There are six parts to the business plan. You will use the same business idea for all six parts of the plan. The Business Plan Assignments can be found by clicking the link in the chapters in which they are assigned. Answer the questions that make up each part in the order that they are shown. Note that the template includes hints that will help you answer each question. Once you are done answering the question, you should delete the question and the tip, leaving just the heading and your answer behind.
Students who successfully complete the plan have these two qualities in common:They do not procrastinate. A well-written business plan cannot be written overnight, as they require a good deal of thought and creativity. They also ask questions. If a term is used in the business plan template that confuses you, check in your textbook or ask your instructor for an explanation.
Students also like to know how many pages are needed for a good grade.A good completed Business Plan normally requires between 10 to 12 pages. This sounds like a lot, but most of the six sections will average about 2 pages.
To complete this assignment, you will need to use the Business Plan Template below. You must use Microsoft Word to prepare your assignment. After you have completed the assignment upload it using the link below. Do not include the questions and hints provided in this template in your Business Plan. You should however include the headings above each section to make your plan look more professional and easier for me to read. Be sure to save your work. If you have not done so already, please read the information about the Business Plan assignment in the syllabus.
What is the name of your business?
Hint: When you think of the name of your business, make sure that it captures the spirit of the business you’re creating.
DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS
What will your business do?
Hint: Imagine that you are explaining your business to a family member or a friend. The business should be easy to explain.
FORM OF BUSINESS OWNERSHIP
What form of business ownership (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) will your business take? Why did you choose this form? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Hint: For more information on the types of business ownership, refer to the discussion of the different forms of business ownership in Chapter 3.
Describe your ideal customer. What are they like in terms of age, income level, and so on?
Why will customers choose to buy from your business, instead of your competition?
Hint: In this section, describe what will be unique about your business. For example, is the product/service special, will customer service be exceptional, or will you offer the product/service at a lower price?
All businesses have to deal with ethical issues. One way to address these issues is to create a code of ethics. Describe three core (unchanging) principles that your business will follow.
Hint: To help you consider the ethical issues that your business might face, refer to the discussion in Chapter 2.
A business shows social responsibility by respecting all of its stakeholders. Describe the approach to social responsibility (proactive, accommodative, etc.) your business will take. What steps will you take to create a socially responsible business? What steps can you take to be a good citizen in the community? Consider also how you may need to be socially responsible toward your customers and, if applicable, investors, employees, and suppliers.
Hint: To help you consider issues of social responsibility, refer to the discussion of social responsibility in Chapter 2.
Do you think that you’ll sell your product in another country? If not. Why? If so, what countries would you choose, and why? What challenges will you face?
Consider how you will expand internationally (i.e. independent agent, licensing, etc.). Do you expect global competition for your product? What advantages will foreign competitors have?
Business Plan Part 2
For this part of the Business Plan you will need to answer the questions in Part 2 found below. When you are finished upload ONLY Part 2 of the project using the link below. You will be using the same business that you created for Part 1. Please add the name of your business to the top of your assignment. Be sure to save your work. If you have not done so already, please read the information about the BusinessPlan assignment in the syllabus.
Please state the name of your business at the top of Part 2 of your business plan for me.
Provide a mission statement for your business.
Hint: Refer to the discussion of mission statements in Chapter 5. Be sure to include the name of your business, how you will stand out fromyour competition, and why a customer will buy from you.
Consider the goals for your business. What are three of your business goals for the first year? What are two intermediate to long-term goals?
Hint: Refer to the discussion of goal setting in Chapter 5. Be as specific and realistic as possible with the goals you set. For example, if you plan on selling a service, how many customers do you want by the end of the first year and how much do you want each customer to spend? If you plan on selling a good, how many do you hope to sell?
Perform a basic SWOT analysis for your business, listing its main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Look around at yourworld. The strengths and weakness are internal to the business and are known as the organizational analysis. The opportunities and threatsare external to the business and are known as the environmental analysis.
Who will manage the business?
Hint: Refer to the discussion of managers in Chapter 5. Discuss how many levels of management as well as what kinds of managers yourbusiness needs.
Explain how the “team” fits together. Describe who will work for each manager as well as each person’s job title.
Hint: Most businesses start off quite small. However, as you describe your organization, consider what your business will look like in the future. What different tasks are involved in the business? Who will each person report to in the organizational structure? Refer to the discussion of organizational structure in Chapter 6 for information to get you started.
Describe the floor plan of the business. What does it look like when you walk through the door?
Hint: When describing your floor plan, consider where equipment, supplies, and furniture will be located.
