CMNS 3000 ASSIGNMENT 4—The Business Plan

CMNS 3000 ASSIGNMENT 4—The Business Plan

 

ASSIGNMENT 4 SNAPSHOT

The Business Plan is Assignment 4 (A4) from our CMNS 3000 Course Outline. It is the final writing assignment for the semester.

Worth:               30% of course grade

DUE:                  Sunday, August 09   11:59 pm (posted to Moodle)

Note:                  Assignment details for A6 PPT requirements will be in a separate Word file.

THE BUSINESS PLAN—BACKGROUND AND LEARNING CONTEXT

Background

The Business Proposal (A3) that you submitted was the first step towards your Business Plan.  The A3 Proposal allowed you to narrow down your business concept, frame boundaries for your concept, and formulate basic market, sales and segment research that you could develop in your —  Business Plan, Assignment 4.

A3 also forced you to conduct credible research.

Now you’re ready to develop your business concept in more depth and produce a Business Plan.

The learning objectives for this assignment focus on research and writing skills. 

Learning Context

We will apply the following critical communication skills and principles to research and write an informative and persuasive, business plan:

1.  

APPLIED RESEARCH

Collection, collation, and analysis of data from primary and secondary sources using appropriate referencing (MLA etc.)

2.  

CRITICAL THINKING

(ANALYSIS)

Problem analysis and definition in context of Audience and Purpose

Development of arguments—that is, claims supported by evidence in the way of facts and statistics.

3.  

WRITING

(SYNTHESIS)

 

Integration of text (facts, claims, statistics etc.) with visual elements, such as tables and figures to produce a cohesive final report with conclusions and recommendations.

 

The Business Plan—An Extension of Your Business Proposal

 

Ideally, your proposal gave you (and the instructor) a clear idea of whether your business concept was feasible. The instructor gave you feedback on your proposal to indicate whether the idea was feasible in terms of seeking funding. This initial feedback should allow you to proceed with researching and drafting your business plan.

 

 

 

For your final CMNS 3000 project, you will write a 10-12 page business plan. (This page number total does not include transmittal letter, table of contents, executive summary and References!)

ASSIGNMENT DETAILS

ASSIGNMENT 4 (BUSINESS PLAN REQUIREMENTS)

Assignment 4—Business Plan—requires you to write a 10-12 page plan that provides well-researched information and justification for your proposed business. Your target audience is bank managers or investors who would be willing to provide you a financial loan.

Please note that the 10-12 page guideline excludes the following pages:

i.            Transmittal letter,

ii.            Title page,

iii.            Table of Contents, List of Illustrations

iv.            Executive Summary , and

v.            References (i.e. APA) 

ASSIGNMENT CONTEXT

Primary Audience:      Loan/Bank Manager at a bank.

Secondary Audience:  Potential investors.

Purpose:                      To convince the audience that you have a viable business idea and that you have written a viable and persuasive business plan for your final CMNS 3000 assignment, one that investors may find innovative and lucrative enough to fund.

Assignment Challenges

Your main challenge is to clearly define the business concept in the context of your Audience and Purpose, research and collate market data to show there is a need, integrate quantitative data into visuals, present this information concisely and persuasively along with a business strategy that logically follow the data that you have provided in the report.

 

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

IMPORTANT

Ensure that you carefully review the Sample Formal Report PDF posted on Moodle.

BUSINESS PLAN REQUIREMENTS—The Front Matter

The following items are required for your complete business plan. These four items are referred to as “front-matter” and are not paginated as part of the plan because they are considered ancillary to the main discussion. They are listed below in the chronological order in which the report appears to the reader, but not in the order in which they are written.

Note:

The Executive Summary and Transmittal Letter are written last although they appear at the beginning of the report.

TITLE PAGE

Precisely identifies the subject (Name of the Business, a logo and an appropriate business slogan. Use the following link to generate a slogan: https://www.shopify.ca/tools/slogan-maker).

·         Precisely identifies the name and position of the recipient(s).

·         Precisely identifies the name and position of the writer.

·         Precisely identifies the date that the plan was issued to the recipient.

Page number: The Title Page has no page number.

TRANSMITTAL LETTER—write this last!You cannot write a transmittal letter until the report has been written first.

·         Includes full name and address of recipients.

·         Includes full name and address of the author. Feel free to make a letterhead to enhance the visual appeal.

·         Includes date.

·         Clearly identifies the subject (Name of Project) with a meaningful title.

·         Refers to the origin of the business plan (response to written or phone request etc.)

·         Describes the content and major points or sections of the plan.

·         Highlights any major conclusions.

·         Acknowledges any special advice or assistance that was received.

·         Invites reader to respond and provides contact number/email.

·         Clearly requests action(s) from reader.

Page number: This does not count as a page of the report.  Do not paginate.

