- Assessment: General Information
There is one assessment in the module and you will need to achieve a minimum of 40% in order to pass the module.
The assessment is a business plan which will incorporate a number of portfolio tasks that will comprise the different elements of your business plan. As you work towards the completion of your portfolio you will need to present each of your tasks in to your seminar sessions for review by your peers. These peer review sessions are designed to help you produce the best possible final outcome and to encourage engagement in this peer review process these activities will be graded and will count towards the final outcome for the module.
Assignment – Business Plan
Business Plan assessment comprises 3 elements:
- Element 1: in-class elevator pitch of business idea (5% of mark).
- Element 2: in-class presentation of business plan (15% of mark).
- Element 3: Written Business Plan (80% of mark)
Weighting: 100% of the total module mark
Word count or equivalent: 2,500 words
Timing and methods of feedback:
- Formative feedback will be provided in class. Students will need to make a record of the feedback provided.
- Summative feedback will be provided in writing within 15 working days of submission.
After an initial briefing, students will be asked to undertake some research, which will enable them to develop and present their business idea. The business plan will consist of a portfolio submission and include the following tasks:
1) The elevator pitch: a 1-minute video presentation uploaded to YouTube
- When uploading the video select the “unlisted” option.
- Include a link to your video in the written summary of your business
2) The Business Detail: A summary, clearly identify the customers’ need(s), or problem(s) that your product or service addresses. Clearly identify the target market and specify its’ characteristics, i.e. size, value, geographic location and any demographic details. You should also indicate whether you expect this market to grow, remain stable, or shrink. Provide an outline of the product/service and how it meets the identified need(s). How does it work? What are its key features and how does it benefit the target market?
3) Economic overview: Assumptions about current and future economic conditions are essential for planning and strategic decisions. Economic forecasts must be relevant to the needs of the business, and clearly understood and utilized. consider the macro-economic environment and the implications of the economic outlook for your business.
4) Market & Industry analysis: clearly identify the customer need, or problem that your product or service addresses. Clearly identify the target market and specify its’ characteristics, i.e. size, value, geographic location and any demographic details. You should also indicate whether you expect this market to grow, remain stable, or shrink. You should consult sources like the ONS as well and Mintel and Keynote to inform your writing. Outline the characteristics of the industry that your business will compete in. Who are the dominant competitors? Is the industry fragmented, or consolidated? Is the industry growing, or in decline? You may use the FAME database to build up a picture of your industry.
5) Competitor analysis: provide an overview of the competitive environment. Who are your main competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses in relation to your proposed business? You should consider both direct and indirect competitors. The FAME database should provide a lot of the information that you need, but you should also conduct primary research into your competitors, for example, if appropriate, you might visit their premises. You should certainly understand how their products are pitched in relation to yours, who their customers are, the strengths and weaknesses of their location, etc.
6) Operations and Location details: The operations plan describes how the business will actually work. Here you need to describe how the product will be produced and what facilities or equipment are needed. Give details on the location of the premises, transport links (this is how your customers will get to you, or will facilitate the distribution of your products), general site information, external considerations, building, parks and premises details. You also need to mention any legal considerations with respect to the business or premises, e.g. if you need to apply for a change of use. You also need to consider who the suppliers for the business are going to be.
7) SWOT Analysis: Include a SWOT analysis here which shows the reader what your strengths and weaknesses are as well as the perceived opportunities and threats to the business. Information in the SWOT analysis should be drawn from other sections such as competitor, economic, market analysis, etc
- Strengths: why will customers buy from you instead of your competitors? What does your business do better than your rivals? What makes you stand out from the competition – your unique selling point (USP)?
- Weaknesses: why would your customers buy from your competitors rather than you? What do your competitors do better than you do?
- Opportunities: What are the opportunities for you and how are you taking advantage of them?
- Threats: what are the potential changes that could threaten your business?
8) Financial requirements: provide a detailed breakdown of the financial requirements for your business. This should include the following:
- The start-up costs of the business to include costs such as any equipment; furniture; premises costs (including any building works); opening stock, etc.
- Your estimated cost of sales & Your expected selling price
- Fixed & Running Costs of the Business
- Profitability & Break-Even-Point analysis
Begin with a forecast of the projected sales and costs of the business. Information from your market analysis and competitor analysis will help you here. If you are writing a plan for a business that is already up and running you can also use historic data, or where this is not available try to use information from other, similar businesses.
9) Personal evaluation: provide an assessment of your potential to become an entrepreneur. In addressing this section you should take the Global Enterprising Tendency Test (GET2 test) available from http://www.get2test.net/ - this will give you an objective basis for trying to evaluate your entrepreneurial tendency. You should come to a conclusion about your potential to become an entrepreneur and also include your assessment as to whether this is an attractive option for you (200 words maximum).
10) Poster presentation: the work will culminate in the presentation of your ideas at a formal exhibition of business ideas at the end of the semester. You will need to produce a visual display and some point of sale material, flyers, or leaflets to support the presentation.