The object of this project is for group research culminating in a basic paper (business plan). This project will provide an introductive study of entrepreneurial business and practice. This project will include the business plan for the development of a new business.
Goals of the Business Plan
A. To provide you with the opportunity to bring together the concepts and methodologies you have learned about in this class
B. To give you an opportunity to apply what you have learned to your profession
C. To provide a way to demonstrate that you understand the literature and have knowledge of the subject area you studied and that you can apply that knowledge.
Every week different sections of the business plan will be discussed at length. Although nothing is handed in to me until the project is complete is recommended that you complete the section of the business plan that is discussed each week.
Some helpful tips for research
The best plans are almost always the ones where individuals gather the best information, do the most library and secondary research, do the most field research (talk to prospective competitors, customers and suppliers) and dig as deeply as possible for information. Most of the answers you seek are hard to find, do not exist in one place, and must be pieced together. The research for a great plan is truly a “scavenger hunt.”
Remember that a business plan is not a term paper, so references should be used sparingly. Nonetheless, they should be used and a “references page” should appear at the back of the plan.
Business Plan- Week One
Select the Topic of Your Business Plan
This week you will need to select the topic of your business plan. The following information will be included on the cover page of your final business plan. The selection of a topic for your business plan is an important decision. You will be investing a considerable amount of effort in it.
Remember, this is hypothetical, so you will need to make an educated guess on the information below.
Develop Cover Page
• Name of Company:
• Company Address : Unknown currently
• Company phone number, email address, and web site address etc.
• Action log
1.) Specific tasks will be done by me sole proprietor.
2.) roughly would like profit with the first year or two .
3.)specific funds are available through, Grants Small business loans, boot strapping, family, Co-op, silent Investors.
• Names, titles and addresses of owners
Taryn Officer, Owner
• Month and year the plan was completed
Week Two- Mission, Goals and Objectives
1.) General Description of the Business
2.) Mission Statement
3.) Goals and Objectives
Marketing Plan hints: the business plan should include the following information in detail
1.) General Description of the Business
Purpose of your business plan
Your business: your key products or services
The current market for your product or service (Who is going to use this product or service)
Growth Plan (How do you intend to grow your business?)
2.) Mission Statement
What are the values you would like your business to be known for now and in the future?
What is your vision for the future of your business?
What is the purpose of your business?
3.) Goals and Objectives
Set short-term and long-term goals and objectives (Where do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, etc.?)
Week Three : Background Information
1.) The Industry
Background of your industry
What industry are you in and how has the industry developed? What have been the industry’s growth patterns? (Ex. Fitness center, over the years this industry has grown as people become more health conscious)
Current and Future Industry Trends:
What are the current trends of the industry your business is in? (Ex. Zumba and Yoga are popular new trends in the fitness field)
What industry trends are predicted for the future? How will current and future technology impact the industry? (New styles of fitness classes will be introduced, and classes may become virtual from the advances in technology)
Background of your business and business “fit”
Provide a brief history of your business, including when it was founded, why it was started, who started it, profitability and growth patterns, and how the business has changed over time (All hypothetical, but use factual supporting information based on market trends to arrive at these results).
How do your products and services (your business) fit into the industry? Relate the fit to current and future trends. (Ex. You offer Yoga at your fitness center when no other gym in town does)
Business Plan Week Four
*How do your products/services compare to those of the competition (consider price, quality, availability, etc.)
*What do you plan to add to this service or business?
*Are your credentials and skills better than or equal to your competition?
Features/Benefits (How is this product/service going to benefit someone?)
Life Cycles/Seasonality (Are there certain seasons where your business is not going to be as lucrative as others? Will you have higher profits in some months than others? Ex: Lawn care service is going to be busier in the spring and summer months than winter months.
B.) The Market Analysis
You may have only one customer group or you may have more than three. Think of the number of markets that you want to profile. Think of the characteristics that will most likely use your service or business. Think of things such as:
Where do they shop?
When do they shop?
Why do they buy?
How do they shop?
The key to the success of your business is establishing a unique market niche. In this section you will compare your business to at least three of its major competitors.
Products: How well do the products and/or services provided meet the needs of customers? How satisfied are customers with the products and services offered?
Price: How well do prices charged match customers expectations and their assessment of value?
Quality: How good is the workmanship or grade of the products or service provided?
Selection: How many options are offered to the customers? How complete is the product line?
Customer Service: How well does the business meet customer’s needs for attention, timelines, information, ability to solve problems?
Reliability: How dependable are the products or services offered?
Image/Reputation: What is the business’s image or reputation in the area? In the region? Nationally?
Location: How well do accessibility, packing, visibility and convenience of each competitor’s physical location satisfy the customer’s needs?
Store layout: Is merchandise displayed in a manner that makes shopping easy and convenient for the customers?
Advertising: How frequently and how effectively is advertising used? How visible is this business as a result of the promotional effects?
Answer the following questions about your competition
Who are your strongest competitors and where are they located? Is their location a strength or weakness? What profile of customer are they targeting?