RAW MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
Explain what types of raw materials and supplies you will need to run your business. How will you produce your good or service? What equipment do you need? What hours will you operate?
Hint: Refer to the discussion of operations in Chapter 7 for information to get you started.
What steps will you take to ensure that the quality of the product or service stays at a high level? Who will be responsible for maintaining the quality of the product or service (or both)?
Hint: Refer to the discussion of quality improvement and Total Quality Management in Chapter 7 for information to get you starte
For this assignment you will need to answer the questions in Part 3 below. When you are finished upload ONLY Part 3 of the project using the link below. Please add the name of your business to the top of the assignment. Be sure to save your work.
Please add the name of your business to the top of Part 3 of your business plan.
What do you see as the “corporate culture” of your business? What types of employee behaviors, such as organizational citizenship, will you expect?
Hint: Will your business demand a casual environment or a more professional environment? Refer to the discussion on employee behavior in Chapter 8 for information on organizational citizenship and other employee behaviors.
What is your philosophy on leadership? How will you manage your employees day-to-day?
Hint: Refer to the discussion on leadership in Chapter 9 to help you formulate your thoughts.
Looking back at your organizational chart in Part 2, create a job description for each team member.
Hint: As you learned in Chapter 10, a job description lists the duties and responsibilities of a job; its working conditions; and the tools, materials, equipment and information used to perform it. Imagine your business on a typical day. Who is working and what are each person’s responsibilities?
Next, create a job specification for each job, listing the skills and other credentials and qualifications needed to perform the job effectively.
Hint: As you write your job specifications, consider what you would write if you were making an ad for the position. What would the new employee need to bring to the job in order to qualify for the position? What are the needed skills, credentials, and qualifications for the position.
What sort of training, will your employees need once they are hired? How will you provide this training?
Hint: Refer to the discussion of training in Chapter 10. Will you offer your employees on-the-job training? Off-the-job training? Vestibule training?
A major factor in retaining skill workers is a company’s compensation system. The total package of rewards that it offers employees in return for their labor. Part of this compensation system includes wages/salaries. What wages or salaries will you offer for each job? Why did you decide on that pay rate?
Hint: Refer to Chapter 10 for more information on forms of compensation. You may also want to check out sites likewww.salary.com, which includes a salary wizard you can use to determine how much people with different job titles are making in your area and across the United States.
As you learned in Chapter 10, incentive programs are special programs designed to motivate high performance. What incentives will you use to motivate your workforce?
Hint: Be creative and look beyond a simple answer such as giving pay increases. Ask yourself, who are my employees and what is important to them? Refer to Chapter 10 for more information on the types of incentives you may want to consider.
For this assignment you will be answering the questions in Part 4 of the template. When you are finished upload ONLY Part 4 of the project using the link below. Be sure to save your work.
Please enter the name of your business at the top of part 4 of your business plan.
Describe your target market in terms of age, education level, income, and other demographic variables.
Hint: Refer to Chapter 11 for more information on the aspects of target marketing and market segmentation that you may want to consider. Be as detailed as possible about who you think your ideal customer(s) will be.
PRODUCT/SERVICE FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Describe the features and benefits of your product or service.
Hint: As you learned in Chapter 11, a product is a bundle of attributes (features and benefits). What features does your product have? What does it look like and what does it do? How will your product benefit the buyer?
How will you make your product or service stand out in the crowd?
Hint: There are many ways to stand out in the crowd, such as a unique product, outstanding service, or a great location. What makes your “great idea” special? Does it fill an unmet need in the marketplace? How will you differentiate your product or service to make sure that it succeeds?
What pricing strategy will you choose for your product or service, and what are the reasons for this strategy?
Hint: Refer to Chapter 12 for more information on pricing strategies and tactics. Since your business is new, so is the product or service. Therefore, you probably want to choose between price skimming and penetration pricing. Which will you choose, and why?
PLACE (DISTRIBUTION) ISSUES
Where will customers find your product or service? (That is, what issues of the distribution mix should you consider?)
Hint: If your business will sell its product directly to consumers, what types of retail stores will sell your product? If your product will be sold to another business, which channel of distribution will you use? Refer to Chapter 12 for more information on aspects of distribution you may want to consider.
How will you advertise to your target market? Why have you chosen these forms of advertisement?
Hint: Marketers use several different advertising media—specific communication devices for carrying a seller’s message to potential customers, each having its advantages and drawbacks. Refer to Chapter 12 for a discussion of the types of advertising media you may wish to consider here.
What other methods of promotion will you use, and why?
