FINAL PROJECT: Putting It All Together

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INTRODUCTION

Throughout the course of the past several weeks, you have been exposed to a number of business concepts in a “guided tour” fashion.

You have learned a bit about the basic purpose of business, the global and local environments in which business functions, as well as some of the ethical and social dilemmas that often face business entities.

You have also been exposed to various functions within a business — marketing, management, human resources, IT, operations, finance, accounting — learning how each function contributes to the operation, health and overall success of a business entity.

On the professional skills front, you have been exposed to the critical skills of business communication, teamwork, and presentation, which will serve you well as you enter the workforce.

Now, … its time to take a stab at putting all the concepts that you have tasted together …

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the BUSI 22 Final Project is to give you an opportunity to use all the different business concepts that you have learned thusfar together in an orchestrated fashion to create something “greater than the sum of its parts.”

Having an interest in business, you have undoubtedly thought about your perfect job before. A large number of you, though, have indicated your perfect job is to start your own business! In order to do that, you have to have a good overall grasp and understanding of basic concepts to start and run a business, similar to what you have been exposed to in this course.

In addition to that, if you want to go into business for yourself, you have to have “the idea” … the “thing” you are going to sell. Following that, you have got to have a plan! You have to have a clear understanding of your goals, a roadmap for how you will achieve your goals, and a host of other components that will help you address the various aspects of starting a business. This collection of documents that will help you to get your business started … is called a Business Plan.

Your BUSI 22 Final Project will be to write seven components of a business plan. They are the seven building blocks that we have been exposed to during the course of this class.

READING ASSIGNMENT

Below are links to 3 articles about BUSINESS PLANS that describe what they are and how to write them. While the selected articles are not a comprehensive listing of all the known methods of business plan writing, they do represent a basic introduction to the subject. These reading materials contain the information that you need to complete your assignment

  1. “What Exactly Is A Business Plan” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – This short article gives a brief description of business plans and focuses primarily on the purpose, or “reason for being”, of a business plan. Look for the phrase “process of planning a business” in the article; what does this mean?
  2. “Writing A Business Plan” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – This YouTube video, by Sweet Leaf Ice Tea CEO Clayton Christopher, gives a brief description of how to write two kinds of business plans, (1) for running an existing business, and (2) for seeking investors for a new business venture. As you watch this video, note the differences in the two types of business plans.
  3. “A Standard Business Plan Outline” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. – This bplan.com article walks through a basic business plan outline, describing each section and its purpose. The article provides a simple outline, and a much more detailed one. Why do you think there is so much variation between the two?

DELIVERABLE

The deliverable for this homework assignment is a Word Document Mini Business Plan that you and your team mates will create for a new business concept.

This assignment shall be completed individually

THE SITUATION: You are a recent summa cum laude Business Major graduate from TopTenBusiness University. You have come up with a KILLER business concept and are eager to get it going. Despite the skeptical market for starting new businesses, you are confident if you have a good business plan, you will be able to secure the funding that you need to get your idea off the ground!!!

THE CONCEPT – You may choose one of the following three concepts as your topic to use for the Final Project or you may supply your own concept. If you supply your own, please make sure that describe the concept fully in the business plan. If you use one of the following three, please reference the appropriate concept:

CONCEPT 1: It IS Easy Being Green …
Recognizing the increasing importance that social responsibility is playing in the business world, you and your team mates would like to sell a new line of socially conscious running shoes for men and women. As luck would have it, one of the members on the team already does this on a small scale and has direct access to shoe manufacturers.
You must create a business plan to request support to expand the team mates existing small scale business into a larger scale one.
CONCEPT 2: Watch Out Kara’s CupCakes, Here We Come!
In your spare time, you and your team mates have gotten really good at making gourmet cupcakes and everyone who’s tasted your stuff says you should go into business, because it tastes much better than anything out there now! You seem to have a knack for putting together unlikely flavors that taste really good together.
Your task is to draft a business plan to request support to start up a single store to make and sell your cupcakes

CONCEPT 3: No Pain, No Gain!
You and your team mates are all fitness experts and want to capitalize on the American obsession with fitness. You want to launch a gym similar to Gold’s Gym or 24 Hour Fitness with a new twist — you get to choose what that unique attraction is — to bring in members from Gen Y and Gen Z.
Your assignment is to build a business plan to request assistance to develop and establish (and name) your new gym.

THE MINI-BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE (16 Points): For this project, you will be asked to write seven components of a business plan as indicated below. For each section, use the questions and actions listed to help write the sections:

  1. Write an ELEVATOR PITCH that targets venture capital firms in an effort to convince them to support your idea. Remember to answer the 5 key questions for an Elevator Pitch.
  2. Write your MISSION STATEMENT. Write one standard and one socially focused mission statement for your company
  3. Describe your BUSINESS MODEL, answering the key question how you will make money?
  4. Perform a brief COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS. For this analysis, identify 2-3 competitors who are selling the same or similar products/services, conduct a brief comparison of their strengths and weaknesses relative to your business, and state how you can compete with them
  5. Describe two TARGET MARKET SEGMENTS for your business, including rough estimate of size and revenue potential. Describe the primary characteristics (demographic, psychographic, behavioral) of customers in this market, making sure that the characteristics you identify are relevant to the business. Clearly state the reasons that make them the ideal target for your product/service.
  6. Conduct a SWOT ANALYSIS, identifying at least 2 strengths, 2 weaknesses, and so on. Based on your SWOT analysis, indicate how will you use your strengths to exploit your opportunities, and protect against your threats? How will you address your weaknesses?
  7. Conduct simple BREAKEVEN ANALYSIS to tell me when you expect to break even. Make sure that you clearly identify your fixed costs, variable costs and unit variable costs. List any assumptions or constraints that you made to complete the calculation.

DELIVERABLE GUIDELINES

MINI BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT
The document must be no more than 6 pages in length, double-spaced, not including the Title and Table Of Contents Pages.

  • On your Title Page, include:
    • Document Title
    • Date
  • You must follow the outline as indicated above, i.e. the sections in your Report must match the sections above exactly and use the guidance above to write your paper.

SUBMISSION

  • Submit the business report by the due date indicated in the Class Calendar as a MS Word document
  • Upload an electronic copy of your project in CANVAS
  • Label your file “[LAST NAME]_Final.docx”
    • Example: Lew_Final.docx
  • If for any reason the uploads link is not working for you, email the file to: lewlaurence@foothill.edu.


GRADING CRITERIA

First and foremost, absolutely no copying and pasting of anyone else’s work from anywhere, including from the assigned reading. Responses must be written in “your own words. You will earn a failing grade on the assignment and possibly the course if a significant portion (10%+) of your assignment is plagiarized.

The Final Project is worth 16 weighted points as indicated in the syllabus. Points will be awarded as follows:

  • ELEVATOR PITCH – 1 points
  • MISSION STATEMENT – 1 points
  • BUSINESS MODEL – 3 points
  • COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS – 2 points
  • TARGET SEGMENTS – 3 points
  • SWOT ANALYSIS – 3 points
  • BREAKEVEN ANALYSIS – 3 points

As you develop your document, please make sure to address each of these graded components fully. In each of the sections, I will be looking for:

  1. Quality of Analysis – this focuses on your critical thinking, reasoning, logic and analytical skills. Are your arguments reasonably well thought out? Do they make sense?
  2. Quality of Writing – While this is not an English or writing class, I still have certain expectations in written material. Specifically, basic grammar and spelling are expected. Clear and concise writing in a professional manner.

If you have any questions about the graded components, please ask me for clarification.

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