Summarize key feature benefits of your strongest competitors. How do their products/services meet customer needs? What other strengths/weaknesses do they have? How do you know this? How do their prices compare to yours?
What are your key competitive advantages? How will your products/services better meet the needs/wants of your customers? How are your products/services unique and different from those of competition? What can you do better than your competitors?
Is your potential market growing, declining, or holding steady?
What is the per capita consumption of your product or service? Seek information regarding the average annual dollars spent per person on your product/service, or the average number of units purchased by an individual. Also, think through how often your product/service is purchased.
What are the price trends for your product/service? What is the lowest price you are likely to receive in the near future for your product/service? What is the highest price you are likely to receive? What market conditions will dictate these prices?
Week Five: Location/Distribution, Price/Quality Relationship, and Packaging
Explain your business location and why it was selected. Include the features of the location and the building, including how it is positioned relative to your distribution needs. If there are nearby businesses, describe how they attract or detract from your location. Discuss future needs of your location, and include any visual aids to help the reader understand where you do business.
How is your product or service going to get to the customer? For instance, will you distribute your product or service through a Web site, through the mail, through sales representatives, or through retail?
• Define your price/quality relationship; High price/High quality, High price/Low Quality, Low price/Low quality, Low price/High quality (Is the price of your product high, low, or reasonable for the quality of it?)
• Identify your competitors’ product service profiles (Do they have High price/ High quality, High price/Low quality, etc.)
Explain how your products/services and your business are “packaged.” Describe how this packaging will reinforce your image and your other marketing strategies. (Remember, pictures really help the reader, so include a picture of your packaged products or of packaging elements of your services such as your service truck, business cards, etc., if applicable.
Week Six: Advertising
Describe the primary advertising tools you will use and why the specific tools were chosen. Address how you approach budgeting for advertising, and how you intend to measure the effectiveness of the advertising tools you chose.
The best approach to advertising is to think of it in terms of media and which media will be most effective in reaching your target market. Then you can make decisions about how much of your annual advertising budget you’re going to spend on each medium.
What types of advertising will you use and what percentage of your annual advertising budget will you invest in the types of advertising you choose. Some examples are as follows:
• The Internet
• Telephone books/directories
• Bench/bus/subway ads
• Direct mail
Include not only the cost of the advertising but your projections about how much business the advertising will bring in.
Sales Promotion – If it’s appropriate to your business, you may want to incorporate sales promotion activities into your advertising and promotion plan, such as:
• offering free samples
• product demonstrations
Week Seven: Customer Service
Describe your customer service strategies and how you will implement them.
Who handles customer service issues and what are their responsibilities?
Describe your customer service policies
Customer retention strategies
Current technology and how it relates to your business’ ability to communicate with customers and/or suppliers
Impact of technology on your customer service strategies in the future, including plans for updating technology and costs
This is an extremely important section of your business plan, as it shows the potential profitability of your company. Remember, this information is hypothetical, but you should make an educated estimate.
• Start with a sales forecast. Set up a spreadsheet projecting your sales over the course of one year. In an actual plan, you would want to forecast for a longer period. For these purposes, we will stick with one year.
• Create an expenses budget. You will need to understand how much it is going to cost your business to actually make the sales you have forecast.
REMINDER: When you are putting your business plan together make sure it is in the order that the sections were presented to you. Also, remember to write in APA format with each section clearly labeled as a subtheme.
Business Plan- Week Eight: Executive Summary
Although it is written last, the Executive Summary is quite possibly the most important part of your business plan. Many potential investors/lenders will take their first look by reading only your executive summary. If this section does not entice the reader will want to go to the body of the plan for additional information, then it has failed its purpose. It is very important to write with care.
Once you have finished the other sections of your plan, focus on the best two or three thoughts of each section to create a summary. The key to writing a good summary is to write it with your reading in mind. If you are going to use your plan to attract investors, your Executive Summary should address all the important issues related to your potential investors. If the plan is going to a banker, the Summary should address the areas of concern of the financial institute reader. Getting the reader interested enough in your project to want to read the rest of the plan is the primary purpose for the Executive Summary.
The length of the Executive Summary should be no longer than two pages, and it should be in the same order as the sections of the plan. While you are conveying the message with only two or three sentences, the parts should all fit together.
Before you attempt to write the Executive Summary, take a little time to review some of your early work. Some suggestions which might help you begin to organize your thoughts include:
Look back at your mission statement. Get a clear picture in your mind of you want to present your business to your reader. Is your mission statement well worded and concise enough to include in the opening paragraph of your Executive Summary?
Summarize the marketing plan is such a way that the reader has no doubt that you have done your homework. Let the reader know that you understand how important marketing is to the success of your business.
Remember, you only have two pages to present information, so pick key points and remember your purpose.
Take one more look at that Executive Summary. It is really tempting to try to make the Executive summary piece longer than two pages, but don’t. If you cant get your reader interested in two pages, you probably cant in five or six, particularly if your reader has a limited amount of time to make an the decision of whether or not to study your plan further.