely off limits, mostly because I am sick of reading about Starbucks from previous semesters). This will allow you to be much more perceptive since you will not have assumptions upon which to reply. Select an establishment far from both campus and your home. In your closing paragraph(s), make bold, brutally honest predictions about your ability to compete with the business you observed. Feel free to experiement with form.
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