Business plan capstone writing

Overview …………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Business Plan Capstone ………………………………………………………………….. 4
Chapter 1. Executive summary …………………………………………………………….. 6
Chapter 2. General company description …………………………………………….. 6
Chapter 3 Products and Services ………………………………………………………. 7
Chapter 4 Market Research ………………………………………………………………. 7
Chapter 5 Analyzing the Industry ………………………………………………………… 10
Chapter 6 Analyzing the Firm …………………………………………………………….. 11
Chapter 7 Conclusion and Recommendations …………………………………………. 12
Writing Guidelines & Timeline ……………………………………………………………. 13
For us to properly evaluate your knowledge…
Due to the current situation, we find ourselves in today, we understand that students may be struggling to complete their internship, or find themselves unable to go on internship altogether.
Therefore, a project has been created to assess your knowledge and understanding of the material you have studied in your Business program Marketing & Sales. Your task will be to create and write a complete Business Plan that incorporates various concepts that you have studied in your Marketing and Sales course.
To clarify, a proper business plan is created by entrepreneurs in order to establish a clear set of objectives for the business that effectively outlines how the business will operate, as well as assessing potential risk factors, effective marketing strategies, and the expected profitability of the venture. It is the foundation on which your business will be created.
How to proceed:
Your first responsibility is to choose a company to use for your business plan. You may choose any Canadian company. This project will require you to research and provide a fair share of information about this company, so it is your interest to ensure that all the information you need is accessible to you before starting your project.
For those of you who have already begun your internship, you may choose the company with whom you were doing your stage. Please note that this is optional.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is simply a written document that describes the future path of a business. A good business plan includes a detailed explanation of the business concept, summarizes the objectives of the business, identifies the resources (both in terms of money and people) that will be needed, describes how those resources will be obtained, and tells the reader why the business will be successful.
What’s included in a business plan?
Business plans come in many shapes and sizes. Sections that are commonly included in most business plans include:
 an Executive Summary which summarizes key points of the business plan in one or two pages;
 an overview which introduces the reader to the business;
 a description of the products and services;
 an overview of the industry in which the business will compete;
 a marketing strategy which summarizes the product, promotion, pricing, and distribution strategies of the business;
 a description of the management and staff;
 an implementation plan; and
 Business plans can vary in length from a few pages to over 100 pages. Although there are no hard and fast rules, many sources recommend that business plans should be between 10 and 25 pages in length. Remember that a business plan is a summary; you can always provide more information if asked or you can attach more detailed secondary documents to your business plan.
Why is a business plan important?
Some benefits of producing a business plan include:
 the process of preparing a business plan will force you to think about your business, research some options, recognize opportunities and risks, and test some of your expectations;
 a business plan will help you identify the cash needs of your business;
 a business plan can be used to obtain financing from banks and investors;
 a business plan can be used to tell employees, investors, and others about your plans and strategies; and
 a business plan provides a benchmark against which to compare the progress and performance of your business.
It is a good idea for all businesses to prepare and regularly update their business plan. However, small businesses are more likely to prepare a business plan when they are just starting up or when a major change in their business is occurring (and often when an additional investment or a loan is needed).
What are some guidelines to prepare a good business plan?
Some guidelines to follow when preparing a good business plan are:
1. Define the objectives you seek to achieve by creating this business plan.
Who is going to read the plan and what do you want them to do? The objectives can help you decide how much emphasis to put on various sections of the business plan.
2. Allocate enough time and resources to thoroughly research your business plan.
A business plan is only as good as the research that went into producing it. For example, you will have to do research in order to find out more about your industry, your potential customers, your potential competitors, and your potential sales and costs.
3. Show drafts of your business plan to others.
It can be very useful to get feedback on your business plan draft from various people, including people associated with the business and others.
4. Write your own business plan.
One common mistake made by entrepreneurs is to copy too much information from a sample business plan and simply change the names and some of the numbers. There are two big problems with this approach. First, the emphasis you place on various sections of the business plan must reflect what is important to your particular business. Second, a good business plan should flow together like a good story, with the sections interlacing together to demonstrate why the business will be successful. Business plans which borrow too much information from other business plans tend to be disjointed, with some sections contradicting others and some key issues being overlooked.
5. Outline the key points you want to make in each section before you start writing.
Review your outline to ensure that your sections are consistent with each other, that there is no repetition, and that all the key issues have been covered.
