executive summary company direction company overview product B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
You may access the sample retail and service business plans in the Class Resources area of our course.
Students will prepare a business plan for a new or existing business. It is not my intention that you prepare a full-blown business plan that will enable you to seek and obtain funding for your business. Such a plan requires six to nine months of full-time effort to complete. It also requires extensive research from a person who is well-versed in business operations.
Since most Business 5000 students enter this course with limited prior business course work, I expect to use the preparation of the business plan to introduce you to many areas of business operations and to equip you with a better overall understanding of what it takes to start a new business or expand an existing business.
There are several good websites that you may want to visit to learn how to prepare a good business plan. Several of these sites are noted in our Class Resources area. Just click on the Class Resources link to visit some of these sites. However, please remember to follow the format and instructions provided in our BUSN 5000 online course.
You must first decide the type of business that you intend to explore. Often, many students will prepare a plan for a small business in which they have had an active interest for some time. Accordingly, the student has a genuine interest in the business plan.
The list of Top 20 Questions appearing in the Class Resources area came from BizPlanBuilder. It lists the “Top 20 Questions” which will help you develop and enhance your initial thoughts for your proposed business. BizPlanBuilder is one of a number of business planning software programs available for sale.
However, you should not use a commercial software business plan template to prepare your business plan for this course. You will waste money and learn very little if you do. I may deduct 30 percent from your business plan grade if you use a canned business plan software/template or any format significantly different from the sample business plan format you have been provided. All the format and content information you need is provided in this class.
You can also print a Word format copy of one of two sample business plans available from this course in the Class Resources area. We have prepared a service plan business plan (Sample Business Plan A) and a retail product business plan (Sample Business Plan B) for student use. We have also attached a copy of each of these example business plans to this assignment below. I will provide additional information on your business plan project during Week 3 of the course when I respond to your proposed business plan paragraph(s) that are due at the end of Week 2.
Our course discussions will highlight some of the areas that should appear in your business plan. There is also a business plan outline provided in the Class Resources area that allocates points to sections of the plan. Your written plan must be turned in by Sunday night of the eighth week of class (see Weekly Readings link in the Discussions area of the course for the exact due date for the business plan).
The written business plan should include the following major topical areas:
- Executive Summary
- Company Direction
- Company Overview
- Product or Service Strategy
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Plan
- Financial Plan (You will need only two years of financial data for this business plan.)
- Supporting Documents (Financial Statements)
Note: Although the sample business plans include three years of financial statements, you will only have to include two years of data for the income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.