Small Business Plan Assignment

You are required to produce a partial business plan for a hypothetical business you might like to establish or one that you have established. This should be a small business in scale and should be of your design. While your business may be similar to other established businesses it must not be a franchise.

For purposes of thisassignment, the business should also be a physical one and not purely online. It must have a physical presence somewhere.
Your business plan should contain each of the following sections. For an example plan see Chapter 16 of the textbook “Small Business Management in the 21st Century”. Please note that this assignment is not a full business plan. It is only part of one and the assignment is designed to test your understanding and application of the various concepts presented throughout this course. Do not use business plan software. Any additional sections provided will not add to your assignment. Only the following sections will be viewed.

Part One: Introduction

A: Executive Summary:
Create a one-page summary of your plan. Whilst this appears first it is done last.
This is a very important part of your plan and should include details about marketing, finance and operations. In reality, this may the only section a potential investor will read and as such, it needs to attract attention, be compelling and encourage the reader to read more.
B: Business Philosophy / Mission Statement:
Outline the philosophy of your business and its mission. Understand the difference between visions and mission, goals and strategies etc. and ensure you present them clearly enough the reader can identify them.
C: Product/Service Description:
Describe the products and/or services you will be providing. Outline the customer benefits and why your chosen product/services will be successful.
You must also include retail prices in this section and estimate how many units you will sell for each product on a monthly basis. One year duration will be sufficient for this assignment.
D: Self Analysis:
Explain why you are a good candidate for starting up your business. Some ideas to ponder are your: reliability, creativity, teamwork skills, education, list of special talents such as computer skills, job experiences etc. Do not just list your attributes. Explain then them and provide some evidence.

Part Two: Marketing Research

E: Conduct Secondary Research in the following areas:
1) Geographic Data: Population description that tells how many people live in a certain area.
2) Demographic Data: Statistics such as age, gender, income and marital status, family size.
You will want to include the data that will have a direct impact on your business, not just generic city or national data. Explain why this data is important to your business concept.
F: Primary Research:
Explain what methods of primary marketing research you will be relying on such as surveys, focus groups or both. Include a working copy of your draft marketing research survey/focus group etc. questions.
G: Competition:
As a new business owner, you must analyse your competition. You need to identify and discuss –
1) Direct Competitors: Businesses selling similar products and services.
2) Indirect Competitors: Businesses selling different products while fighting for a customer’s disposable income.
3) State why/how you will do a better job than your competitors.
H: Market Segment Analysis – Target Customer:
Using the secondary data collected previously, help the reader understand exactly who your target customer is and why this customer would want to purchase your product/service.
I: Analysis of Potential Location:
Include the following information in narrative form. (Do not write these questions). You
can add more.
1) The location of the business (this may be a town or small city or a
neighbourhood/area of a larger city).
2) Will you rent or buy the property? Identify the cost.
3) Are you in a mall, free-standing building, home garage etc.?
4) What will your hours of operation be?
5) What do the parking facilities for staff and customers look like?
6) What access to mass transit does staff and customers have?
7) Is the area safe?
8) Will you be near one or more complementary businesses?
9) provide a map showing the location of your business.

Part 3: Organisation and Personnel Plan

J: Ownership Choices:

What type of ownership (Sole proprietorship, partnership, corporations etc.) have you selected? Why have you selected this option and not another?
K: Personnel Needs:
State who will do what and who will report to whom. Explain (briefly) their roles.
Create a simple organizational chart that will show working relationships.
L: Hiring Strategy:
How will you recruit staff members? What salary and conditions do you need to provide to attract qualified staff?

Part 4: Marketing Plan

M: Proposed Product or Service and Distribution Plan:
1) Describe your business and your products in detail.
This is more than just a list of what your business is going to provide as shown in
Section C. Especially if you intend to use your business plan to get funding or find
partners, your products and services section needs to showcase the quality, value, and
benefits your business offers.

  1. Distribution Plan: How will you get your product into your customer’s hands?
    Will you make and sell your products on-site (direct distribution) or will you include other
    intermediaries such as manufacturers or producers (indirect distribution).
    N: Proposed Pricing Policy:
    Describe your pricing policy. Include the following in narrative form:
    1) What is your pricing objective and strategy? Does the objective align with your
    2) Proposed mark-up to cover costs?
    3) Relationship to competitors: below, above, the same. Why?
    4) Will you do any introductory discounting to attract customers? Why?
    5) Are you going to drive profits through volume or are you going for a prestige appeal?
    business objective? Why?
    O: Proposed Promotional Plan:
    1) Personal promotion:
    Who will be doing the personal selling? What will be involved in this?
    2) Non-personal promotion:
    Overall advertising strategy and short-term promotional events to create enthusiasm.
    What will be utilised to do this? This section needs to be more than a list or using an encompassing term like “Social Media”. Detail which media is to be used and how it is to be used and the better answers will also detail when it is to be used. Pricing is not needed in this section even though in a ‘real’ business plan it should be. A realistic understanding of costs will be looked at (and again in the Income Statement).

P: Place:

  1. Describe your location in detail: What will it look like? How will it work to serve
    your customers?
  2. Think about including pictures and diagrams. Look carefully at the hint sheet
    ‘Business Plan Assignment – Store Design and Layout. Additional Information #
    3’, provided in the Announcement section.

Part 5: Financial Plan

Q: Income Statement:
Produce an income statement based on the projected sales volumes and margins you have identified in earlier sections. This should include 1. Gross Revenue less returns/refunds 2. Cost of goods sold 3. Operating expenses (such as rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance, salaries, advertising & promotion). Please do your research and be realistic with the various costs and the revenue. I am most interested in you understanding what goes into a P and L and how you present it, but will be looking for connections back to your earlier information on products, sales, prices, wages and costs (e.g. promotional) etc.

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