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Business Plan

Assignment Requirements
I need a business plan with graphs. The company we are writing about is Gradesavers tutoring. They are a Montreal-based tutoring company and we want to expand them into Ottawa. They already have opened offices in Toronto and that is going well for them. Our business plan should focus on opening a branch or a franchise in Ottawa. They said we can make up the financials however we want, so you do that to make it seem reasonable. There should be graphs as well. I will also upload the instructions from the professor. The first report is done and is already uploaded.
COMM 320 – Business Plan Project – Wimter 2014
Interview / First Report (discussion – Q&A):
The group must first find an entrepreneur / owner (see Important Note at end of this outline) of an actual small or medium-sized business; or someone who is interested (very close to implementation) in starting their own business (there are no fictitious or “made-up” businesses). Sometime during the third week I will briefly discuss the business plan idea with each group. The group must provide the contact (name, address, and phone) in the first report. It is highly recommended that the group schedule and complete at least one interview with the entrepreneur very early in the semester.
The focus of the interview and the Outline for the First Report is as follows:

The Entrepreneur and the original objectives of the entrepreneur at start-up.
A brief description of the Evolution of the Business Idea in terms of products / services, operations, management, and employees; where they are at this point in time.
A very preliminary Industry Analysis: general trends, industry and market information;
A preliminary description of a possible Growth / Expansion / Diversification Concept for the next three years of the business.

This information will be summarized into a first report (5-6 pages) to be handed in, February 25 2014, along with a short update (tentative). This first progress report update is a 5 – 7 minute informal discussion (one person from the group can present) with a short question and answer.
The Business Plan:
Subsequently, the group will write a complete business plan (an outline is provided on the following two pages) describing the start-up or expansion of the business, covering a period of the next three years. It is not necessary that the entrepreneur wants to grow / expand or diversify. The business plan will be based on the assessment of the group for the potential growth / expansion / diversification for the business.
As a guideline the growth / expansion / diversification should fulfill the following criteria:

There is a market driven need for new products / services.
There is a potential for profitability – the market size should be sufficient.
The entrepreneur should have the resources (skills, money, and experience) to make this a reality (even if it is not necessarily an idea they want).
The growth / expansion / diversification should fit within the scope of the school term (don’t select something that will take 9 months to research).

Also, remember that it is a business plan that the group will be writing, not just a concept / idea paper. The difference is that the business plan requires research, detail, and completion, to the point where the start-up / expansion is ready for implementation; whereas, a concept paper could just be an idea. The group needs to keep in mind the semester time-frame.
Class Presentation:
The business plan will be presented sometime during the last two sessions of the course, at which point it should be very near completion. This presentation is a formal presentation by the group (about 20 minutes, with all group members participating). The final presentation is essentially a concise presentation of the business plan.
Business Plan Outline:
The business plan should be about 20 pages of written text; there may also be small tables, illustrations, charts, etc. Any large graphics should be placed in the appendices. The pro-forma Financial Statements should be under a separate tab. All other supporting information, research documentation, any surveys, illustrations or graphics, should be in the appendices. The business plan for this class is based on a generic outline; it contains the same basic content as the outline in the Course Pack (page 240) in a slightly modified order and structure:

Cover Letter: This personalizes the plan; in this case the letter is addressed to me, indicating that the business plan is to fulfill academic requirements, and a request for feedback about the business.


Title Page: This should be consistent with the look of the business, including the name and logo, and an appearance that fits the image of the business.


Table of Contents


Executive Summary: This presents the highlights of the business plan and must grab the attention of the reader.


Concept / Goals and Objectives:

Briefly, the original idea, the product / service, and goals and objectives;
The growth / expansion / diversification concept;
The management team (responsibilities, skills, background).


Industry / Market Analysis:

Industry overview, general characteristics, market gaps, trends, product life cycle;
Industry key success factors;
Forces, competitive, technological, government;
Research on your target market;
Market potential, competition;
Summary – the window of opportunity.

Marketing Plan:

Marketing Strategy;
The intended niche (market segment);
Your U.S.P. (unique selling point), any competitive advantage;
Marketing Mix (4P’s);
Revenue projections in brief.


Operations Plan (mostly narrative – link to appendices):

Human Resources (key people);
The organization structure, and legal status;
Product / Service Flow charts;
Production capacity;
Facilities (Layout if applicable);
Key supplier relationships;
Implementation time-line.
Start up funds required, and source;
The deal structure, if applicable (changes in ownership, etc.);
Major assumptions, Revenue Projections repeated with more detail;
Risk Management, contingency plans;
Discussion of Cash Flow;
Discussion of Income Statements;
Discussion of Balance Sheet;
Discussion of Sensitivity Analysis;
Discussion of Break-Even Analysis;
Discussion of Ratios.

The Financial Plan:

Financial Statements (pro-forma), under separate tab:

Relevant “Notes” section explaining key points;
Opening Balance Sheet;
Pro-Forma statements – Projected into the future:
Monthly Cash Flow (Year 1, 2, 3) on 3 sheets;
Income Statements (Year 1, 2, 3) on 1 sheet;
Balance Sheets (Year 1, 2, 3) on 1 sheet (if possible);
Sensitivity Analysis – Year 1 Income Statement (Optimistic, Realistic, Pessimistic) on 1 sheet;
Break-Even Analysis (Based on Realistic scenario);
Appropriate Ratios.


Research information, actual pages from articles, etc.
Primary Research (surveys, etc.)
All other research (Not sure – include it!)
Charts, graphs, etc.
Facility Layout;
Flow Charts;
Organization Chart;
Patents, copyrights, illustrations of prototypes;
Anything else, if you are not sure – include it!

Important Note: The entrepreneur can most certainly be a family member or friend, consider someone who will be accessible for an initial interview, and who will perhaps provide additional information beyond that. Remind the entrepreneur that there is no requirement to provide any confidential information; after the first interview, the group can have some flexibility with the growth / expansion / diversification concept.
Also, in exceptional cases, any student who clearly demonstrates that they have already started working on their own business plan for a business they intend to actually open, may be authorized (as part of a group) to write and submit a business plan on that business. It will be up to the student to provide sufficient information on the steps that they have already taken to develop the business. This will be initiated only with the prior approval of the instructor.
n  First Report – Guidelines
n  Guidelines for preparing the First “progress” Report:
n  The First Report should have a cover sheet, and be about five pages (typed, 1.5 spacing, a 11-12 point font that is visually appealing, easy to read), in total, six sheets of paper.
n  It should be labeled by the four point outline as per the Business Plan Guidelines.
n  Roughly half of the paper should describe the Entrepreneur using the concepts from the course material.
n  The Evolution of the Business Idea should read along the lines of the functional areas of business.
n  First Report – Guidelines
n  Try to define as clearly as possible what industry the business is in, start with the NAICS codes;
n  Search for several general articles that describe basic trends in the industry, look for issues such as growth, change, technology, demographic generalizations, economic (or legislative issues) that may impact this industry;
n  Begin to define the customer, and consider the scope, and begin to look for market specifics related to that scope:
n  Specific neighborhood? Montreal? Quebec? Canada?
n  Begin to clarify the business concept; however, you can have more than one idea for now.
For the research, seriously consider the use of the NAICS Code(s) – instructions found on pages 129-132 in coursepack or at( library.concordia.ca) for full access and videos
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