You have taken inspiration from this course and coupled that enthusiasm with the skills you have learned in your college and professional career. This has led you to the decision to open your own design firm! Being a brand new company that needs essentially everything in the competitive market, we will focus on the business start-up aspect of your fledgling company.
Whether you are a sole proprietor or a team of individuals working to start a corporation, the basic premise for a company starts with a business plan. As such, there are several key components that need to be included in order to thoroughly plan out the strategy, the vision, and the structure, as well as the operational, marketing, and financial aspects of the business.
Step one in this business plan will require you to create a company name and slogan. We will not dwell on the design aspects of the business at this point. We will assume that you have the prerequisite skills (or access to them through freelancers), so a logo is not required as part of the business plan, but you will have to consider one at some point in the future. There are a number of business plan templates available. One that was provided by Microsoft.com and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives®) is located in Doc Sharing for your use, but you are certainly not limited to this single example.
There are several things that you will need to consider when developing your business plan:
- Who will be reading the plan, and can you describe what your business is about in a couple of paragraphs (executive summary)?
- What will the overall company look like, and what will be the structure of your business entity? Defend this choice (in your general company description).
- Who will be materially involved in the operation of the business (management and organization)?
- Who are your prospects, leads, and customers, and what will be your marketing strategy (marketing plan)?
- What will your plan need to contain to ensure success if you are seeking funding (financial plan)?
- What will it cost to get your business going (allow for 6 months of salaries and operations, and explain where this money will come from, such as in your financial plan)?
- What is the financial plan, and how long will it take you to break even (time to repay the seed money and start making a profit; that is, your start-up costs)?
These are all vital areas that will need to be planned, reflected upon, and strategized for success.
You have Week 6 and Week 7 to complete this project. The business plan will be an MS Word document (see Doc Sharing for a business plan example of the Final Project [Business Plan for a Startup Business.doc]). The business plan will follow APA style guidelines and, as a minimum, will be 1,250–1,500 words. It also will include
- a title page;
- an executive summary;
- a general company description;
- a marketing plan;
- an operational plan;
- management and organization;
- start-up costs;
- a financial plan; and
Charts and graphs should only clarify a point (for example, a pie chart that shows the different amounts and percentages of the total start-up costs). You will be graded not only on the different items covered but also on how well you articulated and sold your points through clear and concise language.
Good luck! One last thought to keep in mind: This is YOUR company, so treat it with the due diligence and the determination to compete in the marketplace.
Your Business Plan Final Course Project is due by the end of Week 7. Submit your plan to the Dropbox located on the silver tab at the top of this page. For instructions on how to use the Dropbox, read these step-by-step instructions or watch this Dropbox Tutorial .
See the Syllabus section "Due Dates for Assignments & Exams" for due date information.
|Title page, executive summary, and general company description||30||16|| |
|Documentation, references/bibliography, and formatting||30||16|| |
|Organization and cohesiveness||30||16|| |
|Editing/writing (grammar and spelling)||30||16|| |
Management and Organization
|Total||190||100||A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.|