Business Plan Preparation | ESBM 4830 | Syllabus | Fall 2004

 

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:

 

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 instructors 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. To select the teams, 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.

 

Teams will consist of four people. It is highly recommended that the lead entrepreneur try to establish a diversified team, i.e. the team should not be comprised of all marketing majors; someone with strong engineering or finance experience will greatly facilitate the team’s efforts.

 

Business Plan Preparation

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.

 

It is essential that teams talk to lots of business people and potential customers. During the four weeks following the selection of the concept, the team will spend much of its time testing the concept by interviewing customers, users, distributors, industry experts and organizations, 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.

 

Class sessions will generally be organized roughly as follows:

 

Resources and Materials

Required Readings (can be downloaded from www.leeds.colorado.edu/bplan)

Materials handed out in class during the semester will include:

Other resources that may be useful during the semester include:

 

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:

 

There are 1,000 points possible in the course:

 

Activity

Number

Pts each

Total Pts

Individual Assignments

2

  30

  60

Group Assignments

 

 

 

     Plan Section Assignments

8

30

240

     Business Model

1

100

100

 

 

 

 

Final Group Written Plan

1

350

350

Final Group Presentation

1

150

150

Peer Evaluation

1

 50

  50

Individual Participation

1

 50

  50

TOTAL

 

 

     1,000

 

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

 

Points

975

925

900

875

825

800

775

725

700

675

625

<625

Grade

A+

A

A-

B+

B

B-

C+

C

C-

D+

D

F

 

General Course Policies

1. Written assignments are due via email 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 to the instructor an email prior to class that includes as an attachment a write-up of what you would have prepared for the class.

 

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.

 

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

 

Instructors:

Name

Frank Moyes

David Drake

Address

Leeds School of Business
University of Colorado at Boulder

Boulder, CO 80309-0419

Executive Director

University License Equity Holdings, Inc.

Boulder, CO  80303

Telephone

303.473.9478

303.735.1085

E-mail

frank.moyes@colorado.edu

david.dradke@cu.edu

Office

Room 249A

Quest Research Bldg. Suite 390

Office Hours

Monday 9:00 to 12:00
Wednesday 4:00 to 5:30

Thursday 4:00 to 6:00

And by appointment

by appointment