Assignment Instructions – Week 1

To achieve the outcomes of this class and demonstrate the knowledge you have gained through your classes at Grantham, you will be working on a project throughout this course. The purpose of this project will be creating a business plan for a fictitious company. For this first week, please write a one page description of your business plan. Include the following information:

  • What type of company will you develop?
  • Why did you choose this industry?
  • Is it for-profit or non-profit?
  • Who are your stakeholders?

You will be working on this project independently over the next several weeks. Please see the project description and requirements listed in Week 8.  ***(Listed Below)***

Please cite your sources in APA format and provide an APA formatted reference page.


Submit your final project with any changes requested from your instructor.

The format of the business plan submission is as follows:

  1. Cover Page (Name, course number, section, instructor name and the date)
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Table of contents
  4. Industry Overview
  5. Discussion of business
  6. Analysis of business opportunity
    • Marketing plan
    • Financial Plan
  7. Self- Analysis
  8. Appendix
    • Supporting documents
  9. Bibliography/References

The specific details for the development of the business plan are:

Business plan components:

  1. The industry: a brief overview and long-term outlook for growth
  2. Discussion of your business:
    • Company Name
    • Mission statement
    • Type of business—retail, manufacturing, service
    • Proposed ownership/legal structure
    • Unique product or service you will offer
  3. Analysis of the business opportunity (marketing plan and business plan):
    • Target market inclusive of potential customers and their location
    • Location of your business
    • Economic, demographic, and geographic factors which may influence the success of the proposed venture
  4. Self-analysis:
    • Actual personal experience, education and training in the area/ industry of proposed business
    • Personal strengths and weaknesses which may help and hinder the venture.
    • Personal development plan which should include details for addressing and overcoming areas of weakness
    • Personal development plan for life long learning to keep up with on going changes in the marketing place.

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan should address how you will differentiate your company from competitors. Frame your marketing plan to show potential investors what factors will make your product or service more desirable than those offered by the competition. The marketing plan should include:

  1. Review industry size, trends, and target market segment.
  2. A competitive analysis
    • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each primary competitor.
    • Consider sales, quality, distribution, price, production capabilities, reputation, and products/services.
    • Identify who leads the industry in terms of
      • Price
      • Quality
      • Market share
    • Outline how your product or service measures in the area of pricing and identify your competitive advantage.
  3. Prepare a first-year and a 3-year sales forecast in dollars and units.
  4. Briefly outline your sales and advertising plans.

Financial Plan

Financials demonstrate the viability of a business while they help justify the need for funding. In this section describe financial estimates and rationale which include financial statements and forms that document the viability of your proposed business and its soundness as an investment.

  1. Prepare three-year projections for income, expenses, and sources of funds.
    • Base predictions on industry and historical trends.
    • Make realistic assumptions.
    • Allow for funding changes at different stages of your company’s growth.
    • Present a written rationale for your projections.
  2. Indicate your startup costs.
    • Detail how startup funds will be used to advance your proposed business
    • List current capital and any other sources of funding you may have.
    • Document your calculations.
    • Use reasonable estimates and/or actual data (where possible). 
  3. Create a cash-flow statement.


In addition to conducting online research of journals, and Internet sources, you should consult sources such as the SBA, trade magazines, and organizations online and in your area to analyze your industry, customers, and the business opportunity.

Executive Summary

Once you have completed the detailed process of evaluating the proposed business opportunity and compiled all of the findings into a detailed project, you will need to create a 1-2 page summary of the proposed business venture. This summary should provide a short description of the business concept and include a brief summary of each section. Highlight your breakthrough idea by describing the unique aspects of your product or service. This summary should be the first section of your submission after the cover sheet. Although this is the first section, it is earlier to complete this section once your project is complete and you have a clear picture of your overall work.


This last section of your business plan section should provide documentation that your plan is well-researched, based on extensive research and reasonable assumptions. In addition, it should demonstrate that the proposed company is not entering a declining industry or market segment. Supporting documents: Compile supporting documents developed while creating the business plan and include them in the Appendix. Collect all data such as marketing reports, article reprints, etc used to research and create your predictions, as well as any worksheets, forecasting data, calculations and statements used for the estimates. Include a copy of a recent financial statement for the business, if available.


This section allows you to identify all the reference materials you consulted in the preparation of your business plan. In order to ensure academic integrity, list all sources consulted.

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