6. Make sure your financial projections are believable.
For many readers, the financial section is the most important section of the business plan because it identifies your financing needs and shows the profit potential of your business. A good financial plan will also give the reader confidence that you really understand your business. So be sure to test how reasonable each of your expectations is. If you are overly optimistic or fail to take into account the full costs of running your business, your business plan will not be credible.
7. Do the Executive Summary last
The Executive Summary can be the most important section of your business plan because people will read it first and it may be the only section they read. The key aspects of a good Executive Summary are that it should be short (2 pages at most), it should highlight what is important in your plan, and it should get the reader excited about your business.
The Executive Summary is a one-page report that outlines the purpose, objectives, and your approach to this project. Perusing this outline should give your teacher a clear idea of what you will be discussing in the project.
1.1. Name 1.2. Location: Where is the company headquartered?
1.3. Brief description of your products or services
1.4. Company’s competitive advantage
1.5. Problem statement
1.6. Objectives and strategies to solve the problem
This section examines the nature of your firm and the environment in which you will compete.
It should include:
2.1. Mission and Vision Statement
2.2. Company Values and Ethics
2.3. Type of business structure: Sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation.
2.4. What is their Market Structure?
– Monopoly
– Oligopoly
– Monopolistic Competition
– Pure Competition
2.5. Company goals: What does your company expect to accomplish over a specific period?
2.6. Describe your chosen industry.
2.7. Describe your target market.
2.8. What are your company’s core strengths and competencies?
2.9. Does the company have retail stores? If yes, how many? Where are they located?
2.10. Who is/are the Top Leader(s) of the company? Name the key people behind the company.
2.11. What issues do they face today?
Describe in depth your products and/or services. What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages? Include the following:
3.1. What is your company pricing strategy and how does it affect their profitability?
3.2. Describe its approach to advertising and sales/promotions.
3.3. Has it been effective for them?
3.4. What image do they want to convey?
3.5. How do they attempt to position themselves in the minds of consumers within the market?
3.6. What is their current image within the industry and in the minds of consumers?
3.7. Is this image working for them?
3.8. How does this compare with the image of competitors?
3.9. How do they make use of technology (web and e-commerce, supply chain management, information systems, etc.)?
3.10. How has technology affected the way they conduct business?
Include both primary and secondary research. Primary research consists of gathering your own data (if applied. You can conduct online surveys); secondary research is gathered from published information (ex. demographic profiles, trade journals, literature review). Address the following elements:
4.1. Economics. Facts about your industry.
4.1.1. What size is your market?
4.1.2. What present share will you have?
4.1.3. What are the current trends?
4.2. Products/Services.
In your earlier description of products/services, you described your products and services as you see them.
In this section, describe them from your customers’ point of view. For each product or service:
4.2.1. Describe the most important features. What is special about the product/service?
4.2.2. Describe the benefits. What will the product/service do for the customer?
4.2.3. What after-the-sale services will you provide (ex. delivery, warranty, follow-up)?
4.3. Customer.
Describe your customers. Construct a profile that includes:
4.3.1. Age
4.3.2. Gender
4.3.3. Location
4.3.4. Income level
4.3.5. Social class/occupation
4.3.6. Education
4.3.7. Other (specific to your industry)
4.4. Competition.
4.4.1. What products/companies will compete with you?
4.4.2. Who are the company’s competitors (both direct and indirect)? List your major competitors (provide names and addresses)
4.4.3. How does your company compare to these competitors in terms of size, market dominance/share, sales, profitability, etc.?
4.4.4. What is your company’s competitive strength?
4.4.5. How does it attempt to stay competitive?
4.4.6. Are there strategies that have not worked well for your company?
4.5. Advertising and Promotion.
4.5.1. Collect data on your target audience’s media-consuming behavior – Beware we focus here on the media consumption and not the product/brand consumption;
4.5.2. Choose communication channels based on your budget and the profile of your target audience;
4.5.3. Identify the appropriate platforms according to your channels, your budget, the profile of the target clientele, but also the availability of these platforms;
4.5.4. Establish communication tactics;
4.5.5. Explain how often you will advertise.
4.6. Pricing.
Explain your method of setting prices. Compare your prices with those of the competition. Are they higher, lower or the same? Why? What will be your customer service and credit policies?
4.7. Proposed Location.
4.7.1. Is your location important to your customers? If yes, how?
4.7.2. Is it convenient?
4.7.3. Is it consistent with your image?
4.7.4. Is it what your customers want and expect?
4.7.5. Where is the competition located? Is it better to be near them or distant?
4.8. Distribution Channels.
How will you sell your products or services?
