Colorado Leeds School of Business
frank moyes      
home
bio
courses
syllabus
organization
concepts & resumes
slides
resources
 

ESBM 4830 & EMEN 4825

Business Plan Preparation

Course Organization

Fall 2006

 

 

Course Objectives:

One of the most exciting and satisfying activities in business is to start a new venture. In this course students will learn how to prepare a comprehensive strategy for launching a new business. The vehicle for achieving this is the preparation of a business plan based on an opportunity that students have selected.

 

Upon completion of this course students will:

  • Learn what is a business plan, its elements, and how do they fit together.
  • Know why and when you need to write a business plan.
  • Experience the difficult, but essential, process that all entrepreneurs go through when they plan their new venture.

 

Students will have the opportunity to apply their entire business education and experience to a very practical, hands-on project. Working in small teams, you will research the market for the product or service; prepare marketing, sales, development and operations plans; and make financial projections.

 

Writing a business plan requires you to ask tough questions about the nature of the business. What is the need for your product or service? What are the benefits? What is the target market and how will you penetrate it? What is your sustainable competitive advantage? How will you develop and produce the product or service? What management team is required? What are the risks of the venture and what can you do to reduce them? What are the financial implications of the plan? What resources, including funding, are required?

 

The most effective way to understand the entrepreneurial process is to take a hands-on approach. In this course students are expected to interact with the business community, be able to work effectively in teams, and be active participants in classroom discussions.

 

Strong written and oral skills greatly facilitate success in starting a new venture. Those individuals that can effectively communicate their ideas will have an advantage over those that cannot. As such, the assignments in the course center on written and oral presentations.

 

Approach

Concept Selection

Early in the course, each student is required to prepare a one-page description of a business concept that they would like to pursue. Each student will then make a one-minute presentation of his or her concept to the class. Evaluation will be based upon the clarity and persuasiveness of the write-up.

 

Team Selection

From the individual business concepts submitted, the instructor will choose the top ten based on the persuasiveness of the concept description and the viability of the venture. Those students, whose ideas were deemed to be the best, will present their concept to the class and try to convince them of its brilliance.

 

It is the responsibility of the lead entrepreneur to recruit a team of four students. To help in this process, a ‘Trade Fair" will be held in which the lead entrepreneur will recruit team members from his or her fellow students who have expressed interest in working on the plan. It is highly recommended that the lead entrepreneur try to establish a diverse team, i.e. it should not be comprised of all marketing majors; someone with strong engineering or finance experience will greatly facilitate the team’s efforts.

 

Business Plans

To develop a thorough understanding of business plans, we will evaluate several different types. We will look in detail at how these plans were prepared, where they were especially effective, and how they could be improved.

 

Research

  • Interviews: It is essential that teams talk to lots of business people. During the weeks following the selection of the concept, the team will spend much of its time testing the concept by interviewing industry experts, potential customers and users, distributors, competitors, designers, engineers, vendors, manufacturers, consultants, investors, etc. Is the problem you are solving real? Who is the target customer and how do they make decisions? What are the essential features of the product? What are the unique benefits? What is the sustainable competitive advantage? Can it be profitable? Spending hours on the Internet or in the Library does not answer these questions.
  • Customer surveys: Design and conduct a survey of you target customers to determine their interest in your product or service. You should to collect information and data that validates the target customer profile, confirms their willingness to purchase the product or service and on what basis. This information is essential to proving that the market is real.
  • Secondary research:  The team will conduct in-depth research on the market and industry, utilizing the library, internet, journals and industry associations.

 

Class Organization

Class sessions will generally be organized roughly as follows:

  • First ½ hour: New material will be presented and assigned readings discussed.
  • Next 1½ hours: Class discussion on assigned material and In the Fire Session. Starting in week 5, four teams will be chosen each week to present for one-half hour to the instructor, an outside guest and the rest of the class a critical element of the business plan. This will be not be a standard PowerPoint presentation; rather you will discuss what conclusions you have made, the basis for them and what is your validation. Think of this session as a meeting with investors or a board meeting.

