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the purpose and structure of an effective business plan and the key information that will need to be provided to prospective investors

Business Planning

Brief introduction to module

This module is compulsory for students on the BSc Business Management and Entrepreneurship pathway. It is an option for others. It provides practical knowledge and skills relating to the development of small-scale business plans, business teams and proposal pitching.

You will learn how to take your business idea and transfer it to a straightforward business plan document to present to potential “investors” or lenders. You will also learn how to effectively present yourself and your plan before a group of potential “investors”

Module learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate: 

1.      Knowledge outcome– You will be able to enhance your understanding of the purpose and structure of an effective business plan and the key information that will need to be provided to prospective investors.

2.      Intellectual/transferrable skill – You will be able to:  Develop and present a business plan which articulates a proposed business, how it will operate and contains details on the business strategy, finance and marketing plans.


Week No

Lecture topic

Seminar activities

Recommended reading

Directed study

1

 

Introduction to the module;

How this module fits within your programme framework

Assessment details;

The benefits for learning of the module structure

Understanding the purpose of a business plan;

 

 

Idea generation and screening for new venture opportunities– creative exercises, online research, group brainstorming of ideas (if you already have an idea, we will work straight from that);

Decide what business idea you will base your plan on

Individual completion of a ‘problem to be solved’ business concept template, which must be typed up and emailed to the tutor before the next class. This will be the business proposal on which you model your plan

Core Text:

The FT Essential Guide to Writing a Business Plan, How to win backing to start up or grow your business, Evans, V., Pearson, 2015

Core text: Chapter One – Essential Preparation

Further Reading:

Michalko, M. Thinkertoys, A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques, 2nd edition, Ten Speed Press, Berkley, 2006

Business Planning Essentials for Dummies, Curtis, V

 

 

Following the seminar: Complete the business proposition statement and email to the seminar tutor before the next class.

 

2

 

The key elements of a business plan – introduction of the  template for your assignment

Each seminar will begin with a review of the previous week’s independent work.

Compare and contrast business plan variations from different sources.

Using your proposed business idea – start populating the business plan template – focus on “What is your business proposition and why do you think it’s a good idea” and “How did you come up with the idea” and “Why are you the best person to be doing this”

Core Text: Chapter Two – The business background (Start-up = Pg. 39+)

Also follow the link below to access the Virgin Start-Up information:

The assessment template is adapted from the Virgin Start-Up plan – this will form the structure of the module; see the website for useful guidance on completing it

 

https://www.virginstartup.org/how-to/virgin-startup-business-plan-template, [accessed 10.04.2017]

 

 

Following the seminar: Continue with business plan as begun in class. Access recommended websites for business plan guides, especially Virgin Start Up; also: Barclays, Lloyds, and Prince’s Trust. See Moodle Week 2 for PDFs and website links.

Find one other example and be prepared to share a brief critique of it for next week

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

Feasibility - “How have you confirmed there is a need for your business?” – what research should you do – general industry overview and trends; specific customer research

Review of previous week’s independent work

Internet-based research in class on general industry overview and trends - planning for other specific research which will be relevant to your business idea – possibly field research

Feedback and guidance from your tutor

Core Text: Chapter 3 – Market Demand (Start-up = Pg. 57+)

See Directed Study

Following the seminar:Do some industry (and ideally field) research on the business context your business will be operating in – use the questions on the assessment template as a starting point

 

4

 

Marketing - “Who are your customers and how will you reach them?” – target customer profile, why them, how get their attention, how convince them to buy from you, what will you need to do, what costs will there be? Who are you competing with and how will you beat them?

