In producing the business plan report you should:
a) Identify, explore and evaluate alternative strategies for developing the business.
b) In undertaking a) above, research the relevant ‘real world’ industry, market and business environment the company is situated in.
You should use a combination of relevant real world primary and/or secondary research to provide the basis upon which your strategic choices are made.
c) Arising out of a) and b) above,set out a compelling five year business plan report designed to enhance shareholder value. You may use your own definition of shareholder value but must explain and justify it. The plan may identify a range of strategies for consideration but should ultimately put forward your recommendation with evidenced justification.
d) Identify specific KPIs to assist in measuring to what degree shareholder value is being enhanced.
e) Review your proposed plan, and identify and assess the key risks within it.
It should include graphs, tables and figures within the main body of the report where appropriate. You may also wish to include extracts of your spreadsheet planning model results within your business plan report to strengthen your justifications and evidence.
If you carry out any primary research you should include relevant extracts within an appendix as part of the evidence of carrying out that primary research. Where you carry out secondary research you should ensure you reference appropriately.
The following criteria will be assessed:
- · Overall contextual research into the relevant industry, market and business environment (15%)
- · Use of primary and/or secondary research to justify the strategic option(s) being set out for the company (20%)
- · Definition and justification of shareholder value for chosen case study company (5%)
- · Recommended strategy/strategies and justifications (10%)
- · Case study company-specific KPIs justification (10%) · Identification and assessment of key risks within proposed plan (10%)
- · The quality of the business plan taking account of cohesion, links with your research and associated considerations (25%)
- Note: this will be assessed using the assessor’s academic judgement of the evidence provided, in the context of the evidence gathered and the analyses carried out leading to the thrust and content of the business plan submitted
- · Overall communication (5%)
To help you frame your thoughts around the case study business plan report, here are a few points to think about:
- · In essence, you are doing something similar to the Icarus activity in that you are given a business to plan for.
- · You are given some financial data and a planning tool you can use to explore different scenarios. These scenarios should be based upon your own research of the economic landscape and trends within it. Such exploration should enable you to develop a range of suitable strategies and to assess their impacts on the business`s financial status over five years.
- · Ultimately you are being asked to project a plan for the future of the business, a future which will enhance shareholder wealth. Remember you define (and justify) what you mean by shareholder wealth. Having done so, you will need to identify and set out appropriate objectives to aim for and to be measured. This could involve identifying KPIs for such measurement.
- · You may wish – not unreasonably, to use on the business`s current financial position and its strategy(ies) as your departure point.
- · The research you carry out could well be based upon primary and/or secondary research (as covered in the first 11 weeks of the module) where appropriate. Finding out about the business landscape/industry that your case study is based within is a first step. The strategies you will wish to try out will depend upon your research.
- · The spreadsheet planning tool can help you generate forecast results for the alternative scenarios and strategies you decide to explore. You then select the scenario and strategy you feel most appropriate for the business. You should then ‘officially’ recommend and endorse it, and in so doing provide justification, citing ‘evidence’ where necessary. This is much like the rationales you and your team were providing as support for the choices you were making for each round in Icarus – but with further development.
- · The spreadsheet planning tool is there for you to use, adapting it as you see fit. There may be some cell references that need some tweaking but essentially it is a tool to help you plan. The main output for this assessment is the business plan report – the Excel planning tool should be viewed as part of the process you use to arrive at the business plan.
- · Ultimately, if this was your business... What would you do....?
There is no one set way to structure your report for this assessment.
Below are some Section headings that you may wish to utilise to help structure your report or to help ensure you cover key areas. But, again, it is not set in stone and can be adapted as you see fit.
- · Introduction/Executive summary
- · Industry/market analysis
- · Key secondary research
- · Key primary research (if applicable) conducted with results, particularly in the context of identifying and exploring alternatives.
- · Identification of overall objectives; relevant KPI selection and justification; selection and justification of key strategies
- · Financial plans/projections
- · Risk assessments
- · Recommendations and conclusion
- · Full consistent reference list.