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 web sites 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 are 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.
The business plan should consist of approximately 8- to 10-typewritten, single-spaced pages (written narrative) and six financial statement pages. The project will account for 300 points (30 percent) of your grade. It will require about 15 hours of work (more time if you really want to do great job).
I will monitor your progress via your Discussions link postings and WorldClassRoom mail questions I receive throughout the course. You are encouraged to ask questions as you need to. You are also encouraged to use the Internet as appropriate for research purposes and to access the Class Resources area of the course.
This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday of Week 8. However, if you complete it earlier, please submit it at that time. Please submit your document(s) as an attachment or attachments through the Assignments link of the course. It’s acceptable to submit the financial statements as a separate document (e.g., you use Word for the main part of the business plan and Excel for the financial statements).
There will be a 10 point penalty deduction for each day or part of a day that an assignment is submitted late. The instructor may decide not to accept assignments that are not submitted within four days after the assignment due date.
Download the academic honesty certification statement (attached with the Week 8 Assignment), include it as a separate file with your business plan assignment and type your name at the bottom where prompted.
Remember that you are required to use Word and Excel in this course. Do not try to use Word Perfect, Lotus, or other software applications. Please include your last name as part of the file name, and put your name and the date at the top of your Word-file submission. I will deduct five percent from the assignment if you do not add your name to the paper and add your name to the attached file.
******My proposed business model is creating a travel business as a commercial pilot over the Pacific North Western region in Washington State, the city of Olympia specifically. The business will provide guided airplane tours over Mt. Rainier and Olympia National Park