Review of previous week’s independent work

Class-based completion of relevant sections of your business plan with help from tutor and class mates;

Small group work comparing and contrasting your ideas and business pitches – classmates and tutor critically review your plans to date

Core Text: Chapter 4 – Competition (Start-up = Pg. 74+)

Additional reading to be advised

 

Following the seminar: continue with marketing sections of your business plan; conduct more customer and competitor research

 

5

 

Identifying and calculating financial aspects of your business plan –

how much will your product service cost to produce or deliver (how will you produce/deliver it?); How much will you charge? How have you identified this figure? What are all the costs associated with your business? What are your sales projections – what are you basing this on etc

Review of previous week’s independent work

The lecture and your reading will have givenyouan overview of all the financial aspects you should take into account, including insurances, premises, raw goods etc.

The seminar will then give you time to apply these broad figures to your own plans, based on your work completed during reading week and receive feedback and critical review from your peers and the tutor

Marking at the final stage of your assessment will take into account whether you have considered costs, pricing and sales expectations thoroughly, so this week is particularly important

We will review a range of businesses and consider for each what costs might be associated with start-up operations

Core Text: Chapter 6 and 7 – Resources and Financials

Additional reading to be advised

Following the seminar: continue reviewing and completing the financial section of your business plan

 

6

 

Legal and regulatory  -consider what legislation you may need to comply with; insurance; health and safety; intellectual property; associates contracts; customer contracts; investor contracts; food hygiene and safety; data protection; online and mail-order selling; sale of goods etc

Review of previous week’s independent work

Discuss case studies where the lack of legal and regulatory procedures have caused problems

Consider the business implications of not applying relevant regulatory frameworks

Consider personal implications and human risks of not applying relevant regulatory frameworks or having adequate insurance (e.g. health & safety, personal incapacity etc)

Time to research and discuss some of the specifics to their project with feedback etc

Core Text: Chapter 8 – Risk, Opportunity and Sensitivity

Following the seminar: continue researching legal and regulatory considerations, along with expected costs, adding them to the business plan; complete your business plan as much as possible, ready for formative review in Week 8

 

7.

 

Reading Week

Prepare a draft financial estimate of your business based on the provided template

Core Text: Chapter 6 (Start-up = pg. 109+) and 7 (Start-up = pg. 146+) – Resources and Financials

See also, excellent website for estimating costs needed to set up your business: http://www.santanderbusinessguides.co.uk/bizguides/full/costcalc/index.asp

 

Take all your work to date and start working out some financials

 

8

 

Stakeholder management – who will have a stake in your business and how does this need to be included in your plan? Staff, suppliers, contractors or associates, investors

Review of previous week’s independent work

You will produce stakeholder maps with associated costs, activities and action plans to minimise issues relating to yourparticular product or service;

Relevant staff management considerations will also be covered in overview

Submission of draft business plan (must be brought to class)

Formative assessment: This week you will be expected to submit your draft business plan for review and comment

Following the seminar: complete the stakeholder section of the business plan and start preparing content and slides for the summative presentation

 

9

 

Business pitching skills 1 –

Effective visual aid principlesand introduction to under-pinning verbal communication skills

Review of previous week’s independent work

In-class time to further develop draft material for your upcoming summative assessment;

Pair work to compare and contrast the quality and impact of your slides

Coaching and feedback from your tutor on your materials and plans for the presentation

Core Text: Chapter 10 – Pitching

Additional reading to be advised

Following the seminar: prepare a 2 minute introduction pitch ready for presentation practice in class in Week 10; consider likely questions from a panel and prepare answers; Finalise business plan and slides ready for upload to Turnitin

 

10

 

Business pitching skills 2 –

Presentation skills, question-handling and objection-handling skills

Review of previous week’s independent work

Presentation practice – you will practise a 2 minute introduction pitch to your core business idea; you will also practise responding to challenging Q&A in preparation for final assignment

Reminder: Your slides and business plan must be ready for submission this week.

Following the seminar: prepare for summative presentation and upload slides and business plan to Turnitin to deadline

 

11

 

Assessments to be timetabled during lecture and seminar times with additional timetabling where necessary

Assessments to be timetabled during lecture and seminar times with additional timetabling where necessary

 

 

 


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