 Retail
 Direct (web, mail order, catalog)
 Wholesale
 Your own salesforce
 Agents
4.9. Sales Forecast.
Monthly projection based on historical data, the marketing strategies you described, your market research, and industry data. You may want to include a “best guess” scenario and a “worst-case” scenario that you are confident you can achieve no matter what happens.
4.10. Legal Environment.
4.10.1. Permits/Licenses
4.10.2. Health, workplace and environmental regulations
4.10.3. Special regulations covering your specific industry or profession
4.10.4. Trademarks, copyrights, patents
4.11. Personnel.
4.11.1. Number of employees
4.11.2. Type of labor (skilled, unskilled, professional)
4.11.3. Where and how will you find the right employees?
4.11.4. Training methods and requirements
4.11.5. Who does which tasks?
4.12. Financial. Prepare a start-up financial.
4.12.1. Prepare 1 year, 2-year, and 3-year financial projections for the business including:
 Income statement
 Balance sheet
 Cash flow projection
 Debt reduction statement
 Additional anticipated capital expenses based on market/product expansion.
5.1. PEST Analysis
The PEST analysis framework encourages a strategic overview of external environment characteristics.
5.1.1. Political analysis
5.1.2. Economic analysis
5.1.3. Sociocultural analysis
5.1.4. Technological analysis
5.2. Porter’s Five-Forces Model
Prof. Michael Porter’s famous five-forces model helps identify the forces that determine the basic competitive structure of an industry:
5.2.1. Rivalry
5.2.2. Threat of entry and exit barriers
5.2.3. Supplier power
5.2.4. Buyer power
5.2.5. Threat of substitutes
5.3. Create a VRIO model:
5.3.1. Valuable
5.3.2. Rare
5.3.3. Inimitable
5.3.4. Organized
5.4. Industry Development
 Describe competitive pressures, changing demographics and buying preferences, consumer behavior issues, image issues, etc. that affect this company and how they conduct business?
 How has your company changed and evolved over time?
6.1. Company Background
This report provides a brief business summary and general information about the background of a company and its senior management. Data elements may include the company history, profiles of business principals, parent company, subsidiary, branch affiliations and operational highlights (including terms of sales, territory, company locations, number of employees and limited financial information).
6.2. Ethics and Current Events
6.2.1. How have they built Customer Relationship Management?
 Loyalty Programs
 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Programs
6.2.2. Describe any Ethical Considerations related to Marketing.
6.2.3. Describe what they do to be socially responsible?
6.2.4. Do they have a green approach?
6.3. Leadership.
How stable has senior leadership been in the years covered by your research? Who are the key executives?
6.4. Marketing Analysis
Use the four P’s of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion) to assess the company’s marketing performance.
A purely narrative discussion is not acceptable: select useful quantitative measures to buttress your analysis of these specific points:
 Product:
What is the product, really? Who buys it? Does the product possess brand equity?
 Place:
What are the distribution channels? Direct to the consumer? Opportunity for new channels created by your company? By a competitor? Multiple channels? Who has the channel power? Retailer? Manufacturer?
 Price:
Skimming? Penetration? Value? Low? High? Differential?
 Promotion:
What is the unique selling proposition (USP)? Brand promise? Channels?
Write a detailed conclusion that includes the main points of your analysis such as your recommendations, suggestions as well as your predictions on the future success of your company. An adequate conclusion should not be repetitive but instead, serve as an accurate and complete summary of your main points and key factors.
Upon reviewing all the information included in this project, you should create a proper SWOT analysis summarizing the key point of the project and the most important aspects of your company. A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a powerful tool used to clarify and expand on your strategic analysis.
1. The project should be done using both Word and Power Point. The two documents should be sent to the Program Coordinator: Caio Mattos –
2. The project must contain a title page including the following information:
 The name of the company
 The points described in this document.
3. The acceptable fonts are Times New Roman (no smaller than 11pt) and Arial (no smaller than 10pt). Line spacing must be 1.5.
4. You should include: A cover page, a table of content, an introduction and conclusion, recommendations and a bibliography.
5. Plagiarism will NOT be tolerated. Evidence of plagiarism will result in an automatic failure and a grade of 0 for this examination.
6. Maintain a professional look. The use of Charts, Images, and Supplementary Material is recommended for illustration purposes.
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