The subjects to be covered are: Opportunity/Need, Market Analysis, Industry Analysis, Target Market, Industry Competitive Advantage, Business Model, Marketing Plan, Operations and Development Plans, Financial Plan and Funding Plan.

 

  • Last 1hour: Team breakout sessions to work on specific sections of the plan.

 

Resources and Materials

Required Readings:

Helpful materials that can be downloaded from http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/Moyes

  • Examples of business plans
  • Various tools and resources

Other resources that may be useful during the semester include:

  • Steingold, The Legal Guide for Starting Running a Small Business, 7th edition, Nolo Press, 2003.
  • John A. Tracy, 1989. How to Read a Financial Report, (New York: Wiley)
  • Jeffrey A. Timmons, 2004. New Venture Creation, 6th Edition (Irwin)
  • Instructor website http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/Moyes

 

Prerequisites

Students are expected to have a solid grounding in the basic business disciplines, including marketing, finance, operations, and accounting.  Students also should have completed ESBM 3700 Entrepreneurial Environments and ESBM 4570 Entrepreneurial Finance.  In particular, students are expected to have previously completed a business feasibility study.  Students with an insufficient background to successfully complete the course may be asked to withdraw at the discretion of the instructor.

 

Grading

There are six components used to determine student grades:

  • Individual assignments The course will begin with two individual assignments from all students (Week 2 resume and business concept description).
  • Team assignments

In the Fire Sessions: There are 8 In the Fire assignments (Weeks 5, 6, 7 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) to be completed by each team during the semester. Each team is expected to participate in at least 4 sessions. Teams will be graded on their ability to clearly articulate and defend their position, the level of understanding of the issues, and evidence provided to support their conclusions.

 

Written Assignments: There are 7 written assignments to be handed in by each team during the semester. Assignments will be graded on the thoroughness in which the questions raised in Writing a Successful Business Plan are addressed and the evidence provided to support the conclusions. The grade for these assignments is as follows:

 

Week 5: Opportunity/Need, et al. 20 points

Week 7: 10 Call Reports, et al. 20 points

Week 8: Customer Survey Questionnaire (10 points)

Week 9: Business Model 100 points

Week 11: Marketing Plan 50 points

Week 12: Operations Plan, et al. 20 points

Week 13: Financial, et al, 20 points

 

  • Final team written plan  At the end of the semester, each team will submit its final written plan for evaluation. Detailed criteria for the grade will be provided.
  • Final team presentation  At the end of the semester, each team will present its business plan to the class. Detailed criteria for the grade will be provided.
  • Peer evaluation  Each member of a team will evaluate the other members in the group, based on their contributions in the preparation of the business plan.
  • Individual Participation  The instructor will evaluate the participation of each student.  This evaluation will consider participation in class discussions, In the Fire sessions and teleconference meetings.

 

There are 1,000 points possible in the course:

 

Assignment

Number

Pts each

Total Pts

1. Individual Assignments

2

 20

  40

2. Team Assignments

 

 

 

     In the Fire Sessions

4

30

120

     Written Assignments

7

various

240

3. Final Team Written Plan

1

350

350

4. Final Team Presentation

1

150

150

5. Peer Evaluation

1

 50

  50

6. Individual Participation

1

 50

  50

TOTAL

 

 

     1,000

 

 

 

Final letter grades will be determined according to the following scale:

 

Points

Grade

Points

Grade

975

A+

  775

C+

925

A

  725

C

900

A-

  700

C-

875

B+

  675

D+

825

B

  625

D

800

B-

<625

F

The average grade for the class is about 870 points.

General Course Policies

1. Written assignments are to be handed in at the beginning of the class for which they have been assigned, unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Written assignments not received will receive a grade of zero.

2. Attendance Policy: Students are required to attend every class. If you are unable to attend a class, please send an email to the instructor prior to class. Should you miss class your grade may be reduced by one letter grade.