Hint: There’s more to promotion than simple advertising. Other methods include personal selling, sales promotions, publicity and public relations. Refer to the discussion of promotion in Chapter 12 for ideas on how to promote your product that go beyond just advertising.
Business Plan Part 5
For this assignment you will be answering the questions in Part 5 of the template. When you are finished upload ONLY Part 5 of the project using the link below. Be sure to save your work.
Please enter the name of your business at the top of part 5 of your business plan.
What kind of IT resources will your business require?
Hint: Think about the employees in the business and what they will need in order to do their jobs. What computer hardware and software will they need? Will your business need a network and an Internet connection? What type of network? Refer to Chapter 13 for a discussion on IT resources that you may want to consider.
How will you use information technology to keep track of your customers and potential customers?
Hint: Many businesses (even small businesses) use databases to keep track of their customers. Will your business require a database? What about other information systems? Refer to Chapter 13 for more information on these topics.
COST OF DOING BUSINESS
What are the costs of doing business? Equipment, supplies, salaries, rent, utilities, and insurance are just some of these expenses. Estimate what it will cost to do business for one year. First, fiqure out the monthly cost for each expense, then multiply that figure by 12 to get the yearly rate. Next, add up all of the yearly rates of each expense to get the estimated total cost of doing business for year one. Include all of the above infromation and calculations in your plan.
Hint: The list below provides some hints as to where you can get this information. Note that these are just estimates. Try your best to include accurate costs for the expenses you think will be a part of doing business.
Hints for each expense:
•Rent: Refer to the floor plan. How many square feet is your place of business? What is the “going rate” per square foot for office space in your community? A real estate agent or a local SBA representative (www.sba.gov) can also be helpful in answering this question.
•Salaries: Refer to part 3 of your business plan. How much will each employee earn, including the owner(s)? How many hours will each employee be needed on a weekly basis? Once you’ve determined the weekly cost, then expand it to a monthly and a yearly cost.
•Supplies: Refer to the floor plan. How much will all of the computers, equipment, and furniture cost? What kinds of general office supplies will you need? Most prices for this information can be found on an office supply website such as www.staples.com.
•Advertising and Other Promotions: Refer to your marketing section. You have described how you wish to reach your customer, now you need to decide how much it will cost. If you are using television, contact the sales department at a local station. If you are using newspaper, contact their advertising department. Salespeople are usually happy to answer your questions.
•Utilities: These amounts will vary, depending on your business and what utilities you will pay. If your business looks like an office, then this cost may be similar to what a homeowner pays. However, if your business involves making a product, then the costs will be significant. An SBA representative can be a good resource.
•Insurance: This value will be affected by the nature of the business. More equipment will usually mean higher insurance costs. Again, contact an SBA representative for feedback.
How much will you charge for your product or service? How many products do you believe that you can sell in one year or how many customers do you think your business can provide your service to? Multiply the price that you will charge by the number of products that you hope to sell or the amount you hope each customer will spend on your service. This will give you an estimate of your revenues for one year. Be as realistic as you can.
PROFIT OR LOSS
Subtract the cost of doing business (expenses) from your your expected revenue (income). This is the profit or loss that you could expect in your first year of business. It usually takes a business several months or even years before it realizes a profit. When will your business breakeven? When will it make a profit?
Approximately how much money will you need to get your business started? Explain your answer. Remember that it can take several months or even years before your business starts to make a profit. You will need funds to keep it going during this time.
How will you finance your business? For example, will you seek out a bank loan? Borrow from friends? Sell stocks or bonds initially or as your business grows? Why did you choose the form(s) of financing?
Hint: Refer to Chapter 16 for information on securities such as stocks and bonds. Refer also to Appendix I: Risk Management and Chapter 3 for more information on sources of short-term and long-term funds.
For this assignment you will be answering the questions in Part 6 of the template below. When you are finished upload ONLY part 6 of the project using the link Below. Be sure to save your work.
Create an executive summary for your business plan. The executive summary should be no more than two pages long in paragraph form. It should cover the following points:
•The name of your business
•Where your business will be located
•The mission of your business
•The product or service you are selling
•Who your ideal customers are
•How your product or business will stand out in the crowd
•Who the owners of the business are and what experience and education they have
•An overview of the future prospects for your business and its industry
Hint: At this point, you’ve already answered almost all of these questions, so what you need to do here is put the ideas together into a “snapshot” format. The executive summary is really a sales pitch. It is the investor’s first impression of your idea. Therefore, as with all parts of the plan, write it in a clear and professional way.
After you have written the executive summary and submitted part 6 of your business plan, you can copy and paste it so that it falls at the beginning of your business plan, as the very first element. You should now have a completed business plan for your idea.