TABLE OF CONTENTS—write this after you have finished your report and have formatted the document so that you know the page numbering and your final headings

·         Ensure that you include all main headings and sub-headings that are in your business plan and that the pages are consistent with the paginations of the report

·         Include a List of Figures (Tables, Graphs etc.)

Page number: This does not count as a page of the report.  The correct page number is “iii.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY write this after you have finished your report.  You can’t summarize something until it is written.

·         Place immediately after the Table of Contents on its own page.

·         Summarize the main points of the market research and the proposed business.

·         Summarize the main points of the business strategy, value-chain advantage etc. of the plan.

·         Summarize the sales plan, potential growth and future innovations in the proposed business.

·         Uses full paragraph format and bulleted lists, if possible.

Page number: This does not count as a page of the report.  The correct page number is “iv.”

 

BUSINESS PLAN REQUIREMENTS—The Body of the Plan

Ensure that you address (answer) the following areas and use these requirements as the basis for the headings of your plan:

 Business Overview

See this section as an introduction to your business plan. It should include the following not necessarily in the same order.

  • Mission statement
  • Intellectual property (if any)
  • A review of your company’s legal structure and ownership
  • The business location
  • A brief history of the company if it’s an existing company
  • An overview of your product and/or service, target market research (sources required), market needs (sources required), market segments (sources required), proposed solution and benefits, edge over competitors potential revenue stream.

THE ABOVE SECTION SHOULD BE HALF A PAGE (12 point font, single spaced, broken down into at least two or more paragraphs)

Market Analysis

This section will comprise two sub-sections and several sub-sub-sections under each sub-section, depending on what your research has unearthed. The sub-sections are:

·         Market Research

·         Competitive Analysis

Please refer to Week 9 PowerPoint Presentation. Your Competitive Analysis MUST make use of at least one of the three models listed. The models are Porter’s Five Forces, Value-Chain and BCG Matrix.

 

Service and/or Product Line

 

Describe what products and/or services you will sell. Explain how the product or service will benefit your customers and what the product lifecycle will look like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you have more than one product or service, explain each one under separate sub-headings and in separate paragraphs.

Operations Management

This section will have four sub-sections and potentially several sub-sub-sections based on your business concept. Please refer to Week 10 PowerPoint Presentation.

Operational Efficiency

Purchasing

Inventory Management

ISO and other certifications

 

Marketing & Sales

For this section, you can use 4P/7S handout. The point is to identify segments within your target market and marketing and sales channels you will use to reach them. Pricing is an important aspect of marketing. You can decide among cost-plus pricing, market-based pricing and value-based pricing. Apart from 4P/7S-specific headings and pricing, you will also explore key risks and assumptions. Your key assumption is that your product will sell and create a demand. What if it’s not true, and you’re in for a rude awakening? How will you measure tractions? What are the key metrics that you will use to monitor your business growth and change course?

 

 

Funding & Financial Projections

Please use one of the sample models from Week 11 to show projected costs, earnings and profit or loss. Break-even analysis should be done after the financial projections. One to one-and-a-half page would more than suffice for this section.    

Organizational Chart

You can use an organizational chart to show who will be in-charge of what function as well as write a short paragraph on each person holding an important position in your organization, outlining their qualifications and experience in the field. If you choose to add resumes, they will go in the Appendix section.

References

The word “References” itself means that you’re supposed to use APA (Works Cited is MLA) in-text citations and end of plan referencing. Attach a References page at the end of your plan and ensure that it follow the APA format.

See Plan Requirements Checklist Next Pageà

 

 

 

BUSINESS PLAN REQUIREMENTS REMINDER

VISUAL ELEMENTS

·         Introduce, insert and integrate at least three (maximum 5) visual elements (minimum one table and one figure) somewhere within various sections of your report.

·         You can place visuals in the plan at your discretion, but you must have at least three visuals somewhere, including at least one figure and one table.

·         Figure number, title and citation are required for each visual.

·         Remember to introduce each visual with a sentence or phrase before you insert the visual. e.g., Figure 1 below shows that blah, blah, blah…

·         Directly after the visual you must provide an interpretation (elaboration) regarding the significance of the visual. What does it show? Why is this important and relevant? What conclusions or inferences could Year One students in your field draw from the visual? What are the major takeaways from the visual information?

·         These visual must be different from the visuals in your Research Proposal.

RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS

1.       Use at least four different sources of information:  

o   three secondary sources (e.g., textbook, journal article, industry magazine etc.)

o   Ensure that the sources are credible! Random blogs don’t cut it. Government websites and industry association cites are considered credible.

2.       You must use proper APA documentation/citation format.

3.       Document (identify sources) for all numerical data and statistics.

See Final Report Criteria Sheet next pageà

 

 


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