It is critically important that you attend the first two classes. We decide on the concepts that become the bases for the business plans and you get a chance to know your fellow students who will become members of your team. Students who do not attend these classes will be dropped from the course.

 

Campus Policies

The following campus policies that apply in this course:

 

Honor Code  The purpose of the honor code at the University of Colorado at Boulder is to secure for students an environment in which all individuals have responsibility for, and are appropriately recognized for, their individual academic and personal achievements.  See www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode.

 

Students with Disabilities  Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a letter from Disability Services (DS) and discuss specific needs with the professor, preferably during the first two weeks of class. See www.colorado.edu/sacs/disabilityservices.

 

Religious Holiday  The University of Colorado at Boulder has a legal and moral obligation to accommodate all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays. 

See www.colorado.edu/policies/fac_relig.html.

 

Student Behavior  Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Faculty has the professional responsibility to treat students with understanding, dignity and respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which students express opinions. See www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html.

 

Instructor Web site: http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/Moyes

 

Instructors:                                                                      

Frank Moyes                                                                                       

Leeds School of Business                                                                                        

University of Colorado at Boulder                                

Boulder, CO 80309-0419     

Office: Fleming 115                                                           

Telephone: 303.492-2062                                                                          

E-mail: Frank.Moyes@colorado.edu

Office Hours:

Wed 3:00 to 5:30pm

Thursday 4:00 to 6:00pm      

And by appointment

 

Model Company

Assig: read BP pp 8 -10

Read Mullins Ch 3

Evaluate examples of Business Plans on website. Critique MRP & Hecho en Casa

Activt: Discuss MRP & Hecho en Casa plans

Interview List


5

Sept 27

 

 

Topic: INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Value Chain analysis

Business Model

Assig: Read BP pp 11-13, p 27

Read Mullins Ch 4 & 5

Read Business Model Assignment

Activt: Opportunity/Need (F)

Value Proposition (F)

Opportunity/Need

Value Proposition

 

6

Oct 4

 

Topic: PRODUCT/SERVICE

Features & Benefits

Margins

Elevator Speech

Investor Presentations

Assig: Read BP pp 6-7

Activt: Prelim Market Analysis Res (F)

Prelim Interview Results (F)

Practice elevator speeches

 

7

Oct 11

Topic: MARKETING PLAN

Revenue Model

Customer Surveys

Assig: Read BP pp 14-18

Activt: Prelim Industry Analysis Res (F)

Model Company Description (F)

10 Call Reports

Prel. Competitive Matrix

Model Company description

 

8

Oct 18

Topic: OPERATIONS PLAN

Supply Chain

Walk an Order

DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Assig: Read BP pp 19-21, p22

Activt: Review status of Plans. Answer

questions

Customer survey questionnaire

9

Oct 25

Activt: Business Model (see Business Model

Assignment) (P)

All teams present (6-8 slides)

Business Model Assignment

 

10

Nov 1

 

Topic: FINANCIAL PLAN

FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS

Risk

Customer acquisition costs

Assig: Read BP pp 27-30

Review Financial Model – download from website

Activt: Prelim. Customer Survey Results (F)

 

11

Nov 6 

(Mon)

 

 Nov 8

Workshop 6:00 pm Financial Projections Model

 

 

Activt: Marketing Plan (F)

All teams present (6 slides)

 

 

 

MARKETING PLAN

Customer Survey Results

12

Nov 15

 

Topic: FUNDING PLAN

Offering & Valuation

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

MANAGEMENT PLAN

Assig: Read BP p 25

Read P pp 31-3, p 4

Activt: Operations Plan (F)

Development Plan (F)

OPERATIONS PLAN DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Preliminary 5 yr Income Statement.

Customer Acq. Costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 2

(Sat)

 

FINANCIAL PLAN (IS, BS, CF & Assumptions (4 spreadsheets)

MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

 

  Dec 6

 

2 copies Business Plan

2 copies of slides

1 copy financial model

 

   

 

 

 

 

 



     
back to top