The Stand-Alone Project for this course requires you to assume the role of an entrepreneur and to create a business plan for a new venture of your own choosing. The business plan should contain the following major sections in the order they are shown below.
NOTE: Create a cover page (company name, the words Business Plan, the name of the contact person for the new venture, and the business’ address and telephone number) and place it before (in front of) Part A. (Do not count the cover page as part of the total number of pages required for the Stand-Alone Project.)
Part A Executive Summary: This section should not exceed 2.5 pages in length. Be sure the Executive Summary answers the following key questions and includes evidence or support for your claims from credible sources, such as your own industry research and primary research with potential customers.
1. What is your business concept? Include information about your business, customers, benefits, and distribution.
2. Does your industry support the feasibility of the concept? Explain.
3. Is there customer acceptance for your business and its products/services? What is the demand?
4. What is your entry strategy? How will you achieve initial market penetration and obtain your first customer?
5. Who are your key competitors, and how will you differentiate your business from the competition?
6. What is your pricing strategy, and how do you justify it?
7. Does your founding team have the capabilities to implement the plan successfully? If not, how will you find these capabilities?
8. How will your business be designed to facilitate implementation in terms of legal structure, organizational structure, and process?
9. In one paragraph, what is your marketing plan?
10. Does your financial plan support a viable business? Include a summary of key points and capital requirements (i.e., a needs assessment).
11. How will you fund the business?
12. Does the market support a potential for growth? What are your key growth plans?
Part B Proof of Concept: This page in your business plan condenses the Expanded Executive Summary down into one page. Answers in this section, for questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 from Part A, should be concise, yet complete.
NOTE: A detailed Table of Contents for the report should be created and placed on a separate page between Parts B and C. (Do not count the table of contents as part of the total number of pages required for the Stand-Alone Project.)
Part C Business Concept: Include the following information in this section.
1. Business Concept Statement (i.e., product/service, customer, benefit, distribution)
2. Purpose of the Business (i.e., why you are in business)
3. Core Values
4. Description and Uses, Unique Features/Benefits, Business Model
5. Primary Customer(s)
6. Spin-Offs or Secondary Market
Part D Management Team: Include the following information in this section.
1. Qualifications of Key Managers (founders)
2. Management Team Needs (or gap analysis)
Part E Market Analysis: Include the following information in this section.
1. Industry Description
a. Industry Size
b. Industry Status (growing, mature, in decline – overall health)
c. Growth Potential
d. Geographic Locations
e. Trends, Patterns of Change, and Entry Barriers
f. Profit Potential
g. Sales Patterns and Gross Margins
h. Target Market
1) Primary Target Markets
2) Secondary Markets
4) Results of Primary Research
5) Customer Profile
6) Customer Needs Analysis
2. Distribution Channels (customer grid)
3. Entry Strategy (initial market penetration)
4. Competitors (show a competitive grid)
b. Direct and Indirect Competitor
c. Market Share (if known)
e. Emerging Competition
f. Substitute Products
5. Product/Service Differentiation and Competitive Advantage
a. Unique Features
b. Potential for Innovation
c. Proprietary Protection (i.e., intellectual property rights)
d. Other Competitive Advantages
6. Pricing Strategy
7. Value Chain
Part F Operational (or Process) Analysis: Include the following information in this section.
1. Product/Service Technical Description
a. Uses, Design, Prototype
b. Obsolescence Issues
2. Product/Service Development Status and Related Costs
a. Current Status of Development
b. Tasks Completed (including time and cost to complete)
c. Potential Difficulties and hesitations (include how they will be resolved)
d. Government Approvals
3. Physical Distribution Plan (including a process grid – i.e., a graphic of the distribution strategy)
Part G Organizational Plan: In this section, include the management philosophy and the company culture including the following.
1. Legal Business Entity
2. Organizational Chart
3. Key Management Duties and Responsibilities
Part H Marketing Plan
1. Purpose of the Marketing Plan (one paragraph)
2. Target Market
3. Unique Market Niche
4. Business Name/Identity
5. Plan to Reach First Customer
Part I Technology and Intellectual Property Plan: Include the following information in this section.
1. Role of Technology as a Business Competitive Advantage
2. Role and management (revenue, licensing, etc.) of intellectual property (proprietary rights, status, etc.)
Part J Financial Plan: Include the following information in this section.
1. Summary of Key Points and Capital Requirements (full financials located in the appendices)
2. Needs Assessment Breakout (i.e., hard costs, soft costs, working capital, start-up, etc.)
3. Funding Plan
Part K Growth Plan
1. Growth Strategy
Part L Appendices: The following documents are required in this section.
1. Financial Statements (Supports Part J above)
a. Financial Statement Assumptions
b. Proforma Financial Statements
1) Cash Flow (Monthly, Years 1, 2, 3)
2) Income (Monthly, Year 1; Annual, Years 2, 3)
3) Balance Sheet (Annual, Years 1, 2, 3)
2. Operational (or Process) Analysis Plan Supporting Documents
(supports Part F above)
a. Manufacturing or Operating Requirements (and associated costs)
b. Manufacturing Cycle or Service Delivery Process (process grid)
c. Materials Requirements
d. Inventory Requirements (also retail/wholesale business)
e. Production Requirements (also retail/wholesale or service business)
f. Labor Requirements (all businesses)
g. Maintenance and Quality Control Requirements (all businesses)
h. Financial Requirements (all businesses)
3. Marketing Plan Supporting Documents (supports Part H above)
a. Marketing Tools (such as advertising and promotion)
b. Media Plan
c. Marketing Budget (use and cost of each marketing tool)
4. Organizational Plan Supporting Documents (supports Part G above)
a. Key Management
b. Key Policies
c. Compensation Programs and Incentives (management, other groups)
5. Contingency Plan
6. Other Supporting Documents: These include resumes, contracts, maps, etc.
Stand-Alone Project: Helpful Hints
1. The report should be written in a clear and concise manner utilizing proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. All resources used must be properly cited within the report and documented in a bibliography using APA style. In addition, the cover page and table of contents must be included and formatted according to the notes addressing them above.
2. Before turning in your new venture business plan, please do the following, as it will help you find the “holes” in your plan and increase the grade for your plan.
a. Determine if any information is repeated in your new venture business plan such that reading the plan is tedious. If the information is duplicated, then remove the duplicate material and make a note stating where the reader can find it. Your new venture business plan should read like a story that tells what your new venture is and how you will make it a success.
b. Substitute your main competitor’s name for your new venture’s name everywhere in the plan. Then read your plan. If your plan would work for your competitor, then you do not have a unique selling proposition and you have not differentiated your venture from your competition. Go back and work on your new venture business plan. Repeat this step. When you are satisfied with your changes, then go to the next step.
c. Give your new venture business plan to three (3) business people, who are NOT friends or family, and ask them if they would invest in your new venture and buy your product or service on a regular basis. Also ask them what they feel is missing from your new venture business plan. Use their comments to strengthen your plan prior to submitting it.