A Creative Business Plan

Business Plan Instructions, Outline, and Grading

Each student will individually research and write at least a 20 page (more if necessary) business plan for a new business or non-profit organization he/she would like to start and operated.

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1. The business plan must be for a new business or non-profit organization, can be a franchise or virtual (online). It cannot be a plan to buy an existing business.

2. The business plan must be original, authored by you solely, and cannot be developed with any assistance, i.e., Small Business Administration.

3. It cannot have been previously written for another course, workshop, assignment, or other institution, etc.

If the business plan is found to violate any of the above three requirements, the student will earn a score of zero points. Turnitin will be used for verification.

The 20 pages DO NOT include the title/cover page and bibliography/references.

The paper will be in Word format, double spaced, one inch margins on all four sides, font and size is Arial 12, and use APA Style. No other format, font, or size should be used.

If you will use your business plan for a franchise application, bank loan, or other viable capital source organization application; then a business plan templates, outline, or software from those sources will be allowed. However, they must be approved by the instructor before starting business plan.

The business plan you write will be your legal property.

Large Files – If file is too big for ‘Assignments’ folder, email through CSU General Email, or through CSU OneDrive, before the due date and time. If using OneDrive, give Dr. Garsombke permission. Contact HUB for help with CSU OneDrive.

– Note that nearly all internet servers are extremely slow in uploading files, especially large files. Thus, plan for one – two hours for a very large file.

– Student Requests for Extensions of Due Date for any Semester Long Assignments: For any course work that is a semester long project, i.e., Individual Research Papers, Group Research Projects, etc., (following CSU Academic Policies) extensions of due dates cannot be granted unless the student can provide official written documentation that the reason, (i.e., medical) which prevented them from completing the work was for the entire semester time period.

– Grading done during the following 2-3 weeks. After grading completed, final course grades available on date in CSU Academic Calendar.

Business Plan Outline
– The business plan outline below follows the textbook topics as much as possible and a grading point system is added. See textbook for more specific information.
– Elements of a Business Plan – Chapter 5.
– Example of Excellent Business Plan – The Daily Perc Business Plan, Appendix.

I. Title Page with student name and course number.
Table of Contents using the outline following.
Executive Summary (not to exceed two pages) (5 pts.)
A. Company name, address, and phone number
B. Name(s), addresses, and phone number(s) of all key people
C. Brief description of the business, its products and services, and the customer problems they solve
D. Brief overview of the market for your products and services
E. Brief overview of the strategies that will make your firm a success

II. Vision and Mission statement (5 pts.)
A. Entrepreneur’s vision for the company
B. “What business are we in?”
C. Values and principles on which the business stands
D. What makes the business unique? What is the source of its competitive advantage?

III. Business and Industry Profile (10 pts.)
A. Industry Analysis
1. Industry background and overview
2. Significant trends
3. Growth rate
4. Key success factors in the industry
B. Outlook for the future
C. Stage of growth (start-up, growth, maturity)
D. Company goals and objectives
1. Operational
2. Financial
3. Other

IV. Business Strategy (10 pts.)
A. Desired image and position in market
B. SWOT analysis
1. Strengths
2. Weaknesses
3. Opportunities
4. Threats
C. Competitive strategy
1. Cost-leadership
2. Differentiation
3. Focus

V. Company Products and Services (5 pts.)
A. Description
1. Product or service features
2. Customer benefits
3. Warranties and guarantees
4. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
B. Patent or trademark protection
C. Description of production process (if applicable)
1. Raw materials
2. Costs
3. Key suppliers
D. Future product or service offerings

VI. Marketing Strategy (20 pts.)
A. Target market
1. Complete demographic profile
2. Other significant customer characteristics
B. Customers’ motivation to buy
C. Market size and trends
1. How large is the market?
2. Is it growing or shrinking? How fast?
D. Advertising and promotion
1. Media used— reader, viewer, listener profiles
2. Media costs
3. Frequency of usage
4. Plans for generating publicity
E. Pricing
1. Cost structure
a. Fixed
b. Variable
2. Desired image in market
3. Comparison against competitors’ prices
F. Distribution strategy
1. Channels of distribution used
2. Sales techniques and incentives

VII. Location and Layout (10 pts.)
A. Location
1. Demographic analysis of location vs. target customer profile
2. Traffic count
3. Lease/ Rental rates
4. Labor needs and supply
5. Wage rates
B. Layout
1. Size requirements
2. Americans with Disabilities compliance
3. Ergonomic issues
4. Layout plan (suitable for an appendix)

VIII. Competitor Analysis (10 pts.)
A. Existing competitors
1. Who are they? Create a competitive profile matrix.
2. Strengths
3. Weaknesses
B. Potential competitors: Companies that might enter the market
1. Who are they?
2. Impact on your business if they enter

IX. Plan of Operation (5 pts.)
A. Form of ownership chosen and reasoning
B. Company structure (organization chart)
C. Decision making authority
D. Compensation and benefits packages

X. Financial Forecasts (20 pts.)
A. Financial statements
1. Income statement
2. Balance sheet
3. Cash flow statement
B. Break- even analysis
C. Ratio analysis with comparison to industry standards (most applicable to existing businesses)

Source: Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, 9th. Ed., N. Scarborough and J. Cornwall, Pearson Education Publishing, 2019. For more information on A Creative Business Plan see this: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/economics-business-and-labor/businesses-and-occupations/business-plan

A Creative Business Plan

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