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:
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.
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.
Presented below is the desired outline for your business plan. The business plan should consist of approximately 8- to 10 typewritten, single-spaced pages (written narrative) and six financial statement pages.
I have indicated the percent value for each section of the report to the right of the major subheading. Please remember that the business plan will account for 30 percent of your course grade. Now would be a good time to review the “Top 20 Questions” in the Class Resources navigation link to help you begin your business plan research.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary (5%) – 15 points
Company Direction (5%) – 15 points
Company Overview (5%) – 15 points
Product or Service Strategy (20%) – 60 points
Market Analysis (20%) – 60 points
Marketing Plan (10%) – 30 points
Financial Plan written narrative and financial statements (30%)- 90 points
Conclusion (5%) – 15 points
Supporting Documents (part of Financial Plan)
Service Business Plans
Financial statements for service businesses are easier to prepare because (1) the Income Statements do not require a Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) section and (2) the business owner does not have to deal with inventories on the Cash Flow Statements or the Balance Sheets. In addition, small service businesses commonly operate on a cash basis, requiring their customers to pay for the services when received. Likewise, these businesses usually pay vendors for goods or services when received. Finally, service businesses normally pay income taxes when due (usually on a quarterly basis), so they do not have income taxes payable in the following year.
If you choose a service business for Week 8 Assignment, you should print Sample Business Plan A: Service Business to use as the model for your business plan. Please click on ForeverYours Wedding Consultants: Service Plan
Actions to access the service business plan model.
Retail Product Business Plans
The financial statements for retail business plans normally include a Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) section in the Income Statement and the business owner has to deal with inventories on the Cash Flow Statements and the Balance Sheets. Although some small retail businesses operate on a cash basis, most small retail business use accrual accounting, which allows customers to pay for products after delivery (normally within 30 days). Likewise, these businesses use trade credit to pay for inventory purchases and other items and services they receive from vendors in 30 days. Payments owed to these businesses are called accounts receivable (A/R) while monies owed to vendors are called accounts payable (A/P). The inclusion of inventory and the use of accounts receivable and accounts payable is more detailed and requires more work in preparing the financial statements for these businesses. We recommend that if you chose a retail business that you operate your business on a cash basis. This will avoid the use of Account Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) accounts in your financial statements and simplify the preparation of your financial statements.
If you choose a retail product business plan for Week 9 Assignment, you should print Sample Business Plan B: Retail Product Business to use as the model for your business plan. Please click on Your Memories: Retail Plan
Actions to access the retail product business plan model.
It is also important to remember that our BUSN 5000 online course has a financial statement help document in the Class Resources area.
I have attached my business plan in the attachments
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